Meet Our First Church Staff
Rev. Dr. Daniel F. Diss
Pastor Daniel began serving as pastor at First United Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn in July 2017. Before coming to Glen Ellyn, he served as the Senior Pastor at Grace Church in Joliet. He has served congregations throughout Illinois, including Genoa, Chicago, Farmer City, Champaign, Riverton, and Danville. He is a native son of Illinois, having grown up on a dairy farm near Taylorville. He graduated from Millikin University (BA) in Decatur, Illinois; Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois (DMin); and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut (MDiv). He has served in local congregations, campus ministry, and hospital settings. Pastor Daniel enjoys a variety of activities from painting, photography, creative writing, and nature walks to white water rafting, rodeos, and traveling around the world.
Laura Hollinger Antonelli
Director of Student Ministries
Laura Hollinger Antonelli is an ordained minister in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ and joyfully serves as the Director of Student Ministries here at First United Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn. She previously served as Associate Dean of Rockefeller Chapel, followed by working with the non-profit Interfaith Youth Core and as Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church in Hyde Park, Chicago. Though she has a love of ministering to God’s beloved of all ages, she takes particular delight in working with children, youth, and young adults.
Director of Parents' Day Out
Stephanie Herlien has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Leadership. She has been working in childcare for many years as both a teacher and as a director. Stephanie is also involved in her church as a GEMS counselor to second and third grade girls. She lives in Lombard with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family & friends and hosting trivia nights.
Business Office Manager
Cheryl has been a member of First UMC for 40 years and is a lifelong United Methodist. She has appreciates the warmth of the congregation and found it to be a great church family while raising her daughter. She is also active in the United Women in Faith group and is currently the chair of the Church & Social Action committee. Cheryl and her husband Wes are proud grandparents of two grandsons.
Organist & Accompanist; Interim Director of Music
Randall “Randy” Nelson has lived in the Chicago area all his life. Along with his brother and sister, Randy began studying piano at a young age and contributing to his church music program. He also studied trumpet, playing in band and jazz band. Randy obtained his bachelor’s degree in music from North Park College (now University) and subsequently his master’s degree in music from Northern Illinois University. Randy’s music ministry began at age 18 as Director of Music at Albany Park Methodist Church. After seven years, he transitioned to Edgebrook Covenant Church where he was the Minister of Music for 30 years. He is now in his ninth year of music ministry at First United Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn. Additionally, Randy has owned a flourishing construction business since 1986, building many custom homes, room additions, and residential remodeling. Hobbies begin and end with fishing, but Randy most enjoys spending time with his wife, Vivian, son, Jason, and daughter, Bonnie. They all reside in Roselle, IL.
Heidi Shierry joined the staff of FUMC in 2019, applying her copious skills acquired throughout a 20 year career as a human resources professional and as the owner of a boutique organizational & personal assistant services business. Service is important to Heidi, having started and led a support group in the Chicago area for the Sjogren's Foundation, as well as being the project manager for a multi-million dollar recycling center. Heidi and her husband Steve have been pet parents to 34 ferrets over the course of 20 years and are still proud owners of a 65-gallon aquarium. Reading, enjoying movies (particularly the horror genre), and watching Formula 1 and drag racing are Heidi's most-loved pastimes.
Social Media & Communications Coordinator
Kate Curran is a lifelong Methodist, having grown up in a congregation in Park Forest, IL. After relocating to the western suburbs, Kate began attending, then transferred her membership to, First Church. She is a member of the chancel choir and Oasis and is thrilled to serve the church in another way, applying her professional background as a Director of Marketing to the church she loves. Kate holds a double BA in Communication and Theater from Millikin University. She and her children particularly enjoy the service and fellowship opportunities available through First Church.