Executive Director, McKinley Foundation
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Paula joined the McKinley staff in 2016 with nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit management. Originally from Tuscola, Paula comes to Champaign by way of Chicago where she lived for 24 years. Paula graduated from the University of Illinois with a BA in English Literature and later earned a master of education degree from Loyola University of Chicago. She loves to travel, having summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2012, and is the proud mother of Millie, the cutest miniature dachshund ever!
Rev. Heidi Weatherford
Pastor, McKinley Church
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Pastor Heidi joined us in 2002, and in 2013 we celebrated her 20 years of ordination as a minister. Heidi enjoys exploring how the ancient scriptures of Christianity and Judaism intersect with 21st-century realities that shape our faith. She often weaves music, art, poetry, current events, and activity into our worship. Her theology, a blend of old-fashioned Presbyterian and current progressive thought, means she is passionate that God’s people know they are cherished by God, who loves them as they are—no exceptions.
As pastor/moderator Heidi guides the church’s volunteer leadership board in its decision-making role. Presbyterians believe that all people, not only the pastors, share in the leadership of a congregation. The board, known as the Session, runs the ship that is church life, with Pastors Heidi and Keith acting as the rudder.
Heidi began her career as a music educator, choral director, and performer and continues to enjoy those activities in the community. She also enjoys traveling, theater, movies, reading, and attending sports events and concerts.
Director of Christian Education, McKinley Church
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Sara joined the church staff in July of 2019 as the Director of Christian Education. She has a BA in Spanish from Saint Louis University and a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois. Originally from Urbana, Sara grew up at McKinley Church and is now happy to be raising her two children at McKinley with her husband Kenton. In her spare time she loves to travel, spend time outdoors, and read.
Business Administrator, McKinley Church
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Sara joined the church staff in November of 2021 as the Church Business Administrator. She is working toward her Bachelors of Accounting degree online at the University of Arizona. Originally from Chicago, Sara has made Central Illinois her home for more than 10 years. She and her husband are happy empty nesters with two adult children who also live in the area. In her spare time, Sara runs an online business.
Business Manager, McKinley Foundation
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Jennifer joined the Foundation staff in October of 2016. Originally from Philo (the “Center of the Universe”), Jennifer currently lives in St. Joseph with her husband and three children. A domestic engineer for 10 years, Jennifer has moved on to bookkeeping and office management. For fun, she likes reading all sorts of literature. And when the weather cooperates, she enjoys being outside.