Fellowship Opportunities

“We have many fellowship opportunities for our congregation and as an outreach to the community. Wonderful Wednesdays happen during the school year and offer a free meal at 5:00 followed by activities, discussions, and Bible studies for all ages, children through adults.”

Youth Activities

“Youth activities include weekly meetings, mission trips, camp, and other special activities. Our focus is to have a safe, positive place for teens to come and connect with each other and with God.”

Parents Night Out

“Parents Night Out is the first Saturday of every month 5:00- 8:30. This free activity includes stories, games, crafts, videos, and dinner. Parents can enjoy a night out knowing their children are having fun in a safe and loving place.”

Youth Mission Trips

“Youth mission trips and events are a big part of our youth ministry. It gives the teens an opportunity to grow and serve- and have fun, too!”

Rev. Bob Vale

Pastor Bob is a native of Indiana and has been married to Nancy for the past 34 years.  He and Nancy have three adult age children.  (Rebecca, Joshua & Daniel)  

Bob went to Fort Wayne Bible College and then to Erskine Theological Seminary for his Masters of Divinity degree.   Bob also served in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm in Iraq.  

Bob’s hobbies include fishing, kayaking, camping and playing guitar.   Nancy is a 4th grade elementary school teacher in the South Bend school system. 

Bob’s personal life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways acknowledge God, and He will direct your paths.   Pastor Bob’s theme for life is to Love God, Love People and Love life to the fullest.    He ties to guide his life from John Wesley’s three simple rules.  

1.    Do No Harm,    2. Always Do Good,    3. Stay in Love with God.   

If you need to get in touch with Pastor Bob, please email him at pastor@laportefumc.org

Jeffrey Starkey
Youth Minister

This is a picture of me being goofy in my office. If you’re around me enough, you’ll find that I love to crack jokes, have fun, and be light hearted. However, even though I’m a little nutty, I do take my job seriously. I’m a 29 year old guy with a wife and kids who loves Jesus and loves youth. I can’t wait to meet you!

Megan Nearn

Children’s Minister

Megan was raised in the United Methodist Church, and began working in her childhood church during 6th grade, and worked in their  Children’s Ministries until she went away for college.  While at college she studied Elementary Education.  Over the years Megan has been lucky enough to work with many different children, from all walks of life.  She beleievs that children are our future, and it truly has been a privilege to work with them and help them grow during such an exciting part of their life.  

Bob and Sharen Kooyenga
Visitation Pastors

Biography coming soon.

Rose Marie Dure
Minister of Music


“. . . with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

    Rose Marie has been active in church music from childhood through the present.  Accompanying  for church school music for her mother, as a child, singing in choirs, continuing in high school and college bands, choirs and orchestras obtaining undergraduate degree from Bridgewater College in Virginia in Music  Education with emphasis on church music and graduate work at Towson State College (now University) in Maryland, she began teaching music in Maryland, Connecticut and Indiana. Praising God through music has always been central in her life.

Rose Marie and her husband, Robert, moved to La Porte in 1972. Since then, she has served as accompanist for multiple area musicians, accompanied the choirs at La Porte High School for 10 years, has been music director at La Porte Little Theater and Dunes Summer Theater for multiple productions. She served as director of music at St. Paul United Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church of Michigan City and for the past 20 years as Director of Music Ministries here at LaPorte FUMC, playing organ and piano directing the Chancel Choir, the Praise Choir, a youth choir, a children’s choir, 2 Handbell choirs and an instrumental ensemble.

The Dures have 2 children and 5 grandsons who bring great joy to their lives.

Peter Steele
Praise Team Director

Autumn Reese
Office Administrator

Autumn Reese has worked for the church for five years. Autumn enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys, camping, swimming, & gardening. Autumn and her husband Mike have three boys. Bryce, Chase, & Alex.

Alicia Combs

Biography coming soon

Stacy Owen
Preschool Teacher

Hello my name is Stacy Owen. I am the Director/ Lead Teacher at Discovery  Days Preschool.

Sara Rinkle
Assistant Teacher for Discovery Days Preschool!


Jim Weis