Victor Long



    Rev. Victor K. Long was appointed pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon in July 2010. He is an Elder of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and has previously served appointments in Marion (First UMC), Carrier Mills, Centralia (First UMC), and Metropolis.
    He holds the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from McKendree University; Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from Graduate Theological Foundation.

    He is also a Benedictine Oblate of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana, and his doctoral project focused upon introducing elements of the ancient Benedictine spiritual tradition into United Methodist settings.

    Victor is married to Jennifer, and together they have four children: Ashley, Autumn, Lauren, and Carson.

    Ian Barbee

    Director of Student Ministries

    Ian is a lifelong United Methodist and a native of Salem, Illinois. Last summer, he graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a degree in Organizational Communication. He is a Certified Candidate for ministry in The United Methodist Church, attended Licensing School last summer, and intends to attend seminary in a couple of years. He also loves starting projects, working in groups, and trying new things.

      Gina Ellis

      Director of Children's Ministries


      Gina started with First United Methodist in the summer of 2013 as the church custodian and went on to become the Director of Children’s Programs in the summer of 2017. She presents the Children’s Moment in both the Contemporary and the Traditional Worship Services, teaches Delighting in God Bible Club to children in Kindergarten through 5th grades, and heads up Kids Quest at Otterbein United Methodist, a sister church in Bluford, Illinois.  In 2019, the director of Sonshine School, the church’s preschool program, resigned and Gina has volunteered to cover that position until the church is able to find another director. 

      Both Gina and her husband, Jerry, are passionate about those in need. Gina is a phenomenal cook, a skill she uses to raise funds for mission trips to Haiti. In the summer of 2018, Gina attended Licensing School and is now a Licensed Local pastor, appointed to both Mount Vernon First United Methodist and Blufford Otterbein UMC.  Gina and Jerry are the parents of eight and grandparents to eleven, soon to be twelve, grandchildren. 

          Kathy Newnam

          Church Secretary


          Kathy and her husband, Stan, moved to Mt. Vernon in September 2001. They have two children, Kyle, who lives in Clinton, Illinois with his wife, Roberta,  and their sons, Teddy, John and Matthew; and Tanya, who lives in West Liberty, Iowa with her daughter, Katie, and her husband, Mike McCarty. Kathy has an Associates Degree in Accounting/Data Processing, obtained from Danville Area Community College.

          In 2018, Kathy went to Licensing School and became a Licensed Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church.  She currently is appointed as a part-time pastor to two churches, Ina and Waltonville UMCs.  In her “free” time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. 

            Becky Deaton

            Parish Visitor


            For a long time, I have known what a talented staff we have at First United Methodist Church, and I am truly grateful to have the opportunity work with this dynamic group. 
            I am looking forward to continue working with this dedicated group that visits our shut-ins, nursing home and assisted living members. Please contact me if you would like to serve in this ministry.

            A little about me:  I was born and raised in Mt. Vernon. My parents, Clarence and Ruth Body, three sisters, and I were members of, at that time, First Methodist Church.  After graduating from Eastern Illinois University, I married my high school sweetheart, Bill Deaton. We have three sons:  J. Paul Deaton of Nashville, Tenneesee, Mark and Michelle Deaton of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Scott Deaton of St. Louis. I retired after 36 years of teaching in the Mount Vernon City Schools. I enjoy cooking, traveling and spending time with my family.

                John McGhee

                Choir Director


                    Angel Grothoff



                        Vicki Storey

                        Financial Secretary


                            Jerry Ellis

                            Church Custodian

                            Jerry is married to Gina Ellis and recently took over the job of custodian from her where she accepted the position as Children’s Ministries Director.  Jerry is a wonderful jack of all trades, can fix just about everything, and is a blessing to the church in many ways. Gina and Jerry have 4 biological children and are foster parents to 4 more. They have wonderful relationships with them all so you can bet, when asked how many children then have, you’ll be sure to hear 8. Jerry is also a great cook and makes wonderful pulled pork.  

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