REV. PATRICK LEWIS, MDIV, Iliff School of Theology 2012 – Senior Pastor
“Pastor Pat” as he is known, comes to serve in Montana and sees it as a bit of a homecoming. His family settled the Dakota territories long before Wyoming and Montana were states. The first brands issued in the territories were to his father’s family and the first Governor of the territories who issued the brands was on his mother’s side of the family. But Pastor Pat grew up in Wyoming both dedicated to the values of our small communities of the west and committed to serving the communities he grew to know and love.
Pastor Pat has worked through the western US serving in several capacities. He worked in marketing and sales in the 80’s, was a television weatherman in Casper for most of the 90’s and worked with Habitat for Humanity prior to entering the ministry in the early 2000’s. He has lived in Wyoming, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and now Montana. He and his wife both have dedicated their lives to serving the under served populations of the West and are proud to be residents serving in Montana. His wife Kim also continues to serve those in need as the President and CEO of United Way of Yellowstone County.
Pastor Pat and Kim have twin daughters, both of whom have families and wonderful careers. They have two grandsons, many grand dogs and two amazing sons-in-law. While they are very busy with work, they balance their active life hiking, kayaking, exercising, traveling, visiting family and looking for the next great hole-in-the-wall! Needless to say they are on the go most of the time.
“We have a passion for people and the outdoors and Billings offers the best of both worlds! We hope you will join us as we reach out to love and serve the people of Billings, our neighbors throughout Montana and Wyoming, and the body of Christ wherever we are called.” – Pastor Pat
Tori LaRae ~ Church Administrator
Tori was born and raised in Billings and grew up here at First United Methodist Church. She sang in youth choir and eventually became the rehearsal pianist. Tori’s the youngest of two children and mother of two amazing daughters who she visits in Denver every chance she gets. Tori earned a Computer Science degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver and lived in Denver for thirty-two years.
Lori Sorensen ~ Bookkeeper
Lori has been the keeper of the books at Billings First UMC since August 2017. She has lived in Montana for 27 years and moved to Billings in 2010. Lori is the mother to four kids and Nana to seven. In addition to being a bookkeeper, Lori is an Independent Consultant for Thirty-One Gifts. This allows her to travel quite a bit, which has become her favorite hobby.
Bonnie Banks ~ Children’s Ministries Coordinator
Bonnie was born and raised in Billings, and other than a ten-year stint in Seattle, has lived most of her life here. She has degrees in theater, English, and education from Rocky Mountain College and University of Montana and has put those to use in professional and community theater, and teaching at both college and high school levels. Working in church offices seems to be a sideline of hers since she has served as office administrator in three, most recently at First UMC until returning to teach at Billings Senior High in 2006. Now she’s back, this time using her teaching, theater, and organizational skills for Children’s Ministries, and using creativity to guide our children to spirituality.
Bonnie loves spending time with her son Josh, as well as her cats and dog, Luka. She and Luka are a certified Therapy Dog team. (Luka takes her job as official FUMC office greeter with enthusiastic wags.) Other loves include the great outdoors, travel (Scotland and Greece are favorites), reading, gardening, and being with family, friends, and the community of First UMC.
Pastor Brian Hunter ~ Director of connectional ministries & Youth Pastor
Brian was born, raised, and has lived his whole life in Montana. He was born in Sidney, graduated High School from Columbia Falls, went to college at Rocky Mountain College, student taught at Skyview High School and has lived in Billings ever since. He is married to Chris and they have two boys, Connor and Caleb. Brian loves spending time with his family and friends. He is an avid baseball fan and coach in the community, and he loves to be at the ball field. Fishing, hiking and spending time outdoors are times that refuel his batteries.
Brian has led the youth groups at First United Methodist Church for over twenty years. Mission trips, camps, Chrysalis, Convo’s, Sunday school, confirmation and thousands of Sunday afternoon youth group games have filled that time. Brian also fulfills many other duties at First United Methodist Church. Working in giving aid to people in need, liaison to the Property and Trustees committees as well as helping to plan and lead worship services are among his other duties. Brian feels that First United Methodist Church is a thriving place to raise kids and grow in your personal faith, and he feels hopeful that will continue to grow for many generations to come.
Trevor Krieger ~ Music Ministries and Choir Director
Trevor Krieger, born and raised in Billings, MT, has been playing some sort of music since the age of 4. He started classical violin, then at age 8 started piano. Still very classical based, he decided around 9 years old to delve into the different worlds of “fiddle” by attending as many contests, in and out of Montana, as he could, and soon falling in love with the genres nearest: Jazz, Texas Swing, Bluegrass, Folk, Americana, and delving even deeper into Funk and Rock.
Along with being able to play in a symphony since the age of 13, Trevor had the opportunity to showcase his music, along with Wyoming guitar great, Jeff Troxel, on the award-winning 11th and Grant with Erik Funk on Montana PBS; a premiere outlet for music performance in Montana.
Trevor has shared the stage with many notable musicians: Mark O’Connor, Ray Charles, The Moody Blues, Alison Kraus and Union Station, the Doobie Brothers, Government Mule, as well as Montana favorites The Mission Mountain Wood Band, and Tim Ryan.
Trevor also dabbles in studio recording. He has played on 50-60 albums of local and national selection. He just produced his first album, and is constantly being sent tracks to record on, from Seattle to Maine.
Trevor has taught at many camps around Montana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and currently has a few local students in Billings.
In his spare time he has been married to Alyssa for 15 years and they have 4 children (Olivia-13, Dylan-11, Benjamin-6, Noah- 3)
In his very spare time he is the co-worship/music director, along with his wife Alyssa, at First United Methodist Church in Billings, where he leads worship, directs choirs, jams with Youth Praise Team, and with MAD choir, and any other way musically possible. He is a member of numerous groups (jazz, funk, folk) and a predominant fill-in musician for groups passing through the local Billings music scene.
His current large-group project is John Roberts y Pan Blanco– a local and unique sounding ensemble that is designed to make the audience move, basing music influences from all over the world, including West Africa, Cuba, Spain, and Portugal, all aimed at sharing musical diversity with the audience—-who recorded recently for 11th and Grant and are nominated for an Emmy.
Trevor is currently a professional firefighter/paramedic with the City of Billings and has been for the last 16 years.
Alyssa Krieger ~ Music Ministries and Choir Director
Alyssa was born and raised in southwestern Minnesota. After high school she attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Although she studied nursing, she participated in several music groups during her entire 4 years. Along with playing piano since the age of 5, she has been a percussionist, marimba player and singer. Alyssa and her husband, Trevor, moved to Billings in 2004. She worked several years in ICU, and after her family began expanding, decided to leave hospital life and began working in an outpatient cardiology office. She and Trevor have 4 children that keep them busy with dance, taekwondo, baseball, theater, and much much more!
Alyssa, alongside her husband, began working as Music Director at Billings First UMC in 2010. Along with participating in Sunday morning worship, she especially loves being involved with music programs for children. She enjoys nothing more than spreading her love of music to kids of all ages!