Meet our Staff Members

Sun Lakes United Methodist Church has a friendly and efficient staff who are here to make your day a little more pleasant. Please meet our staff members below and be sure to come in to our Administration Building during the week and say “hello.” We would like to add that we are very appreciative to all the many volunteers who donate their free hours to help the various Church projects run efficiently.

Rev. Marvin ArnpriesterRev. Marvin Arnpriester
Senior Pastor
Rev. Marvin Arnpriester joined SLUMC as Sr. Pastor in July of 2015. He is a 1970 graduate of the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri.  He retired after serving 41 years in Iowa–the last as Sr. Pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa. During his ministry in Iowa, he also served eight years as President of Council Bluffs Community Schools, and served on the boards of the Visiting Nurse Association, the Southwest Iowa Hospice Board, and the Nebraska Health Center Clinical Pastoral Education Board. After retirement, Rev. Marvin and Carolyn, his wife of 50 years, moved to Chandler, Arizona. When asked, he served as Interim Sr. Pastor at Dayspring UMC (2013-2014), and Interim Sr. Pastor at Cross in the Desert in Phoenix in 2015. He and Carolyn have two sons, two granddaughters, and two grandsons.  The Arnpriesters enjoy volunteering during the summer at the Coconino National Forest. According to Rev. Marvin, only one question matters. “Is this what God wants?” And if it is, “We must be about doing it!”
Rev. Jean NewellRev. Jean Newell
Associate Pastor
Associate Pastor Jean Newell has a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and enjoyed a long teaching career before graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, in 2002 with a Masters of Divinity Degree.  After being commissioned as a Probationary Elder in the UMC in June of 2002, she served as an Associate Pastor in East Mesa for three years.  Then after being ordained a Full Elder in 2005, she spent the next seven years serving two congregations in the Phoenix area as a solo pastor.  Before joining SLUMC, she served three years as an Associate Pastor at Green Valley UMC in Henderson, Nevada. Pastor Jean says she came to the ministry much like Moses did—arguing all the way! According to her, “What I have learned and continue to learn through my ministry is that God’s grace is meant to be shared with all of God’s children!  Thus it is I believe God called this argumentative, imperfect child of God into ministry to let God’s children know grace abounds . . .  for them!”
Pastor Jean was raised in a military family and lived many places but calls Kansas her home state.  She spent most of her teaching career in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is a single mom with three grown children, eight grandchildren (ages 10 to 26) and three great-grandchildren.
Evans, CrisCris Evans
Music Director
Cris Evans earned a teaching degree from ASU and taught in public schools for 21 years, retiring in 2010 from Hamilton High School, before coming to SLUMC as Music Director. Cris is a published composer and is also the Sun Lakes Chorale Choir Director. She has been Music Director at SLUMC for the last 14 years. Her husband, Bart, shares her passion for all things musical and is a choir director at Mesa Community College. Cris has 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
Jean Wheeler
Office Administrator
Jean comes to us from the business world, having served in office management and administration in several settings. She has also been a successful small business owner. She is a graduate of University of Phoenix, holding an Associate of Arts degree with a concentration in Business/Marketing. She and husband Mike are parents of two teenage girls and a Shih Tzu named Dasher. They are avid strategic board game players and host a gaming group twice a month.
Joan LooseLoose Joan
Stephen Ministry Coordinator
Joan became coordinator of our Stephen Ministry program in 2016. She and husband Jim moved from Colorado to Arizona in 2002 and Joan retired from State Farm after 17 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.
Deanna Betz
Finance and Database Administrator
Deanna was born and raised in the Monterey Bay area, California and moved to Arizona in 1999.  She and husband Brian have been married for 35 years.  Dee has worked in accounting, HR and payroll for the last 20 years and holds a Certification from the American Payroll Association. She enjoys reading, going on Friday night dates with Brian to the movies, and her two Chihuahuas.  She loves the Sun Lakes area and is very happy to be part of SLUMC.
Jackie YoungJackie at 200
Part Time Administrative Assistant
Jackie was born and raised in Danville, Illinois.  She and her husband arrived in Arizona 8 years ago, where her husband came to work. They have two daughters, Stephani who works for the Chicago Cubs, and Taylor who is a physical education teacher with Chandler Schools. Jackie likes scrapbooking and water & snow skiing.
Bob at 200Bob Stevenson
Maintenance Supervisor
Bob comes from a family of twelve children and was born and raised in Detroit. Bob grew up in a musical family where he used to play the bass. He has lived in Arizona for ten years, has been married to Diane for 50 years, has three children and seven grandchildren. He enjoys spending time on the water, and time with the grandkids.
Gary RussellGary Russell
Maintenance Staff
Gary was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has lived in Florida and Minnesota, where he met Ginger. They moved to Arizona in 2004. They collectively have five kids and eight grandchildren. Gary enjoys working to improve the lives of others. He likes to golf and travel.
Sandy ChafinSandy Chafin
Part Time Online Administrative Assistant
Sandy came to us from Iowa, where she and her husband, Mike, ran a home-based software business for 13 years. She has a journalism degree from University of Nebraska and enjoys cooking, photography, and exploring new places. Sandy has a daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren who live in Maui, Hawaii.