Maribel Celiz, Pastor

The Accountable Leadership Team at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Fort Atkinson is excited to announce a new Pastor. Maribel Celiz will begin her lead Pastorship role at FUMC on Sunday, July 11. Celiz’s first Sunday will consist of a Worship Service in the Park, held at the north pavilion of Ralph Park in Fort Atkinson at 10 a.m. Beverages and desserts will be provided by FUMC and all attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a brown bag lunch for a fellowship opportunity with community members after the service.

Per FUMC’s Accountable Leadership Team, “We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to welcome Maribel to our community, introduce her to our congregational family, and continue FUMC’s mission to Live and Love Like Jesus: Everyday, Everywhere, Everyone.

Maribel Celiz received a Master of Divinity from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Celiz is moving to Fort Atkinson after serving in Pastoral roles at the First United Methodist Church in Madison. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Celiz lived in Yuma, AZ and began her path in ministry as a resident Chaplain at the Yuma Medical Center. She has three children and two grandchildren. Her husband, the Rev. Eduardo De La Cruz, serves as Pastor of Henderson United Methodist Church in Beloit.

“I am passionate about lending a helping hand to those that need it the most,” stated Celiz. “I am a dedicated, faithful person who is always looking for new opportunities to grow spiritually as well as intellectually. One of my many favorite Bible verses is Joshua 1:6 ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; for your Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’”

The FUMC Accountable Leadership Team shared, “Maribel’s passion for the gospel, commitment to family and community, and proven track record of growing her congregation aligns with the culture and mission of the FUMC staff, board, and members. We encourage past, present, and future members of FUMC to join our 10 a.m. Sunday services and welcome Maribel to our family.”

Kate Vance, Children & Youth Ministry

Kate leads our preschool and elementary students in learning about Jesus. As a lifelong member of our church, Kate has been part of our Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and youth programs for many years, in addition to having worked with children through the UW-Whitewater Children’s Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Atkinson.



Eileen Slak, Office Manager

Eileen has served the church office since 1996. Her favorite part of her day is working with the people of our church congregation.




Brenda Nitardy, Choir Director and OrganistBrenda Nitardy, Choir Director and Organist

Brenda serves as worship service organist and pianist in the traditional service.  She also directs the choir, and new singers are warmly invited to join.



Karen Tordera, Wesley Ringers Bell Choir DirectorKaren Tordera, Wesley Ringers Bell Choir Director

Karen directs the Wesley Ringers Bell Choir.  New choir members are always welcome.