Sonoma United Methodist Church

Open hearts, open minds, open doors


Rev. Matthew Pearson,

Pastor M@ has been appointed to serve Sonoma United Methodist Church for a second time.   He is passionate about local church ministry and what the beloved community can do to make a difference in the life of others.  A talented musician and occationally will break out his accordian in worship.  Coming to California from Virginia to go to seminary at PSR in Berkeley.   Ask him about his PEZ collection. 

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.