Leadership

Pastors & Staff

Keith Dodson

Senior Pastor

Rev. Keith Dodson has a heart for Christ and building relationships with others. His passions in ministry include Discipleship, Missions, and age-level ministry. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and create a Spirit-filled culture!

Rev. Dodson is married to Lori, and together they have two children, Rebekah and Joshua. Rev. Dodson enjoys spending time with his family and in God’s creation.

Walt garrett

Associate Pastor

Walt came onto staff in October 2020 and has quickly learned how to identify people from their nose up!

Walt was born and raised in northeast Indiana, went to college in Colorado where he met his lovely wife (Kenda), lived in Texas and Alaska while serving in the Air Force, and has called Arkansas home since 2008, calling Benton home since 2014.

Walt likes many things - ruck hikes with his dogs, riding his motorcycle with his daughters (Cate and Molly), coffee and conversation with Kenda (she's a hot cocoa drinker), watching any sporting event that's on (preferably with pizza) - but he loves people!

Fun fact: Walt's first job in the Air Force was as a hand-to-hand combat instructor!

Donna hogue

Encore Ministry Director

Donna is our Director of Encore Ministries! She loves interacting with the people of Benton FUMC who worship in any one of our three services.

Donna was born and raised here in Benton and graduated from Benton High School! In her free time, she loves to read and cook with her family. Whether it is football, basketball, or baseball, Donna is a die hard Arkansas Razorback fan. Her favorite meal is Swiss steak with mashed potatoes and green peas. But if a lobster dish was available, that'd be hard to pass up for Donna!

Fun fact: Donna was a majorette and a Drum Major in the Benton High School Band!

Michelle Anderson

Director of Youth Ministries

Michelle has been serving in youth ministry in Arkansas for 5 years and is finishing the process to become a Certified Youth Minister in the United Methodist Church. Michelle has a heart for youth ministry: she believes that the youth are the present and future church. She loves to support the youth inside the walls of the church and in the community, attending games, concerts, and hopefully soon, eating lunches with them at school!

She also serves as a Resource Adult on the Arkansas Conference Council of Youth Ministries.Michelle is a 4th generation Razorback, graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2015 with a Degree in English with an emphasis in Education, with minors in History, Music, and Theatre. In her free time, Michelle likes to read, cheer on the Razorbacks, spending time with her Boston Terrier, Bruno, watching Marvel and Disney Movies, as well as binge-watch Friends and Gilmore Girls.

Jessica Mungle

Elementary Children's Ministry Director

Jessica is a long time resident of Saline County, and grew up as a part of this community.

She has been a part of our team since August of 2019. She loves having the opportunity to connect children and families to God.

Jessica loves spending time with her husband and children, and her favorite food is chocolate!

Katelyn berry

Infant to Pre-K Children's Ministry Director

Katelyn is the Director of our Children's Ministry for the children in our nursery through Pre-K. This includes our Early Christian Awareness program, Nursery Care, Sunday School, and First Kids on Wednesday Nights.

She has been with us since August of 2019. In her free time she likes to paint, travel, float, and spend time with friends and family. Her favorite food is pizza!

Jim Delamar

Contributions and Facilities Director

Jim DeLamar is our Contributions and Facilities Manager. Through Jim's job at Benton FUMC, he is responsible for the maintenance and the upkeep of the church. Because of him, we are able to turn the lights on Sunday mornings. Props Jim!!

Jim is originally from Prescott but has lived in Benton for many years. He loves to grill hamburgers and enjoys eating Mexican food. Jim's hobbies consist of using and collecting fountain pens, spending time with his wife, Terri, and their three poodles; collecting stamps and coins, and reading books.

Interesting fact: Jim is a member of the Arkansas Pen Club and also enjoys collecting Bosson heads.

Tanya Vinyard

Child Development Center Director

Tanya is the Director of all of our Child Development Center programs: The Shepherd's Fold, Jolly Time Pre-school, and Kid's Day Out. She was born and (mostly) raised in Benton.

She started as a teacher for the Daycare and Mother’s Day Out programs in 2011, and has been with us since.

In her free time she loves spending time with her family, reading, hanging out on the Saline River and knitting.

Tanya says she could eat a taco or burrito for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Melissa berry

Jolly Time Teacher and Kid's Day Out Director

Melissa Berry is one of the most loved people here at Benton First! She has served as our Kids Day Out Director since June of 2012 and as Jolly Time Preschool Co-Director since June of 2016. She also serves at a Co-Teacher in part because she loves time with the kids so much!

Her family moved to Benton in 2006. She is married to Brett Berry and they have 4 wonderful children, Katelyn, Grant, Carter, and Jillian. Her family has been members of Benton FUMC since the Fall of 2011.

Melissa loves to travel, kayak, canoe, go to the movies, spend time with her family and friends, and watch her kids do any and all activities they are involved in. She also loves to volunteer in our church and in our community.  

Oh, and her favorite food is Mexican food!  

Also, her favorite part of working in our Child Development Center is making lasting relationships with the children and families in our programs inside and outside of the walls of our church.

Liz selby

Jolly Time Teacher

Liz was born and raised in Little Rock.  She has been married to her husband, John, for 42 years.  Liz has 3 adult children; Zach, Sarah, and Leah, who have given Liz 7 fabulous grandchildren! Her favorite food is anything Mexican! She has taught at Jolly Time Preschool for 28 years, and loves shaping the minds and hearts of children.

Josh johnson

Director of Sacred Music

Joshua L. Johnson is the Director of Sacred Music at Benton FUMC. Josh graduated from Benton High School in 2011, and received a Bachelors of Vocal Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University in 2016.

He started working at Benton Jr. High School in 2018 after teaching at Wynne High School for 2 years.

In his free time, Josh loves spending time with his wife, Jasmine, and their daughter, Adaline. He also loves to ride long distances on his bicycle and fishing as much as possible.

Mike stramiello

Contemporary Worship Leader

Mike is our Contemporary Worship leader in our 9am service. He has been a part of the staff at Benton FUMC since 2017 and adds fun and energy to every interaction he has.

Mike loves hot wings, anything related to music, traveling and cheering on the Yankees in baseball. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey but has been a Little Rock resident for several years.

Fun fact: Mike is an officiate for Division 1 men's basketball in the NCAA.

Lisa plischke

Church Nursery Director

Lisa has a great passion for working with children. She has a background in music and wants to provide a safe, nurturing environment which allows our children to learn and grow within the church community.

Lisa has worked as an elementary teacher for over 10 years and looks forward to leading our babies to learn about the love of Christ.

If you have not met Lisa, please drop by the nursery and welcome her to our family!