Senior Pastor – Rev. Fred A. Steinberg
Rev. Fred Steinberg was born in San Diego, California and grew up in Escondido. Fred attended San Diego State University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. After his graduation he attended Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where he received his Master of Divinity degree. After graduating from Perkins in 1987, Fred served as Associate Pastor at Central U.M.C in Phoenix, AZ for two years. nHis primary responsibilities at Central included Evangelism and Youth Ministry. In 1989, Fred was appointed to serve at Velda Rose U.M.C. in Mesa where his primary duties included Education and Youth.
After serving as Associate Pastor at Velda Rose U.M.C. for eight years, Fred was appointed in 1997 as Senior Pastor of Gold Canyon U.M.C. Since the building of the congregation’s first building in 1997, the church has grown to a worship attendance of 450 during the summer and about 1,800 during the winter visitor season.
Fred and Beth Steinberg were married in 1982 and have one son, Tim, who is currently attending Arizona State University.
Associate Pastor – Rev. Bob Deits
Bob has been a United Methodist Minister for 47 years. After serving churches in southern California, he was appointed as Senior Minister of St. Paul’s UMC in Tucson in 1978, where he served for 11 years until being appointed as Senior Minister at Velda Rose UMC in Mesa in 1989. After 13 years he retired in 2002.
In 2004 he became a part time Minister of Visitation at Velda Rose and part time Associate Minister at Gold Canyon UMC, positions he continues to hold today. At Gold Canyon, Bob leads a country western worship service every Sunday at 5 PM from October through June. He also preaches for the morning services in the absence of the Senior Minister and for special holiday services.
Bob is an internationally recognized authority on grief and loss. His book, Life after Loss, has become a classic in the field of loss and grief since it was first published in 1988. The present 5th edition was published in 2009. Sales of the book have exceeded 140,000 copies. It is translated into 7 foreign languages (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew and Greek). He was the keynote speaker at the World Burn Congress in Raleigh, NC in 2008.
Bob is a graduate of California State College, Los Angeles. He holds a Master of Theology degree from the Claremont California School of Theology in pastoral counseling and psychology.
Bob and June were married March 15, 1952. They have 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Associate Pastor – Fay Quanstrom
Fay Quanstrom has served two senior pastorates in llinois as well as being visiting minister, Methodist Central Hall, London, England, and holding staff positions in Elburn and Big Rock, IL churches. She holds an M.A. in Old Testament and the D.Min. in Preaching from Northern Theological Seminary. She has also taught at the junior high, high school, and university levels and edited a preaching textbook.
Director of Music Ministries – Douglas J. Benton
Doug came to Gold Canyon United Methodist Church with a forty year history in sacred music which began as an Organist and Choir Director at age 14, at churches in the Phoenix area. By age 25, he had added Bellmaster to his résumé. Doug became an Adjunct Professor of Music at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff in 1989 where he founded the NAU Harter Memorial Handbell Program and directed the NAU Summer Music Camp handbell choirs through 2000.
Doug’s musical accomplishments include organ performances throughout the Southwestern United States and Helsinki, Finland. He performed “Messiah” with the Phoenix Symphony and the ASU Symphony as organist. Doug has conducted Handbell Festival Massed Choirs throughout the country, guest conducted the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and the Arizona Masterworks Chorale. He has been a handbell clinician at local, national and international handbell events. Many of Doug’s handbell related articles have been published in Overtones, the official journal of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, including the first major research on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Handbell Ringing. As a composer and arranger, Doug composed and arranged music for handbells, organ, choir, brass and orchestra and is published by five major publishing houses. Most recently, he was commissioned by NAU to write the Processional and Prayer for the 30th Annual NAU Choral Holiday Dinners performed December 2004 in Flagstaff.
Doug is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), the American Guild of Organists (AGO), and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA). He served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Masterworks Chorale and the Valley Choral Alliance and has held many offices in the Central Arizona Chapter of the AGO, including Sub-Dean, and served the AGEHR as Arizona State Chair and Chair of Area XI (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY). In addition to many national committees, Doug served on the National Board of Directors of the AGEHR, most recently as Chair of the Director Education Department for the Guild.
