Cedar Park First United Methodist Church

Our Staff

Peter Castles

Our Staff - Peter Castles - Senior PastorPeter Castles has been pastor of Cedar Park First UMC since June, 2010.  He served as pastor of three other Austin-area United Methodist churches before coming to Cedar Park.  Peter and his wife Pam, who is a Wesley Nurse at Parker Lane UMC in Austin, have two twenty-something-year-old daughters.

Interesting tidbits about Peter:

Dream vacation: Traveling through Scotland, Ireland, and Cynthia Lawrence’s native Wales

What’s your regular order at Starbucks: tall Caffe Latte (in fact, at one point the church youth group called me “Pastor Latte”)

Favorite movie: King of Hearts

Life motto: Love is all you need.

Favorite scripture:  “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Previous jobs: Youth minister (right out of college) and after that, a commercial architect in Houston, Texas for 17 years

Music that moves me: Anything Jodi Blount plays on Sunday

Favorite book:  The Bible (duh!)

In my spare time I .  .  . read a lot;  also, my wife and I enjoy watching “The Great British Baking Show” and “Masterpiece Mystery”

Least favorite food:  For some reason, I’m not all that crazy about sweet potatoes

What makes you laugh:  Church people can be pretty hilarious a lot of the time

What’s weird about you:  I can act like a complete goof-ball sometimes

Least favorite thing to do:  I absolutely hate cleaning out the cat litter box!

Least known thing about you: My father, my wife, both our daughters, and I are or will be graduates of the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em!)hookem

Suzette Thorpe Johnson

Suzette Thorpe Johnson joined our church in July 2019 and is now our Associate Pastor.  She is primarily focused on the YOUTH ministry which pairs nicely with her other current appointment at Texas State United campus Ministry working with college students.  Eat ‘Em Up Cats!  Suzette served as senior pastor at Fentress UMC and as pastor of intergenerational ministries at Buda UMC after graduating with her Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2015.

Suzette and her husband, Jim, have celebrated more than 30 anniversaries of their first date.  They have raised two fabulous sons who are currently seeking their futures in college (UTSA and U of H) while their younger sister, Mady, navigates middle school and now being an only child.  The family has two dogs, four cats and two everlasting-life carnival fish.  Jim manages our silicon industry consulting corporation and invents board/cards games.

Tidbits about Suzette:

In previous career:  taught middle and high school science to at-risk youth in Lockhart, East Austin and Hays CISD.  I home-schooled my kids and continue to with Mady.  Concurrently, I work with my husband with our various businesses.

Favorite movie:  To Sir with Love.

Favorite non-biblical book:  To Kill a Mockingbird.  BUT I read a TON of BOOKS and I might just have a ton of books in my collection but it is nothing compared to Peter’s book repository.

Guilty pleasure:  snagging 10 minutes of the Cooking Channel – especially the holiday cake competitions.

One of my favorite foods:  For some reason, I really like sweet potatoes.

Least favorite things to do:  organize STUFF -ugh.  I am not gifted and it takes forever.

Favorite verse:  God is Love 1 John 4:19

Travels include:  42 of the 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii as well as Ireland, Guatemala, France, England, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Lichtenstein, Austria, and my all time favorite:  The Holy Lands!!

What’s weird:  Instead of running away, I call people to come see the interesting insect, tarantula, snake skin etc. – the details of God’s creation fascinate me and fill me with wonder.

Least known:  I used to do triathlons – slowly very very slowly.  In fact, I got an award in my very first triathlon for being the last person to cross the finish line.

Jodi Blount

Our Staff - Jodi Blount - Pianist and Choir DirectorJodi Blount has an amazing heart both for music and for children. She has been the church’s pianist and choir director since 2000, and she was the founding director of A Child’s Haven, the church’s Mother’s Day Out program. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. After serving as director of A Child’s Haven for seven years, Jodi now teaches piano and music at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin.

Parthenia "Par" Keys

Parthenia Keys, TreasurerParthenia Keys, our Treasurer, manages our bookkeeping, pays the bills, keeps the office supplies stocked, helps with the youth, and keeps everything running smoothly in general.  She is an all around handi-girl.   When she is not at the church you can find Par usually either dancing or reading a book.