First UMC has a highly dedicated, gifted staff who are passionate about Jesus Christ, His ministry, and the people they serve. Please get to know and pray for our staff members!
Senior Pastor: Rev. Dr. Ramon E. McDonald, II
Rev. Ray has been serving as First Church’s Senior Pastor since July 1, 2013. Rev. Ray is committed to bringing people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, building them up in this relationship of faith, and sending them out to build new relationships with others as they witness their faith and serve. He consistently commits himself to preaching and teaching the Word of God, while growing in his knowledge and understanding of God, and God’s will for himself, and the congregation he serves. Rev. Ray and his wife, Carolyn (36 year of marriage), have 3 grown daughters Shelly (Jason), Nicole, and Jaclyn (Justin). They also have 5 granddaughters Vyrie, Scarlett & Lillian (Jaclyn & Justin) and Justice & London (Shelly & Jason). Rev. Ray is an avid golfer as well as a Ravens, Orioles, Redskins, Nationals, & Wizards fan. He enjoys playing basketball and working out at the gym (and of course golf when time allows). He enjoys both our traditional service (8:15) and our contemporary service (11:00) on Sunday mornings and he leads two Bible Studies. His taste in music ranges from light rock, R&B, Soul, Gospel, hymns, contemporary worship music, classical, country, and more. He says he loves serving a multi-cultural, multi- generational, multi-ethnic church and invites you to join us! You can read some of his teachings on his blog page at www.raymcdonald.wordpress.com.
Assistant Pastor of the Cooperative Parish: Pastor Caprice Brown
Pastor Caprice began serving on the Cooperative Parish (First UMC and Community UMC) on July 1, 2016. She serves primarily as the site or lead pastor of Community UMC located at 300 Brock Bridge Road, Laurel, MD 20724. She feels blessed to have this opportunity to serve God’s people and the community. Pastor Brown is a Certified Candidate for Ordained Ministry in the United Methodist Church. She graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in May 2016 with a Masters of Divinity Degree. She has interest in the following ministry areas: Pastoral Care and Counseling; Christian Education; and Christian Spiritual Formation. She also has gifts in the areas of: preaching, teaching, prayer, communication, and compassion. Pastor Brown considers Ebenezer UMC, Lanham MD, as her home church. Pastor Brown is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. She is currently employed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the Office of Aerospace Medicine (AAM) as a Senior Management and Program Analyst. She completed a Women’s Leadership Collaborative program from the Brookings Executive Education Institution from October 2014 to May 2015. She also has completed training in the area of Mediation for the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) process for the federal government. Pastor Brown has been married to Angelo Brown for 19 years. By their union, they have been blessed by a beautiful daughter, Angela Jewel, who is a high school student. She has a heart for the things of Christ and a heart for all people.
Assistant to the Pastor: Taeron Flemming
Taeron began as our Assistant to the Pastor on January 1, 2017. Taeron J. Flemming was born in Baltimore Maryland and raised in Jessup by his grandparents Raymond and Sandra Carroll. He began his walk with faith at an early age joining First Baptist Church of Guilford at the age of nine with his great-grandmother, Ruby Carroll. At the end of his high school career, he made his transition to the United Methodist Church. As an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church, Jessup, Taeron held many positions including president and founder of One Body Mime Ministry. He was a Lay Servant, a Youth and Young Adult Leader, a Sunday School teacher, a member of the United Methodist Men, and the Blacks for Methodist for Church Renewal (BMCR).
Taeron’s involvement with ministry reaches far beyond the local church level. He also serves as the Annapolis District Representative for the Young Adult Council and is newly appointed as the BWC Young Adult Representative for the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. In the private sector, Taeron works as a Hemo-Dialysis Technician; ironically, Taeron had kidney failure for thirteen years. After successfully undergoing a kidney transplant Taeron continues to use his platform to inspire and encourage people who have kidney failure by telling his story and sharing the word of God. Taeron is now enrolled in Lancaster Bible College majoring in Biblical Studies.
With hopes of becoming a Pastor, Taeron is well on his way. Taeron is engaged to his fiancée, Dana. They plan to be married in February. They desire to model putting God first in everything as they raise three little girls. Taeron and Dana are big on family and keeping a Christian household. Under the leadership of Pastor Ray McDonald and District Superintendent Evan Young, the future is bright for Taeron Flemming.
