Meet the staff


Pastor Steve Peralta (He/Him)

Senior Pastor

Pastor Steve started here on July 1, 2018.  First ordained in 1998, he has served churches in Huntington Beach, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, and Valencia.  His ministry experience includes worship design and leadership, Biblical studies, Strategic Visioning, Mission & Service, as well as youth & young adult ministries.

Pastor Steve has earned a BA in English (’92, Humboldt State University) and a Master’s of Divinity (’98, Fuller Theological Seminary).  In addition to his work here at NoHo FUMC, he serves on the California Pacific Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

Pastor Steve is someone who is equally comfortable singing the traditional hymns of the church or modern worship songs.  He believes that ministry is the work of the entire church body: every person has a place in the work of the church.  When he is not doing ministry work, he enjoys cycling, running, outdoor sports, and music.

Patty Kelsey (She/Her)

Director of Program Ministries

Patty graduated from Loma Linda University Riverside and taught and coached the Pep Squad at Corona Sr. High School before deciding to pursue her dance career at Disneyland Resort. She was in the Opening Cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame Festival of Fools, The Hunchback Cavalcade, and Animazement The Musical. She auditioned to become a Studio Tour Guide at Universal Studios Hollywood and moved from Riverside County to Studio City in 1999. Patty loved giving tours and eventually became a Guide Trainer, Media Rep, and VIP Guide at Universal before accepting a corporate job at Universal CityWalk Special Events and Group Sales. After layoffs in 2006 – Patty opened her own pet sitting, dog walking, and canine acupressure business called Zen Pup and enjoyed working with furry clients all over the area. In the Spring of 2011,

Patty was asked to take over as Director of Program Ministries and finds that her background in Special Events has truly helped her with organizing and planning church events like Vacation Bible School, Outdoor Movie Nights, Trunk or Treat and movie, music video and television shoots. She especially loves organizing mission projects, her favorites are, the Care Kits for the Homeless and Discovery Arts Bedside Adventure Kits. Patty feels continually blessed to be a part of the NOHO FUMC staff and loves utilizing her God given gifts to help the church in mission and ministry.  She is grateful to God for bringing NOHO FUMC and all of her church family into her life. Patty is married to lay speaker, Norman Kelsey. They live in Lake Balboa with their rescue pup, Sir Perceval Cream Tea.

Nylean Rapinac

Office Administrator

Tonya Peat (She/Her)

Director of Digital Outreach

Tonya has been attending NoHoFUMC since 1999 and is married to actor Scott Peat. They have 3 daughters. Tonya is also one of the churches 3 wedding consultants.

Before coming to work at NoHoFUMC Tonya worked as a Directors Guild Production Associate on a number of Daytime Dramas including Days of Our Lives and The Young and The Restless. Tonya received her BA degree at Washington State University as part of the renowned Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. Film and television production have always been a passion of Tonya’s and she is still a proud member of the D.G.A. Editing the online service each week has been a wonderful way for Tonya to use her experience in broadcast production to serve the church.

In July of 2015 Tonya was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and under went a year of surgeries and treatments including chemotherapy. This journey has brought out what she feels is her calling to support others going thru cancer. It has also given her the opportunity to work with organizations such as Stand Up 2 Cancer and Beautycounter to fight for innovative cancer research and stricter laws regulating the skin care and make up industries.

Michael McKenzie (They/Them)

Music Director

 

Michael McKenzie is a national award-winning conductor and music educator, whose work centers around the power that choral music has to affect social change. Michael is currently pursuing their MM in Choral Conducting at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University – Long Beach and serves as a Teaching Assistant for the University Choir. Outside of school, they are the Artistic Director of Voices for Social Justice, a nonprofit organization that combines social activism with artistic expression through performance, resources, and advocacy, and as Director of Music Ministries at North Hollywood First United Methodist Church.
While at Gustavus Adolphus College, Michael was the Founder and Director of two Social Justice Choirs, and their performances earned them 2nd place in The American Prize for Choral Conducting – Community Division and an invitation to present a concert at The 2020 Nobel Conference. Michael graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, summa cum laude, in 2019 with a BA in Music Education and certification in K-12 Vocal, Instrumental, and Classroom music. Michael is a member of the Music Honors Society Pi Kappa Lambda, the Education Honors Society Kappa Delta Pi, the American Choral Director’s Association, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the National Associate for Music Education.

Roger Eshleman

Organist, Sexton

      Roger Eshleman has been Organist at No Ho First Methodist for 36 years and met his wife Linda there. He enjoys playing the organ and offers a large repertoire, including sacred music from early Baroque through late  Romantic, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, and occasional jazz arrangements.  He has a special interest in early 20th Century sacred music that is not often performed.  His duties include accompanying the Chancel Choir (mostly on the piano), plus opening and lockup on Sundays.   Roger also volunteers at the Church and is President of our chapter of the United Methodist Men, succeeding his son David.  He plays at a Seventh Day Adventist church on Saturdays.

       Roger studied piano and organ with Eleanor Chapman in Dixon, Illinois, and later piano with Howard Hanks at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago while pursuing a Liberal Arts education at Northwestern University.  In his third year there, he transferred to the music school and began a major in organ performance.   His music studies continued at Columbia University,  including organ study with M. Searle Wright, voice with Everett Anderson, also lessons with Virgil Fox at Riverside Church.  He went on to receive his Mus. B degree in organ performance (with a minor in voice) from the Yale University School of Music, followed by a Master’s degree.  He played for the Yale Church School and Presbyterian Church services in Dwight Chapel during his final year there.  Roger began his own piano teaching business in Van Nuys in 1992 and  added vocalcoaching later.   His interests include gardening, politics, and reading about alternativemedicine.

Letha Watts

Sunday School Teacher/Nursery Care

Child and nursery care, and Sunday school.
I have the best job in the church taking care of the children doing crafts  and teaching them about Jesus. Its always a blessing to spend time with children.