Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
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. Meet our staff members below and be sure to come into our Administration Building during the week and say “hello.” We are very appreciative to all the many volunteers who donate their time to help various church projects run efficiently.
Rev. Marvin Arnpriester
Marvin joined SLUMC as Senior Pastor in July of 2015. He retired in 2011 after serving 41 years in Iowa. Pastor Marvin and Carolyn, his wife of more than 50 years, moved to Chandler, Arizona. He and Carolyn have two sons, two granddaughters, and two grandsons. According to Pastor Marvin, only one question matters, “Is this what God wants?” and if it is, “we must be about doing it!”
STEPHEN MINISTRY COORDINATOR
Joan became coordinator of the Stephen Ministry program in 2016. She and her husband Jim moved from Colorado to Arizona in 2002. Joan retired from State Farm after 17 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.
Polly J. Smith
COMMUNITY CARE ADVOCATE
Polly moved from Illinois to Arizona in 2001, and married Jerry Smith in 2005. She and Jerry have been residents of Chandler and Sun Lakes since then. She has one son and two granddaughters who live in Gilbert, Arizona. Polly has an extensive background in nursing and has been a Hospice of The Valley volunteer for 8 years. She is active in the Crystal Card Project which supports My Sisters Place, a local, permanent shelter for families affected by domestic violence.
Dr. Julian Pickens
Julian is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), and a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI-II). He became a member of SLUMC in 1989 where he met his wife of 24 years, Marilyn. They have one son, one daughter, four grandsons, and one granddaughter. Julian teaches the SLUMC adult Sunday school and they are both members of the choir.
Mary is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC). She has worked in the field of psychology in many different capacities until she retired in 2016. Mary loves helping others and was proud to join the Sun Lakes Counseling team in the spring of 2020. Mary also enjoys playing the piano, singing, and directing bells. She became involved with our SLUMC music in 2016. She and her husband Scott also love spending time with family.
Cris earned a teaching degree from ASU and taught in public schools for 21 years, retiring in 2010 from Hamilton High School. Cris is a published composer and also the Director of the Sun Lakes Chorale. She has been the Music Director at SLUMC since March, 1999. Her husband, Bart, shares her passion for all things musical and is the Choir Director at Mesa Community College. Cris and Bart have has three children and eight grandchildren.
Bell Choir Director, Choir Accompanist
Mary loves music and has been singing and playing piano her whole life! She started playing bells in high school and has been directing/playing bells ever since. Mary was a church pianist in Tempe for 25 years, and became involved with SLUMC music in 2016. As a licensed therapist, Mary’s “day job” has been in the field of psychology. In 2020, Mary joined our Sun Lakes Counseling team. She and her husband Scott love spending time with their three children and two grandchildren.
Organist, Choir Accompanist
Caroline joined the music ministry team in February of 2015. Prior to their winter move to Sun Lakes, she taught public school vocal music, had been a community choral director, and church musician serving as organist, director, and accompanist. She and her husband Bill have two children and five grandchildren all living in South Dakota. Their summer home is in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Jean started her career as a high school business teacher in South Dakota. In 1979, she and her family moved to Nebraska, where she worked at First National Bank of Omaha for 30 years retiring as Vice President of the branch. She and her husband, Gary, have two sons, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They moved to Arizona in 2015 to be near Jean's three sisters and one of her brothers. She feels blessed to have a close and caring family.
Office and Communications Administrator
Jean comes from the business world, having served in marketing and communications, office management, and administration. She is a successful small business owner and graduate of the University of Phoenix. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and strategic board games. Jean lives in Chandler, has two daughters, and a Shinese named Jupiter.
Finance and Database Administrator
Deanna was born and raised in the Monterey Bay area of California and moved to Arizona in 1999. She and her husband Brian have been married for 40 years. Deanna is experienced in accounting, payroll, and human resources. She holds a certification from the American Payroll Association. She enjoys reading, movie date nights with Brian, and her two Chihuahuas. She loves the Sun Lakes area and is very happy to be a part of SLUMC.
Jackie was born and raised in Danville, Illinois. She and her husband arrived in Arizona in 2000, where her husband came to work. They have two daughters, Stephani and Taylor who both live and work in Chicago. Jackie likes scrapbooking and water and snow skiing.