Our Staff

Rev. Darrell Howard

Darrell and his wife Treva have lived in Clinton since 1989. They joined the Clinton United Methodist Church (CUMC) family and became members of CUMC church in 1998. Prior to that they were active members in the Sumner United Methodist church and Union Chapel Church in Sumner Illinois. They have two children. Daughter Brooke and husband Max Gibson live in Bloomington Illinois. Son Jason Howard and his wife Jean live in Plainfield Illinois. Two grandchildren Luke and Katie also have been a blessing in their lives.

Pastor Darrell Howard has been in pastoral ministry since 2010. Prior to that he was a certified lay speaker and served as a lay pastor in the Cumberland Presbyterian church from 2007 – 2010. From 2010 – 2018 he was appointed as pastor at Elkhart UMC for 8 years. During those 8 years he also served at Beason UMC for 6 years and New Holland UMC for 2 years. He served Long Creek and Dalton city churches for 1 year in 2018-2019. He was appointed to Clinton UMC on July 1, 2019.

Pastor Darrell was called to pastoral ministry in 1975 when he was 18 years old, but admits he dragged his feet for a while and finally answered the call in 2003 after a spiritual renewal. Pastor Darrell believes that any of us can be redeemed even after being disobedient to God’s call. Upon graduating from Eastern Illinois University in 1979, Pastor Darrell worked in the Information Technology field until 2018. Pastor Darrell feels that his life is more fulfilled since he is now obedient to the Lord in the call to ministry. God is good all the time.

Words to live by:

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

(Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)

Anita Gifford
Director of Music Ministries

Anita Gifford grew up in Decatur with piano lessons beginning at age 7. After studying piano at Northwestern University and then completing her Bachelor’s degree at Wheaton College, she moved back to Decatur where she met her husband of 34 years, David. She has held various musical roles at churches around Decatur, most recently, Riverside Baptist Church.  She also has the privilege of accompanying several ensembles around town, including choirs at Millikin University, the Greater Decatur Chorale, and Opus 24. Anita is so happy to be able to share and worship with the body of believers at CUMC. While she admits that Edd’s 45 years in music ministry here isn’t something she can top, she just considers each week of service a thrill and a privilege.

Anita is blessed beyond measure to be the mother of Haley, a music teacher at Rockford Lutheran Academy, and Hannah (Jeremy) Shull, a manager at Regions Bank in Decatur. Her granddaughter, Cora Jayne, is the newest joy of her life!

Words to live by:

“…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

(Micah 6:8)

Jeannine Wylder

Jeannine grew up in Clinton and graduated from Clinton High School. Her parents were Ervin and Ruth Foor. She has worked for Commerce Bank in Bloomington in Agribusiness Lending and John Deere Credit in Des Moines Iowa. She also was a Cosmetologist for 35 years before joining the CUMC staff.

Jeannine is married to Tim Wylder, (son of George and Carole Wylder), is stepmom to 3 grown children and grandma “Neanie” to Donovan and Divine.

Words to live by:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4: 6-7 ESV)

Sheila Stout – Guardian of the Hallways

Sheila is retired from the USPS after 37 years of service. She went to the Champaign County Forest Preserve as a garden landscaper. Gardening is my true passion. She has many interests like photography, and writing poetry. She is an artist for fun.  Many of you may have seen her art at Harvest Mercantile.

Sheila grew up in Champaign and lived there all her life until 2 years ago. She downsized and moved to Clinton. She enjoys the small community as well as meeting new people. She hopes to meet more of you. She has a son, Danny and two grown Grandkids, Elijah and Alie.

Here is some of her work, including the landscaped garden which is where her passion grows.