Meet Our Staff
Pastor - Terri Haas
Pastor Terri Haas grew up in Florida and graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in Music Education. She taught middle school chorus, drama, and dance for five years before realizing that God was calling her to a different path. She worked full time as the Director of Music at Community United Methodist Church in Fruitland Park, FL where she received her call into pastoral ministry. She attended Boston University School of Theology where she graduated in 2016 with a Master’s of Divinity. While there, she met with two District Superintendents from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and agreed to move sight unseen to the Midwest! She has served at Salem Trinity United Methodist Church and at Iuka United Methodist Church and is now happy to be serving in Tuscola.
Administrative & Financial Secretary - Lora Zimmer
After several years in the banking industry, I joined the staff of TUMC in 2007. My husband, Rodney, and I have two children who keep us busy with their activities. My least favorite part of my job is trying to manage the church calendar – TUMC is a very happenin’ place! But my favorite part of my job is getting to know all the people who are a part of TUMC – I feel like they are part of my extended family!
Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries - Kaylee LaPenas
Kaylee grew up in Michigan with her mom, stepdad, and a younger sister and brother. Her family has grown to include a brother-in-law and a soon-to-be sister-in-law and a niece who is almost 5 years old named Aubree who is pretty amazing and loves everything that is unicorn and rainbows. Kaylee’s little family also includes a cat named Cordy and a pup named Ruby. Both have a big personality. Kaylee moved to Illinois for her undergrad in 2009 and went to Olivet Nazarene University and studied Social Work. After graduation, she took a few years off and worked at a daycare and as a substitute teacher in the Kankakee area. Kaylee finally heard her call into formal ministry (after four years
in volunteering) and went to Dallas Baptist University Online for her Master of Arts in Children’s Ministry, graduating in August of 2018. She has been volunteering in the youth group in Kankakee for a little over a year as the one who plans and oversees the fundraising for the mission trip that the youth are going on this summer to Minnesota. (She gets to accompany them, too!) Kaylee has a strong passion for bringing children and youth up in a faith that sticks, and her ministry verse is Proverbs 22:6 which she encourages you to look it up. Kaylee believes that faith starts at home, so she looks forward to connecting with each of the families here at TUMC during Sunday mornings, youth group, special events, and even coffee chats just to get to know each of you better.
Children’s Choir Director - Johanna Steffens
My name is Johanna Steffens, and I am so excited to be starting my first year as the Children’s Choir Director, newly renamed Kids JAM. I am a lifelong member of Tuscola United Methodist Church and so happy to have the opportunity to give something back by spreading joy and music. I live in Tuscola with my husband, Grant, and our 3 children: Julianne, Jett, and Joslynn. I am a proud Tuscola teacher and Director of Drama at Tuscola Community High School. I am looking forward to sharing my love of performing with the kids at TUMC!
Praise Band/Sanctuary Choir Director - Jeannie Craddock
Jeannie Craddock has been an active member of TUMC for 31 years, is a Sunday Service Musician, and is the director of the Praise Band and the Sanctuary Choir. She was “raised on the organ bench” with her mom being a church organist and choir director. Jeannie began singing in church at the young age of 6. In addition, she is the Director of Choirs for East Prairie Middle School and Tuscola High School in Tuscola, IL. During her 31 years there, she has expanded the choral programs from 3 to 4 choirs while routinely receiving awards for Best of the Day performances at IHSA & IESA contests. Jeannie is also the Director and choreographer for Tuscola High School Spring Musical. Active in the community, she has been the Logistics Chairperson and Mistress of Ceremonies for the Douglas County Relay for Life for several years.
Jeannie grew up in the Chicago area and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Choral Education from Western Illinois University and a Masters of Arts degree in Choral Conducting/Vocal Performance from Eastern Illinois University, and has also studied voice with Wilma Osheim at the Chicago Lyric Opera and Ronald Hedlund at the University of Illinois. Jeannie has performed with the Decatur Park Singers, the C-U BACH Society, and the C-U Chorale, and has judged contests, pageants, talent shows, and show choir competitions throughout the state. Jeannie was the guest conductor for the Junior High Festival Choir in Herscher, IL, ILMEA Vocal Jazz Choirs in Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6, 8, and a Junior High Treble Choir in District 8. As the former ILMEA All-State Chairman for the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, she was the ILMEA District 5 Vocal Jazz Representative for 25+ years.
Jeannie is a member of ILMEA/MENC, Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Fraternity, and Chi Omega Fraternity. She is also a member and president of the Tuscola Education Association. Jeannie and her husband, Dan, live in Tuscola and have 2 children: Rachel, who lives in Washington DC, and Jacob, a freshmen at ISU.