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Rev. Dr. Eliezer Valentín-Castañón    Senior Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Eliezer Valentín-Castañón, an Elder in the UMC since 1993, has served churches in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. In 1994 he was appointed to the General Board of Church and Society in Washington, DC, where he worked on public policy issues. In 2005 he was appointed to the General Commission on Religion and Race, where he worked with local churches, annual conferences, and jurisdictions on developing a greater appreciation for the Church’s diversity. Since 2010 Pastor Eliezer served the Monrovia Charge in the Central Maryland District and in 2013 transitioned into his new appointment as Senior Pastor at Trinity.

Pastor Eliezer enjoys preaching and teaching God’s word, leading people to a deeper relationship with the living God and a commitment to transforming the world. For him there is nothing more rewarding than sharing God’s message of personal and social holiness and praying for those hurting in church and in society.

Alongside his wife Magda and two children (Daniel and Eduardo), Pastor Eliezer lives in Frederick, MD where they enjoy: walking in downtown and occasionally stopping to delight in a cup of java or ice cream, traveling, meeting and intimately sharing with people from all walks of life. The family loves to read, go to the movies, ballroom dance (still learning), and visiting historical places to create memories and friendships. Pastor Eliezer loves to talk about many subjects but especially religion, scripture, theology, philosophy, and politics.

A native of Puerto Rico, where he spent his formative years, Pastor Eliezer graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a BA in Psychology. In 1990, he earned his Master of Divinity from Drew Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2002. His doctoral studies focused on Wesleyan Theology and History.  In 2013 he graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary and University – The Ecumenical Institute of Theology, with a Certificate of Advance Studies in Theology focusing on Systematic Theology. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in theology with focus on Spirituality, Wesleyan studies and his cultural heritage through the Graduate Theological Foundation.

Part of his summers are spent teaching theology at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas.
Pastor Mark Claiborne has served for the past three years as the Associate Pastor at Centennial Memorial UMC. He is a servant of God who gets excited about the opportunity to proclaim the Good News of God’s Kingdom; someone who is passionate about Christ with a strong commitment to build godly relations through God’s message of love and hope, compassion and mercy, and peace with justice. Pastor Mark has been part of the UMC since his childhood. He grew up in Jackson Chapel UMC, and went on to serve in other churches and ministries in the area including: Bethel United Methodist Church in Smithsburg, Hopehill United Methodist Church in Frederick, and City of Hope Ministry in Frederick. Pastor Mark has also served as the Frederick District United Methodist Men’s President from 2010-2018.
Pastor Mark has been married to Kerry Claiborne for the past 24 years, and together they have three grown children. Mark Claiborne, Jr., who is a University of Maryland Alum and the Contemporary Musical Director at Brook Hill UMC, Makayla Claiborne who recently graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Makiya Claiborne who attends Hagerstown Community College. They have all been very involved in various ministries in the UMC. He and his family currently reside in Hagerstown. Pastor Mark was born and raised in Frederick, MD and graduated from Frederick High School. He attended Hagerstown Community College, Hagerstown, MD, where he graduated in 2011 with an Associates degree in Information Systems Technology. In 2012 he graduated from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, MD, with a BS in Information Systems.
Pastor Mark is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Pastor Mark is excited about the opportunity of serving alongside the amazing Ministerial Staff at Trinity and is looking forward to helping grow the ministry of both the contemporary and traditional worship services so that God’s people may go out into the world to make disciples and transform the world.
Pastor Mark Claiborne
Associate Pastor

Rev. John Morrill
  Minister of Pastoral Care
John Morrill graduated from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa and attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia graduating in 1972.  He was ordained into the ministry in 1972 and served several congregations in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.  John has also served as a Hospice Chaplain with two hospices… Carroll Hospice in Westminster, Maryland and AseraCare Hospice in York, Pennsylvania.  He serves as a Funeral Celebrant for Myers Durboraw Funeral Home in Westminster.  A Funeral Celebrant assists families without any church connections to create a funeral service for their loved ones.  
John is married to Patricia and together they have four children and 6 grandchildren.  They lived in Gettysburg for 13 years and moved to Frederick in 2017.  They moved here to be closer to most of the grandchildren and enjoy being involved in their lives and watching them grow. 
John loves sports and is a fan of the Boston Red Sox.  He especially enjoys watching his grandsons play baseball, soccer, and ice hockey!! He loves to read and enjoys a good movie, one of his all- time favorites is Forest Gump.  John and his wife enjoy watching old movies too… they don’t make them like they used to.  John loves to visit with his grandchildren, family and friends.
John and Patricia have been attending worship at Trinity and appreciate the ministry of Pastor Eliezer and staff and the welcoming members of Trinity.  They usually attend the 11:10 am worship service. 


