Your Church Family & staff

Below you will find information regarding the staff and volunteers here at Kewanee First United Methodist Church. We look forward to meeting you as well! More information is coming soon!

  • Pastor Kevin & Marlene Drane

    We are; W. Kevin and Marlene Drane and we are glad you have stopped by our Kewanee First UMC website.  Whether you are looking for a new church or you are just “passing through town” and checking our worship service(s) & times or you just landed here while surfing the web, we are glad you are checking us out!  Please feel free to give us a try.   Our congregation has good social skills and we are “appropriately friendly” …  stop in and let us lift one another up.   

    Romans 1.11-12 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

                We have been appointed to Kewanee First since July of 2018.   I was raised in south-central Indiana and after graduating from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics I worked in the agricultural industry in Ohio, Indiana and Iowa.   The “ag” business was full of good people and I enjoyed it immensely.   Marlene, my wife of 26 years, was raised in Arlington, Ohio (think northwestern Ohio).   She is retired after a career, initially, as a homemaker and then serving clients in the home care field.  We met in London in 1993.   I guess I wore her down and she said, “yes, she would marry me”, in 1994.        

                We have, between us, 5 children living in 5 different states and 7 grandchildren that we call ours…  We enjoy family but rarely see them as often as we would like.  In 2003, after we attended the “Walk to Emmaus” spiritual retreat, our lives were forever changed.   After attending “the Walk”, Kevin re-dedicated his life to the Lord, felt a call to pastoral ministry, left his sales career, and attended seminary.   Marlene & I began our ministry together within the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and served churches in Clymers, Royal Center and Terre Haute, Indiana.   I was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church in 2011.  

                We enjoy being engaged in ministry together. We love people and have hearts for sharing the gospel & doing hands-on ministry within the community. We have also been active in Kairos prison ministries.   We enjoy socializing while playing cards or games and often “unwind” by doing some sightseeing from their Harley-Davidson.   Nothing like a little “Harley therapy”…

                So, stop in and we can share stories, if you have the desire to hear them, and perhaps share your story too… some other time.   We love to share “stories” and perhaps we can get to know one another and swap stories about your life and ours.  Isn’t that what church is all about?   Sharing our stories and our lives together as we walk the “path of life” … our lives melding into one another’s lives…  with ALL our stories combining within the larger story; the story of a loving God that has revealed so much to us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  God’s Word, our Bible, shares our loving God’s desires for our future lives and the Kingdom that can be our future home.
    Come and see!!!

  • pastor martin gutzmer - staff pastor & director of shut-in ministries

    Pastor Martin Gutzmer and his wife, Anne, are an integral part of our congregation. Aside from visiting our shut-in and infirmed members, Martin preaches the occasional Saturday Evening (or Sunday) Worship service, assists with our YouTube Ministry and assists in managing our church website.


    Pastor Martin graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1972 with a BA in Religion and Psychology. He then attended Iliff School of Theology, graduating in 1975 with his M. Div in Pastoral Ministry. Throughout his career, he has served as a Deacon and an Elder within the New Mexico Annual Conference, Pastored in the Rocky Mountain Conference of Colorado as well as in the Central Illinois Conference prior to his retirement in 2008. 

    He also holds Certification in Extended Clinical Pastoral Education with a specialization in Oncology from the SIU School of Medicine.

    In 2009, Pastor Martin joined Kewanee First as “staff pastor retired.”


    He and Anne have been married for over 45 years and have two adult children. 

  • donna boardman - certified lay minister & director of lay servantry

  • Theresa Yarger - Church organist

  • Deb Sayers - Chancel Choir Director

  • John Sayers - Bell Choir Director and Worship leader

  • Katie Anderson - Children's Choir & Children's Bell Choir Director

  • linda bolls - lay speaker

  • dennis diericks - lay speaker

  • jay devalkenaere - lay speaker

    Jay is a retired Ironworker who became a Lay Speaker after responding to God's call. He and his wife Annette have been married for 41 years, and enjoy spending time with their grandkids and riding their Harley. 

  • Kelli Murphy - Nursery Leader

  • Heidi Shimmin - Nursery Leader

  • Linda Orr - Administrative Assistant, Financial Secretary, Media & TEchnology Program Facilitator & Lay Servant

    Linda has been part of the KFUMC family since December 2018. Prior to her return to Kewanee, she spent 10 years in the insurance industry in the Chicago suburbs. 

    Linda volunteered to become the Financial Secretary in July 2018, started as an Administrative Assistant in December 2018, and became a Certified Lay Servant in April 2019. She is currently working on her Certified Lay Speaker coursework. She is also a member of the Illinois Great Rivers District Lay Servant Committee, is part of the Saturday Night Worship Leader rotation, and is also a member of the KFUMC Administrative Council. 

    In January 2021, She became the Media & Technology Program Facilitator, overseeing the Audio Visual Programs for Kewanee First, as well as working with the Harry Anderson Trust Program to help fulfill the vision Harry Anderson had for Kewanee area youth. Linda is currently overseeing the project to revamp our media capabilities and TV studio facilities. She will also be working with local school districts to help bring student-produced content to our local access cable channel, as well as other outlets. Linda is also responsible for managing the Church's online presence through various Social Media outlets, including our YouTube Ministry, Televised Services Ministry, and management of our church website.

    When she is not at the church, she enjoys spending time with her son, Landon, and volunteers with Cub Scout Pack 199's Bear Den. She is also the KFUMC Boy Scout Troop Liaison to the Administrative Council. She has also been involved in community projects such as the Bakersville Halloween Radio Play, Miracle on Chestnut Street Radio Play, and is a member of the Bakersville Committee.