A Church Without Walls

Welcome, Alma Aguirre-Olivares!

Sunday in worship, I announced that the cabinet intends to appoint Alma Aguirre-Olivares as the co-pastor at Grace UMC. She will lead our ministry with Hispanic-culture and Spanish-speaking people in the community. I am beyond excited for what’s ahead of us. We are already seeing signs of new life at Grace so I know that it’s going to bloom in amazing ways. You can read the official announcement and more information about Pastor Aguirre-Olivares below!



Pastor Janessa


“Rev. Dr. Robert Burns, Superintendent of the Central East District, announced that Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata intends to appoint Alma Aguirre-Olivares as Co-Pastor with Rev. Janessa Chastain at Grace United Methodist Church, Mesa, Arizona effective July 1, 2016 in accordance with Paragraph 318.1 of the 2012 Book of Discipline. Under their leadership, Grace UMC will enter into development of an intentional Multi-Cultural congregation. Please keep Pastor Aguirre-Olivares, Rev. Chastain, and Grace United Methodist Church in your prayers during this time of transition.”


Alma Aguirre-Olivares 



I was born in Mexico. I was raised in San Luis Rio Colorado, a border town in northwest Mexico, where I visit from time to time to see my father and three siblings. I come from a family of teachers. I enjoy being a learner and facilitating learning processes for various groups. I am a facilitator for the UMC Hispanic/Latino National Plan, and a member of the DSW Hispanic/Latino Committee. 

I am Methodist since I was 14-15.

In Mexico, I served as pastor for 5 years before moving to Phoenix AZ. I have lived in various parts of northern Mexico, New Jersey and a few places in AZ. My husband; who is a UM clergy, our two children Esteban (14), Natalia (19) and I, moved from Payson to Phoenix in the summer of 2014.

I love contemplating nature, enjoy creating beaded jewelry, painting and making art projects. I also enjoy having open and honest conversations with people.

My main image/metaphor for ministry is the “body of Christ (Romans 12: 4-6a).” I am delighted in facilitating as well as being part of the body working together, growing, understanding, respecting and appreciating each other.

I completed a bachelor’s degree in Theology at John Wesley Seminary in Mexico and my MDiv at Drew University in New Jersey. Currently a candidate for ministry with UMC.