I came to Trinity in 2012 after many years in the kitchen and bath business. I saw an ad in the Frederick News Post for a part-time bookkeeper; I had been looking for a full-time position, but felt the Lord leading me to apply for the position. Little did I know that in a couple of months, a door would open for me to return to college and complete my Bachelor’s degree in accounting.  After more than 20 years away from college, I had no desire or plan to ever return, but pursuing my degree full-time while working at Trinity part-time turned out to be a perfect fit. I completed my degree in December of 2013 and have been blessed to be able continue here at Trinity. I found out early on that the people at Trinity are wonderful folks, not just those I work directly with, but each person I have had any interaction with. It has been and continues to be a blessing to serve the Lord here and to try to be a blessing in my position by meeting the needs of the church in any way I can.  I was born and raised in Frederick and have always loved it here; I graduated from Thomas Johnson High School and attended Frederick Community College before completing my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland. Currently I live in Hagerstown where my family and I attend and serve at Lighthouse Baptist Church. My wife, Michelle and I have been married for 21 years and have two children, Jonathan 14 and Julia 13.

My major passion is my family; my children have been, and are my favorite hobbies. In addition to whatever the kids want me to do, I also enjoy antiquing, black and white movies, and baseball. I have been blessed to see both of our children trust Jesus as their savior, but there is still a long way to go in getting them through school, college, career choice, marriage partner, grandchildren, etc. The Bible tells us in 3rd John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” If I can help them to continue to grow in the Lord and walk with Him, that is success to me.
dave bausum
David H. Bausum
Diane Younkins
Director, Trinity Pastoral
Counseling Center

Diane completed her undergraduate degrees at Frederick Community College (FCC) in 1990 and then Hood College in 1992. She worked in human services – mostly with an emphasis on older adults, families and community services. She also worked as a regional Quaker camping administrator and adjunct teacher at FCC. She returned to college to complete her Pastoral Counseling MS at Loyola College Maryland, graduating in 2006. For Diane, pastoral counseling is a culmination of her interest in what constitutes a healthy faith life and healing work in mental health. Diane was hired by the Trinity Pastoral Counseling Center as a therapist in 2010 and has continued to serve the church since then. She co-directed the counseling center with Pamela Hewetson in 2018 and transitioned to director of the Center the beginning of 2019. Working as a pastoral counselor, it is exciting to be able to serve the community with the mission of helping those seeking assistance in coping with their problems. Diane was born and raised in the Frederick area and has always lived within 20 miles from the farm she grew up on.  When she was young she attended St. Marks Lutheran Church in Doubs, and then she continued her journey in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) since 1989. She also attends and facilitates a meditation group at St. James UCC in Lovettsville, Va. Diane married John R. Younkins in 1981. Their daughters Candace and Lindsey were born and raised on John’s family farm. Diane loves being a grandmother. A hallmark of their household is being of service whether having family, friends, and children at the dinner table, transitioning people between permanent housing, or using their home for workshops, neighborhood gatherings, or opportunities for worship. For fun, Diane writes, makes cards for all kinds of occasions, plays the harp, and enjoys God’s feathered friends and low-vision rescued collies. A highlight was attending Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School class on Father’s Day 2016 in memory of her own father. She also loves Willie Nelson and his work with Farm Aid. Diane said, “It brings me no greater joy than to use my training and experience to help others.” God is our shelter and our strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalms 46:1.


Pam Hewetson is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and completed her B.A. in History there at the University of Pennsylvania.  She also earned a M.S. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University followed by a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Pastoral Counseling.  As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Pam serves as the director of the Trinity Pastoral Counseling Center.  She shares the following…

One of the reasons that I am involved in the counseling ministry at Trinity Pastoral Counseling Center is highlighted in the following verse… “The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk:3:19

The meaning of this verse for me is that we rely on God and that as we do that we grow toward wholeness and can then companion with others as they do the same.

