Pete Berntson took up his appointment as Pastor of Church of the Palms United Methodist on July 1, 2011.
A native of Minnesota and North Dakota, Pete has lived in South Carolina since 1992 when he was transferred here with AT&T. With a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Dakota, and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, Pete is now applying the skills learned in engineering and executive positions, with the gifts and talents God has provided, to be an obedient servant of Christ.
Pete is a Licensed Local Pastor, receiving his license in 2004. He has completed the Basic Course of Study and is currently in the Advanced Course of Study at Emory, which will allow him to pursue ordination in the United Methodist Church. Pete is a trained Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader, a former Hospice Volunteer/ Watchman, and currently serves as a Trustee of Wesley Commons in Greenwood, SC. Pete previously served as Director of Ministries at Covenant UMC in Greer, SC and then as Associate Pastor until 2007. At that time, Pete was appointed as Associate Pastor at Advent UMC in Simpsonville, SC.
Pete's stabilizing force is his wife, Kathy. They have two grown daughters, Kristen living in Rock Hill, SC, and Sara and her husband, Chuck, living in Acworth, GA. Sara and Chuck have one son, McCutchen. Pete's two sisters and his mother still live in Minnesota.
Norma Brown is Music Director here at Church of the Palms. Norma’s career has included nursing and services as the Director of Nursing for two hospitals in Maryland. However she has played piano and organ since she was a teenager in Keyser, West Virginia.
Norma has served as organist and choir director for two United Methodist congregations in West Virginia and North Carolina. Norma currently resides in Rose Hill with her husband Max and their two Basset hounds. Norma and Max have two children and 5 grandchildren living in West Virginia and Maryland.
Sandy Biggs is our part-time Church Secretary. Sandy received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Roanoke College in Salem, VA. Sandy has worked in church offices for the past 10 years.
Sandy moved to Hilton Head in July 2014 when she and her husband Robert relocated to the area from Virginia with his employer. Sandy and Robert have two children and a grand-daughter living in Virginia.
Portia Foden is key member of our staff team wearing multiple hats and balancing it all in good form.
First she is our Director Children, Youth, and Family Ministries helping us fulfill our Vision 2020 to connect more fully with the community. In addition, Portia our our part-time Administrative Assistant / Bookkeeper.
Portia is a California native who received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Westmont, a private Christian college nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara.
Portia and her two sons, Weston and Troupe, moved to Hilton Head Island in 2009. Portia has had a varied career, including training horses and their riders, to magazine publishing.
Luz Coston is our Nursery Attendant. She provides excellent care for the wee ones among us each Sunday morning and also during special events.
James Davis serves as our Sound Technican. He is responsible for the quality of the sound we hear and works hard to adjust the equipment to make sure all have a pleasant experience.