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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. 

Joey Preciado,
Facilities Manager

Bio Coming Soon

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. 

  Aliya Rodriguez,
  Piano Accompanist 

Aliya Rodriguez grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and began her piano education at the age of 7. She grew up playing and singing hymns with her grandmother. Aliya loves using music to worship and honor God. Aliya has been involved in church music since 2014. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2018. She works as a piano accompanist at McAllen Memorial High School. Aliya lives in McAllen with her husband Josue. 

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.

Joe Carrera,
Sound Engineer

Media Staff

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Rebecca (Bex)
De La Garza,

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Juan Zermeno,
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Edgar Lerma,
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Sean Scott,
Natalie Ocanas,
Zachary Ramsey,

The “Media” team are responsible with various tasks to
ensure the Sunday services go as planned. They help
prepare and move the slides during the service for those
who read along, set up and oversee the Facebook stream
for those who can’t join us in person, make sure the
sound is loud and clear for the people to hear the
message, help close the church after the service and
most important above all, they help the fellowship team
set up the coffee at the front of the Worship Space.

Our “Office” team is charged with assisting in making
everyone’s lives run smoothly and as efficiently as possible.
The office staff will help by checking emails, receiving calls,
designing flyers/banners for our various church events,
creating/editing the monthly newsletter (including this one), ordering things that are needed, assisting those who come to the admin office with whatever they need, helping other staff with whatever they can, and most important above all, they provide hospitality for anyone that stops by the Admin Office building.

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