Pastors & Ministry Staff

ADAM THORNTON – SR PASTOR

Adam’s journey at Dripping Springs United Methodist church is an interesting one. Adam was appointed to Dripping Springs United Methodist church as Senior Pastor in the spring of 2017 after spending the previous eleven years at the church serving as Associate Pastor, and Youth Director. Sensing a call to ordained ministry in 2010, he entered the process for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. In 2015, Adam finished two graduate degrees while serving as a licensed local pastor at DSUMC. He received his Master of Divinity, or M.Div., from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and his Master of Theology, or M.Th., from Austin Graduate School of Theology. He was commissioned in June of 2015 as a probationary elder in the United Methodist Church and was ordained in 2017. Relishing the opportunity to preach and teach, it is Adam’s great joy to open the scriptures to God’s people and lead them into deeper relationship with Christ. When he isn’t involved in ministry, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife of 25 years, Melanie, and his two children, Lauren and Michael

 
Contact Adam at pastor@dsumc.org
JESUS SAMANO – ASSOCIATE PASTOR/HISPANIC MINISTRIES
Pastor Jesus has been called to preach and teach God’s word, and to provide training to spiritual leaders, and to counsel families and married couples. From 2016-2019 he served as a Volunteer Pastor at our Mission Hispanic Manos y Pies de Cristo, at Dripping Springs United Methodist Church. On July, 01, 2019, he was appointed to DSUMC as an Associate Licensed Local Pastor.
 
Jesus Samano, also known as “P.J.” (Pastor Jesus) has been married to his wife, Kenya, for more than 22 years. They have three children, Erick (21), Angel (18) and Asiel (9 years old). He and his family moved from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico to Texas, in 2016 to continue with his studies and pastoral ministry.
 
 
Before moving to Texas, Jesus and his family were missionaries and planted a church in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and served as an Associate pastor at a Congregational Church of Mazatlan, 2012-2015. He has been an Online Professor at All Nations Seminary, (Juarez Chihuahua México) where he also received a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, and Master in Theological Education. In 2018 he completed a degree in Christian Studies, at Austin Graduate School of Theology.
 
Contact Jesus at jsamano@dsumc.org
BRANDON “SHOOK” – DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY LIFE
Most often referred to as just, “SHOOK”, Brandon Shook was born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX (Calallen) and, after having lived all over the state, moved to Dripping Springs in 2012. Shook has been married to his wife Krista since 2007, and they have two girls. Shook has been in ministry for over 10 years, serving as the Director of Youth Faith Formations for 5 years at DSUMC until moving into his current role as Director of Community Life.
 
Shook loves every “light bulb” Christ moment that happens in someone’s life. Whether it be through a line of scripture or out serving on a mission trip, Shook is passionate about teaching and coaching individuals in the ways of Christ-like living and discipleship.
 
Shook’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, baseball, football, photography, reading and listening to different types of music.
 
Contact Brandon at bshook@dsumc.org
SAM FARRELL – YOUTH FAITH FORMATION DIRECTOR
Sam was born and raised in the Austin Area, from Dripping Springs to Round Rock. She graduated from Baylor University in 2015 and graduated with Masters from Baylor’s Truett Seminary in 2018. She first felt a call to ministry in 8th grade and has been refining and following this calling since. She is passionate about students and growing alongside of them as we learn more about Jesus together. She loves being able to minister and guide students as they work to own their faith.
 

Sam has a loving dog named Hank that loves long walks in the park and puppuccinos. Sam loves building relationships and investing in the community. Her hobbies include being in nature, well-caffeinated drinks, movies, travel, great music, and anything involving people.

music.
Contact Sam at shughes@dsumc.org
CELESTE GAMBLE – CHILDREN’S FAITH FORMATION DIRECTOR

Celeste and her family has been a part of our church family at DSUMC for over 14 years before serving as our Children’s Faith Formation Director. For over twenty years, Celeste has been teaching in some form or fashion. She has taught high school English, track, basketball, and all ages of preschool. As a church volunteer at DSUMC, Celeste has served as a Sunday school teacher, music teacher, pageant director, WOW kids’ teacher, worship leader, VBS director and volunteer. 

She answered the call to full time vocational ministry in 2019 when, “I felt the Lord telling me I couldn’t put it off any longer.” Celeste is passionate about ministering to the children and families at the place she calls her church home. “I want to show others how special DSUMC is and make it their home as well.”

 In addition to serving children and families at DSUMC, Celeste loves spending time with her husband, David and their three girls. 

