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Matthew Wilke


Matthew has served as the TUMC Pastor since 2020. His wife, Jenny, is an ASL interpreter and together they expect their first child in August 2022. He is passionate about preaching and teaching the Bible in relevant ways and is excited about finding practical ways the Church can meet the needs in the local community. Get to know Pastor Matthew more by hearing a message in the Sermon Library, or by reading his free devotional E-Book, the 21 day turn.

Kirsten Robinson

Youth Ministry &

Adult Discipleship Director

Kirsten is the Youth Group and Adult Discipleship director at TUMC. She is married to Scott Robinson and has a daughter Riley, and a son, Jasper. Kirsten is passionate about reaching teens for Christ and helping adults continue on their walk of faith. 

Malissa Celeen

Children's Ministry Director


Malissa is a mother of 9 children. She was a classroom teacher for 8 years before dedicating her life to homeschooling her children.  Her life continues to be dedicated to children at home, school and church. 

John Lenati

Worship Leader 

John is a dad of two and is also a music instructor for kids.  He leads worship at TUMC and works to cultivate authentic worship experiences for the TUMC community. For him, it has allowed for personal growth and a sense of community and fellowship at TUMC.

Donna Higbee

Lay Leader

Donna serves as the Lay Leader at TUMC and leads our Congregational Life Ministries. She has

Rebecca Hodges

Jayme Wright



Our Story

Althea Powell was a young woman, a Methodist who dreamed of having a church in her small
town.  Althea was not just a dreamer.  Althea was a doer, instead of just hoping, she decided to make it happen.   
After a local preacher encouraged Miss Powell to pursue this calling she rode on horseback to canvas the community. She raised cash and pledges for the purpose of building a church and to purchase pews and an organ. Due to the efforts of Althea Powell, the Methodist Church in Tonganoxie was first chartered on June 24, 1869. The 20-by-30-foot brick church was built on the corner of Fourth and Green.  Methodists have worshipped on that corner since. Gradually, through the year Tonganoxie United Methodist Church

expanded into what it is today.

In recent years, TUMC has continued to seek ways to serve the Tonganoxie community. In the
early 2000’s, the church started a day care called CareQuest, which has grown into a pre-k early
learning center, called Tonganoxie Early Prep. In 2019, TUMC celebrated 150 years of ministry in Tonganoxie where members and our past ministers gathered to celebrate.

In 2021, TUMC expanded its footprint downtown, Tonganoxie by voting to purchase the
neighboring building now called 304, which is the address of the building, 304 E. 4th St. The idea
is that people outside the church might encounter God in everyday places. With the new 304
facility, TUMC created a community gathering space called the 304 Venue.

In 2022 they launched Grounded Coffeehouse, which provided a needed coffee shop space in
Tonganoxie. It created a place people can come and be more “grounded.” The coffee shop
created new opportunities for youth to work and grow leadership skills. And, as a non-profit
ministry of the church, Grounded Coffeehouse’s proceeds go to local and international charity.
TUMC continues to seek to live into its core values of being Inviting, Connecting, Growing, and Serving.

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