- Rev. Ngoy Nadine Ilunga, Pastor
- Jenny Kottenbrook, Office Administrator
- Frank Rotolo, 9am Music Minister
- Arlene Westgaard, Pianist
- R. Lisa Massimo, Bookkeeper
Pastor Nadine Ilunga
Nadine Ilunga was born in the Republic Democratic of Congo (Central Africa). When she was 8 years old, Nadine and her family moved to Tanzania (East Africa). Her father is one of the United Methodist pastors who brought Methodism to Tanzania. Pastor Nadine received her Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Religious Studies from Africa University in Zimbabwe and her Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School in New Jersey. In her previous pastoral experience, she has worked at First United Methodist Church in Tanzania, Morrow Memorial UMC in New Jersey, and Cornerstone UMC in New Mexico. In addition to her pastoral roles, Pastor Nadine has taught seventh grade and worked with Local Justice Mission, an organization that promotes women’s literacy and raises funds for AIDS and HIV patients.
Pastor Nadine is passionate about worship, pastoral visitation, and Christian education. She believes that everything we need to know about how to live our lives in the footsteps of Jesus is contained in the Bible. She is married to Gee Ilunga, who is her best friend and soul mate in praising and serving God. Pastor Nadine is excited to be at High Desert UMC and looks forward to journeying in ministry with the church and community.
As our office administrator, Jenny’s right at home in church. She and her husband, Charles, pastored in churches across Mississippi for nearly 50 years. They have two grown children, Jennifer who lives in Arkansas, and John, who lives in Rio Rancho, as well as six grandchildren. Jenny enjoys collecting recipes and cooking, but says she doesn’t really have any hobbies, other than “hanging out” with her husband of 50 years!
Frank comes to us with 30+ years of experience in teaching, coaching and performance vocal, choral and band music. He presently is a substitute teacher for the RRPS District. Frank holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in Choral Education from the University of Arizona. He also holds a Masters Degree of Music in Vocal Performance from Michigan State University.
Arlene started piano lessons at age 8 and graduated from Mary J. Kennedy School of Music in Troy, New York.In high school she played a pump organ at a country church . Arlene moved to Rio Rancho in 2001. She opened Arlene Westgaard’s Pinao studio and taught up to 28 students . Great fun. She was accompianist for the choir at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Rio Rancho for 8 years. She now enjoys accompanying the High Desert UMC choir. She also plays for the 11:00 service. She organizes summer choirs for both services.She has also been involved in a beginning chime choir. More great fun!
R. Lisa Massimo, Bookkeeper
R. Lisa Massimo serves High Desert UMC as bookkeeper and webmaster. Lisa has been providing bookkeeping and tax services to clients for over 15 years and designs and maintains websites and social media for the past 20+ years. She and her husband, Abraham Quartey-Papafio live in Rio Rancho.