First United Methodist Church
MEET THE STAFF
Rev. Dr. Ricky James
Ricky grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He holds a B.A. from Millsaps College, a M.Div from Duke University, and a Doctorate in Biblical interpretation and proclamation from Emory University.
He serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Stewpot Community Services, Vice-Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Mississippi Annual Conference, and is a member of the Candler School of Theology Alumni Board. Additionally, he teaches in the Course of Study for Millsaps College and Emory University.
Ricky became the Senior Pastor at Clinton First UMC in 2019. Prior to that he served as the Senior Pastor of St. Luke’s UMC Jackson for 9 years and was the Pastor of Evangelism and Young Adults at Christ UMC in Jackson for 3 years.
He is married to Megan, who is the Dean of Students at Millsaps College and the International President for Delta Delta Delta Sorority.
They are the proud parents of two beautiful children. Ricky enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and following college sports.
Rev. Katie Giedd
Pastor of Discipleship and Families
Katie grew up in the Hattiesburg area. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Katie became our Associate Pastor in July of 2021. Prior to that, she was the pastor of a three-point charge in the Mississippi Delta.
Katie has a passion for discipleship, with an emphasis in youth and women’s ministry. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and walking around Target with a Starbucks drink in hand. Katie’s grandparents still reside in the Hattiesburg area, along with friends who are basically family. Katie is the proud “TT” to her two favorite boys, Hamilton and Jack, and is incredibly blessed to be serving at Clinton First United Methodist Church.
Rev. David Steveline
Membership Care Pastor
David is our Membership Care Pastor. David and his wife, Alma, have become a meaningful part of our Community of Faith.”
David has a very amazing story of his life journey to date. He was born in Baltimore MD to a single mother at a time when single parenting was rare. His Mother worked as a waitress during his childhood. In remembering his childhood, David says, “What I do know is that I never lacked for anything I truly needed (as a child).”
He was part of the Free Methodist Church in his childhood and adolescent years. Again, David states, “Looking back on those years, that little Free Methodist Church was heaven’s gift to a lonely boy who needed the love and nurture of God’s People. They taught me to love Scripture. It is a gift I treasure still.”
In 1998, David and Alma moved to Mississippi for David to become the Director of Library Services at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson. In addition, David taught Beginning Greek and Preaching. After serving pastorates in the Brookhaven District and teaching Greek at Belhaven University, David and Alma retired to their home here in Clinton.
Director of Music Ministry
Tommy a native of Morton, MS, has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Masters of Music degree from Mississippi College. He loves playing tennis and basketball in his spare time.
He has served MS United Methodist churches in Forest, Brandon, McComb, Jackson, and Clinton during his career. Tommy heads a vibrant music ministry at First Methodist which includes 10 choirs and groups. There are choirs for all ages, including singing choirs, handbell choirs, and orchestra.
Director of Worship Arts
Tom and his wife, Jamie, have lived in Clinton since 2003 and are raising three beautiful girls here, Abbey, Molly and Elsie. Tom has served at First Methodist as the Connection Worship Leader since August of 2011 and is also an itinerant worship leader for various church conferences, camps and retreats. Through working with the Connection and student worship bands, Tom hopes to provide an opportunity for musicians of any age and skill level to plug in and serve in a nurturing environment. As a worship leader, he longs to bring people to a place where their hearts and minds connect with the gospel and then join together with their brothers and sisters in Christ in celebrating our great God. To learn a little more about him, check out tomedwardsband.com.
Dr. Brenda Wilder
Brenda is a Music Specialist, Piano Teacher, Church Pianist at First Methodist, and Adjunct Music Faculty Member at Tougaloo College. She holds degrees from Mississippi State University, MS University for Women, and the University of MS. Several of Dr. Wilder’s articles have been printed in national publications such as Pedalpoint and Church Musician Today, including an article about technology in her piano studio. She is listed in the 2000 Edition of Who’s Who of American Women and was a featured performer in Jackson, MS, for a National Steinway Tour in 2002. Dr. Wilder resides in Clinton, Mississippi, with her husband, Don. They have two children and eight wonderful grandchildren.
Dr. Wilder has served on faculty at Music Weeks in Glorieta, New Mexico, and Ridgecrest, North Carolina, for the Southern Baptist Convention and on faculty for the Mississippi Piano Camp at Hinds Community College. She has served as a National Piano Guild Adjudicator in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Colorado, and Connecticut, as well as adjudicator for numerous piano festivals.
