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Reverend Scott Otis

Senior Pastor

I was raised in West Michigan, first in Kalamazoo and then on a small island on Gun Lake. I graduated from Delton Kellogg High School. During my senior year of high school, I attended the Shelbyville UMC where people began to ask me if I had thought about being a pastor. It seemed like an odd question, but it was also the start of a powerful call to ordained ministry. In Isaiah 6:8 God spoke to the prophet Isaiah asking, “Who will go for me?” Isaiah said, “Here I am, send me.” In the middle of looking at that calling, I realized God was asking me the same question. In college, at Western Michigan University, I began working with youth at my local church and found energy and passion in that. I could not get God’s calling off my mind.
I left youth ministry and went on to Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky where I earned a degree in Bible. I then attended seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary and later at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. I simultaneously began pastoral ministry at the St. Paul UMC in Oak Hill, Ohio. I was so green to ministry! The good people of St. Paul loved us and were patient as we learned the many lessons of leadership in ministry. That began a journey of 34 years of practicing ministry. I use the word “practicing” because there is always so much more to learn.
In 1983, I married my college girlfriend, Carrie (Yount). I still can’t believe she said “yes.” Out of our love we had three now adult children. Corey/Erin (Holdren) of Fenton, Kyle/Lindsey (Frohriep) of Kalamazoo and Emily/ Morgan Hennessey of Memphis, Tennessee. By the time you read this we will be welcoming our sixth granddaughter into this world. They are a huge blessing but we are wondering if there are any grandsons in our future!
For hobbies I like to play with my dogs, run when my knees will allow it, follow the Detroit Tiger baseball team and check up on the local college football teams. (Go Blue). Carrie loves to be creative in making quilts, pillows and art of many kinds. She has amazing gifts for decorating of all varieties. She is great with little kids, too. Carrie was once named the Martha Stewart-Mary Poppins of the community.
It is my privilege to be able to serve as pastor of Howell First UMC. I have a longing to see church members become disciples. I would do almost anything to reach the pre-churched for Christ.


Danielle Burkhart

Youth Director

Danielle has been on staff with Howell FUMC since January 2017. Her goal is to offer spiritual direction to the youth of Livingston County by partnering with the parents, leaders, and staff of the church and community. She has a desire to see this generation of youth recognize their identity and worth in Jesus, and for them to share that love and knowledge with others. 

In her spare time, Danielle loves drinking coffee at Uptown Coffee House (a vanilla iced latte with cinnamon is the way to go!), drawing, and spending time with her husband, Nathan, and their children. 

Olive Hayden-Moore

Children's Ministry Director

Olive Hayden-Moore joined the staff in 2016 as Children’s Ministry Director. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and an MBA from the University of Houston, as well as a Master of Education Degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She brings over 20 years of experience in early childhood education to her position, having most recently served in Detroit’s inner city where she guided the development of principals and teachers. Olive is a Certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church, Michigan Area Conference, and a proud mother and grandmother.


Jennifer Rhodes

Office Manager / Communications Coordinator

Jennifer (Jenn) is the church Office Manager and Communications Coordinator. She was born and raised in Howell.  She attended Detroit College of Business and studied Business Marketing/Management and later Political Science with a minor study in Economics and Statistics.  She has spent her adult years working in the non-profit world. Jenn is married to the Farmer of her Dreams, together they are blessed with two children, now teenagers, keeping them busy and loved. Currently, they live on a farm in Shiawassee County raising crops and preparing to add livestock.  In their spare time, the family enjoys camping, antique tractor pulling, and visiting steam and tractor shows around the state of Michigan, and sometimes around the country. They also enjoy cruising in their antique cars and trucks on nice days. Outside of work, Jenn usually has her nose in a book, a crochet hook, and yarn in her hand, or playing board games with her family. Jenn is a collector of all things Mickey Mouse.

Jamie Rouster

Financial Administrator

Jamie joined the staff in 2015 as Financial Administrator. She is a lifelong resident of Howell and has been attending the Howell FUMC for just as long! She graduated from Howell High School in 2000 and then attended Western Michigan University where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Business Management (2004). She and her husband, Ben, have been married since 2007 and they are the proud parents of Kaden, who was born in 2014 and Hudson, who was born in 2019. Jamie has been a Team Captain for the Brighton Walk to End Alzheimer's since 2011. She began attending the Howell FUMC MOPS program in 2014, and started serving on the MOPS leadership committee in 2015. She is very thankful to have such an incredible church family!

