Pastor Susan Smith
The Rev. Susan Smith is our newest Pastor. Sue grew up in Union, NJ and moved to Florida in 1992. She was previously a bookkeeper and an elementary teacher. She has an Education Specialist degree from Barry University and a Masters of Arts in Special Education from the University of South Florida. In 2018, she graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity. She has been happily married to Scott Smith for 25 years, who recently retired from a career as an elevator technician. They have three children, Sean 24, Skylar 18, and Stephanie, 14. The Smiths joined the Celebration of Christ Church of the Brethren in Saint Petersburg, FL in 2006 and they have served in many ways. She has a passion for youth and music and her and Scott (or Smitty) have been in praise bands at church throughout most of their marriage. She has done jail ministry for three years and has been involved with Family Promise of Pinellas County and other community ministries, as well as been involved with Camp Ithiel in the Atlantic Southeast District COB. Most recently, Sue was an Outreach Pastor for the congregation until relocating to Lincoln. They have felt a call from God to begin a new journey and are excited to be here as part of Antelope Park Church.
Shelly has worked as an office manager for Antelope Park Church for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design, and a Master of Arts in Management. She acquired her degrees while working full time at Alltel Communications. Shelly attended Doane University-Lincoln for several years to obtain these degrees.
Shelly is married to the love of her life, Gene, who is the consummate jack of all trades. Her hobbies are web design, graphic design, and reading. Her only child, a daughter, lives in Norton, Kansas, and works for the library there. Heather has given Shelly three beautiful grandchildren. One of those children, a granddaughter gave her a beautiful great-grandchild.
Since Shelly retired from Alltel in 2003, she has had the luxury of choosing jobs that she especially loves. The part-time position (only eight hours a week) she holds from Antelope Park Church is her favorite, and it keeps her active.
Oscar Vazquez Medrano
Oscar was born in Mexico City, Mexico, although today he is living in Lincoln, Nebraska, to finish his education at UNL. Last year, Oscar accepted a GTA position at The Glenn Korff School of Music (Lincoln, Nebraska) with the purpose to study his DMA (Doctor in Musical Arts) with the renowned American pianist Dr. Mark Clinton. At age 9, he began piano lessons with Gabriel Sierra Finke at Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA, National Institute of Fine Arts) in Mexico City. At age 12, the Musical Initiation Center (CIM) that belongs to The National Autonomous University of Mexico, accepted him as a student. UNAM is considered one of the top universities in the world and the most renowned university in Latin America. At age 14, Oscar was among the finalists at the Manuel M. Ponce Piano Competition for teenage musicians in Mexico City.
In 2007, he formally entered The National Autonomous University of Mexico where he took piano lessons until the day he completed his Bachelor’s degree with the acclaimed Mexican pianist Jesus Ma Figueroa. During this period, he not only performed throughout Mexico, but he also began his international debut with a series of concerts dedicated to Mexican and Spanish Music in The United States (Emporia, Kansas; Tucson, Arizona; and Phoenix, Arizona). Oscar has participated in masterclasses given by very important pianists such as Martin Cuellar, Fei-Fei Jiang, Mark Clinton, Slawomir Dobrzanski, Mi-Jung Im, Janka Krajciova, Nikodem Wojciechowski, William Westney, Jorge Federico Osorio, Jean-Paul Sevilla, Marcelo Lian, Alessandra Feris, Jorg Demus, and the pianist from the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic piano quartet, Markus Groh. In 2016, Oscar received a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at Kansas State University for a period of two years (Fall, 2016-Spring 2018). This assistantship gave him the opportunity to travel to the United States with the purpose to study his Master’s degree in Piano Performance with the renowned Polish pianist Dr. Slawomir Dobrzanski. In November of 2016, he won the silver medal at KMTA State Piano Competition at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. For that reason, he was included in the Notable Scholarly Graduate Student Achievements list presented by Kansas State University’s Graduate Student Council in May of 2017. In November of 2017, however, he won the third prize at the KMTA state piano competition in Emporia, Kansas. Moreover, in April of 2018, he was awarded the first prize in the Honors Recital. This Recital showcases the most talented students in the Department of Music at Kansas State University.
Last year, Oscar was awarded the 2018 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Small Grant with the purpose to travel to Hungary and finish his research about Franz Liszt and his Musical Influence in the Neoromantic Piano Works by Manuel M. Ponce. In 2018, he also had a very successful debut in Europe (Bratislava, Slovakia) by playing Mexican music. Nowadays, he is a member of the Music Teachers National Association. In addition, he is not only a member of the Honor Society of Pi Kappa Lambda (for musicians) but also a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which is the oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society in the United States. Last year, Oscar accepted a GTA position at The Glenn Korff School of Music (Nebraska, Lincoln) with the purpose to study his DMA (Doctor in Musical Arts) with the renowned American pianist Dr. Mark Clinton.
Randy and Cindy Leer