Midtown Sacramento 21st & J


Our United Methodist Church is located in Sacramento, within the United Methodist Church Los Rios District and the California-Nevada Conference. Below are key staff at each of these levels.

Local Church Staff

Rev. Rod Brayfindley


Rev. Rod Brayfindley has served four other churches in his career and frequent speaker at church events throughout the Western USA. He authored the adult spiritual curriculum The Awed Life as well as many songs. Rod earned a Masters in Divinity from SMU Perkins School of Theology and B’nai B’rith Harold M. Kaufman Award in Social Ethics. Rod’s hobbies include languages, sports, karate, reading, and walking. He loves the sciences especially Geology and Paleobiology. Rod is married to JB (Debra) and has two kids, Isak and Eva with husband Nate, and welcomed a third into their lives, Amanda, with her two children.

Email me: or phone (9160446-5025

Dr. John Hillebrandt

Director of Music Ministry

Dr. Hillebrandt is the choir director and organist/pianist at First United Methodist Church of Sacramento, where many of his original compositions are heard regularly. He keeps an active schedule as a pianist, composer and educator. His numerous and highly acclaimed performances each season include solo recitals, chamber music, concertos, and original compositions. He retired in 2011 from California State University, Stanislaus, where his remarkable career as staff accompanist and lecturer for 15 years included more than 500 performances. Read more

Email me:

Tracee Simonini-Clarke

Co-ordinator of Children’s Ministries

I am so excited to work with the children! We have been delivering packages for the kids to participate in Sunday school at home, sharing the Children’s Worship video with Mort, and now–we are starting an email just for kids!

Email me:

Deana Dean

Co-ordinator of Children’s Ministries

We are blessed to work with the children! We have been doing drive by visits and phoning families to keep in touch during the pandemic. We have our own YouTube page the kids can visit to watch videos we upload including Children’s Worship. But, I can’t wait until we get to be together again!

Email me:

Mary Meister

Facility Manager

I have had the great joy of seeing more of you as you have stopped by the church building! It warms my heart to see each and everyone of you. Remember, if you are considering using the building for any meeting or gatherings, we will be having the same policy in place of scheduling and clearing all meetings through facilities management. I can be reached by email, text or phone. Thank you!

Email me: or phone (916)247-5890.

Johnny Morales

Chief Custodian

Working for the church over 30 years, Johnny knows his way around and can fix anything. During COVID-19, he has been busy painting and fixing things up inside and out!

Taniqua Lightsy


Brand new to the staff at First UMC, we welcome Taniqua aboard during this COVID-19 time as she takes on the work with professionalism and heart.

District Staff

Rev. Shinya Goto

District Superintendent for the Los Rios District

The Rev. Shinya Goto was born in Tokyo, Japan and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He has lived in Southern California, the Bay Area and Seattle. Rev. Goto earned a B.A. In Anthropology from the University of Washington and a M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion (PSR) in Berkeley. Shinya is married to the Rev. Jennifer Goto. The couple met while studying at PSR and married 17 years ago. They are the proud parents of two children, a son Dakota who is 15 and a daughter Reina who is ten.

Email me:

Episcopal Office

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

Our Resident Bishop of the San Francisco Area

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is a third-generation Methodist.  She felt a call to ordained ministry as a child.  Working alongside her father as he replaced the vinyl flooring in her church’s kindergarten classroom, she felt God swoop in and embrace her with perfect love and her heart filled with incredible joy.  From that moment on she sought to live in God’s house. Bishop Carcaño has shared her faith through her writings and through her preaching and teaching in many places across the U.S. and around the world.  Ultimately, she has learned that living in God’s house means fully living in God’s amazing world. Read more.

Email me:

(916) 374-1510

Want to work with us?