Those Serving Us at Kennewick First

Our church is blessed with many dedicated volunteers and faithful parishioners. In addition, we are pleased to have these people on staff at Kennewick First.

Reverend Jerry Poole, Pastor

Jerry came to KFUMC in February 2012 as interim pastor following the departure of the Rev. Roger Barr. Bishop Grant Hagiya appointed him pastor effective in July 2013. Jerry is a native of Yakima, and was graduated from Washington State University in psychology and business. After two years in business, he left Seattle to earn an M. Div. degree at Fuller Theological Seminary and was ordained as a PCUSA Presbyterian pastor. While serving a church in Great Falls, Montana, he and Polly Junkermier met and were married there in 1983.  After serving nearly ten years there they moved to Edmonds. Jerry served as a transitional ministry specialist, assisting nine congregations in pastoral transitions and one governing body in the Seattle area. Polly serves as director of food and nutrition services at Northwest Hospital in Seattle. They have a son, Jeff, married to Cassie Serio and living in Orange, California, and a daughter, Lauren, married to Jordan Post and living in Beaverton, Oregon. UMC leaders have asked Jerry to qualify as a UMC elder in full connection. That process is ongoing. Toward that end Jerry recently enrolled in a Wesley and UMC History class at Garrett Evangelical Seminary. Jerry has family roots in the UMC and served a summer seminary internship at CUP Church in Richland. Jerry enjoys hiking, weight lifting, yoga, running, travel, exploring family roots, reading political history and discovering what God is doing among us as we all continue the journey with God.


Judy Milton, Bookkeeper

Judy was hired in February 2011 and comes to us most recently from the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho where she worked for 27 years in The College of Education, HPERD Accounting Department.  In the past she has had her own accounting business and was also employed in retail banking.  Judy and husband of 47 years, Terry, moved here in October 2010 to be closer to their grandsons, Tazmin and T.J. and of course their son, Todd and daughter-in-law, Misty.  They are also parents to son Darren and daughter Tara.  The Milton’s are members of the First United Methodist Church in Moscow, Idaho. They are now enjoying the mild climate here in the Tri-Cities area.  Judy enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family along with gardening, reading, sports and travel.  Judy brings a professional demeanor to our office.  Her compassion, kindness, and cheerful attitude has endeared her to her co-workers.

Ruth Anderson, Financial Secretary

Ruth has been financial secretary for the church for over twenty years and continues to faithfully appear every week to count the money from offerings, track, and record each individual’s record of giving. Ruth is a former banker, making a total of three 'retired bankers' who work here in the church office. She jokes about it, saying that this is where 'old bankers' go! Ruth was married to her sweetheart Don Anderson for 61 years, before his passing in January of 2011. Ruth has three grown children: Karlyn, Beverly, and Tim; five grandchildren: Erin, Eric, Nathan, Whitney, and Alicia; and five great-grandchildren: Clayton, Ashley, Eleanor, Ethan, and Bridget. Ruth's familiarity with the families in our church, and the community, makes her a wealth of knowledge as well as a valuable asset to the office staff. We look forward to seeing her every Monday; she helps us start our week off with a positive note!

                                            Cheryl Nixon, Office Manager
Cheryl grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon and moved to the Tri-Cities in 1999.  She has been a follower of Jesus since she was 10 years old. She attends Columbia Community Church.  She enjoys spending time walking, riding motorcycles and traveling. She has one adult son Jeff, who is married to Alisha.  She has a beautiful granddaughter named Sienna Lynn Nixon.
Cynthia Bement, Congregational Care and Outreach Assistant

Cynthia Bement has a long history with Kennewick First beginning with her Baptism as an infant in 1961 and is a Third generation KFUMC member. She originally served as a volunteer in Children’s ministry primarily as the Sunday school superintendent and teacher. Cynthia led her first mission trip as a volunteer in 1989 which inspired her to a staff position as Youth and Education Director from 1992-2014. Her passion for serving the Lord and others continues in the position of Congregational Care and Outreach Assistant. Cynthia and her husband Randy were married at Kennewick First in 1980 and have two grown children: Son Brian and daughter in law Amelia, daughter Jocelyn and son in law Mark with Granddaughter Camryn. Cynthia enjoys traveling, family and friends, sewing, cake decorating, home renovation projects and camping.

Amberley Almarode, Musical Director

Amberley has always loved music and singing. She first sang in church when she was five years old and she has been singing ever since! She graduated with a degree in Church Music from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and has been leading worship for over 15 years. She came to Kennewick First in 2008 and as Music Director, is in charge of Praise Bands, Chancel Choir, leading worship on Sunday mornings and organizing special services at Christmas and Easter. She loves working with the many volunteers that make up our music program and helping people encounter God through music. Amberley and her husband Marshall have two sons, Scott and Tim. She also loves reading good books, eating dark chocolate and homeschooling her sons.


Andrew Tillman, Custodian

Andrew was raised in East Palo Alto, CA and traveled back and forth to Pasco over the years as a family.  He finally settled in Pasco as a young adult and raised his own family there.  He started his career with Ben Franklin Transit in 1982, as a coach operator and retired as a supervisor in December, 2015, after 34 years of service.  Andrew and his wife, Sophia, share a blended family of six grown children and 11 grandchildren.  They enjoy travel, music, gardening, anytime spent with family and spoiling their dog Gemma.  Andrew feels blessed and thankful for new opportunities to remain active and contribute to his community.
Margo Cox, Accompanist
Margo graduated from Walla Walla College in 2003 with a bachelors degree in music. She accompanies worship and special music on both the piano and the organ. She also teaches piano. Margo plays with passion, skill, and inspiration. We truly hear and see God's spirit in her gift of music. Margo is married to Walter, Positive Life Radio's chief engineer. They have two beautiful children, Clara and Tommy.