MEet Our Team

  • Rev. Dr. Roger Grimmett

    Lead Pastor

    Originally from Brighton, IL, Roger has been appointed as our lead pastor, effective July 1, 2017. His previous position was as the District Superintendent of the Mississippi River District of our conference, supervising 72 churches in the district. He is excited to be preaching, teaching, and leading this congregation. He is passionate about leading people into a relationship with Jesus Christ and discipling them into fully devoted followers of Jesus. Married to Brenda, they have two grown sons - Blake and Nathan. He enjoys working out, putting things together, reading, and having spiritual conversations with people.  

    Follow Roger on Facebook here.

    Email Roger.

  • Rev. Nicole Cox

    Associate Pastor

    Born and raised in Effingham, IL, Nicole went on to graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University and then completed seminary at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Her deepest passion for ministry lies in helping people realize that Jesus loves them more than they could imagine and that, because of that love, we are called to change the world. Nicole is married to Steve, who is a musician and audio engineer by trade. They have two of the cutest kids ever – Aubrey and Corbin. Nicole loves music, books, tv, movies, and she has a small obsession with the Beatles (so much so that she convinced Steve to go to Liverpool as part of their honeymoon).

    Follow Nicole on Facebook here or on Twitter @RevNicoleCox.

    Email Nicole.

  • Rev. Justin Snider

    Associate Pastor

    Justin grew up in Tuscola, IL, graduated from Greenville College in 2002, and married his wife Miriam Snider later that year. Both Miriam and Justin graduated from Duke Divinity School in 2006 and have served United Methodist churches in downstate Illinois ever since. (Miriam is the lead pastor of Chatham UMC in nearby Chatham.) They have two children, a son named Sam and a daughter named Katie. Along with many regular pastoral duties at Springfield First, Justin works with our small group ministries. Justin is passionate about spiritual formation, prayer, teaching, mental and emotional health, laughter, and the equipping of lifelong disciples of Christ who are maturing in their faith. He enjoys running, hiking, reading, and travel. 

    Email Justin.

  • Lana Salomonson

    Executive Director

    Lana grew up in the Soybean Capital of the world - Decatur, Illinois - but has lived in Springfield for the past 25 years. As the Executive Director of Springfield First, she oversees the facility and church campus, personnel, and the budget. Lana is married to Scott, has "the best son in the world," and an awesome dog named Max. She is also passionate about this church, God, and all things having to do with water! Lana enjoys swimming, traveling, swimming, watching the Cubs win (occasionally), swimming, and playing with her dog. (Did we mention that she loves swimming?!)

    Email Lana.

  • Sharon Sweeney

    Director of Connections

    Sharon wears her hometown, St Louis, MO, as a badge of honor - home of the Cardinals, The Hill, and Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. She moved to Springfield in June of 1995 with her husband and daughters, and started working at Springfield First one month later. Sharon has worked at Springfield First for 24 years, and feels lucky to have worked with all three "Rogers"! As the Director of Connections, Sharon greets new guests and helps place them and others into volunteer opportunities, classes, and small groups. Her experience at organizing and carrying out events with volunteers spans several years, and she annually leads 11 teams of more than 70 volunteers to host the Global Leadership Summit. She believes the best way to stay connected to a church is to form relationships. Over the past 24 years, Sharon has made several treasured friendships and relationships. She loves spending time with her husband Jim and their daughters - Shannon (married to Mike) and twins Sydney and Sierra, and with her new grandson Aiden. "Oh, and I love reality shows!"

    Email Sharon.

  • Brennan Pappas

    Director of Technical Arts

    Brennan is a Springfield native and has attended this church for the past eight years, the last three of which he served in various positions on our team. He has a passion for connecting people to God through the tech booth and in worship. Brennan loves being around family and friends in all atmospheres. He enjoys bowling, paintball, biking, running, baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Green Bay Packers.

    Email Brennan.

  • Carli Burton

    Director of Senior Ministries

    From Lincoln, IL, Carli aims to motivate Christian growth in others and to help all generations of our church feel cared for and loved. Her goal is also to shift our basic assumptions about aging, realizing that it involves heightened opportunity for spiritual development. "I love my job, word games, and family time."

    Email Carli.

  • Chase Carlisle

    Director of Worship Arts

    Chase is originally from the South but has since lived in several different parts of the country. He graduated with a degree in music from Truman State University and has been serving in music ministry ever since! Before living in Springfield, Chase served at a church in Memphis, TN (the Birthplace of Rock and Roll!!). As the Director of Worship Arts, he oversees many of the elements that go into each weekend service. He oversees the Technical Arts ministry and is involved with the pastoral and creative planning teams. He has a passion for unity in the church and a vision to support a growing culture of worship in the local church. He is married to Elyssa :) and, holding to his southern ties, they are the proud owners of two healthy Bloodhound pups (Jasper and Tillie), and have two adorable boys.

    Follow Chase on Facebook here or on Twitter @chaseacarlisle.

    Email Chase.

  • Elyssa Carlisle

    Children's and Youth Choir Director

    Elyssa has lived in central Illinois her whole life and has been in Springfield for 11 1/2 years. She serves Springfield First as the Children's & Youth Choir Director, the Youth Handbell Choir Director, and a smattering of other jobs. "My passions lie in loving people & showing my youth how much God is crazy for them! My vision is for them to use their God-given gifts to better His kingdom, to experience His Presence in such a way that worship becomes daily and His truth becomes reality." She loves people, kids, chocolate, coffee, seeing youth praise Jesus, missions overseas, and the Director of Worship Arts (yeah, she and Chase are married).

