our Staff

  • Jeff Linthicum

    senior Pastor                                

    “I’m Jeff Linthicum, the Senior Pastor here at First Mennonite Church. My wife Megan and our two boys Nate and Josh have been led by the Lord to return to our home community after serving Him in other locations in the States as well as abroad. This congregation is very dear to us. This is Megan’s home church and it has supported us in missions. It’s a privilege to be on staff and to be part of what God is doing here. If you’re curious about our church, we welcome you to visit us! Here at First Mennonite, we’re all on a journey to become more like Christ with our words and with our actions. We haven’t perfected it yet, but perhaps you haven’t either and would like to join us as we seek to grow spiritually together."


  • Jim schwartz

    care & visitation pastor

    "I’m Jim, Pastor of Care and Visitation here at First Mennonite. I was born and raised here in Berne, and I have spent most of my life here also. I’ve been in ministry since 1979 and have served most of those years in youth ministry here in Berne. I’ve also served 6 years in Haiti as a missionary. Mary Carol and I have been married 42 years and have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. I became a follower of Jesus here at First Mennonite when I was a child attending the Union Meetings. Transitioning from ministry to students to an older group has been exciting and very rewarding. It’s amazing to hear what God has done in the lives of our senior adults as well as see what he is still doing for each one."


  • brent hyman

    director of music & worship ministries

    “I can’t believe I get paid for this! Every day I am privileged to combine two of my favorite things, Jesus and music. I love to worship, facilitate worship, teach others to worship and watch volunteers give gladly of their time for worship at First Mennonite. One of the other great things about this calling is the variety of types and styles of music I get to work with. From choirs and handbells, to band instruments and praise band, we have lots of opportunities to worship God in music. I can’t think of a better way to spend my days! Aside from my position at church I am also husband to Chris and ‘Dad’ to Camden, Conner and Cole.”


  • bill helmlinger

    youth pastor

    "Hi! Bill here, and I have one of the coolest jobs around! I get to hang out with youth and talk about Jesus!  My amazing wife, Jenn, and I have been married for over 10 years, and we have been blessed with 2 beautiful and energetic daughters Naarah (8) and Naomi (5). I love hanging out with youth, visiting them during school lunches, and going to support them at extracurricular events. I am a fan of Michigan football and the Jacksonville Jaguars. My favorite verse of late is John 3:30 (NLT), which says “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” What a reminder for me! I desire for God to continue to be greater and greater in my life through my words, actions, and daily living. God is great, and He loves you!"


  • chris hyman

    children's ministry director

    "My name is Chris, one of two Children’s Ministry Directors at First Mennonite. Brent and I both grew up in Kokomo, IN and graduated from Ball State University with music degrees. First Mennonite has been our church family for about 17 years. We began attending here soon after we got married. We both taught music at South Adams. Then, God blessed us with three boys and I was able to stay home. Now that they are all in school, a part-time, flexible job is just perfect for our family. I feel blessed to “do life” with the people of First Mennonite and humbled to be part of the staff."


  • debby neuenschwander

    children's ministry director

    “Hi. I’m Debby, and I joined the staff in 2016. I am blessed to work alongside Chris in the children’s ministry. My husband and I were married in 2003 and we've attended First Mennonite since 2010. Our church family is truly fortunate to have an abundance of children who are excited to learn about Jesus. Some previous experiences I bring to my role here include serving overseas in missions, teaching high school German, navigating the role of stepmom, and loving on my grandkids. It is a pleasure to get to serve the Lord and continue to grow in Him.”



The ministry leadership of First Mennonite Church is divided into four major groups: Care, Disciple, Witness, and Worship. Each group, or commission, is responsible for a different area of ministry in our church. To promote proper communication and encouragement for these leaders, First Mennonite maintains a Ministries Council, led by the Church Moderator (moderator@firstmennonite.org), a Spiritual Guidance Cabinet and a Gifts Discernment Committee. Our staff serves the church together with these commissions. 

2023 Church yearbook