Our Story

Meet our staff

We are truly blessed to have such passionate, talented, and dedicated staff at Antelope Park Church.




Rev. Stephen C. Griffith, B.S., M.Div. – Interim Pastor 

We are currently looking for a full time pastor at Antelope Park Church. On a part-time basis, we have acquired Pastor Steve Griffith to fill in when necessary. He adds so much to our church, and we appreciate his kindness, dedication, and up-beat personality. He has been a perfect fit for us since he started as a part-time interim pastor in September.

The Rev. Stephen C. Griffith, B.S., M.Div., is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, now retired after serving churches in Nebraska for 35 years, most recently for 13 years at Saint Paul United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska. His work included engagement with Lincoln’s music, arts and theatre groups, LGBT organizations, and a variety of human service and social justice organizations. He is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. He holds a certificate in Interfaith Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute, Berkeley, California. In addition, he is president of the Faith Coalition of Lancaster County, and is a member of the boards of directors of the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Planned Parenthood North Central States. Stephen has received numerous awards for his social justice work, interfaith dialog, and support of the arts.

Steve grew up in small town Nebraska, with a minister for a dad and religious educator for a mom. He has one son; Jonathan, who serves in the US Navy. Jonathan leaves in September for a new two-year assignment in Bahrain. He’s married, and his wife, Tara, will be able to go with him. Steve lives in Downtown Lincoln and enjoys the convenience of walking to many theaters, restaurants, art galleries, Saint Paul Church, and the State Capitol. He attends live theatre frequently, and is a fan of British detective TV series.


Shelly Knipple, Office Manager

Born and raised in the city of Lincoln, Shelly worked at the phone company and Bryan Hospital before retiring and joining the staff in the office part time. Her background in management, word processing, graphic art, and computers provides the versatility necessary for the wide range of tasks asked of her.

A wife, mother, and grandmother, and mommy to two American Eskimos, Shelly enjoys cooking, sewing, crafting, and trying new things.

Oscar Vazquez Medrano – Interim Pianist

At this time we are looking for an Interim pianist to fill our sanctuary with music. We were approached by Oscar Vazquez Medrano, who is a PhD student of Music at the University of Nebraska. He will be playing piano with the choir during the school year.   

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. Since then, Oscar has won many awards and accolades due to his musical ability. 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 societies in the United States.

Matt Swenson, Custodian

Matt has done an excellent job of keeping our buildings clean and spotless. He is going to leave at the end of this year to pursue other interests. We are currently looking for a part-time janitor.  

Many in the congregation also serve in a volunteer capacity:

Al Berndt, Leadership Team Chair

Bud Whiteman, Treasurer

Jay Penner, Accounts Receivable

Judy Wrightsman, Secretary

Jay Penner, Deacon Co-Chair

Karen Swenson, Deacon Co-Chair

Janet Doran, Christian Education Chair

Martha Hakenkamp, Outreach Coordination Chair

Sigrid Horner, Worship and Fellowship Committee Chair

Jim (Harry) Swenson, Facilities Chair

Nancy Christy, Music Committee Chair

Kathy Berndt, Worship Center Committee Chair

In addition, we are grateful to the many volunteers who work behind the scenes, both within the congregation and throughout the community.  If you are interested in being connected with volunteer opportunities, please check out the Service link.