Hello, my name is Duane Coates, and I am privileged to shepherd this family of faith, which first welcomed me as a layman in 1995 when I started a three-year job as editor of the local newspaper.
Family is important to me. I am in a long-term relationship with a woman near Sioux Falls. She and her two teen-aged sons are part of my definition of family. My family also includes my parents, older brother, and younger sister, all of whom give me a large extended family. Furthermore, Epworth feels like family to me, also. I hope that when you worship with us or attend an event here, you, too, will feel welcomed like family. This is part of how we live out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Spiritually, I am pleased to lead Epworth’s commitment to radical hospitality, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service as well as extravagant generosity.
When not working or volunteering in the community, I especially love to break bread with others, play games, make music, worship God, and tell stories. Many forms of music and other fine arts media enrich my life. I also enjoy jigsaw puzzles, books, movies, and some television. For exercise, I especially enjoy bicycling.
In addition to pastoring, I have a significant ministry beyond the local church in service to the denomination in the fields of history and archives, publications, and rules of procedure.
Hi everyone! I am Anita Tulp and I have been a member of Epworth for over 20 years. Many of you probably know that my husband Kevin and I lived and worked at Wesley Acres Camp for nearly 20 years. We have three grown children and 8 grandchildren. I enjoy being “gramma” and in any spare time I have, I like to garden, read, and quilt with my sister. I am excited to be back in the ministry of the church and enjoy the wonderful variety of challenges that my position as office administrator experiences. I especially enjoy the opportunity to grow in faith along with everyone here at Epworth.
Director of Christian Education
Hi everyone! My name is Hayley Winkler. I was raised around the Valley City area most of my life. I was a part of Epworth as a child with my mother and older brother before moving to Wimbledon and attending St Johns United Methodist Church thru high school and most of college. I attended Northern State University in Aberdeen SD for Double Music Education with emphasis in Vocal and Flute. I moved back to Valley City in 2011. I have 2 wonderful children Kaydence and Emmett who are both currently in school and gymnastics. I have worked full- time since 2012 at the Valley City Children’s Center where I work with children of all ages and I love it! My kids and I have been coming back to Epworth since 2019 as the church has always felt like a second home to me. I’ve been playing piano once a month for Services here at Epworth for a few years now and love it!
I am so excited to start this new journey with Epworth and all the wonderful families and children here and can’t wait to get to know everyone more!
Congregational Care Coordinator
Hello, I’m VirLyn Hoff. My husband Gordon and I have been members here at Epworth since we moved to Valley City as newlyweds. I have served on various committees of the church and I am active in the Sunday School and United Women in Faith. The people of Epworth have shown me the importance, the necessity, of being in a community of believers. I am honored to serve the congregation through the work in the office at this time. As an elementary teacher by profession, I treasure caring for and watching my three birth grandchildren grow and learn, along with three honorary grandchildren, plus whomever else God brings into my life. I am glad to greet you in church.