Leadership

Pastors & Staff

Bill Novak

Lead Pastor

Pastor Bill Novak is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and the lead pastor at Morton UMC.  A Montana native, Pastor Bill comes to Morton most recently from First United Methodist Church in Cheyenne Wyoming.  He is married to Abby, a registered nurse at OSF, and they have four daughters, Wynne, Beatrice, Mabel, and Clementine.   Pastor Bill enjoys the preaching, teaching, and caring aspects of ministry and is always ready to talk about basketball any time of year.  He looks forward to a life of discipleship together.

Adam Penn

Associate Pastor

Pastor Adam has been an Ordained Elder in the UMC since graduating from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in 2015. He and his wife Jessica were both born and raised in the Peoria area, and have two sons: Levi and Judah. Pastor Adam has a heart for helping people of all ages connect the Bible to their life stories, and equipping people to live into Jesus’ call to be salt and light to a broken world. Pastor Adam co-hosts a podcast called Midnight Theology, and he and Jessica were in a band called Harbor at Sea, whose "Better Things" EP is available on iTunes and Spotify.

Megan Benckendorf

Ministry Office Manager

Megan grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL with her two siblings and parents. She originally worked in many different roles in healthcare before moving her skills to the church. She moved to Morton in 2020 with her husband Noah. She enjoys knitting and hanging out with her two dogs and two cats.

Kerry Brenkman

Cross Connections Worship Leader

Kerry has been leading worship for our Cross Connections service for almost 20 years. A native Texan, Kerry graduated from Sam Houston State University with a music degree before moving to Morton 23 years ago. When she’s not planning or participating in worship, you can find her spending time with her husband Steve and their children Darby and Kyle. Other than creating music, Kerry enjoys sewing, reading, pickleball, and walking with her fur babies Birdie & SíSí.

Jane Chapman

Organist

Jane grew up in Osceola, WI. Her first career choice was nursing, however the University she attended discontinued the nursing program the year she began. Music Therapy was her next plan. In 1980 she became the "temporary" Church Organist - and still plays for the church today! She feels, with joy, that she is applying a ministry of "Music Therapy" as God planned.

Jacob McGeorge

Family Ministries Assistant

Jacob B. McGeorge is the Family Ministries Assistant and Senior High Specialist at MUMC. He has also pastored youth and lead worship music at the First Church of God in Marseilles, Illinois. Jacob enjoys connecting with youth through music and through deep, emotional conversations rooted both in scripture and in sociological concepts that he studied while obtaining his Associate's in Science from Illinois Valley Community College.

Darby Brenkman

Family Ministries Assistant

Darby is from Morton, IL and is now living in Peoria. She teaches second grade at Whittier Primary. Darby helps plan, organize and teach the elementary age group at Morton United Methodist Church for Sunday School and Wednesday night activities. She loves to spend time outdoors biking or walking with Wilson , her dog.

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