Children & Families Staff Bios

Rev. Brenda Smith

Director of Children’s Ministry and Young Adult Ministry
602-840-8360, ext. 141


Brenda joined the PVUMC staff in 2012. She is employed part-time as the Director of Children Ministry for ages 3 years to 6th Grade, and part-time as the Young Adult Ministry Coordinator. She has a Master’s in Children and Family Ministry from Bethel University Seminary in St. Paul, and has served in this ministry for over 15 years and in several churches. She has also worked with Young Adults for about five years, and launched two Young Adult ministry programs. On June 20, 2015, Brenda was commissioned as part of the Annual Conference at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa. Commissioning makes Brenda a provisional member of the Desert Southwest Conference with the title of Reverend. The two-year commissioning period is a time of learning and preparation with an assigned peer group who guide and advise Brenda. Ordination follows in 2017. Brenda has a Master of Arts in children and family ministry from Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN, and she completed her UMC Basic Graduate Theological Studies for Deacon from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in May 2014.

Rachel Smith

Youth Ministries Assistant
5th-7th Grade Coordinator
Squad 57
602-840-8360, ext. 147



Rachel Smith is the Youth Ministries Assistant and leads Squad 57, students who are in 5th-7th grade. Her church leadership experience includes serving in children’s ministry, serving on a conference-wide youth leadership team, small groups and writing youth group curriculum. In addition to her involvement with youth leadership, she also co-leads the young adult group at PVUMC, representing the 18-24 year olds. She began working with Squad 57 in 2016 as a volunteer before being brought on as a staff member in August, 2018. Rachel’s mission experience includes evangelism in Poland; Hurricane Ike relief in Galveston, TX; children’s ministry in Belize; and house building in Mexico. During the summer, she was on staff at Mingus Mountain Camp — a ministry of the United Methodist Church and an ACA-accredited camp in Prescott, Arizona. Rachel says, “Church has always been a part of my life and I’m enthusiastic about living that out in my career.” She’s also a college student, studying Computer Science.

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