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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. 

Lauryn Brough,
Media Production 

Lauryn has been a member of EFUMC for many years and has seen many changes happen in and out of our church. At the Start of COVID-19 Lauryn helped create a new way of online worship that is our normal Sunday Morning livestream Worship! We are blessed to have Lauryn apart of our Media Team and apart of EFUMC!

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.

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.

Joe Carrera,
Sound Engineer
EFUMC Music Logo.PNG

Tori Frias, Director of Communications

Serving since 2018 Tori Frias helps run our social media, media for our Sunday Services, office work and is apart of our Praise Band on Sunday Mornings.

Tori is a recent graduate of UTRGV Class of '22 with a Bachelors in Mass Communication and Minor in Film Studies

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