About Us

First United Methodist Church is a frontier congregation with frontier roots and frontier character.  First UMC was the first church founded in the entire state of Wyoming, and from a September Sunday in 1867, this church aimed to be at the boundaries—the frontier—of God’s creation to preach the Good News.

To this day, First UMC proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ to everyone.  We preach to the poor, the meek, the homeless, yes, and also to the banker and school teacher airwoman and policeman. We preach Good News to all. Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

At First United Methodist Church-Cheyenne, we believe everyone needs to hear the Good News.  That’s why we are an inclusive, welcoming church ready to greet you with a kind word or a cup of coffee before we join together in worship and praise.

But we don’t stop there.  We are Methodists; so we believe the proclamation of the Good News doesn’t stop at the doors to our sanctuary but spills out into our community with acts of piety, mercy, and justice.  We are a mission-oriented church, ready to lend a hand to our neighbours in need.

Come to be a part of this church.  Come to preach Good News to Cheyenne!


Who We Are

Our Team & Leadership


Mark Marston

Mark Marston

Senior Pastor

Mark was born and raised in Russell, Kansas and grew up attending the Trinity United Methodist Church there. After graduating from high school he joined the Air Force and was stationed both overseas and state side. After his discharge, he attended college at Sonoma State University where he met and married his wife Beth. After graduating with a B.A. in Biology, he then attended the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. 

Mark served United Methodist churches in Minnesota for nine years, Colorado for ten years and Wyoming for six. He and Beth have two daughters and love Wyoming very much, first and foremost: First United Methodist Church of Cheyenne. Mark invites everyone to powerful, spirit-filled worship and inspired programming.

Come and join us. Hear, see and feel the Holy Spirit.  

Bill Novak

Bill Novak

Associate Pastor

Bill comes from the small town of Chester, Montana where he grew up in a United Methodist family of four.  After leaving home, he went to Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA before joining the Peace Corps and moving to Paraguay for four years.  In Paraguay, he met another volunteer, Abby, who, against her better judgment, decided to marry him.  They lived in Evanston, IL while Bill completed a Masters of Divinity at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and continued studies for a PhD in Moral Theology (expected graduation in 2019), and Abby got her R.N. degree.  During that time they had three of their four daughters: Wynne, Beatrice, and Mabel.  They recently welcomed their fourth daughter, Clementine.

Bill enjoys discussing God and the meaning of life over hot coffee on Sunday mornings and cold beer on Sunday nights. Come join us!

Angela Sellers-Swanson

Angela Sellers-Swanson

Director of Family Ministries

Angela is a Wyoming native who was raised in the Methodist church attended by both her grandmother and mother. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Texas and an associate’s degree in Radiography from LCCC.

With two daughters of her own, she has lived in Cheyenne since 1998. Her passions are reading, nature, children and serving the Lord. She has been involved with FUMC’s ministries for many years; serving on the Family Ministry Committee and the FUMC Preschool Board, participating in UMW, Prayer Shawl Ministry and Praise Band, as well as teaching Sunday School.


She has many years of children’s programing experience from working at the YMCA and Safe Kids WY. She is currently certified as a NAMI Family-to-Family teacher.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Michael Loveland

Director of Youth Ministries

John Fritz

John Fritz

Director of Music Ministries

John joined the FUMC staff as Director of Music in February 2018. As a Cheyenne native, he is excited, honored and humbled to serve his home church in this position. “I never would have predicted that God would call me to serve Him in this capacity, but that is how He works – in unimaginable, amazing ways. It is my sincerest desire to give Him my talents fully, without reservation, in order to glorify Him and to be a faithful son with whom He is well pleased.”

John graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition. One month later, he and his wife, Jessica, were married. They resided in Greeley and Castle Rock, CO before moving to Cheyenne in October 2015.

Gretchen Young

Gretchen Young

Organist & Associate Director of Music Ministries

Gretchen spends many summer nights with her Husband, Daughter, Granddaughter and other family members camping or at their cabin. Enjoying the outdoors with all of her immediate family.

