Pastor & Staff

Damian Carruthers

Lead Pastor

Pastor Damian came to Cheney UMC in August 2022 from Germany, where he studied at Reutlingen School of Theology and was ordained in 2019. After qualifying, he served in the beautiful Black Forest for several years. During his time there, he started a “fresh expressions of church” project on an old shooting ranch, became the District Evangelist, served on the Board for Ordained Ministry and on the Board for church planting… just to give you an idea of some of his passions. Damian was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and has studied also at Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C. Feel free to contact him!

Laurie Murphy

Office Manager

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 currently works from home Tuesday – Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30pm.  Laurie is married to Greg, and they have two sons. She also works as a Medical Transcriptionist during the day, so she is a very busy woman!  

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 Inland District Choir Festival. She is married to Steve and raises and judges dogs. 

JoAnna Cockrum


JoAnna Cockrum is our pianist, accompanying the choir as well as playing worship music during services. A retired piano teacher and experienced accompanist, she joined our staff in September 2008, shortly after her husband, Dale, was appointed as District Superintendent of the Inland District. Dale has now retired and participates in the life of the church, too! 

Jon Bennett

Song Leader & Guitarist

Jon has been volunteering for many years to enhance the worship experience by playing guitar and leading hymn singing. He also sings bass in the choir. Jon and his family has lived in the Cheney area since the 1990’s