Ginny was born in Vicksburg , MS. She has two grown daughters, Vicky Sartin, and Elizabeth Van Egmond. She has three cats and likes to crochet, read, do sudoku puzzles, sew and travel.
Ginny has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mississippi College, majoring in history, with a minor in music. She works at Foreman Perry Law firm as a paralegal. She has played the organ in many cities in Mississippi, and has been playing at FUMC since 1981.
Director of Kids' Ministry
Originally from Illinois, Nikki and her husband Ben moved to Clinton in 2015 for work purposes. Together with Ben, they have three beautiful children that you’ll see running the office hallways. Nikki holds a B.S. from Purdue University. After volunteering in kids’ ministry for many years, Nikki answered the call to vocational kids’ ministry and joined our staff as the kids’ ministry director in 2020. Nikki is excited to assist in the discipleship of your children and looks forward to growing our kids ministry for the sake of the Kingdom.
Associate Director of Kids’ Ministry
Lauren is a native of Clinton, MS. She, her husband, Jon and their two daughters, Madeline and Henley Anne have recently moved back to Clinton after living in Zachary, LA and Biloxi, MS for the past 15 years.
Lauren has a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has worked in college student affairs, preschool education and children’s ministry. Lauren is excited to be a part of the Kids Ministry at First Methodist Clinton.
Director of Youth Ministry
Nick is originally a Mississippi native. He was born in Madison Mississippi then moved to Starkville Mississippi. Grew up with a cowbell in his hand cheering on the bulldogs through the good and bad. He then moved to Georgia lived in Griffin Ga enjoyed hiking in the North Georgia mountains. He attended Valdosta State University graduating with a B.A in Religious Studies/Philosophy. In his free time, he enjoys running and spending time in the outdoors. He is excited to spend time with the students and walking with them through their spiritual journey.
Director of College and Career
College and Careers Pastor
Erin is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, serving full time as a Staff Chaplain at Baptist Hospital. She’s excited to be working with the college ministry here at First Methodist Clinton.
Director of Weekday Ministry
Office and Staff
Dianne grew up in Kosciusko, MS. She has called Clinton “HOME” since 1984 and a member of First Methodist Church for over 28 years. She married the love of her life, Chip Alford, and they will be celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary on October 1, 2021. They share 3 grown sons and 3 beautiful daughters-in-law, Chase Dorsey (Mary Grace), Kyle Dorsey (Casey), and Matthew Alford (Morgan) and two beautiful granddaughters, Kaylee Jo Dorsey (3 yr.), and Finley Nichols (9 yr.). In November, Dianne & Chip are expecting their 1st. grandson, and they can’t wait for his arrival. Dianne & Chip are best known as DooDah & Zip by their grandchildren and friends.
Dianne came on board as receptionist with First Methodist Church in January 2020 and, recently took over the role of Office Manager in July 2021. Dianne has over 30 years in management and staffing. She loves people, her church and community and looks forward in helping our church grow. She is excited to continuing sharing her love and enthusiasm with the people of First Methodist Clinton!
Laura Marie Campbell
Laura Marie is from Clinton, MS. She has two daughters, Addison and Aubree, both of whom attend our Weekday Ministry Program. Laura Marie has a B.S. Degree in Kinesiology and minor in Nutrition and Psychology from Mississippi College. She has worked in outside sales and management for several years. She is excited to be working at First UMC Clinton.
Debb, a North Mississippi transplant, relocated to this area with her husband, Greg in 2012. They have three daughters, Hannah (Tupelo, MS); Carleigh (Black Mountain,NC); and Anne Marie (Fulton, MS) and blessed with two beautiful granddaughters, Rozlynn and Emma Grey.
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mississippi State University with an emphasis in graphic design and marketing, Debb has spent the majority of her professional career in the marketing and advertising field working with the corporate office of Hancock Fabrics, as well as printing and graphic design companies. She has worked within the Mississippi United Methodist Conference for over fifteen years.
Some of her most rewarding experiences have been working with non-profit organizations such as Parkgate Pregnancy Clinic, Stone Stories Ministries and Crossroads Ministries.
In addition to spending time with family and friends, Debb loves to create works of art, visit museums, watch sporting events and play golf with her husband.
Monday - Friday
8am - 4pm
100 Mt Salus Drive
Clinton. MS 39056
Weekday Ministries Hours:
8am - 2-pm
Weekday Ministries Phone: