Our Staff

The Head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ. The ministers of this church are its members. 

Those who assist them are:

Rev. Joel Bullock

Senior Pastor

Joel grew up in rural western Kansas, literally 100 miles north of Dorothy’s house (from the Wizard of OZ). He received his undergraduate degree in voice performance in Indiana at Anderson University and received his seminary degree at Anderson School of Theology. He has also completed course work at Claremont School of Theology and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Joel has served as a pastor for over 25 years in Ohio, Indiana, California, and now Arizona. Mentoring and nurturing others to discover their fullest God given potential is a passion of Joel’s. He finds being a pastor as means to help others discover how they can be and do incredible things in the Kingdom of God.

He also serves as an ambassador for Group Publishing and is a licensed trainer for the Godly Play Foundation.

Joel loves to learn and discover the possibilities of God’s beautiful Creation. During Covid, Joel had the opportunity to become a Master Gardener with the Maricopa County Extension of the University of Arizona. The study and care of plant life has become a primary spiritual practice for Joel.

For fun, Joel loves to hike Arizona trails, visit the beach, and explore city life. He can be found regularly at a local coffee shop having a conversation with friends and meeting new people. The joy of his life is his two children, Alice and Heidi. Together, they love to play and discover all of God’s creation, and find humor in the littlest things, especially in Arizona and anywhere near the ocean.

Pastor Joel can be reached at joel@stmatthewmesa.org

Ben Shafer,

Director of Music

Mr. Ben Shafer, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music and Choral Music Education. He received his master’s degree from Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona. Ben was appointed Sanctuary Choir Director at St. Matthew Methodist Church in Mesa in July 2015. Ben is now also Director of Music. He and his wife and four beautiful children have lived in Chandler for the last 10 years. Bringing with him a traditional background as a chorister, musician, and choral music director, Mr. Shafer proudly upholds the integrity of music in sacred church worship. He has served in many capacities in church music from Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley and Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa, AZ. In addition to directing the sanctuary choir he teaches Music at Central High School in Phoenix Arizona where he directs 4 choirs and also teaches guitar and music methods. When he is not busy with music he enjoys camping hiking and traveling across the beautiful state of Arizona. Ben can be reached at ben@stmatthewmesa.org.

Tonia Smith,

Coordinator of Children and Youth Ministries

Tonia is an Arizona native who loves to travel the globe. Some of her favorite destinations are Paris, India and Washington, DC. She has many years of experience in service to youth, in a variety of roles, including being a big sister to 10 younger siblings. Her two greatest passions are education and music, which she has been blessed to turn into ministry. In her spare time, Tonia enjoys reading and scrapbooking. Tonia can be reached at tonia@stmatthewmesa.org.

Anne Kelley

Bell Choir Director

Anne Kelley is the Bellmaster of the Bells of Joy Handbell Choir at St Matthew UMC. She was born and raised in Apache Junction, AZ, where she grew up singing and ringing in the United Methodist Church. Anne teaches General Music and Handbells at Greenfield Elementary School in Gilbert. She graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Music Education: Choral degree. Anne is an accomplished choral singer, handbell ringer, and soloist across the East Valley. She is passionate about handbells and serves on the regional leadership board for Handbell Musicians of America. In her free time, she teaches private voice lessons from her home in Mesa. Anne can be reached at: anne@stmatthewmesa.org

Steve Edman,

Organist & Pianist

Steve has been playing the piano and organ at St. Matthew soon after joining the church in 1985. He is a retired band director and helps school employees plan for their post retirement occupation. When time allows he enjoys writing and arranging new anthems for the choir and other special church occasions. Steve is an accomplished and creative piano and organ player and is often accused of not playing the notes as written on the page! Steve can be reached at sedman3@cox.net.

Cheriden Yazzie

Administrative Coordinator

Cheriden is our Administrative Coordinator, who has experience in Church administration, and operations. He offers to St. Matthew many gifts: teaching, bookkeeping, servanthood; to name a few. Cheriden loves to interact with people, assist in any way that he is able. Back at home, the Navajo Nation, believers classified him as the 'go to' person for a listening ear, and Prayer. Whenever he finds time he loves to play music, sing: a worship "guru" at that.

To reach Cheriden you may email him at office@stmatthewmesa.org.