Associate Director of Music – David Ballard
Assistant Director of Special Music – Cynthia Hoff
Before moving to the southwest, Cynthia was a Vocal Performance student at Oberlin Conservatory. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Grand Canyon University and holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance Pedagogy at Arizona State University. Her performances include various roles in Lyric Opera and Musical Theatre. Among her repertoire, as the soprano soloist, is the Bach Magnificat, Rutter Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria and the Mozart Coronation Mass. She has performed in prestigious choirs that have toured the United States and Europe with whom she has soloed in Carnegie Hall, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Cynthia has sung the National Anthem at Chase Ball Park, composed and recorded two original songs, as well as a full length CD of inspiring hymns. Recent awards include, First Place in the 2010 United Methodist Southwestern Regional Conference, “Got Talent” Contest and 2nd place National Winner in the American Mothers Association Vocal Competition in 2006. She has also performed sacred and patriotic concerts in various community events, including during a recent trip to the Ukraine.
Cynthia is an active sacred soloist performing throughout the valley and beyond. She also sings soprano as a member of the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, and the Gold Canyon United Methodist Chancel Choir, where she is also the Assistant Director of Special Music. She is a member and currently on the board as past President for the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, (NATS),
Cynthia joined the Chandler Gilbert Community College Music Department as Adjunct Music Faculty in the spring of 2007 in addition to her private studio in Mesa. Cynthia’s students have been NATS Winners, Arizona Regional and All State Choir participants. Several of her students continue on with vocal pursuits at the college level and have performed leading roles in local community musical theatre.
Director of Christian Education – Katharine Keller
Katharine moved to Arizona 5 years ago when her husband, Pastor Julius Keller, was called to start a church in Gilbert. Katharine has been a Christian Education Director since 1988, serving both in Presbyterian and Methodist congregations in Ohio. Before serving on staff she was an ardent Sunday School teacher for both adults and children. Besides ministry within the church, Katharine finds great fulfillment and purpose serving on the Board of Gilbert Leadership and playing an active role as a volunteer for the Gilbert Fire Department. Her hobbies include travel, hiking, birding, and just general adventure wherever it leads. She and Julius have six children and 4 grandchildren with two more on the way.
Director of Congregational Care – Jody Topping
Jody felt the call to ministry in 2007 as a member at Los Arcos United Methodist Church in Scottsdale, AZ. She had been asked to serve as Director of Sidewalk Sunday School several years prior to that, and believes that was the beginning of her long and sometimes difficult conversation with God about going into fulltime ministry. She applied as a Ministry Candidate and began her Masters of Divinity studies at Claremont School of Theology in 2008. In August 2010, she transferred to Iliff School of Theology, where she is able to complete most of her coursework online, traveling to the campus in Denver, Colorado about once every quarter. Jody transferred her church membership to Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in June 2011 when Los Arcos UMC closed.
As a “born and raised” Methodist, Jody was baptized and confirmed at the United Methodist Church in Tujunga, California. She graduated from Crescenta Valley High School in 1976, and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from California State University, Fullerton in 1981. While at CSUF, she met David Topping, a fellow music student, and they were married in the Tujunga UMC in 1979. Jody and David were blessed with two beautiful children (Ryan and Erika) during the 1980s while living in Porterville, CA, and in 1988, moved to Arizona so David could pursue graduate degrees at ASU. In the years that followed, Jody earned a Masters Degree in Human Resource Administration from Ottawa University (Phoenix Campus), and in 1990 began her career working at the City of Mesa, where she became the Employee Benefits Administrator. Jody retired from that position in October 2010 to concentrate on her Masters of Divinity (MDiv) degree and Pastoral Internship.
Jody lives in Tempe along with David and their two dogs, Daisy and Sheba. Their young adult children, Ryan and Erika live nearby. In her spare time (yeah…what’s that??), Jody enjoys scrapbooking, hiking, and traveling. She hopes to take a trip in the near future to the Holy Land, and is looking forward to being a grandma at some point in time! Jody feels very blessed to be a member of the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church family, and looks forward to serving in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, whether at GCUMC or elsewhere.
Director of Youth Ministries – Wendy Moore
Wendy brings several years experience at varying levels in the education field exposing her to education curriculum; Arizona Education Law and planning and involvement with the PTA. She was elected Governing Board President of the Apache Junction Unified School District with a goal to help provide the children of the community with the best education possible. Her work, part time, at a local coffee shop allows her to interact with a broad cross section of the community. She incorporates deep Christian values in her programs for the youth as she helps them form a strong foundation of faith and a support system of friends and church family. Wendy is married with 3 children and resides in Apache Junction.