Sonoma United Methodist Church

Open hearts, open minds, open doors


Rev. Dr. Tony and Carol Ubalde

Rev. Dr. Anthony Ubalde, Pastor

Dr. Anthony Ubalde, Jr. was the 2nd president of the NFAAUM (National Federation of Asian American United Methodists), Chair of the Western Jurisdiction of Asian American United Methodists, President of the Church Extension Society of the East Bay, President of the California Endowment Foundation of the UMC, Board of Directors of the United Methodist Foundation and a Board Member of the California Nevada Conference Finance Committee.

After “retiring” as a pastor and professor, he launched an extensive career in public service, involved in education, housing, parks and recreation, UC Regents and the Agency on Aging, to name just a few of his contributions.

He is married to Carol Noel Ubalde. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Beth Carter,
Certified Lay Minister

Beth Carter began her ministry through singing with her church choir from First UMC in Lincoln, Illinois at age 10. From there, she sang her way across country with her district’s music and drama tour experience what the power of music and drama can do to change lives.

From there she graduated from Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State Universities with a passion in her heart to sing God’s word when she felt the tug on her heart strings that perhaps her ministry could go beyond music.

Active in several churches as Admin Secretary, director of youth, bell and adult choirs, her desire to minister through music never waned, but the tug at her heart persisted.

The day before the world changed – ironically Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2020 – Beth and her husband attended a Lay Servant Basic course at the encouragement of their pastors who were also facilitating. Intending only to participate to support them in their ministry at the church, she did not expect to find discernment.

With excitement and support from her local congregation and District Superintendent, she has fulfilled the requirements of both Certified Lay Servant and Certified Lay Ministry and now serves as the Sonoma UMC Certified Lay Minister.

Beth and her husband (and chiropractor 😉) Eliot have two daughters, a great dog, and own and operate Carter Wellness Clinic where their philosophy is the health and wellness of the whole individual – Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Jim McFadden, Music Director

Jim taught piano at City College of San Francisco from 1968 to his retirement in 2015 (43 years). He got his Masters in organ performance from San Francisco State University in 1974 and served as organist and choir director at the Catholic Church of the Epiphany in San Francisco for 12 years (1968-1980) when he moved to Sonoma where he served as director of music and liturgy at St. Leo’s Catholic Church for the next 25 years (1980-2005). In 2005 he began 10 years playing at SUMC first as piano player for the early service and then as organist/pianist for the 10:30 service. For the next 4 years he was organist at Faith Lutheran Church until his return to SUMC last year (2018).

Melissa Shields, Director of Sunshine Preschool

I am native to Sonoma Valley. I have always had a passion for working with children. As a child, I cared for my younger siblings and cousins. During my teenage years, I taught Sunday School and assisted with church youth groups. My first year of teaching, I was a volunteer teacher’s aide at Gingerbread house. After volunteering at Gingerbread House, I knew I had found my calling.

In 1998 I started teaching as a teacher’s aide at Sunshine School. My first child, Denton, was born in 2000. I graduated from Santa Rosa Junior college in 2000 as a Master Teacher and completed all required classes for the position as a director of a preschool. My daughter, Gianna, was born in 2004.In 2006 I was promoted to assistant director of Sunshine School, I quickly learned to balance teaching and administrative duties. I had my third child, Breton, in 2020, and I accepted the position of director in 2021. I continue to attend education classes, workshops, and seminars every year to further my education.

I’ve attended Sonoma United Methodist Church for many years. In 2014, my son, Denton, my daughter, Gianna, and I, became members of SUMC. I served on the SPRC for several years, and I have served as a Trustee for several years. Denton was the SUMC Childcare teacher from 2016-2020. In 2022 he started working at Sunshine School as a teacher’s aide and Denton is continuing his education at SRJC. Gianna was Breton’s nanny from 2020-2022. She graduated from SVHS in 2022 and she is continuing her education at SRJC.

I’m honored to serve as the director of Sunshine School. I’m looking forward to working with Sunshine families, faculty, and the Sonoma United Methodist church to provide a safe, fun, learning environment for your children. Thank you for choosing Sunshine as the foundation for your child’s education.