Meet Our People

As the Body of Christ in our Community, we seek to serve as the Heart of Apache Junction.

Sharon Pajak



Bio: Our pastor, Rev. Sharon Pajak, was born and raised in Mesa, and is a life-long United Methodist. Her parents were charter members of Grace UMC in Mesa, where she went to Sunday school, VBS, youth group, choirs and so much more.

It was while participating at First UMC that Pastor Sharon first experienced her call into ministry. Following high school, Pastor Sharon received her undergraduate degree from Grand Canyon College, and went to seminary at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She has served in 6 appointments since being ordained in 1990, most recently as the senior pastor of Griffith United Methodist Church in Las Vegas, NV.

Al, her husband, is a distance runner. Elizabeth, their daughter, loves to read and is technology nut, and brings joy to the people she meets. 

Cynthia Norris

Administrative Assistant


Bio: Cynthia came to us with 20 years of administrative experience and has been at Desert Chapel since 2004.  She came from California with her husband Tim and enjoys people, traveling, golf and the outdoors.



Alice Wagaman

Bell Choir Director


Bio: Alice came from Martinsville, IN to Desert Chapel in 1990 with her husband Pat. First introduced to hand bells in early 1970’s, she played in her church’s choir for 10 years. After coming to Arizona, she played with the Mesa Ringers Community Hand Bell Choir from 1991 to 2000.  In 2003, after playing in the Desert Chapel Choir, she became the Hand Bell Director. 

Rachel Starr

Choir Director


Bio: Ms Starr is a highly successful vocal pedagogure.  In addtionion to teaching vocal pedagogy at the collegiate level and running a private voice studio out of her home, she started a Voice Program at Plus XI High School where over 100 studeents studied voice at one time. 

Sharon Dickerson

Chirch Pianist


Bio: Sharon moved to Arizona, with her husband, in April. They lived here a number of years ago and had planned to return one day. She studied piano music at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina for 4 years . Sight reading and choral assistance are her strengths.