I Lead Pastor I
Victor Long was appointed as the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in July of 2010.
Victor was ordained Elder in the former Southern Illinois Conference in 1991. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from McKendree College (now University); a Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; and a Doctor of Ministry in Applied Ministries from the Graduate Theological Foundation.
A Benedictine Oblate of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, his Doctor of Ministry project focused on introducing Benedictine spirituality into United Methodist congregations. The project was titled, “Benedict Meets Mayberry.”
Victor has previously served United Methodist congregations in Marion (First UMC), Carrier Mills, Centralia (First UMC, Associate), and Metropolis (First UMC, Associate). In the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, he presently serves on the Committee on Episcopacy, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the District Committee on Ordained Ministry.
He is married to Jennifer, who works as a school nurse in the Head Start program at District 80 schools, and they have four adult children. He is active in the Mount Vernon Noon Rotary Club and the Sons of the American Revolution (Lewis & Clark Chapter).
Victor loves genealogy, collecting interesting things (e.g., autographs, pink flamingos), Bowen Family Systems Theory, and, as a displaced Texan, Mexican food.
Ian likes to think that serving as the youth pastor keeps him perpetually young and cool...okay "cool" might be a bit of a stretch. Ian's not afraid to let loose and be incredibly dorky and corny, which mixes well with his desire to provide a safe space for each student to truly be themselves.
When Ian's not doing his youth pastor duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife and their cat, Lemon. He also loves kayaking, video games, working out, editing videos, and listening to podcasts that cover topics such as architecture, civics, celebrity interviews, Bible info, food, and
many more random topics.
I Students' Pastor I
Gina Ellis is a licensed local pastor and has been Children’s Ministry Director since 2018.
Gina is married to Jerry and they have seven children and ten grandchildren. They share their home with three of their children, one granddaughter, and Jezebel, a black miniature poodle.
Gina loves to cook, bake angel food cakes, read, plant flowers, tend to her fish pond, and play. Gina’s favorite part of ministry is getting to know the children, teaching, and showing them how very much God loves them.