Staff Directory

Rev. Alissa Bertsch Johnson, Lead Pastor


Cell: 509.879.2278 (call or text)

Pastor Alissa came to Cheney UMC in July 2014 having served as a campus pastor for 10 years at USC, UCLA and WSU.  She was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church in June of 2015.  She has her B.A. in Anthropology from Washington State University and her Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in Southern California.  She is married to Stephen Johnson, an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor who serves Central UMC in downtown Spokane.  They have three cats: Marlowe, Thor and Freya.  Alissa is an avid equestrian and enjoys the discipline of dressage.  When she’s not at the church, she’s probably at the barn!

Rev. Pat Sleeth, Associate Pastor





Laurie Murphy, Office Manager

laurie Murphy

Cell: 509.235.4600

Laurie Murphy is the person who makes this whole enterprise work and keeps us on track. We have been blessed to have her in this position since 1998. She works Tuesday – Thursday from 9:15AM – Noon.  Laurie is married to Greg, and they have two teenaged sons. She also works as a Medical Transcriptionist, so she is a very busy woman!


Pam McCandless, Building Care

Pam McCandless joined our staff near the end of Summer in 2010. She lovingly cares for our building. She not only cleans the building, but she goes above and beyond what is required in order to make it a welcoming, comfortable and usable space for congregational and community activities.


Mary Jane Shervais

Mary Jane Shervais, Music Director

Mary Jane Shervais has been in this position since the Fall of 2006. She oversees the music program, directs the Chancel Choir and is a member of our Worship Planning Team. Mary Jane also directs the West Plains Handbell Choir. She is married to Steve and raises and judges dogs.


Jon Bennett

Jon Bennett, Guitarist/Song Leader


JoAnna Cockrum

JoAnna Cockrum, Pianist

JoAnna Cockrum is our pianist, accompanying the choir as well as playing solo pieces during worship. She joined our staff in September 2008, shortly after her husband, Dale, was appointed as District Superintendent of the Inland District.