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
CELESTE GAMBLE – DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S MINISTRY

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

BRIAN & KATRINA SHERMAN – DIRECTORS OF YOUTH MINISTRIE
Brian and Katrina Sherman’s journey in ministry began when they were both in high school, before they even knew each other. Katrina grew up in the Rio Grande Valley where she made friends who invited her to attend United Methodist Conference church camps. Little did she know, those camps would change her life forever. It was there that she committed her life to Christ, made lasting friendships, and met her future husband Brian, a high school football player from Kerrville, Texas. As God brought the two together, He was also drawing them into a deeper relationship with Him. Almost a year after they were married, God gave them the opportunity to be in full time ministry together as the Directors of Youth and Family Ministry at First United Methodist Church Gonzales. During their time in Gonzales, their family grew with the birth of their daughter, Magdalena (Lena), and Brian felt God calling him to take another step in ministry. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary online, in order to one day be an ordained pastor in the Methodist Church. Brian and Katrina moved to Dripping Springs in June 2021, where they now serve as the Directors of Youth Ministry at DSUMC.

In their free time, the Shermans love to travel, hike, watch movies, and spend time with their 2 not so little cats. Brian and Katrina’s hearts are dedicated to youth ministry and being faithful to the tasks God calls them to. Their joy is found in the silly moments, the tender conversations, the crazy games, and most of all, in seeing God change lives!

Contact Brian or Katrina at bsherman@dsumc.org or ksherman@dsumc.org
VICKI RECTOR – DIRECTOR OF ADULT MINISTRIES
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.
ontact 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 – DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION
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
NURSERY DIRECTOR
Hello! My name is Jeannette Gastineau and I have lived in Dripping Springs since 1994. I graduated high school at DSHS and attended Texas State University where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Marital, Couples, and Family Counseling. I have been working as a Case Manager in the field of brain injury rehabilitation for the past decade and I recently obtained my provisional license to practice counseling.
 
I met the love of my life, Dustin, in 2001 and we married in 2008. We are blessed with three daughters (Jaya, Jessa, and Joli) and our family has been involved in several programs at DSUMC including Pathways, Junior Bible Quiz, Moms Connect, VBS, WOW Kids/TeamKID, Grace Girls, and Youth. I am pleased to be serving God and your family as the new Nursery Director!
 
Contact Jeanette at jgastineau@dsumc.org

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

My wife Terry and I have been married for over 40 years.  We moved to the Dripping Springs area in 1990 and quickly fell in love with this great community.  We have a wonderful son, Kevin, who grew up attending the Dripping Springs School system. He has recently accepted a first officer position with Sky West Airlines.

Before being guided to the position as the Director of Operations of this wonderful church I wore many hats.  I worked in the Airline Industry as an Airline Mechanic, followed by a position as a Manufacturing Engineer in the semiconductor industry.  Before receiving my current position with the Methodist Church, I was a builder/remodeler and commercial developer.  I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Technology from Texas State.

I was raised in Maryland until the age of 16.  I then spent a short period in Mississippi and Colorado before moving to East Texas in 1980.  I have resided in Texas since then. The
Dripping Springs United Methodist Church is a fantastic place to work, I’m truly blessed.
Contact Randy at rvoorheis@dsumc.org