 
Contact Celeste at cgamble@dsumc.org
VICKI RECTOR – ADULT FAITH FORMATION DIRECTOR Vicki has been attending DSUMC since September of 2001. She and her husband Steve, have lived in Dripping Springs since 1996 when they moved from the Dallas area. She is the proud “Nana” of seven grandchildren. She loves the Hill Country and all of it’s outdoor activities. Her favorite way to pass the time, is in her garden and one of her favorite quotes is posted at the entrance, “To plant a garden is to have hope, and believe in the future”
 
She is involved in many of the women’s ministries of the church. Serving others is very important in her faith walk. She also enjoys being part of the planning of major events as well as the ongoing programs that cross many generations of the church body.
 
Contact Vicki at vrector@dsumc.org
ADAM MILLER – MUSIC MINISTRIES DIRECTOR
Adam is a third-generation professional musician who has performed for numerous orchestras and wind ensembles, both as a contracted performer as well as section principal. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Performance from McMurry University in Abilene, TX and has performed in several tours across the United States and in Italy. He has also performed with the Hardin-Simmons University orchestra, as well as the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, and is currently the residing Principal Percussionist with the Starlight Symphony Orchestra. He is also a published composer of instrumental and choral music, and enjoys releasing new pieces each year.
 
Adam is a second-generation Music Director for the Methodist Church, having followed in the footsteps of his father, Rev. Dr. Russell Miller. In late 2015, Adam felt the call to the music ministry and was welcomed to the Dripping Springs UMC in early 2016.
 
In addition to his time spent in music, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife, Stacia, and their son Branson.
 
Contact Adam at amiller@dsumc.org
MARY FERNANDEZ – PATHWAYS SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Mrs. Fernandez moved to the Dripping Springs area in 2014 where she initially began teaching at Pathways as the music and movement teacher. Mary has a BA from Oglethorpe University and MS from University of North Texas, both in Early Childhood Education. She also has 14 years of experience as a classroom teacher and program director at Parish Episcopal School (3yrs-12th) in Dallas. Needless to say, she enjoys and has a passion for teaching preschool children and believes they deserve to be loved wholeheartedly, nurtured spiritually, challenged appropriately, and taken seriously in their school experience! In addition to her professional experience, she is also wife to my husband, Jan (of 20 years), and mom to 3 awesome kids: Isabel, Evan, and Lily. Contact Mary at mfernandez@dsumc.org
CARA MULLEN – CHURCH ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE
Cara was born and raised in the Dallas area and lived there until her family moved to Dripping Springs in 1995. They love the Hill Country and feel blessed to be here. Prior to moving to Drippin’ Cara was a high school Business teacher for 10 years. In 1997 she started working for DSUMC as a part time secretary. In 1999 she accepted the position that she currently enjoys as Church Administrator.
 
Cara and her husband, Harold have been married for over 35 years. They have three married children and one grandchild (so far).
 
“Working for the church has been a real blessing for me and has helped me answer my call to ministry by using the skills and talents that the Lord has blessed upon me. God has truly blessed us beyond measure and His Grace and Love upholds our family.”
 
Contact Cara at cmullen@dsumc.org
KRISTA SHOOK – COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR Krista joined that staff at DSUMC in 2015. She received her BA from West Texas A&M University and then went on to complete a Masters degree in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina in 2006.
 
Krista handles marketing, social media, and the website for DSUMC, and works with all the pastors and staff on internal and external communication. She also helps maintain guest follow up and A/V support for our worship services.
 
Originally from the Texas Panhandle, Krista and her family moved to Dripping Springs in 2012 after her husband, Brandon “Shook”, accepted the Youth Director position here at DSUMC. They have two daughters, and they love living here and being part of the DSUMC church family.
 
Contact Krista at kshook@dsumc.org
RANDY VOORHEIS – FACILITIES MANAGER
Before being guided to the position as the Facilities Manager at DSUMC, Randy wore many hats. He worked in the Airline Industry as an Airline Mechanic, followed by a position as a Manufacturing Engineer in the semiconductor industry. Before accepting his current position with the Methodist Church, he was a builder/remodeler. Randy has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Technology from Texas State. He was raised in Maryland until the age of 16, then spent a short period in Mississippi and Colorado before moving to East Texas in 1980. Randy has resided in Texas since then.
 
Randy and his wife, Terry, have been married for over 35 years. They moved to the Dripping Springs area in 1990 and quickly fell in love with this great community. They have a son, Kevin, who grew up in the Dripping Springs School system and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Masters degree in Finance. Kevin is currently working with his mother as a local Dripping Springs Realtor.
 
Contact Randy at rvoorheis@dsumc.org