Ann Segrave

Ann Segrave

Finance Director

Ann was born in Pittsburgh PA to a steel working family, and she and her family followed the steel industry from Pittsburgh to Minnesota to Ohio and back again to Pennsylvania where she graduated from high school.  Ann went to Bethany College where she graduated with a degree in economics and a concentration in accounting.  This led to a job with State Farm Insurance where she met her husband Tom.  After working at the corporate level, Ann and Tom decided to start their own agency through State Farm, and they moved here to Cheyenne.  Here, they raised their three kids Austin, James, and Taylor, all of whom grew up in FUMC.

Ann began working for the church on a temporary basis as the financial director in 2008, a position which she took on permanently in 2009.  She brings a wealth of experience and financial acumen to the staff and makes sure that the church’s finances are in order and that we stay on track to serve God in Cheyenne.

Marilyn Salley

Marilyn Salley

Administrative Assistant

Prior to joining the church staff in 1995, Marlyn spent her working years in law offices in various positions from receptionist to office manager of a regional law firm.  Retiring in 1995 she became bored after a few months and applied for the position that she currently holds.  She is the receptionist as well as the Membership Secretary, and secretary to the Administrative Council.  She is responsible for calendaring and coordinating the use of the church facilities for internal groups and outside groups.   Reduced hours and a variety of responsibilities, plus the joy of meeting so many people has kept her active and involved in the church and community.  She gave six years to the board of directors of Cheyenne Little Theatre, even acted is a few productions, and gained experience as an assistant director on two productions.  A native of Nebraska, she spent many years in Colorado before coming to Wyoming.

Donna Arnold

Wedding Coordinator

Donna lives in Cheynne with her husband and often spends time with her grandkids, taking a drive with her husband in their collector car. Please connect with her or our main office to determine your Wedding needs. 

Our Culture


Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live in unity. –Psalm 133

We are brothers and sisters in Christ.  We believe that God creates each person in His image and endows each individual with sacred worth.  At First United Methodist Church (FUMC) we have a caring Christian culture that creates an environment of personal connection and welcoming relationships.  Our Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS) care for moms and children.  Our Youth group brings energy to the church.  Every Sunday we gather as a family for community lunch. Grandmas rock our babies during worship.  Dads take children camping.  Grandpas cook pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast.  We are loyal to our discipleship, values, members, and to each other.  “Welcome home!”


For the body does not consist of one member but of many. –1 Cor. 12:14

As an inclusive, faith-based Christian community, we invite everyone to worship, fellowship, pray, and serve others in a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment.  All who earnestly seek Jesus are welcome in this church and invited to his communion table.  “Open hearts, open minds, open doors.”


Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.—1 Thess 5:16-18

We are a Spirit-led church with traditional worship for diverse generations, families, and individuals who live in a troubled world.  Our music, prayer, sacraments, and sermons seek to praise God continually, always giving thanks through Scripture. In the summer, members of the congregation hike and gather for “Church in the Woods.”  In God’s sanctuary, our worship elevates us.  We pass the peace of Christ.   We bring a higher glory to God. “We leave the world behind.”

Christian Education

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.—Proverbs 9:9

We learn the Word of God through a life-long dedication to Christian education. At FUMC, we provide educational opportunities for every age beginning with our Christian pre-school, The Learning Ark, Sunday school for children and youth, Bible studies and mission outreach.  As a Bible-based church, we pay close attention to God’s word.  “Share the Word.”


Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.—Matt 28:19

At FUMC, we put faith into action through our mission.  As members of the community, every single day we provide housing for the homeless, meals for the hungry, and hope for the weary in the downtown.  As the Cheyenne Police Department testifies, without our witness and assistance, downtown Cheyenne would fall apart and suffering would intensify.  As citizens of Wyoming, we reach out to our neighbors across the state.  As global Methodists, we combat disease in Angola through Imagine No Malaria, a mission of the United Methodist Church; we bring clean water to Nepal with Wine to Water; we cultivate friendships while building latrines in Guatemala with the Patulup Methodist Church.   We go, therefore, to make disciples of all nations.  “Let your light shine.”


