Meet Our Staff

Rev. John Hiestand

Senior Pastor
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Rev. John Hiestand was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received a B.A. in music from California State University, Hayward, in 1977, and an M.A. in music from the University of California, San Diego, in 1980. While performing “H.M.S. Pinafore” he met a beautiful redhead named Vivian, and a few years later married her during another production of “H.M.S. Pinafore.” They both worked as church musicians for many years while raising their two sons, Jonathan and Jeffrey. In 2008 they pulled up stakes and moved to Colorado, and both received M.Div. degrees from the Iliff School of Theology in 2011.

Pastor John has served as pastor in Bailey, Fleming, Hotchkiss and Crawford, and became pastor at UMC Johnstown on July 1, 2015. Vivian is currently serving as an intentional interim pastor at First UMC, Fort Collins.

Pastor John is the author of a book, Falling Through the Ice: The Path of a Zen Methodist (available on Amazon). He and Vivian live in Johnstown with their two dogs, Bam-Bam (a 10 lb. Bichon) and Pippin (a 60 lb. Crème Retriever). In his “spare” time Pastor John enjoys playing the mandolin and guitar, riding his motorcycle and relaxing at his cabin near Bailey. Pastor John has been blessed to experience the joy, faith, and commitment of this congregation and community.

Karen Vander Velde

Church Secretary/Organist
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Karen has been the United Methodist Church of Johnstown’s Church Secretary and Organist since 2002. She also accompanies and sings in the Chancel Choir and rings in the Bell Choir. She (and her husband Allen) was born in Wisconsin where she was a church organist for 20 years. Although she has lived in Colorado since 1980 she is still a loyal Green Bay Packer fan.

Kariann Bandy

Director of Children's Education
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Kariann Bandy has been a part of the United Methodist Church of Johnstown for over sixteen years, and feels fortunate to be a part of such a caring and supportive church family. She joined the staff of the Johnstown United Methodist Preschool (J.U.M.P.) in August of 1999, and is currently the Assistant Director and lead teacher for the program. Her passion for children’s ministry and education is evidenced in her many years of directing and co-directing the church’s annual Vacation Bible School ministry. She currently serves as the Director of Children’s Education for the United Methodist Church of Johnstown, combining her love of education and heart for children’s ministry. Kariann feels blessed to experience the childlike faith, and open hearts and minds of the youngest in our midst through her positions at the church, and is thankful to share in these vital ministries.

Van Duvall

Youth Ministry Director
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Van Duvall is the director of Youth Ministries.

Kay Sandberg

Pre-School Director
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Kay is the Director of J.U.M.P. Kay has a degree in Consumer Sciences with a background in Childhood Development from CSU.

Kimberly Heinrich

Music and Worship Director
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Kimberly Heinrich has been a member of the United Methodist Church of Johnstown since 2000, and in 2002 she was appointed as Associate Musician. Sharing her love for God through music has always been Kimberly’s passion, and this appointment gave her the excuse to jump in head-first and lead the children’s choir, as well as congregational singing.

In 2015 Kimberly took on the role of Music Director and feels honored to continue to serve God, the congregation and the community through music. Kimberly is also thrilled to be on staff at J.U.M.P. At our preschool, Kimberly is sometimes a head teacher, sometimes a co-teacher, and always a music teacher!

Many families in the community know “Miss Kimberly” as the “music lady” – a title she’s proud to wear! Kimberly feels that God has blessed her with a gift, and He has also blessed her with the passion to share it. What a privilege to be able to share it every day to do the works of God.

Cleora Conner

Financial Secretary
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Cleora Conner was born and raised in Loveland, CO. She has two grown children and two teenage grandsons. She loves music and has played with the Loveland Concert Band and serves on the Board of Directors.

Cleora’s work experience has been in accounting and banking. She and her husband Rich have lived in Johnstown since 2000 (with a brief hiatus between 2008-2011) and have been members of The United Methodist Church of Johnstown since 2004. She is serving as the financial secretary and helps out with music whenever she can.