Who We Are
Meet Our Staff
Pastor Michael Lawson, Ordained Elder
Originally from central Indiana, Michael has been serving as a United Methodist pastor since 2005. Michael holds a BA in Religious Studies and Classical Languages from Ball State University and received his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. His interests include music, theater, gaming, reading, and his dog Barley.
In his ministry to the church, Michael believes that the center of the Gospel is learning to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. All persons should be welcome to discover God and serve the needs of their community with compassion and friendship.
Kimberly Adkins has been the Administrative Secretary since 2020. She has lived in Portage with her husband Chris since 2002. They raised two children at Portage First. Their son Kyle and wife Jackie live in Franklin, IN. They also have one daughter Kaitlyn that lives in Portage. Kim and Chris have one grandchild named Bennett and are looking forward to another grandchild due at the end of August. Kim also has a “Pitty” (pit bull) named Piper.
Director of Music
Heather Schulz has been a member of Portage First UMC since childhood. She has led our choir since 2015. She is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a BA in Art Education and works as an art teacher at Fegley Middle School. She and her husband Steven and their two children Calder and Genevieve are ardent gamers and regularly host large groups for tabletop gaming.
Janice is a Master Organist holding a Master’s Degree in Church Music from Concordia University in Wisconsin, and a BA in Secondary Education from Purdue University. A Navy veteran and longtime resident of northwest Indiana, she has served in our music program since 2016. Her interests include travel, scrapbooking, and dancing, and is part of the honor guard of American Legion Post 502.
Vicki grew up in Hobart, Indiana, and graduated in 1971. She and her husband Chuck have been married since 1975 and have two daughters. Jen lives in Houston and is a contract writer for NASA. Julie lives in Fortville, IN with her husband Tanne and is a nurse at an on-site health clinic in Greenfield. Chuck and Vicki are blessed with two grandchildren and have been members of Portage First since 1986. Vicki has served in all areas of the church, is retired, and enjoys traveling as often as possible.
Community Care Coordinator
Deb is originally from Newell, West Virginia, and has been a member of Portage First since 1994. Having served as a United Methodist Local Pastor, she is happily retired and continues to work as a volunteer in our local church coordinating pastoral care and home visitation. Her interests include event planning, cooking, her cats Joey and Pearl, and spending time with her daughter Susie.
Handbell Choir Director
Kris has been a member of Portage First for over 30 years and has been the handbell director for nearly as long! She is a retired registered nurse and an alumna of the University of Evansville. She enjoys all types of music and music performance, and her hobbies include gardening, reading, and traveling. Kris has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Pete Schulz is a retired pipefitter from Pipefitter’s Union 597. He lives in Chesterton, Indiana with his beloved wife, Patricia, to whom he has been married since 1980. Together they have two boys and four lovely grandchildren. His interests include travel, hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors.