Staff

Meet our Ministry Team

Rev. Dr. William J. McConnell, Pastor

Bill accepted a call to become pastor of Murray Presbyterian in the summer of 2016, excited at the prospect of serving an active, growing congregation with lots of ministry potential.  One of the things he’s most passionate about is helping people to grow in their faith and develop a closer relationship with Christ through preaching that’s relevant, engaging, and biblically-based.  Bill also leads periodic adult classes, provides pastoral care, works with the student ministry, and gives overall administrative leadership to the congregation.

Bill’s basic values were shaped by the experience of growing up in a working class neighborhood of Philadelphia and in a strong Christian family.  He went on to study at Dickinson College (B.A., Political Science), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., Systematic Theology), and the Graduate School of Drew University (Ph.D., Religion and Society).  His ministry background has included everything from working in seminary administration to teaching college courses, serving as a supply preacher, leading a youth ministry, and completing a hospital chaplaincy internship.   Before coming to Nebraska, he was pastor of the Rural Valley and NuMine Presbyterian Churches in Western Pennsylvania and the First Presbyterian Church of Fremont, Ohio.  He and his wife Stacey are the parents of an adult daughter (living in Ohio) and a son who is a student at Conestoga Elementary School. 

Karla Remmers, Organist / Accompanist

Karla became our keyboard instrumentalist in 2012, bringing with her a wide assortment of musical gifts and an extensive background in music ministry that has involved serving churches throughout our area.  While studying at Dana College, where she received degrees in music and finance, Karla traveled all over the Midwest and Canada, singing in churches, schools, and church camps with an outreach group.  Following college, she became children’s choir director at Messiah Lutheran in Ralston.   She has been the organist for churches in Springfield, Omaha, Papillion, and Plattsmouth.  Along with her current responsibilities at Murray Presbyterian, she also directs the adult choir at Trinity Lutheran Church in Papillion and has a career in banking. 

At Murray Presbyterian, Karla provides instrumental accompaniment for our worship services, using both organ and piano.  Her versatility with both traditional as well as contemporary music significantly enhances our worship experience.  Karla and her husband Todd live in Murray with their three children.

Cindy Loftin, Custodian

Cindy’s conscientious, dedicated service is reflected in the cleanliness and beautiful appearance of our facilities.  A member of Murray Presbyterian for the past 20 years, Cindy took on the responsibility of caring for the building in the fall of 2015.  Prior to that, she enjoyed a 36-year career in the cooking and food service industry, a background that is still on display when she hosts scrumptious fellowship hours.  A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Cindy and her late husband, Don, moved to Beaver Lake in 1998.  She is the mother of two adult children.

Sara Leonard, Administrative Assistant

Sara brings a background in both church ministry and office administration to her position at Murray Presbyterian.  She previously served as the Christian Education Director at St. John’s Lutheran in Beatrice, Nebraska.  At the present time, along with her role at our church, she is a secretary at Conestoga Junior/ Senior High School and teaches courses at Southeastern Community College.  A native of Fairbury, Nebraska, she now lives in Avoca with her son, who is in middle school.