The hind is a female deer that can climb to greater heights than any other deer because its back feet track exactly where its front feet have been thus making it very surefooted.. This is one image of integrity or wholeness which occurs when all aspects of who we are are in sync and are working well together.

The “high place” we come to, for me personally, is a ministry that in particular supports others in their growth toward wholeness.

The following is one reason why the counseling ministry is important to Trinity United Methodist Church.

After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead “He said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:44.

Providing counseling to the congregation and to the community is one of the ministries at TUMC that hopes to participate in the unbinding of people from that which prevents them from living a more abundant life.

Pam Hewetson
Counselor, Trinity Pastoral
Counseling Center
Wendy huff
Wendy Huff
Passionate Youth Minister,
Christ follower, mother of three teenagers, singer, dancer,
music fanatic, story teller,
and beach comber

Wendy grew up in the United Methodist Church, quite literally.  Her father was a United Methodist minister for 20 years, and her grandfather became a local pastor after he retired from the business world.  Wendy enjoyed growing up as a “PK” or preacher’s kid.  Mischief aside, she found that growing up in the ministry provided her an opportunity to meet many new people and to build relationships in faith communities throughout the Baltimore Washington Conference.

Wendy has been working with youth for many years.  She has been teaching dance for more than 30 years, and became the youth minister for a United Methodist church in Poolesville in 2010. She served as youth minister for 5 1/2 years, and in the fall of 2015, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary’s Youth Ministry and Theology Certification Program.  In the summer of 2014, she also took on the job as the Admissions Coordinator at Franklin Montessori Schools. 

Many words can be used to describe Wendy: creative, outgoing, friendly, leader, kind, team player, encourager, funny, talkative, caring, and honest.  Her gifts: creativity, teaching, compassion, organization, leadership, and a sense of humor.  Most of all she has a love for Christ, a love for youth of all races, nationalities or backgrounds.

  “I WILL Bless the Lord at ALL times and His praises
shall continually be in my mouth”  Psalms 34:1

Wherever she is, Angela O. Hobbs-Spencer is an advocate for change.  A native of Texas, Angela H. Spencer, has served several communities in Texas and in Maryland in various arenas of community outreach and support. While residing in Texas, Ms. Spencer was very active with her local NAACP branch, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Top Teens of America, Optimist International and her local assembly of worship, Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Lufkin, Texas. There she served on the usher board, youth ministry, and choir.

Ms. Spencer has given her life fully to helping others through ministry, volunteerism, advocacy, career, and service. Having worked in the field of Criminal Justice for 24 years, Ms. Spencer is an advocate for justice for all who suffer disparities of all kinds. She currently works for Frederick County Government, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Correction bureau, as a Correctional Classification Specialist II for the Work Release Program.   In this work, Angela gives back, preparing people who are incarcerated for a successful re-entry into the community by helping them find employment, training, education and resources for life beyond bars.  Given her network of associates and friends, she is well prepared to accomplish any task.  Additionally, she shares important perspectives about what she has learned and believes in a second chance.

Ms. Spencer also works to end domestic violence and believes in empowering others.  As the former co-chair of the Frederick County Domestic Violence Task Force she was very instrumental in initiating the White Ribbon Campaign and the “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” program. Seemingly tireless, she also founded the organization “The Faith Striders” which focuses on cancer awareness, support, education and fundraising.   Since forming, the organization has raised over $100,000 for various agencies and programs that support Breast and other forms of Cancer research. 

Organizations that have benefited from her leadership and volunteerism include the Baltimore-Washington Conference United Methodist Church, Frederick District Youth, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Frederick County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Fair Housing Commission, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Frederick County Chapter. Ms. Spencer currently serves as chair of the Frederick County Human Relations Commission, where they work to end discriminatory practices so that the rights of the individual are protected.

Ms. Spencer has served as the Worship Director for the Voices of Unity of Jackson Chapel United Methodist Church, for the past sixteen years, under the leadership of Pastor Rex R. Bowens, Sr.  Ms. Spencer believes in being a true worshiper. Giving God her best at all times and always worshiping in spirit and in truth though singing, teaching and sharing the Gospel to all. In fact, in 2012, she was invited to the White House to sing during the holidays.

Excellence is a non-negotiable, and she has consistently performed at a high level in every task, gaining respect, recognition and awards. She seeks constant knowledge and improvement so that she can continue to give to others, and is one of the inaugural students in the Frederick Regional Health System Lay Health Educator Program.  Most recently, she was awarded the “2014 Woman of Excellence Leadership Award” presented by The Frederick County Commission for Women. 


