Meet Our Staff

Rev. Michelle Vernone, Pastor


I have no idea what to say. Once you get to know me, you’ll think that statement is funny coming from me. It’s pretty rare that I’m at a loss for words or an opinion, but when asked to write about myself, those are always the first words that come to mind.  

I was raised Catholic; it was in the United Methodist Church I fully began to understand and embrace my call to ordained ministry. God faithfully and gently unfolded that call. After 15 years of ministry as a worship leader, who also worked with children, youth, and young adults, the Lord invited me into the next level of intimacy in that call.


I attended Austin Presbyterian Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2015 and received my first appoint to Bethany UMC in San Antonio, where I have served for the last 2 years. 

Instead of telling the story of what God has already done, I’d rather tell you where I am in the story of what God is doing! Over the last two years, God has been showing me new beginnings and the fulfillment of promises.  This most current season in my discipleship has ignited a love for helping the church reimagine how we participate in the Kingdom of God and what it looks like to connect with our neighborhoods and communities in new ways. I feel a deep call to missional community. I believe the best way to do this is living in such a way that invites all to share a place at the Table and share in the family of God. 

I love to feed people and want them to feel at home with me. I have two dogs that I treat like spoiled children. I look forward to becoming a part of the community, exploring, and experiencing your favorite things about Edinburg. I’m excited to get to know each of you and doing life together as family in Christ. Please know I’ll be praying for you and seeking God’s heart for all we will accomplish together for the good of God’s Kindom and the glory of His name. 

Cindy Bishop, R.N. Wesley Nurse


Cindy, a Registered Nurse, has an office here at Edinburg First UMC, but serves the greater Upper Valley community as a Wesley Nurse through the support of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. She is passionate about helping people understand the connection between physical health and spiritual health. She holds health education classes and clinics for underserved communities.  Cindy previously served as a missionary in South America for over 20 years and is a huge asset to our congregation and community.

Omar Samaniego,
Music Director

Omar Joined the staff of EFUMC in 2015. He is excited to develop the gift of music in individuals and to encourage others to use music as part of worship.

Omar is the head choir director at McAllen Memorial High School. His students achieve superior ratings at competition and many have made the Texas All-State Choir. He and his wife Jennifer, also an educator, have been married 24 years. They have two sons, Joshua and Andrew, both of whom are active in music ministry. 

 Liz Baxter,
  Piano Accompanist 

Elizabeth "Liz" Baxter is originally from Farmington Hills, Michigan, and moved to the Valley in 2015.  


Liz began piano lessons at the age of four. She received her diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy, a Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University, and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University.  Liz has maintained piano studios and accompanied school and church choirs throughout her career. 


Currently working as a piano accompanist at McAllen High School, Liz also teaches piano lessons to students age five through adult.  She loves to worship the Lord through music and believes the art of making music is a joy that is accessible to all. 


Elizabeth has three adult children - Ryan, Erin, and Bridget.  Liz appreciates the warm hospitality of EFUMC and is delighted to join the staff!

Vicky Gonzalez,
Nursery Staff

Vicky serves every Sunday in the nursery for infants and preschool aged children. she is a caring, soothing, attentive, creative, and engaging. We are beyond blessed to have such wonderful staff member to care for our little ones.

3707 W. University Dr. - Edinburg, TX 78541  

(956) 381-9806

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