    Email Elyssa.

  • Matt Cleveland

    StudentLife Director

    Matt is originally from Vincennes, IN. He attended college in Greenville, IL, and has served in churches in Sandusky and Davison, MI. Matt oversees the StudentLife ministry, grades 6-12, helping teenagers to discover Jesus, develop a foundational relationship with Him, and build them into leaders who can bring others to Christ. He is passionate about guiding and mentoring teens in their walk with Christ, worshipping, and teaching others about Jesus. Matt loves spending time with his family, Hannah, Peter, Gloria, and Philip. He also enjoys watching any movie that has a superhero, lightsaber, or hobbit, along with building and collecting Legos!

    Email Matt.

  • Dr. See Tsai Chan

    Associate Director of Music Ministry

    See Tsai is originally from Hong Kong but now teaches music at Blackburn College. When she's not in Carlinville instructing students, she's running our traditional music ministry and directing the choir. She loves making music, coffee :), reading, family time, zumba, and swimming.

    Email See Tsai.

  • Dennie Canny

    Facilities Manager

    Dennie grew up in several small communities in Central Illinois. His father was a United Methodist minister in what was the Central Illinois Conference at that time. As the church's facilities manager, he is responsible for seeking quotes on major repairs, overseeing projects, performing minor repairs, and working with volunteer groups within the church. He has a passion for sports, particularly Fighting Illini basketball and football, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Chicago Bears! Dennie loves to travel, golf, cook, and listen to music. More than anything, though, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family - especially his new granddaughters Haddie and Autumn!

    Email Dennie.

  • Jenny Hutcherson

    Financial Administrator

    Jenny spent 14 years in Georgia before moving to Springfield in 2008. She considers it an honor to be working behind-the-scenes and ensuring that people's gifts to God through Springfield First are handled in the way they intended. She also handles the building calendar and room reservations. Jenny loves spending time with her husband Jeff and their three boys - Sam, Ben, and Nathan. She also enjoys quilting, reading, baking, and watching detective shows on TV!

    Email Jenny.

  • Jill Musso

    Marketing & Communications Director

    Jill is from Decatur, IL, and graduated from EIU in Charleston, IL. She has worked for a variety of companies to help them creatively market their products and services. She is most passionate about promoting the most important things – to love God and to love others! Jill is married to Todd and they have 2.5 kids, Murana and Lidon, and their dog, Biscuit. In her free time, she enjoys spending time being inspired by this wonderful world God has created – through time spent with family and friends, enjoying nature, cooking, and creative projects. As the Marketing and Communications Director, Jill helps to support all the different Ministry areas within Springfield First, and keeps everyone informed through the many ways in which we share information around here. She also handles external advertising in addition to internal event and ministry marketing. If you have an event or ministry area that you would like to promote, please contact Jill. 

    Email Jill.

  • Rachel Dempsey

    Print Shop

    Rachel lived in Taylorville for 13 years before moving to Springfield. Her job involves all printing projects. She loves showing God's love to everyone she meets and ensuring that they know they are welcome and have a place. Rachel enjoys spending time with friends, reading, and playing with her awesome dog Bill!

  • Renoldo Gayton

    Lead Custodian

    Renoldo was born and raised in Springfield and is the 13th of 13 children in his family! In his job, he cleans and maintains the church facility and grounds. He is passionate about God, family, and doing the best he can. Renoldo enjoys fishing, spending time with grandkids, working on cars, and fixing things. He is eager to help, and we are happy to have him on our staff!

  • Zach Pappas

    Technical Arts Assistant

    Zach has lived in Springfield for all his life. He works on videos and slides and helps to make the services run smoothly. He is enthusiastic about working for the kingdom of God, helping people to make a connection with God during services, and encouraging volunteers to work for God's purpose. Zach enjoys making videos, recording music, bike riding, and being in church as much as possible!

    Email Zach.

  • Dara Bose


    Dara lives in Glenarm with her husband Bob and their 3 children, Ryan, Tyler, and Becca. In her role here as the accountant, it is her responsibility to make sure that all of the bills are paid and that all funds are accounted for. She has a passion for uplifting and inspiring others, as well as doing charity work. She enjoys spending time with family, painting, crafting, fishing, four wheeling and playing in the mud. 

    Email Dara.

  • Amanda Reed

    Interim Director of Kids Ministries

    Amanda is originally from the Springfield area, but spent most of her childhood in Texas before moving back to Illinois. She and her husband, along with their 5 children, have been attending Springfield First for a little more than 2 years. As Interim Director Amanda oversees the Kids Ministries area, which is specially created for children ages birth to 5th grade to grow in their relationship with Christ. She is passionate about teaching children of God's love and placing His word in their hearts. Amanda and her family love camping, cooking together, taco Tuesdays, and movie marathons. In her free time she can be found with a cup of coffee, reading, bible journaling, or writing.

    Email Amanda.

  • Sydney Pappas

    Associate Director of StudentLife

    I am originally from Shelbyville, IL, but I lived in Rochester, IL the majority of my life. In my position at Springfield First, I get to aid in the spiritual development of the students within our church through a variety of actions. I also oversee the social media side of things for StudentLife. I am passionate about spiritual formation which I have studied at Lincoln Christians University. My hope is to help teens develop their own unique ways of experiencing God and help them along their discernment through junior high to high school, then high school to post high school. I enjoy spending time with my husband Brennan. I also enjoy traveling, journaling, and watching The Office and Parks and Rec on repeat! I love having a good laugh as much as I can! 

    Email Sydney.