Church Staff

Contact the Staff
Church Office 310-393-8258
Preschool Office 310-395-7292
Send an email by clicking the name of the person below or fill out the email form at the bottom of this page.

Christina Eddy

Christina Eddy – Business Administrator

Christina joined First UMC in early 2010. She has nearly 30 years of experience in for-profit and non-profit work. She is a C.P.A. and received her M.B.A. from Notre Dame De Namur in 2000. Aside from her for profit work experience, she has served as Director of Finance of YMCA of San Francisco for nearly a decade, and as C.F.O. for Jewish Vocational Service L.A., where she currently sits on finance and planning committees as a volunteer. It is one of her greatest passions to serve our church and connect people and resources so that the mission of First UMC moves forward with transformation and grace. She finds the connectional body of the church to transform the world authentic, encouraging, and a privileged responsibility. She resides in Claremont, CA with her husband and two boys, of which the youngest was a graduate of First UMC Preschool.

Anne Premer – Congregation Care Associate

Anne joined the First UMC staff in 2016.  Originally from New York, she graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in Psychology.  After working years in the entertainment industry and experiencing some life-changing events, Anne felt compelled to follow a calling to serve in pastoral care.   She is passionate about helping people and finds working with our older adults very meaningful, particularly as they face the challenges of aging.  She feels privileged to bring God’s grace and healing touch of humor to our homebound members as well, always reminding them that they’re never alone and never forgotten.  In her free time, she loves music, yoga, and having fun with family and friends.

Sarah Rold – Office Manager

First UMC has been part of Sarah’s life since she was a child. Visiting her Aunt Claudia and Uncle Phil Flanders every summer, they would bring her to worship on Sundays. So when she moved from Montana, after receiving her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Montana, to live somewhere much warmer, she continued to come to church and hasn’t stopped yet. Sarah also loves reading, scrap-booking, and most of all spending time with her husband and their sons.

Tina Gage – Communications Director

Tina has worked in the church office since 2015. She enjoys her job where she designs all things graphic – from the website, orders of worship and Sentinels, to the large sanctuary banners and special event signage. Tina graduated from UC Irvine in English, and has a masters degree in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate School.  Tina lives in Topanga Canyon with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, reading, yoga and hiking.

David Penson – Facilities & Membership Coordinator 

David originally hails from Phoenix, Arizona, and has actively attended church here at First UMC since 2005. He graduated Santa Monica College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and currently works on-air part time at KCRW and KFI when he’s not working here at the church. In his free time, David enjoys traveling with his wife, Jen. Stop by and say hello to David in the church office!

Dr. James E. Smith – Music Director 

Jim Smith has been the Music Director of First UMC Santa Monica since 1965. He spent 42 years as Professor of Music at Santa Monica College, nine of which were as chairperson, before retiring in 2010. His principle areas of concentration were Director of Choral Activities, conductor of the Santa Monica College orchestra, and teaching music theory. Before Santa Monica College, he held teaching positions at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, and The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College; his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University; and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Southern California. Read the September 2015 Sentinel celebrating his 50th anniversary.

Ty Woodward – Organist

Ty Woodward has played classical and theatre organ concerts throughout the U.S.  His recording credits include a solo classical recording on the former Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and a theatre organ recording on the Wurlitzer organ at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, N.Y. along with accompaniments for many choral recordings. Ty’s film credits include conducting a men’s chorus for the Bugs Bunny Episode “From Hare to Eternity”, and most recently he is the organist on the 2018 version of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.

Ty holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California.  He is a former Dean of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and has served on the Commission of Liturgy and Music for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

He is currently Staff Organist at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and Organist at First United Methodist Church, Santa Monica. As Principal at Diapason Pipe Organ Consultants LLC, he has worked with numerous churches on the design and installation of their pipe organs.

Dee Menzies – Preschool Director

Dee Menzies became Preschool Director in August 2019, following three months as Interim Director.  Building on the seven-year tenure of Batsheva Spector, the First UMC Preschool continues its 70-year history as one of the areas preeminent preschools, serving children and families through its developmental approach and dedication to each family.

Director Menzies, recently retired following 33 years as Head of School at Carlthorp, offers unsurpassed vision and dedication to the Preschool.  A highly-respected Santa Monica resident, active across the community, and long-time member of First UMC, Director Menzies brings recognized leadership and experience that will continue the Preschool’s excellence.

Dane Rold – Assistant Preschool Director

Many of you know Dane as a member of First UMC, and Director of Children’s After School Theater (C.A.S.T.).  Dane has years of experience teaching children anything from swimming, cooking and acting and has a background in acting.

Dane lives with his wife Sarah – who works upstairs in the church office, and the two drive in to work together daily with their preschool age kids.

Jamie Jones– Children’s Ministries Coordinator

Jamie was born in Santa Monica and has attended the church throughout her life. She grew up attending the First UMC Preschool, Sunday School, CAST, Summer Adventures, Youth, Youth choir and bells, and even the service trips. She believes that service and kindness towards others is a huge part of faith and strives to include these elements in the children and family ministry programs. Currently she is attending University of CA, Berkeley and is Majoring in Biochemistry. In her free time, she is studying or spending time with friends and her dog Jack.

Javier Espinoza – Lead Custodian

Javier has been with First UMC for over fifteen years.  He brings with him a delightful smile and a work ethic like none other.  He has family spanning from California to Mexico.  His favorite local lunch spots are Tito’s and Tacos Por Favor.  His commitment and kindness are daily symbols of all that we share together as a church community.


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