First UMC Staff

  • Rev. cindi stewart

    Senior pastor

    Rev. Cindi grew up in Syracuse, NE,      and attended Doane College

    double majoring in English & Philosophy/Religion.  She entered into full-time Christian ministry serving as a Youth Director in Loveland (CO), Wichita (KS), and Norfolk (NE) before responding to the call to go to seminary and enter into pastoral ministry.  Rev. Cindi graduated from Sioux Falls Seminary in 2006, and she was ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church in 2009.  

    Before coming to Columbus as Senior Pastor in 2014, she served Stanton & Pilger UMCs until 2010, and then four years at Madison Trinity & Norfolk Westridge United Methodist Churches.  Rev. Cindi and her husband Klint (farmer and local pastor) have two daughters.  Cindi enjoys crafting & spiritual coaching.

  • rEx Hash


    Rex was raised in Genoa and attended CCC-Columbus and UNK to receive his degree in Music Education.  Additional Master's Degrees in Music Education and Educational Administration were earned from UNL.  

    Rex's work experience include nearly 20 years as an educator and administrator, plus many successful years in retail and upper retail management / training and in sales. 

    Rex is married to his wife Kathy and together they have two sons James and Kenneth plus 4 grandkids.

    Rex's faith journey started as a teenager and has expanded throughout his work and life experiences.  Rex comes to us from the Federated Church and is excited to share his faith journey with everyone as he oversees the Outreach Center and preaches at the Sunday Ignite service.

    Rex enjoys all kinds of music and is a Husker, Royals, Chiefs and Vikings fan.

  • sarah borgman

    christian education director

    Sarah is our Christian Education Director including Youth Ministry. She was born in York and went to Doane College. Her first teaching position brought her to Columbus in 1992.

    She immediately joined the church.  Sarah and her husband, Scott, were married at First UMC in 1994.  
    Sarah lives in
    Platte Center with her husband, and three children. 


    Sarah loves working with the youth and children of the church. During a typical Wednesday night youth group 40-50 people come share their faith in God at the Outreach Center.


    Sarah would love for you to come check out the youth, Sunday School, and the church. Ask about Bible Study opportunities or how you can volunteer in the many aspects and programs of the church.


  • sharon zobel

    business coordinator

    Sharon has served as our Business Coordinator since December 1991.  A Columbus native and graduate of Lakeview High School, she began her business accounting career with the Becher-Curry Company.

    Sharon and her husband Bill have two children, Amy of Columbus and Brent who lives in Omaha. Along with keeping busy with five grandchildren, Sharon's hobbies include reading, crafts, bicycling, and walking.

  • Lisa Nielsen

    coordinator of Communications

    & laity development

    Lisa grew up in Columbus, attending First UMC from Kindergarten through 12th grade. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Arts in Mass Communications degrees. While in Omaha, she discovered her “inner nerd”, receiving Master of Arts in Theatre and Master of Science in Elementary Education degrees, both from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

    She loves the fine and performing arts, reading, watching TV with her Dad, Tony Nielsen, and entertaining her four feline fur babies: Lucy, Liam, Winkie, and Mr. Pickles. The highlight of each week for her is singing with the Ignite music team.


  • elisha maxwell


    Elisha Maxwell, our Custodian is originally from Sunset, Arkansas where he grew up with 11 siblings. Elisha, a resident of Columbus for the past 25 years, is married to Christina. They have two children together, a handsome son and a beautiful daughter.


    Elisha enjoys fishing a lot!  He also likes other sports, especially basketball and spending time with his family.

  • martha davidson

    parish nurse

    Martha Davidson is our volunteer parish nurse.  She has a heart and passion for helping people physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even financially.  She helps to organize and to implement the caring ministries of our congregation with the Healthy Congregation & Care Team.  


    ALL are called to participate in the mission & ministry of Jesus Christ.  YOU have been called by Jesus to share your gifts and talents with the Body of Christ.  

    For more information about finding out your spiritual gifts and getting more involved, please contact

    Rev. Cindi.  

  • List Item

    Type the content for this list item here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this list item. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this text area, you will see the filler text disappear.