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Our Staff

Lead Pastor ~ John Gaulke
johng@altoonaumc.org

JohnTell us about your family.  I married up…way up!  LeAnn is my best friend, and I love sharing ministry with her.  It is also amazing to me that there are three people walking this planet that call me Dad and one person that calls me Papa. It doesn’t get any better than that.

What do you do at AUMC?  I am privileged to serve as the pastor of AUMC.  I have the opportunity to lead and work with an outstanding staff as well as share God’s Word with a great congregation.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  Outback, Monterrey, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, and lately I’ve been into Bonefish.

What’s on your iPod?  A bunch of different podcasts (preaching, exercising, news commentary).  Music: Contemporary Christian and the oldies from the 60s and 70s.

What’s on your bookshelf?  Right now…Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace and Above the Line by Urban Meyer.

What’s your claim to fame?  I completed a triathlon (barely)!

What do you do in your free time?  I enjoy playing pickleball in the church Family Life Center as well as walking with LeAnn and our dog Bentley.  Watching sports, especially the Iowa Hawkeyes.  I also enjoy reading.

Minister of Creative Arts and Care Ministries ~ Steve McLellan
stevem@altoonaumc.org

SteveTell us about your family.  Char and I tied the knot in 1977 in Central Montana at her home church. We have two married children who are now significantly involved in helping people. Chris currently leads a multi-site church Digital Media ministry on the east coast, and Anna Marie works as an adjunct professor at Hawkeye Community College.  We recently attained the title of proud grandparents, and, yes, we do have pictures.

What do you do at AUMC?  I work with the Creative Arts Ministry and Pastoral Care.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  That’s a tough one for someone who enjoys everything from Asparagus to Sauerkraut. Red Lobster would be on  my list.

What’s on your iPod?  All our current church repertoire including Hillsong United, Bethel Church, Passion Band, Lauren Daigle, and more.  I also teach woodwinds privately and have a good collection of classic and jazz instrumental solo and orchestral music.

What’s on your bookshelf?  The Bible has influenced my life more than any other book. At last count I had a dozen different translations including 3 or 4 study Bibles. I have enjoyed C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Oswald Chambers, and am a fan of Eric Metaxas biographies “Dietrich Bonnhoeffer” and “7 Great Men”. Biographies of great men demonstrating great courage and faith inspire me.

What’s your claim to fame?  My claim to fame depends on where I am. Growing up I was the son of the choir director for the national radio broadcast called Revivaltime heard on 500 stations “across the nation, and around the world”. When I was a substitute teacher at Southeast Polk many students knew me as the piano teacher’s husband.

What do you do in your free time?  I work as a private clarinet and saxophone instructor for students desiring special advanced coaching.  Recently, I began to hone my guitar skills with a private instructor.  I also enjoy bicycling, hiking, travel, photography, and hanging out with family or friends.  We love turning an ordinary moment into an adventure!

Children’s Ministry Director ~ Brandon Lindsey
brandonl@altoonaumc.org

Brandon 3Tell us about your family.  I crossed over my East High Scarlet boundaries and married Kara Svendson, rival Southeast Polk graduate in 2005.  We have an 11 year old son, Sven, who loves legos, riding his bike and playing with his buddies.  Kara has been in HR for about 20 years, and I have been lucky enough to be a stay-at-home dad to Sven while working with the children of AUMC.

What do you do at AUMC?   I am the Children’s Ministry Director.  I team with all of the outstanding AUMC teaching volunteers to help our children create a solid foundation in Christ.  Together, we’ll be striving to bring fun and excitement through Children’s Church, Sunday School, VBS and several other events throughout the year as your child learns about God’s path for them.  My door is always open, and I’m excited to continue the excellence associated with AUMC’s children’s programs!

What’s your favorite restaurant?  I enjoy cooking, and some of my specialties are steak sandwiches, spaghetti, baked chicken and “smoked” fish….just ask Pastor John and LeAnn :) !  However, when we go out I love Tasty Tacos, Monterrey, Jethro’s and Red Lobster.

What’s on your iPod?  My car stays on 107.1 christian  music.  I’ve been you tubing a lot of 80’s rock lately as well.  But don’t worry, I know plenty of Laurie Berkner songs for the kids!

What’s on your bookshelf?   Sports books and Bible studies…pictures of Sven!

What’s your claim to fame?  When asked in his 2nd grade class what he wanted to be when he grows up, Sven said “a dad”.  That’s all the fame I’ll ever need!

What do you do in your free time? Watch Nascar races, cook, ride bikes and play at the park with Sven, and hard core pickleball matches with my wife….I’ll let her tell you who usually wins!

Youth Ministry Director ~ Matt Osborne
matto@altoonaumc.org

IMG_1995Tell us about your family.  I grew up in the wonderful state of North Carolina, where I was the second of four children. I have one older brother, Michael, and two younger sisters, Katy and Emily. I am so thankful that I am able to say that all three of my siblings are also some of my best friends. All of my family still currently lives in North Carolina, so I treasure the opportunities I get to travel back to visit.

What do you do at AUMC?  I serve as the Youth Director. I work with young people between 7th and 12th grade to help them grow in their walks with the Lord.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  I am new to the area, so I am still trying to figure out the best local eating establishments. In terms of national chains, I am a big fan of Outback Steakhouse and Olive Garden. When it comes to fast food, it is hard to beat Dairy Queen and Chick-fil-A.

