Our Church Staff

Meet the team

As they say, it takes a village! We are blessed at First UMC Newton to have a gifted and dedicated staff. It is our goal to empower the church to follow Christ where he leads us.

Rev. Josh Sherfey

Senior Pastor
A Duke graduate, triathlete, private pilot, music lover, and boxer dad to Blaze and Satchel. Josh has been at FUMC since March of 2020. He is married to Dr. Shannon Sherfey who is one of the partners at Newton Family Physicians.  

Rev. Sara Beth Pannell

Minister of Discipleship
A UNC Chapel Hill graduate, Sara Beth felt called to ministry as part of the Wesley Campus Ministry. She is recently married to Jake and resides in Taylorsville with their dog Josie. She has served churches from Apex, to Sanford, to Pittsboro.

Beverly Underwood

Church Administrator
Beverly is originally from Catawba County and married to Randy, has 2 children and 2 grandchildren. She is the first person you meet in the church office, has a million responsibilities and manages to keep us all straight!

Jennifer Whitener

Preschool Director
Jennifer has been the director of our preschool since 2022. She has been in early childhood education since 2006 and has worked at Newton Methodist Preschool since 2013.  She is married to Ben and has two boys, Marshall and Shuford.  Her family enjoys raising pigs, chickens and turkeys on their homestead.

Ron Sinclair

Director of Music
Ron's passion for God and all things musical make him a true gift to First Newton. In his previous life he was the director of Crossflame youth choir.  He is married to Marcia and lives in Marion where he does woodworking and dreams of Scotland. 

Kayla Jenkins

Assistant Director of Music
Kayla recently joined First Newton and provides not just expert accompaniment but does so with the work of the Spirit always in mind and heart.  Her husband Chandler is a teacher.

Hank Weddington

Praise Team Leader
While there is an academic and serious side of Hank, who is a dean at Lenoir Rhyne University by day. By night (and early Sunday morning) he is a guitar hero and praise band leader! He is married to Monica and lives in Hickory.

Gina King

Director of Communications
Gina is a proud graduate of Appalachian State University . She lives in Hickory and is married to her husband, Scott. Gina is a full time NC Real Estate Broker with over 26 years of experience and works at Realty Executives Hickory/Lake Norman.