Rev. Tiffania Icaza Willetts
Rev. Tiffania Icaza Willetts has served as the pastor at Seminole Heights UMC since July 2018.
She is committed to making disciples of all nations for the transformation of the world. She has a love and commitment to serving Jesus Christ, and the spiritual gifts of discernment, preaching, and teaching. She is a dynamic and biblical preacher and teacher.
Pastor Tiffania grew up as a pastor’s kid to two United Methodist pastors in Florida, and she has been involved in the church on a local, district, and conference level for several years. She answered God’s call to ordained ministry after a spiritual experience on the Walk to Emmaus retreat. She spent three years as a missionary, first in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then in campus ministry at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri.
Pastor Tiffania holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Latin American Studies from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, and in May 2018 she received a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. In September 2020, Pastor Tiffania was ordained an Elder in The United Methodist Church.
Pastor Tiffania lives in Old Seminole Heights with her husband, Laurence and puppy, Mia. She loves cooking, baking, yoga, and watching movies in her free time.
Worship Music Director
Dennis accepted Jesus as his personal savior at age 7, and he has been blessed to have known the Lord for most of his life. He married his best friend and high school sweetheart Vicky when he was 22. They have served the Lord together ever since. They have 4 beautiful children and 2 very cute pups, a Doberman and a pit bull. Dennis is also a full time band/choral director for Crews Lake Middle School in Spring Hill. He loves serving the Lord through music.
Christine Messer has been working for our church since 2000 as the Treasurer and since 2004 as the Preschool Director. She retired as Preschool Director at the end of December 2021. A lifelong Christian, wife, mother of two amazing daughters, a former registered nurse, and a local, county and state level PTA leader and trainer, she has always been a strong advocate for children and their parents. One of her favorite Bible verses is Romans 15:13 which reads "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Waleska Morales has over 22 years of experience working with young children. A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico with a BA in Science in Biology and a Minor in Microbiology, she spent 7 years working as a professor teaching Microbiology, Genetics, and Physiology in Puerto Rico before she moved to Tampa in 2001 and began her career in Early Childhood Education. In 2010, she came to Seminole Heights United Methodist Preschool (SHUMPS) as a two-year-old teacher and in 2012 was promoted to Assistant Director of SHUMPS. She was promoted to Director of the Preschool in 2023.
Waleska has been married to her husband Hamilton since 1995 and has two adult boys and one teenage daughter. Waleska says, "I’m thankful that I get to be a part of children’s lives and their first step in learning. I am blessed beyond measure to be given this opportunity to serve SHUMPS’s children and families."
Family and Community Ministries Assistant
Becca is from Indianapolis, IN, and came to us in August 2023 as a US-2 Global Mission Fellow in partnership with The United Methodist Church. She graduated from Ball State University in 2022 with majors in Women's/Gender Studies and Theatre. After graduating, Becca worked for a year as a teaching assistant for students with special needs. Becca has always had a heart for others, and she says that when she learned about the Global Mission Fellows 2-year mission program “I jumped at the opportunity to focus on helping others and keeping God at the center of it all.” Becca works with our children and youth ministries, our After School program, and with community outreach ministries.