Jan Clay

Choir Director

Jan Clay grew up in the Royal Oak First United Methodist Church.  She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with triple majors in Education, Music and English; following with a masters and additional studies in Education.  She is now retired after 36 years of teaching in Howell.

Jan joined the Chancel Choir in 1977, continuing a passion for church, school and community choirs.

Jan is married to John and together they have three grown children and two wonderful grandchildren.  John loves golfing... Jan loves shopping... 

Jan also loves being with family and of course her awesome choir!

Ellen Paige


Ellen is a native of Indiana. She graduated from Manchester College and has a Master’s degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University with additional training in Early Childhood Development at Michigan State University. Ellen has had a lifelong interest in music….church choir, band, piano and organ… and is proud to carry on the tradition of organist at The First United Methodist Church of Howell. Ellen and her husband, Doug, are active members of the First Church family and have been members for more than 40 years. They are proud grandparents to four boys and enjoy antiquing.


Ken Ferguson

Director of Worship Celebrations

Ken Ferguson started his ministry at Howell FUMC in October, 2019.  He loves joining with other singers and musicians to worship God.  His main focus is to inspire even greater passion to worship within the church and community.

Ken has been married for 25 years and enjoys being with his wife and three kids.  He is also a full time educator and school administrator in a Livingston County charter school.  His hobbies include hiking, camping, running in local races, and writing and recording worship songs.  Ken also plays and collects board games.  Some favorite games are Parks, Stone Age, and Clank!  If you want to bribe Ken, you'll need some swedish fish, or black licorice from Panda or Wiley Wallaby.  Regular coffee makes Ken lose his mind. 


Sara Johnson

Office Intern

Sara has been attending HFUMC for over seven years, and has assisted in the church office for over three. She runs tech (slides and livestreaming) for Sunday 10:30 services and can also be found helping out in the cafe. She is currently enrolled at Eastern Michigan University and working towards her combined Bachelor's and Msster's in Cybersecurity. Sara also teaches classes for ages 3-8 at Maria's School of Dance. In her free time she enjoys drawing, sewing, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.


Dennis Brandon


Dennis Brandon came to Howell FUMC in December of 2019.  He has been married for 25 years and is the father of six and grandfather of four.  Dennis has been in the custodial industry for over 40 years including owning and operating his own company. Dennis is a self proclaimed workaholic. While working full time at Howell FUMC, he continues to operate his own company part time to meet the needs of long time clients.  His hobbies include bike riding, bowling and billards.  Above all, Dennis loves spending what spare time he has with family, grandchildren and friends. 


Tina Shustek

Preschool Director

Tina has been working with young children for over 25 years. She has her degree in Early Childhood Development.  Tina and her husband, Steve have lived in the Howell community for over 15 years. Together they have three daughters. Their oldest daughter Emma attends Saginaw Valley State University. Lydia and Cecilia attend Howell Public Schools. After being a stay at home mom for 13 years, Tina continued her passion of educating young children becoming a preschool director. In her spare time Tina enjoys spending time with her family and hosting  fun parties.


Kimberly Lantis

Teacher's Assistant 

Kimberly is a teacher's assistant in the preschool classroom. She started assisting when her children were in the program and has enjoyed this role for almost 12 years now. Kimberly has been married to her high school sweetheart for 20 years and they live in Howell with their two children. Some hobbies she enjoys include gardening and maintaining order around the family homestead, where her family raises farm animals. Kimberly also enjoys road trips all over Michigan and any travel that leads her to the ocean. 

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Jennifer Beres

Preschool Teacher

Jennifer Beres has been with the preschool program as first a parent volunteer and then as a teacher's aid since 2012, making the transfer to FUMC in 2019.  She grew up in Illinois, Arizona and Michigan.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Go Blue!). Prior to moving to Howell, she was a preschool teacher and then the Program Curriculum Director for a large childcare center in Ann Arbor for eight years.  Jenn currently lives in Hartland with her husband, three children, a dog and a cat.  She enjoys reading, chai tea, swimming, biking, the beach and cheering on her children in their various activities. She also enjoys volunteering at the schools, traveling and spending time with her family.

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