First United Methodist Church
MEET THE STAFF
Rev. Dr. Ricky James
Ricky grew up in Hattiesburg. 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 on the Millsaps College Board of Trustees, the Candler School of Theology Alumni Board, and the Board of Directors for Stewpot Community Services. Additionally, he is Chair of the board for the Center for Ministry, and a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Mississippi Annual Conference.
Ricky became the Senior Pastor at Clinton UMC in 2019. Prior to that he served as the Senior Pastor of St. Luke’s in the Fondren neighborhood of 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 an Alumni Affairs Associate at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a National Executive Board Director 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. 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 Youth Ministry
Hunter is the Director of Youth Ministry. Hunter is from Strayhorn, MS. He is a 2018 graduate of Mississippi College (MC) where he played baseball and completed a Bachelor’s in Christian Ministry Studies with a minor in Biology.
While at MC, Hunter played baseball, served as a leader in our College & Career Ministry, and also volunteered at His Heart Ministries in downtown Jackson.
Hunter looks forward to sharing the Word with students, helping provide them with a Christ-centered environment, and equipping them to carry their faith out in their daily lives.
Director of Kids' Ministry
Nikki is the Interim Director of Kids Ministry
Director of College and Career
Marti, her husband John, and their children, Taylor, Emma, and twins, Hannah and Will, moved to Clinton from Calhoun, Louisiana, in 2014. They were previously members of First United Methodist-Monroe and quickly found a home here at First Methodist.
Marti and John have known each other since preschool and began dating their senior year of high school. They attended University of Louisiana at Monroe where Marti received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, graduating Valedictorian of her class. After college, John and Marti married and Marti worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse for seven years before making the move to be home with their four children in their younger years.
For the last three years Marti has served as a small group leader and has been an active parent for our youth group, chaperoning youth events. She also serves on the Lay Leadership and Spiritual Formation Committees. Marti and John are members of the Redwoods Sunday School class.
Marti has the gift of hospitality and she and John are intentional about inviting college students and young adults to their home for dinner and game nights. Marti says, “I’m honored to be given this opportunity to serve and I am excited to meet our current students and reach out at Mississippi College and Hinds to meet new students.”
Director of Weekday Ministry
Graduating from Mississippi College in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, she is excited to utilize her knowledge and experience in child development to serve the kids and families of First Methodist Clinton.
Office and Staff
Cindy was born and raised in Northwest MO. She has one grown daughter, Jill (Gerad) Hardy and blessed with five beautiful and talented grandchildren. Sierra, Nashville, TN; Avery, Papillion, NE; Jackson, Alex and Emmy, Clinton MS.
Cindy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tarkio College in Tarkio, MO, majoring in Business Administration.
Some of her most rewarding jobs were being a teacher’s assistant for Pre-School, teaching Life Skills to adjudicated youth, and being a Parents as Teachers educator providing home visits to preschool age children.
Cindy recently left her position as a Law Office Manager with a Nationwide law firm in Kansas City, MO. She moved to Clinton, MS to enjoy her daughter’s family and work at her new position as Office Manager at First United Methodist Church.
Dianne grew up in Kosciusko, MS. She has called Clinton, “HOME” since 1984 and a member of First Methodist Church for 28 years. She married the love of her life, Chip Alford, over 14 years ago. They share 3 grown sons, Chase Dorsey, Kyle Dorsey (Casey), and Matthew Alford. A beautiful granddaughter, Kaylee Jo Dorsey, who is two years old and the apple of their eyes! Kaylee Jo best knows them as Zip & DooDah!
She has worked over the last 14 years in the Staffing Industry. She loved working to help others, find the “right” job! She loves people, her church and community. She looks forward to sharing her love and enthusiasm with the people of First Methodist Clinton and so excited to join the Staff.
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.
Part Time Book Keeper
Carolyn is from Raymond, MS. She has two sons, Corey and Frank; two daughter-in-laws, Kina and Shanice; and four grandchildren, Frank, Jr., Talia, Ayana and Tyler. She is a member of Hopewell M. B. Church of Raymond, MS where she sings in the choir, serves on the Trustee Board and serves as the financial secretary for her church.
Carolyn has an A.A.S. degree in General Business from Hinds Community College and a B. S. Degree in Business Administration from Mississippi College. She is also a retiree of Hinds Community College and is currently employed with Raymond United Methodist Church as their part-time bookkeeper. She loves worshipping and serving God and being of service to others. Carolyn is excited to be a part of First United Methodist Church.
Front Desk, Information and Staff
First United Methodist Church
100 Mt. Salus Drive
Clinton, MS 39056
Preschool, After School Care and Mother’s Morning Out