What’s on your iPod?  I have a wide variety of worship music, covering pretty much every Christian genre you can think of. Some of my favorite worship artists include Bethel, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Lauren Daigle and Cory Asbury.

What’s on your bookshelf? Some of my favorite books right now are “Not A Fan” and “End of Me” by Kyle Idleman, “Jesus Culture” by Banning Liebscher, “To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain” by Matt Chandler and “Digging the Wells of Revival” by Lou Engle.

What’s your claim to fame? I once had Alabama head football coach Nick Saban get upset with me because he didn’t like the question I asked him at a media event. It created quite the buzz in the room.

What do you do in your free time?  More than anything else, I really enjoy being around friends and family to share in some quality time of fellowship (preferably, over a nice meal). I also enjoy playing basketball, reading, playing the guitar and riding my bike.

Director of Assimilation & Small Groups ~ LeAnn Gaulke
leanng@altoonaumc.org

LeAnnTell us about your family.  I have been married for 36 adventurous years to my husband, John.  We have three wonderful children and daughter-in-law, and a precious granddaughter whom we love and cherish deeply.  Bentley, our active pup, completes our family.

What do you do at AUMC?  Director of Assimilation and Small Groups.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Monterrey, Great Wall (Burlington, IA), Bravo’s, Cheesecake Factory, Jason’s Deli, Olive Garden…get the picture?

What’s on your iPod?  dho  (don’t have one)

What’s on your bookshelf?  Pictures of my family.

What’s your claim to fame?  Broke a few high school track records and took fourth place in a state sprint medley relay.

What do you do in your free time?  I hang out with my husband and kids, take walks and bike on our numerous trails, exercise and watch remodeling/house hunter shows.

Special Events Coordinator ~ Jane Burns
janeb@altoonaumc.org

JaneTell us about your family.  I have 3 children and 11 grandchildren, 6 step-children, 6 step-grandchildren and 3 step-great grandchildren.

What do you do at AUMC?  I am officially Financial Manager, Special Events Coordinator and Nursery Coordinator along with a variety of other fun jobs I get to do.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  Bandannas, HuHot and I do like free pie at Village Inn.

What’s on your iPod?  What’s an iPod?

What’s on your bookshelf?   My bookshelf includes Christian novels, adventures and mysteries.

What’s your claim to fame?  I have met and talked with Dale Evans Rogers (wife of Roy Rogers, the famous cowboy of yesteryear) and Harold Hughes (former Governor of Iowa and Senator, now deceased) was my high school Sunday school teacher.

What do you do in your free time?  Besides enjoying my family,  I love to shop, watch HGTV, Food Network, Hallmark Channel and read.

Administrative Assistant ~ Sue Bennett
sueb@altoonaumc.org

Sue Bennett 2Tell us about your family.  Kevin and I have been married for 22 years.  I was raised in Davenport and Kevin in Schaller, Iowa.  We have 2 children:  Zach and Sara.

What do you do at AUMC?  I am the Administrative Assistant in the office.  I complete the weekly bulletin, newsletter, record weekly Worship and Sunday school attendance and other various administrative duties.  I also process checks to pay our vendor bills.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  Latin King, Centro and Cheesecake Factory to name a few!

What’s on your iPod?  A lot of 80’s music and some Country.

What’s on your bookshelf?  A lot of Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Kristin Hannah and Nicholas Sparks.

What’s your claim to fame?  I loved the TV show ER and once saw the actor Noah Wyle across the street in Park City, Utah!

What do you do in your free time?  Attend my children’s activities:  ISU football games to watch Zach in the ISUCF’V’MB (Marching Band) and dance competitions and recitals to watch Sara!  I also like to garden in the summer time and ride my bike.  I also like to workout at The Campus.

Executive Ministry Assistant ~ Heather Mahoney
heatherm@altoonaumc.org

HeatherTell us about your family.  My husband Paul and I have two children, Nicole, age 13, and Tyler, age 10.  We also have a dog, two cats, and a lot of pet hair everywhere in our house.

What do you do at AUMC?  Right now I am responsible for researching for Pastor John’s sermons, organizing the service orders, working on the website, and keeping track of the electronic giving.

What’s your favorite restaurant?  I really like Jethros & Olive Garden, but pretty much any place that I don’t have to cook or clean up is among my favorites.

What’s on your iPod?  I don’t have an ipod, but I listen to K-Love radio in my car.  Gotta love positive, encouraging K-Love!

What’s on your bookshelf?   My very favorite author is Karen Kingsbury.  Her books are amazing.  If you haven’t read one, check your local library.  Chances are they have some of her books.  I recommend all of them, especially the Baxter Family series.

What’s your claim to fame?  I once met Mr. Miyagi in a mall.  That was way back when The Karate Kid was a big hit so it was pretty cool at the time.  Now I guess it is sort of sad that it is still my claim to fame.  I’m going to have to work on that and update this.

What do you do in your free time?  In my free time I play with Nicole & Tyler.  Nicole and I like to do crafts and shop together.  My free time with Tyler is not spent crafting, however.  He and I are much more likely to be found playing “house ball” in the front yard.  This is a game that involves throwing a racquetball against the house and catching it…over and over and over.  When the kids aren’t around to entertain me I like to run on the treadmill or read.