Todd Krost

Phone: 217-235-5676
Pastor Todd N. Krost was appointed pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Mattoon in July of 2020. A native of Chillicothe, IL near Peoria, he is an Elder of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and has previously served appointments in Tiskilwa, Sheffield, Neoga (Grace), Etna, Toledo, and Carrier Mills before arriving at Mattoon. He also served as Intergenerational Minister at Warren First UMC in Warren, MI.

He is a graduate of Illinois Valley Central High School; holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a concentration from the Gerald Ford Institute for Public Service at Albion College in Michigan; Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL with coursework completed at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI.

Pastor Todd is passionate about local mission work, church history travel, camping ministries at Little Grassy Camp, dad jokes, and movies.

Todd is married to Christina, and together they have three children: Madeline, Ava, and Harper.

Allen Webner

Assistant to the Pastor for Visitation
Phone: 217-235-5676

Allen Webner, native of Bethany, is a graduate of MacMurray College, in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was consecrated a Diaconal Minister in 1977. He was then ordained as a Deacon in 1997.

Besides serving at the Mattoon First United Methodist Church in different capacities over the past several years, Allen has served as Minister of Music/Organist in the following churches: Wesley United Methodist Church in Canton; First United Methodist Church in Decatur; First American Baptist in Jacksonville; First United Methodist Church in Ashland, Kentucky; Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church, in Galveston,Texas; Asbury United Methodist Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Polk Street United Methodist Church, Amarillo,Texas.

He now serves the Mattoon FUMC as Parish Visitor pastor. He often goes to the area's nursing homes to offer a friendship to older members, on behalf of our church. He also visits church members or their family members in hospitals or their residences.

He arranges monthly communion services at Brookstone North and Brookstone South and sometimes solicits help from Pastor Todd Krost and Volunteer Mona Buckley.

Brooke Kepley

Office Manager
Phone: 217-235-5676
Brooke previously owned Sapphire salon around the corner from the church and currently does pedicures on a part-time basis in addition to managing the office.

She is married to Kirk Kepley who is a Detective with the Charleston Police Department. They have two boys, Krew and Kash.

She loves spending time with family & friends as well as cooking and baking.

Paige Campbell

Finance Manager
Phone: 217-258-5676
Paige is a UM elder who served as the EIU campus minister and pastor at Monticello, Effingham Centenary, and Altamont UMCs.

She’s taking a break from ministry to spend time with her family and works for a CPA firm in Champaign in addition to her bill paying and employee payroll/taxes responsibilities at our church.

Jiafeng Yan

Sanctuary Organist/Classical Pianist
Dr. Jiafeng Yan is active as a solo and collaborative pianist and has performed in piano and chamber music festivals in Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon, California, and major cities in China. He has been the recipient of many performance awards, including the Hebei Youth Piano Competition (1st prize), the Pearl River National Young Pianists Competition (outstanding performer), the First National Duo-Piano Competition (top prizewinner), and winner of the Concerto Competition at the University of Illinois. As a piano soloist, Jiafeng Yan has appeared with the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Joliet Symphony Orchestra, and Northern Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Yan is a faculty member at the University of St. Francis and the Knox College. His students have won numerous competitions at the regional, state, national, and international levels. Active as a competition adjudicator, he served on the jury of the Illinois State MTNA Junior Piano Competition, the Mid-America Chinese Music Festival, the Chandler Starr Miller Scholarship Competition, the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival (Bloomington District), and the Chambana Music Competition. Dr. Yan currently serves as President of Champaign-Urbana Music Teacher Association (CUMTA). He has been appointed as Artistic Director at World Piano Teachers Association (WPTA) in Illinois chapter since 2020.

Dr. Yan is a recording artist for the Pacific Media label and his most recently released CD titled Fantasia (2020) includes performances of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy Op. 15, Beethoven’s Sonatas Op. 27, Medtner’s Sonata Reminiscenza, Op. 38 No. 1, and Scriabin’s Étude Op. 2, No. 1. His performance can be heard frequently on WILL (90.9 FM) and WCSF (88.7 FM).

Dr. Yan completed his DMA degree in piano performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MM and Performer’s Certificate at Northern Illinois University, under the tutelage of Drs. Timothy Ehlen, Christos Tsitsaros, Kenneth Drake, and William Goldenberg. He lives in Champaign, IL with his wife, Jing Hao, and their two boys: Jason and James.

Marilyn Fessel

Choir Director
Phone: 217-235-5676

Marilyn is a graduate of Indiana State University with a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in education from Eastern Illinois University.

She retired from the Mattoon School District after 24 years of service. During her career she taught choir at Mattoon High School and general music as an itinerant teacher at various grade schools in Mattoon.

Later she taught language arts, reading, and 6th grade before returning to her first love: teaching music. She and her husband, David, have two grown sons, Craig and Aaron, three grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Serving the church while her children were growing up, she led Sunday school singing, directed youth and bell choirs, and taught Bible school.

Phyllis Dickinson

Bell Choir Director

Phyllis was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Church and school were her favorite places to be. She knew from preschool that she wanted to teachschool and become a minister's wife, and she became both. Her careers were dual in that sense and she loved both pursuits.

She also learned to play the piano, which enabled her to be more supportive over the years in churches - singing in music groups, ringing and directing for bell choirs, playing for various things, leading children's choirs and just generally loving music overall.

This is why she has chosen to lead the adult bell choir at Mattoon First UMC. Phyllis is married to Ron Dickinson, and Colby and Markus are their two grown sons.

Melissa Ferguson

Choir Accompanist
Phone: 217-235-5676

Melissa graduated from Millikin University in Decatur with a degree in instrumental music education. She taught instrumental, vocal, and general music in the public school system for 36 years, 31 of which were in Mattoon.

She and her husband, Steve, were married in 1982 and have two children -- Tyler and Audra -- and four grandchildren -- Jack, Charlie, William and Vera.

Thomas Karunas

Contemporary Worship Vocalist

Thomas is currently a student at Eastern Illinois University where he is majoring in Vocal Performance and minoring in Music Technology.

He has played piano since a young age and began taking voice lessons during high school. His goals are to achieve a career in either the performing industry or head more down the music production path.

His parents are Michael Karunas and Amy Ziettlow and has two younger siblings, Isabella and Luke.

Britany Aitken

Phone: 217-258-5676
Brittany works during the day at Lake Land College in addition to keeping the church clean and presentable.

She and her husband, Will, have two girls Lola and Vera.

Brittany has a Bachelors from EIU in Fashion Merchandising and Design and is working on a Masters in the area of higher education. In her free time, she enjoys remodeling historic homes, kayaking, and spending time with family.

Jim Johns

Building Manager
Phone: 217-235-5676

Jim is a life-long resident of Mattoon and he has served in his current position of property manager since 2016.

Jim worked for many years as a local contractor and is now semi-retired. He is very involved in keeping the church as well maintained as possible both inside and out.

He also acts as a security person for certain events at the church. Jim is married to Cheryl Johns and has three grown children and four grandchildren.

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