The Lord is my heritage.—Psalm 16:5

We are a historic, downtown church, born with the founding of Cheyenne as the first congregation in the state of Wyoming. This church is truly a national historic treasure, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.   Wild Bill Hickok was married here and President Teddy Roosevelt worshipped in our sanctuary.  This church has seen Cheyenne through the tough times of the Depression, the worry of world wars, and the victories for civil rights.  During the chaos of the 1960s, the church committed to stay in the heart of the city, remained through the booms of the 80s and 90s, and continues to lead our community.   From 1867 to today, FUMC remains integral to the history of our city and we value every moment of it. From our famous Frontier Day Parade lunches to our Youth Halloween Pumpkin Patch, we are “a church in the heart of the city with the city in its heart.”

Serving the Community

If your gift is serving others, serve them well.—Romans 12:7

We understand that Christ never intended His word to be static.  It is dynamic, alive, moving and growing. His Word of love is for all humankind. He boldly commanded that we witness to all through our everyday actions.   The church serves as a launching pad for many different civic groups from Scouts to ARC, for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Laramie County Community College began in the basement, Alcoholics Anonymous continues to meet here, and our Stephen Ministers provide a listening ear to community members in crisis.  We don’t stop there.  We pray for the community in Prayer and Care.  We welcome new babies and wrap the elderly with Prayer Shawl ministry.  We offer youth scholarship opportunities for higher education.  We open up the church for a Thanksgiving meal.  We comfort the mourning with our Kaleidoscope group.  Still, we don’t stop.  We open our space for free legal advice with Equal Justice Wyoming.  We gather families together for Supper for Six.  We have game nights, potlucks, and Christmas Caroling at Cheyenne’s retirement facilities. We host homeless families in partnership with Family Promise, and our members are leaders from all civic groups to federal, state, and city government.  “Serve!”


Be strong and of good courage do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake.—Deut 31:6

While we are a historic church, we do not live in the past.  FUMC faces the future without fear because of the assurance that Christ is with us, Emmanuel. We are proud to take risks for Christ.  With courage, we speak our mind and listen to others.  With courage, we take on debt to expand our ministries, most recently with our new building, and with courage, we pay our debts to open ourselves to the future.    Tough choices continually arise that require tough decisions, and we trust the Holy Spirit to lead us.  Focus! For, with the Lord, “all shall be well.”


Come into his presence with singing.—Psalm 100

Music is worship. Music is ministry.  Music brings people to our church and keeps them here.   It is the first thing we hear as we enter the sanctuary and the last thing to touch our ears on the way out.  Our pipe organ, one of the finest in Wyoming, soars above the congregation.  Our chancel choir praises the Lord in song.  Our handbell choirs ring with joy. Our children’s choirs delight us. Our special women and men’s choirs enchant throughout the year.  Our dance groups impress us with grace. The Praise Band revitalizes worship, and our Christmas and Easter cantatas crown our worship with glory.   Various musical presentations and concerts abound throughout the year. In all things, we glorify God with our artistic presentations. “Sing to the Lord a new song!”


For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.—Matt 18:20

Methodists are connected by design, nature, and practice. Every Christmas Eve, we light one another’s candles. Every Sunday, we pass the peace of Christ.  Every day, we pray and care for one another.  We host delicious meals in our hall.  We drink coffee together in our chapel.  We share God’s love in the pub.   We visit one another in the hospital, comfort one another in hospice, and celebrate life together in memorial.  From birth to death, we are a Christian faith family in fellowship. “Put on love.”

Grace & Forgiveness

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16.

We are a forgiven people, a people of the Resurrection.   Grace abounds, a gift from God, not earned but given freely. Jesus Christ died on the cross freeing us from our sins.  With Christ, we leave them behind.  Now, we are free to love one another as Christ loves us. Therefore, at FUMC, everything points to eternal life.  Every sermon preaches Christ and him crucified. Every communion celebration is open to all people. We baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Then, every service, even funerals, is a celebration.  “Our last day on earth is our first day in heaven.”


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