Our Staff

Heather Foley, Senior Pastor 



My passion is discovering God's love for me that is without bounds.

Ephesians 3:18

I am looking forward to joining the Duneland community and serving as the United Methodist pastor in Chesterton beginning July 1.  My special purpose is to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ages to encounter the Living God so that they may receive healing, belonging, and new life.  I began living out my purpose as a worship leader in Fort Wayne while working as an engineer and manufacturing executive.  In 2009, I followed my call into pastoral ministry, serving churches in Winchester and Argos, IN.  Along the way, I have learned that for strength and refreshment I must have a daily connection with Jesus through spiritual practices and a biblical rhythm of life.  I am excited to be closer to the nature and arts of this area.  The people of Chesterton UMC whom I have met are full of love for Jesus, love for this community and a burning desire to see love change lives.  If you do not have a church home, I hope that you come and see what awaits you here.  I will be with you soon.

Jason Torres, Associate Pastor



Never Stop Learning and Enhancing Your Faith.

Although I am a new Associate Pastor, for many years I have felt the calling to lead people to understanding their faith and their purpose in this world.  My personal journey to find God's calling in my life is supported through daily devotions and connecting with others who are searching.  In all this I am graciously supported by my loving wife Sara and our great kids, Isabel and Lucas.  When not working full-time in Chicago or serving others, I enjoy tossing around a football and golfing at least twice per season.  

Karen Alexander, Preschool Director


Joy in Watching Children's Excitement as they Learn.


I have been teaching preschool children for 12 years and the Chesterton United Methodist Church Preschool Director for 9 of those years.  Prior to coming to CUMC , I taught 1st grade for 6 years and 7th grade for 7 years in Illinois.  My husband Dennis works in Chicago and we have two boys James and Daniel.  I discovered CUMC in 2003 volunteering with the Mom's Morning Out program while my youngest son, Daniel was attending. Each preschool child becomes as special to me as my own.     

I hold them, wipe their tears, praise and laugh with them. When not with the preschool children, I am on the road traveling, enjoying my family, and perhaps at a Notre Dame baseball game.

Deborah Beard, Treasurer

Desire to Serve Others to the Best of My Ability.

As church treasurer for the last 8 years I have been given the opportunity to serve CUMC through my love for numbers and organization.  I have many hobbies; reading, needlework, quilting and extreme sports.  Most enjoyable is time spent with my husband Gary, and children Scott and Rachel.  

Don Cundiff, Building Manager/Custodian


Serve Wholeheartedly as if you were Serving the Lord, Not People.

Realizing that even though God is all knowing and everywhere, working and volunteering in the church is a continual reminder of whom I really serve.  After retiring from a technology career in Chicago and owning a hobby shop in town, I have found working for CUMC the most rewarding job of all.  When not at church, I enjoy spending time with my family and the outdoors.  

JoAnn Cundiff, Administrative Assistant



Helping Others in Their Ministry to God and the Church.

In 1994 with my husband Don and four children we moved back to my home town of Chesterton. Shortly after our move we began attending Chesterton United Methodist Church.  The children are now grown and we are blessed with seven grandchildren. Since 2007, I have brought my gift of attention to detail to my role as the church's Administrative Assistant.  It has been a blessing to serve our thriving congregation.  When not at church I enjoy spending time with my family.

Mandi Givens, Youth Ministry Director



To Give Youth a Place to Feel Love and Accepted While Growing in Their Faith.

For 12 years I have been involved in teaching children about our loving Jesus.  While I enjoy teaching children of all ages, my passion is engaging with all youth at CUMC and in our community. I genuinely enjoy my time spent with them.

As Youth Director I feel it is my responsibility to teach the youth about showing kindness to others and giving back to our community. My goal is for them to be able to go off into the world having a strong foundation in their faith and a passion for making the world a better place. I love being a part of CUMC both in my work and other activities offered to the congregation. When I am not with the youth,
​​​​​​​I cherish spending time with my husband Jason and three children Cole, Aundrea, and Lucy.

Bill Woods, Music Director


Praise ye the Lord.  Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Psalm 149

Bill Woods is my name; music ministry is my game.  For 13 years I have had the pleasure of providing music at Chesterton United Methodist Church.  Prior to coming to CUMC I  served 8 years at Michigan City UMC and 5 years in Michigan at Chapel Hill UMC. In 8th grade God called me on my journey as a band and choir director and then called me again my senior year to my service with church musicians.  I have been blessed ever since.  It is incredible to work with CUMC's band 434 South, as well as the very talented Chancel Choir.  From year to year I have seen the impact that God has on our congregation through music.  My wife of 20 years, Angela and my daughter and son, Katelyn and Christopher have been a blessing throughout my faith and musical journeys