United Methodist Church of Livonia, NY

Leadership

Pastor & Staff

Pastor Hoyt Brown

Hoyt Brown

Pastor

Pastor Hoyt came to UMCL in 2017 after serving in rural churches, a university church, three city churches, and two suburban churches.  Prior to his professional ministry he worked in higher education for 23 years.  He has been married to Sandy for 27 years and has two sons.  In his free time he enjoys camping, hiking, running and reading.

Pastor Hoyt studied at Southern Methodist University, the University of Maryland at College Park and United Theological Seminary.  He has degrees in psychology, counseling and divinity.

Beyond UMCL, Pastor Hoyt serves on United Methodist district and conference committees, including the Council on Finance and Administration, the Board of Ordained Ministry, registrar for the District Committee on Ministry, chair of the District Committee on Superintendency.  He also served as facilitator of the conference wide Hands To Plow church revitalization program and a graduate of Leadership Academy.

In his own words -
My life as a Christ Follower is best understood as a story of relationships and music. To tell the story I would tell you about Winnie Couchman, or Greg and Eric Jones, or Dr. Sargent, and certainly my wife. Each of these relationships has served to deepen my relationship with Christ.
I was given my first guitar by some of my Methodist Youth Fellowship friends. The gift of that guitar gave me my principal way of expressing my faith and drawing near to God. Since that time my guitar has allowed me to worship with many people, in many different settings.
I must confess that I do not often use the term “Christian”. The label is far too easy to claim. I find that a much more difficult name to claim is that of Christ Follower. I feel the name is indicative of the commitment required and the process to which we are called.
I have spent so much of my time like most people living as the main character of my own small story. Through the struggles of growing and maturing through the years, God as allowed me to see that He is inviting me to take part in His larger story. One where He is the main character and the focus, and where I play a smaller yet crucial role that He wrote specifically for me.
Victoris and Theo Camara

Victoria and Theo Camara

Children and Youth Ministry Coordinators

Theo and Victoria both studied at Messiah University and earned Bachelor’s degrees in Christian Ministries, with dual concentrations in Congregational and Youth Ministries. They were set up by their favorite college professor, have been married for 2 years, and just moved to Livonia with their baby girl, Ahava, and their Jack Russel/Pug mix dog, Sunny.  Both Victoria and Theo are currently attending Northeastern Seminary with the goal of obtaining their Master’s of Divinity degrees. Theo is originally from Connecticut and has a Lutheran background, while Victoria was born and raised in Livonia and grew up in the Livonia United Methodist Church.

Ministry Role:  As the Directors of Children and Youth Ministry at Livonia UMC, Theo and Victoria’s area of responsibility includes any Children’s and Youth Ministry found in the church. This includes, but is not limited to, Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Youth Group, and special Children’s/Youth Ministry events. Theo also helps out with technology and they both preach occasionally in the Sunday morning worship service.

Fun Info:  Theo is obsessed with the Boston Red Sox, while Victoria is a New York Yankee fan. Theo enjoys playing a variety of instruments, listening to AJR, and watching anything Marvel related. Victoria likes reading and writing, camping, and singing. They both enjoy a good cup of coffee and going to hipster coffee shops.
Kelli office manager

Kelli Traynor

Office Manager

Kelli joined the UMCL staff in August 2019.  She has lived in Livonia for the last 10 years with her husband, Joseph and their two children and has  worked in the Livonia area.  She thoroughly enjoys being part of the community and is excited to work at United Methodist Church of Livonia.

Kelli prepares the "Weekly Update" email, oversees the day to day office tasks and reporting, and answers the phone.
Dan Nichols

Dan Nichols

Music Ministry - Praise Band

Dan believes music is his gift from God. He has loved singing since before he could remember.  He gave that talent back to God in the Catholic church he attended until he was 18. After deciding his views differed from that of the Catholic church, Dan stopped attending regular services. Years later, Shari, Dan's wife,  found her faith and ultimately brought him back to services at a Calvary Chapel, where he felt called to be part of the praise band and inquired about becoming involved. The Baptist views of church leaders were quite strict, and he didn't feel that was in line with Jesus' teachings. With the wind sucked out of his sails, Dan started to worry what God's plan was for him. Then, two friends  contacted  Dan asking if he would assist in the start of a contemporary worship service in Livonia. God's plan was dropped in his lap. This was over a decade ago, and Dan hasn't regretted a moment of it. Dan feels that God has led him and has a purpose for him at UMCL.  He plans to stay as long as he is called.
Bunny Gibson

Bunny Gibson

Music Ministry - Choir

Bunny was born and raised in Cuba, NY, the 7th of 8 children, and brought up in the First Baptist Church of Cuba.   She received her BS Degree in Vocal Music with a minor in Christian Ed.  

Bunny has been Director of Vocal Music at UMCL for a number of years and loves  every minute of working with the different choirs and singers.  She tries to include all types of music; traditional, liturgical, contempory, Praise and Worship, gospel and patriotic in our services and worship.  Bunny believes that music is an important part of worship, expressing gratitude, emotions, praise and artistic expression,  and is an aid  to the congregation in an inspiring, uplifting and spiritual experience.