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Angela Spencer
Coordinator of Music & Arts


Heather Spiker Throckmorton  Director of Program Ministries

Since 2001, Heather has served to grow acorns into oaks at Trinity Church. In her multifaceted role, she is responsible for equipping those people and programs that expand our abilities to worship, connect, study, serve and witness.  She leads efforts in Adult Christian Education, Women’s Ministry, Stephen Ministry and emerging ministries.  
Heather’s experience in leadership coaching, organizational effectiveness, and training and development, along with her education in Human and Organizational Development (B.S.) and Human Resource Development (M.Ed.) from Vanderbilt University, have readied her for leading God’s people to Christ-led, authentic, intentional spiritual growth.  

Heather and her husband John are both originally from Morgantown, West Virginia (Go Mountaineers!) and have lived in Frederick since 1995.  Together they strive to reflect God’s incredible faithfulness as demonstrated again and again in His Word.

Jenna was born in south Florida. She was home-schooled along with her older brother and two younger sisters. Her family moved to California during middle school and then moved to Maryland during high school. She attended Flagler College in St. Augustine Florida, majoring in Psychology. She met her husband in Orlando Florida. They have two beautiful boys ages 2 and 4. Jenna enjoys worshiping God in her faith community, El Shaddai Congregation in Frederick, and serving the Lord. She loves being outdoors, and walking trails with her boys. 

Jenna Cintron
Administrative Assistant
Tamara Cashour, MA, MFA

Tamara Cashour is a native Fredericktonian who sustained a career in New York City as an organist/pianist and singer for over 30 years.  She has now, with God’s grace, returned to Frederick and is grateful to be able to offer her talents to Trinity United Methodist Church in the service of our Lord.

              Tamara completed her higher education in New York City at Columbia University (BA) and New York University (MA).  She also holds an MFA in Music Composition from The Vermont College of Fine Arts. In organ studies, Tamara studied under Federico Teti of The Juilliard School of Music; Claudia Dumschat of The Episcopal Church of The Transfiguration, and Gregory D’Agostino of The Mannes College of Music/The New School.  She also attended Professor D’Agostino’s Mannes Seminar in Organ Composition for Composers.    Additional mentors for special projects include organists Gail Archer, Walter Hilse and David Enlow.    Tamara is a performer-member of The American Guild of Organists, and took part in the annual concerts given by the Westchester, NY chapter of the AGO.    She held the positions of Music Director/Organist for both St. John’s Episcopal Church, and more recently, The Presbyterian Church of New Rochelle (since 2008). 

Tamara is also an award-winning composer, having won the following:  First Place, For Women Only Choral Composition Competition; International Alliance of Women 2015 International Conference Chosen Score for her composition Queens Suite; the 2015 Bronx Council on the Arts Musical Composition Award, and most recently the 2020 BCA Arts Award for her choral composition Forbearance, based on the noted poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Forbearance will be performed as a Zoom choral project for online listening in the fall of 2020.  Additionally, Tamara has won the ASCAPlus (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Composition Awards six times since the year 2008). 

              Tamara writes many compositions for both the church’s regular liturgical calendar and also special services and programs.  Of her performance of her Five Sacred Introits in May 2019 at the Church of The Transfiguration in New York City, critic Jean Ballard-Terepka wrote: 

Tamara Cashour’s Five Introits followed. Conceived for the brief, crucial and defining introductory moment of Protestant services that open the liturgy, these five extremely short works were jewels of effective musical writing: each work captured the essence of the sacred text coherently and immediately. As a Hart Longs was a paradigm of spiritual yearning; Be Strong and of Good Courage! was operatic in its noble vigor; O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song danced.—Jean Ballard-Terepka for Theatrescene


Additionally, Tamara’s arrangement of the noted spiritual Ride On King Jesus! was premiered at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Bronx, by the Bronx Concert Singers, in May 2019.  Of special note:  scenes and songs of Tamara’s musical City Sketches premiered in August 2018 at the 47th St Theatre, just off-Broadway and 8th Avenue.   Tamara was a member of NYC’s Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre’s noted Composers/Librettists Workshop for Musical Theatre, for 3 years, as directed by Miriam Colon and Isidore Elias.


Finally, Tamara is a published author in the fields of Music and Philosophy.