About us

Leadership & Staff

Our Leaders & Staff

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PASTOR TIM O’BRIEN

I have been a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, born and raised in East Troy and graduated from UW-Madison. My wife Audra and I  are blessed with three children Alyssa, Connor, and Madelyn.
I have been in professional ministry since 2001 serving at Bristol and Wesley Chapel in Kenosha County and then at the Mequon United Methodist Church and in 2018, serving The United Methodist Church in Plover and Stevens Point.
My hobbies include reading, watching movies, and researching family genealogy. Contact Pastor Tim.
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Laura Courtright Burns

Director of Family Ministries, Youth Ministry,

& Campus Minister

Laura joined the staff of the United Methodist Church in 2008. Before joining, she served in both the children’s and adult faith formation ministries of the church and was self-employed as a Realtor in the Central Wisconsin area for many years. She holds an Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Laura has two adult sons and cherishes her new role as Grandma. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and is active in the local food movement.
Laura is passionate about finding creative ways to equip children, youth & families to incorporate faith into everyday life.
Tonya Kowalski

Discipleship Coordinator

Many of you may know me, as I have been a member of St. Paul’s – The Springs for 25 years. While serving on the Accountable Leadership Board for the past year, I have had the opportunity to learn some of the visions and strategies leaders in our church imagine for the future. I am excited for the next steps and believe that we are currently positioned to start a new chapter in this church’s story with fresh offerings through expanded collaborations and increased commitments.
As an active preacher and lay pastor, I enjoy walking with people on their faith journey, speaking with diverse groups of people, and serving God. Here at
St. Paul’s-The Springs, I have volunteered with several different roles and groups.
In my new role (and first time on staff!) I am excited to grow in my discipleship journey and engage with new and existing congregation members as they also journey on their discipleship paths. I understand and appreciate the strengths of our congregation and am confident we can leverage these strengths to build new disciples and grow current disciples in ways that will make the future of our church dynamic, vibrant, and engaged.
I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you more in the days ahead!
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Ardis Burke

Director of Finance

Ardis loves the world of numbers and has worked in an accounting/bookkeeping capacity for over 50 years. She also loves books and the magic of words on a page and is a recent author. But most of all, she loves the Lord, her family and the church and considers it a privilege to help out at St. Paul’s-The Springs UMC at this time. She will be in the office Monday through Thursday during the afternoon. If you have any financial questions or concerns, please contact the church office (715/344-3557) or finance@stevenspointumc.org.
Kristen Deadwyler

Communication Services Coordinator 

Kristen has been a Stevens Point resident for over 30 years. She has college degrees from UWSP and Mid-State Technical College in psychology, religious studies, digital marketing, and project management. Kristen has served the community by working with local nonprofits like Central Rivers Farmshed, Women’s Fund of Portage County, and Portage County Literacy Council. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Hunger and Poverty Prevention Partnership of Portage County. Her previous work for First Presbyterian Church of Winneconne inspired her to continue to serve God by serving the St Paul’s- The Springs United Methodist congregation. When not working and volunteering, Kristen loves to advocate for women’s sports, write, enjoy movie marathons, and kayak.
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Tom Riley

Facility Associate

Hello, my name is Tom Riley. My wife Kari and I own and operate Riley Crest Farm, a goat dairy in Amherst. We have 6 children and soon to be proud grandparents. My wife and I are active in Farm Bureau were we serve on the board of directors. We are also FFA Alumni and supporters of our children in all their endeavors and our younger children’s activities. My wife serves the Buena Vista and Amherst United Methodist churches were I attend and serve as a Lay Speaker. I am excited to work with the people of St. Paul’s-The Springs and a wider community.
Tom Johnson

