Our Staff

**Please note that our office is officially closed per county and conference guidelines.  We are WFH and may be contacted via emails listed below **

Profile image of Brian Adkins

Brian Adkins


Office: 408-294-9796 ext 12

Pastor Brian was trained as a faith-based community organizer and sees assets-based community development as an integral part of his ministry. He believes faith should be practical and lived out. He maintains that the Gospel calls us to engage in tough conversations about race, addictions/recovery, wealth disparities, and mental health- including the acknowledgment of the Church’s flaws and failings in these areas. Above all, he believes in the power of love, the impact of grace, and the sacred worth of all God’s children.

Pastor Brian was appointed to Willow Glen UMC in July 2020, having served congregations in the East Bay over the past 8 years. He is originally from Ohio, where he grew up in an Appalachian Pentecostal family. His grandmother was (and her memory still is) a source of inspiration, unconditional love, and stories worth telling. He has served the United Methodist Church in various capacities, notably (and notoriously) as the only openly-gay clergyperson on the Church’s Commission on a Way Forward, a group tasked with helping the global denomination discern a path forward that includes ministry by, with, and for LGBTQ+ folks. He served on the board of the Reconciling Ministries Network and the UMC’s UM Queer Clergy Caucus.

Brian enjoys spending time with friends and with his 7-year-old black lab, Waylon. He appreciates theological reflections and Agatha Christie novels. He enjoys re-wiring old lamps, collecting old carpenter’s levels, and finding other ways of bringing in more light and achieving more balance. He’s found a home of kindred spirits at Willow Glen UMC.

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Susan Grace Smith

Pastor of Children & Family Ministries and Director of Woodhaven Preschool

Office: 408-294-6072

For Susan, children are the most important people in the church. They're not just the church of the future; they're the church of now! For this reason, Susan is committed to providing a place where children and families can grow together in their faith, experiencing God's presence in their lives and learning to respond to that incredible love.

On Sunday mornings, you'll find Susan sharing stories with the children, singing and dancing with them, participating in Sunday School projects, or just sitting with children to hear about their lives.

Susan shares her life with her husband Stephen (a high school history teacher) and her son Casey. Outside of work, she enjoys knitting, baking, biking, and being a mom. She also loves to spend time with her friends and family for whom she feels truly blessed.

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Lisa Jacobs

Director of Joint Youth Ministries


Lisa Jacobs is the Joint Youth Director and the Fitness Ministry Director for Willow Glen. Lisa's desire to be a Youth Pastor started when she was 16 and she has pursued that passion ever since. She worked in the Episcopal church, the Free Methodist Church and the Urban ministry program at Westmont College. She graduated from Westmont College in 2002 with a major in Religious Studies and an emphasis in Urban Ministry.She has been working as the Joint Youth Director for 10 years and loves serving, working with and getting to know the in's and outs of young people. Everyone always asks if she will soon study to be a pastor of adults and Lisa's response is this; "I believe that the young people are one of the most important parts of a congregation. Churches need relevant, affirming programs that help point teenagers towards God. Youth ministry is essential to the life of any church and my desire is to help facilitate that growth wherever God leads me. I can never imagine myself working with anyone but teenagers!"

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Roxanne Kohlin

Office/Communications/Facilities Manager

Office: 408-294-9796

WGUMC Office - alternative email



Church Music Staff

Organist and Director of Music Ministries Bob Birnstihl
Director, Praise Band Michael Kuo
Director, Willow Glen Ringers Tom Mounts