Contemporary Worship Pastor: Pastor Bob D’Antoni
Pastor Bob began as our Contemporary Worship Pastor on January 16, 2017. Bob D’Antoni began his walk of faith in Jesus, when he was a young boy. During his high school years, he shared his faith to many students on campus. This journey deepened as he recognized a need for a more personal, deep and abiding connection to his heavenly Father. In his late teen years, it became clear to him his calling would be to share the Gospel through the spoken word and music. This calling has continued to be fulfilled as a vocation and an avocation through many diverse church ministries, short-term mission trips to Haiti, Africa, Indonesia, Israel, and has served as a Worship Pastor/Leader/Director. Musically, Bob has produced and recorded five CD’s and has developed and taught “Songwriting Workshop” classes at Messiah College as well as hosted an hour radio program. His passion in life, is to communicating the Gospel to the least of these and to bring inspiration and encouragement to believers to persevere. Bob claims that worship can be found in every part of daily living. He shares his life with his wife of 42 years and they have left their mark on the world with 4 children and 15 grandchildren.
Youth Director: Russ Wilson
Russell and his wife, Frances, came to us from Savannah, Georgia. He started coming to First Church in August of 2011 and later became a member in the Spring of 2012. He currently works at Fort Meade as the Chief Criminal Investigator, DES Investigations. Russell has been working with and educating youth for two decades in various capacities. In his capacity as a Criminal Investigator, Russell has focused much of his attention to guiding youth. His background in Family Advocacy, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Gang Resistance Education, Domestic Violence Intervention, and Child Abuse Intervention gives him the knowledge and experience in identifying, helping, and re-educating at-risk youth. It takes a strong, brave soul to meet the youth where they are and help them to overcome some of the social and spiritual struggles they are facing. Russell believes it is his calling to work with the youth in this capacity.
Russ has grown the youth group and has the energy and focus to help to inspire our youth in their walk with Jesus. He is always going above and beyond the call of duty. He began as our youth director in 2013.
Director of Traditional Music: Judy Law
Judy came to First Church as a substitute Organist in 1988. She was subsequently hired as the Choir Director in July of that year. She has started various music groups in the church over the years and continues to play clarinet in instrumental group, the Worship Players. She also substitutes as the organist when the organist is away. Judy is married to Scott and they have one daughter, Rhiannon, who lives in Virginia. Judy loves gardening, knitting and crocheting, baking and playing music. When time and money permit, both Judy and Scott enjoy traveling.
Judy’s heart for music and its place in our traditional worship service and the special services of our church is outstanding. She is gifted and uses her gifts to God’s glory.
Office Manager: Cathy Sansosti
Cathy began as our Office Manager on March 1, 2016. Cathy grew up in Baltimore attending private schools until college. She was raised by loving parents who instilled strong Christian beliefs in her. She is a loving wife to FUMCL custodian, Joe Sansosti and proud mother of Olivia and Joseph. Both children were baptized at FUMCL in 2012 and anxiously await VBS each year. Cathy is excited to serve the FUMCL congregation.
Cathy has been a breath of fresh air to the office at FUMCL. Her skills and attitude are a blessing to the rest of the staff. She is always willing to do whatever she is asked and does it with a smile. Drop by and say hi or call her on the office phone for information about our church (301) 725-3093.
Financial Secretary: Mary Hoffman
Mary Hoffman began as the Financial Secretary for FUMCL in 2016. Mayr writes, Hi I’m Mary Hoffman. I’ve been a member of First UM Church since the late 70’s. I am a member of the UMW and the alter service. I also serve as a trustee, and help around the church doing odds and ends. In my spare time I do senior workouts at Fairland and I also do knitting. I’ve worked at Woolworths for 28 years followed by time with Ritz camera in accounting for 15 years. I am looking forward to serving as your financial secretary. Thanks.
Mary has fit right into the office staff and has a very giving heart. She is always willing to help, even beyond her workload.
Custodian: Joe Sansosti
Joe Sansosti has been the custodian at FUMCL since December of 2006. He is married to Cathy Sansosti, our office manager and together they have two children, (Olivia and Joseph). Joe was born and raised in Baltimore, MD but has lived briefly in Florida, New Jersey, and Louisiana while following his passion of exercising thoroughbred race horses. Exercising thoroughbred race horses is a passion he shares with his wife, and what brought them together. He takes pride in the cleanliness of First Church and the upkeep of the building and its grounds.
Joe is a hard worker and is always willing to do more than asked. The facility shines because of his efforts.
Organist: Jeanette Wassell
Jeanette began as the organist at FUMCL in April of 2016. Jeanette grew up in Pennsylvania and has spent over 20 years in the VA/MD area. She has been playing piano since she was seven years old and enjoys learning new instruments when she gets the chance. Jeanette is married to Ed, and has six children, who also play an instrument of some kind, but she is thankful that drums is not one of them at the moment. Jeanette began organ lessons and playing over ten years ago, and is delighted to play the First Church organ – it is one of the best organs she has played! She also plays at other area churches as needed. She attends St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church as a member.
Jeanette brings a sweet spirit to our traditional music ministry. She has joined right in as our organist and has filled an important role in our early worship service.