Pastor: Dr. Donald Guest
Office Manager: Ruhi Nathan
Bookkeeper: Terry Won
Site Manager: Deborah Witt
Organist: Don Cardoza
Choir Director: Tonya Oravetz
Choir Director: Jennifer Barnett
Our senior pastor Dr. Donald Francis Guest is a native of Chicago. He is a member of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, but has been appointed to serve churches in the California-Nevada Conference since 2006.
In that capacity Pastor Guest has served as the Senior Pastor of Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco (2006-2011), Consultant to the Bishop on Urban Affairs (2011-2012), and Senior Pastor of Easter Hill Church, Richmond, CA (2012-2017) and as of July 1, 2017, Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Sunnyvale, California.
Pastor Guest has served United Methodist Churches in Chicago from 1981-1999. In 1999 he was appointed to serve as district superintendent in the Chicago Area by Bishop C. Joseph Sprague (1999-2004), and again by Bishop Hee-Soo Jung (2004-2006).
Prior to his service in the United Methodist Church, Pastor Guest served as a pastor of churches in Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota and Wisconsin, both rural and urban with the Reformed Church in America.
A father, grandfather and great grandfather, he holds degrees and certificates from the following:
Moody Bible Institute, 1969 Christian Education
Chicago State University, 1972 BA
McCormick Theological Seminary, 1974 Master of Divinity
Adler Institute of Chicago, 1986 Certified in Family Therapy
United Theological Seminary, 1999 Doctor of Ministry
Jesuit Theological Seminary and Catholic Theological Union, post graduate study, 1979-1981
Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Ruhi graduated from St. Stephen's College in Delhi, with a Master's degree in history. Having worked for a year in India, she moved to the United States in 1991 with her husband, Ronald. Sunnyvale First United Methodist Church was the first church she attended and has continued to worship here ever since.
Finance is one area that has always interested Ruhi, so she used her time to learn about mortgage loans and financial investments.
Ruhi and Ronald have been married for over twenty-five years and their children, Nikita, 25, and Tanay, 22 along with their golden retriever, Simba, are the joys of her life. Ruhi is a news junkie, likes to read, travel and collect coins.
Terry Won was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with his parents as a teenager. He received his B.S. in Business Administration (Concentration in Accounting) from San Jose State University. He has worked as an accountant at a variety of companies and retired in 2010. Prior to his work experience, he served in the United States Army for 3 years.
He has been a long time member of United Methodist Church in San Jose. He is extremely passionate about serving as a volunteer on short-term mission trips. Terry has been married to his wife Michelle for 38 years and has 2 married sons. Outside of church, you can typically find Terry on a beautiful golf course or with his grand-daughter.
Prior to joining our team, Debbie worked with West Valley Community Services in Cupertino, first as a volunteer and then was hired to be the Community Health Coordinator. Debbie managed the food pantry, worked with the grocery rescue program, and supervised over 150 volunteers. Her catering background and experience working with seniors is a great addition to our team.
Debbie and her husband Jim live in San Jose with their two dogs, Sherlock and Basil. Debbie enjoys baking, cooking, home improvement projects and spending time with her family.
Don Cardoza has worked as a Methodist music minister for a number of years. Most recently, he worked at Twin Towers UMC in Alameda. He teaches music as well and taught piano, harmony, musicianship, jazzband at Ohlone College, Cal State East Bay and Las Positas College. Don has a BA and MA in music.
Don is familiar with a number of styles of worship and looks forward to supporting the choir and the singing of our favorite hymns. He also enjoys arranging and writing music for all occasions.
Don and his lovely wife Leslei Ahne have a daughter Karen and a son Josh.
Tonya has been the choir director at FUMC since 1999. As choir director, she tries to bring a large variety of music into the church. The choir sings both traditional and contemporary anthems from spirituals to classics to praise songs. We encourage anyone who loves to sing to join us!
I have been involved in music since 3rd grade — I played flute throughout middle and high school. In 2011, I started singing at De Anza College, and really discovered my passion for choir. I transferred to SJSU in 2014 as a Music Education major and have since added Political Science as a double major. I'm now in my final year of my bachelor's before I set out to get my teaching credential.
My time at SJSU has been largely music focused — I've sung in five of their choral ensembles, as well as been an active member of ACDA, NAfME, and Mu Phi Epsilon. This last summer, I had the opportunity to go on a two-week long tour of Scandinavia and the Baltic States as a part of the SJSU Choraliers. Our culminating performance of Mozart's Requiem in Tallinn, Estonia has been the highlight of my college experience so far.
In my free time, I enjoy cooking, gardening, and discovering the hidden gems of the Bay Area. I've been blessed to have been able to live in the Bay Area all my life, but this area changes so quickly, there's always something new to try and explore!