Facility Associate

Hi, my name is Tom Johnson. My wife Rita and I have lived in Stevens Point for the past 30 years, where we have raised two children. I was employed for most of this time at UW-Stevens Point, working in their maintenance department, performing a variety of duties. I took early retirement, and continued to work at several part-time jobs including the past two years as custodian at Tomorrow River Lutheran Parish in Amherst. My wife and I are both members of the local Sons of Norway lodge which meets in Fletcher Hall. I look forward to serving the St. Paul’s-The Springs congregation as it carries out its continuing ministry to the Stevens Point community.
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Patricia “Pat” Laabs

Chancel Choir Director

Pat is the director of the Chancel Choir at The United Methodist Church – Stevens Point and Plover and has found it to be a very rewarding experience. Previously she directed the Good News Singers youth choir. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a double major in voice and piano. Pat has taught elementary music in the public schools – 1st grade through Junior High and has given private piano lessons.
She is presently employed with Jim Laabs Music. Pat loves playing the piano, making crafts, sewing, dabbling in some art, writing children’s compositions & yard work.
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Caryn Hurst

Bell Choir Director

Caryn Carlson Hurst has been a member of The United Methodist Church – Stevens Point and Plover since she moved to Stevens Point with her family in 1983. She has been ringing with the handbell choir since its inception in 1985.
Caryn began to direct the Gospel Ringers (our beginning choir) in 2000 and took over the reins of the Touch of Brass in 2008.
She is married to Michael (also in the bell choir) and has three adult children. She is also a devoted quilter.
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Yvonne chojnacki

N’Joy Choir Director, St. Paul’s Church Camp Co-Director

Yvonne has been a member of St. Paul’s-The Springs since 1987. Yvonne has been a member of the N’Joy Choir since its inception and became the director in 2007. Yvonne enjoys singing contemporary worship songs and leading worship. Each year Yvonne attends Lifest, a Christian music festival  in Oshkosh, where she hears a wide genre of Christian music.
Yvonne is also a co-director of St. Paul’s Church Camp. She enjoys planning and implementing a week of “holy fun” at Camp Lucerne each year.
Yvonne and her husband Ed have two adult children and a granddaughter. She likes to read, go camping and create counted cross-stitch projects.
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Ryan Koelemay

Lead Church Musician

Ryan was born in Stevens Point, WI, in 1982. He was born into a United Methodist family. His grandfather, Ralph Koelemey, was the pastor at The Springs UMC (formerly the Plover UMC) for a number of years. Ryan started studying music at the age of 5 and has played a variety of instruments including piano, trumpet, and tuba.
Ryan currently works full-time as an actuarial analyst at Sentry Insurance, and also plays tuba and piano as a Staff Sergeant in the 132d Army Band of Wisconsin Army National Guard. Ryan and his wife Amy have three sons, Austin, Evan and Ian, and daughter Adeline.
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Mary McComb

Accompanist

Good News Singers Pianist

Mary has been the Church Pianist at The Springs Church since Sept. 2007.
In 2019, after the fire that destroyed The Springs building, she now plays every Sunday at the 8:30 a.m. worship service and accompanies our children’s choir known as the Good News Singers.
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Melanie Wiltse

Accompanist

Melanie is the piano accompanist for the N’Joy praise choir and fills in worship services as needed. She lives in a rural area about 20 minutes west of Stevens Point. She has been involved in church music ministry for almost 50 years, accepting her first position as an organist at the age of 12. Melanie has served in a variety of denominations from charismatic to Catholic and thinks those experiences have fostered a broad and unique personal perspective about the diversity of corporate worship.
Melanie is married to John, a liturgist at the Stevens Point location. They have 3 children and 10 grandchildren. Melanie has a teaching studio in her home for piano and harp lessons.

Office Hours

Mon – Thur: 9am – 12pm, 1pm – 4pm

Fri – Sun: Closed

Sunday service: 8:30am & 10:30am

St. Paul’s

United Methodist Church

Contact Info

600 Wilshire Blvd

Stevens Point, WI 54481

(715) 344-3557

stpauls@stevenspointumc.org