Meet Our Team

Pastor James Murphy

A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Pastor James received his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University, and his Masters in Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He has previously served Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church outside of Portland/Vancouver, and Bonners Ferry United Methodist Church in northern Idaho.
Pastor James’ message is that all people are known and loved by God, a hopeful truth made undeniable by the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. He emphasizes the sacred worth of all people, the present love of God for all people, and encourages others in the pursuit of their own relationships with Jesus. He is passionate about sharing the news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, of being an inclusive community where all can worship and grow, and the pursuit of new avenues of serving in the Covington/Maple Valley/Black Diamond area.

Associate Pastor Ashley Creek

Ashley spent most of her childhood growing up right around the corner from Cornerstone, in Covington. After graduating from Western Washington University, she moved back to Covington with her new husband, Jimmy Creek, to begin working at Cornerstone. They both have been called to serve and love the youth of Cornerstone and are excited about the years to come for the youth program here! In 2018, Ashley began her new role as our Associate Pastor and now assists with administering Sacraments, such as Communion and Baptism, as well as with preaching.
If there is one thing you should know about Ashley, it is that she never takes herself too seriously – so expect a few jokes here and there! But in all seriousness, she loves to live by the idea of 1 Thessalonians 2:8 – sharing the Gospel and her life as well, with the people who have become dear to her!

Children’s Director Christine Girard

Christine was born in Kunsan, South Korea, but moved all around the United States and even Guam because her father served in the Air Force for 20 years. Her father retired in Phoenix, AZ where she met her husband Tom. Tom and Christine have been married since 1996 and have lived in the Maple Valley area since 2001. They have been blessed with two boys Justin and Brandon who keeps them on their feet pretty regularly.
Christine is so thankful that her family has been part of the Cornerstone family since 2001. In that time she had sung on Praise Team, taught Sunday school and served on staff as the Children’s Worship Director for almost 5 years. She stepped away from her position to work more in the area of preschool education. It was also a time for her to grow deeper in her faith and relationship with Christ. Her growing faith and deep love for children has led her to step back into the Children’s Ministry. She is excited to see just where God will lead her in shepherding His children. Christine has been learning to play guitar for 2 years. Her favorite thing to do is going out for Thai, watching movies, vacationing and hiking with her family and spending time with friends.

Office Manager Kimberley Lackey

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. I grew up at Spokane Valley UMC, and then went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at Washington State University. At WSU, met and married my husband Bryan. We have been married for over 20 years. We have lived in Black Diamond and now Covington since college. I am mom to three busy, preteen and teenage boys. I have been an active member at Cornerstone for over 17 years. When I am not being wife and mom I love travel and photography.
I am excited to serve in this new capacity in my church and to be that cheerful voice on the phone and that smiling face to greet you on Sunday mornings.




Middle School Coordinator – Felicia Johnson

Felicia Johnson joins Cornerstone UMC after spending a few years with the youth at Mountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Her passion and love are the youth in her community. She is married with three kids that range in age from 8 to 14 years old. Felicia has coached numerous basketball teams and provided individual training to many young people since graduating from college in 2000. Recently, God has put the middle schoolers on her heart, and she feels very blessed to have the opportunity to serve and love them. As she connects each week with youth both in and outside of the church, she hopes to give an example of what it means to follow Jesus through her teaching, her mentoring, and her life.

Worship Director – Jimmy Creek

Jimmy is a Math Teacher during the week and one of our phenomenal Worship Directors on the weekend. Part of the trio of worship directors that Cornerstone is blessed by, Jimmy brings great energy and a connection to our talented Youth Worship Team. Jimmy is married to Pastor Ashley and they serve together with our High School Youth, Young Adults, and on Sunday mornings. Jimmy is a talented guitarist and passionate worship leader who loves to engage the congregation in meaningful worship each week.

Worship Director – Chuck Buser

Chuck has been staff musician at Cornerstone for over 20 years. Stylistically Chuck came from a rock background, performing professionally in Northwest-based rock bands since high school. At 29 he quit the band he was in to better serve the Lord with his music, a decision he has never regretted. Along with his wife Debi and three children, he formed the “Buser Family Band” that performed together for over ten years. They won the Washington State Christian Talent Contest in 2002, produced a well-received CD of original music and performed on television and at many venues. Chuck is also a music professor at two local colleges and gives guitar lessons locally as well.

Custodian – Lorena Saxton

Lorena feels blessed to work with such a dedicated group of people who serve the Lord. She grew up in the South End and has been married for 5 1/2 years to her high school sweet heart! They bought their first home in Auburn where they now live. Some day Lorena would like to hike the Wonderland Trail around the base of Mt Rainer. And she says that if she ever came into a lot of money she would buy a house by Green Lake so she could walk around it everyday. Lorena has 20+ years of cleaning experience and loves what she does. Her goal at Cornerstone is to see the church grow in a clean and sanitary environment.