Bryan came to Franklin First UMC as Senior Pastor from Calvary United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. He’s led Tennessee congregations in the cities of Decherd, Murfreesboro, and Nashville since 2000. Brian has also worked as a youth minister in Georgia and as college chaplain in Indiana.
Bryan graduated from Georgia Tech and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.
Bryan is married to Heidi Geib and they have two daughters, Belinda Grace and Charlotte. Bryan is so thankful for the gift of serving God through the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Carlisle JonesPastor of Youth Care and Discipleship
Carlisle was born in Franklin, TN as Carlisle White. She attended Battle Ground Academy and then Samford University in Birmingham, AL. In May of 2015, Carlisle has her Masters in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary.
In addition to youth ministry, Carlisle has worked as a Zumba instructor, substitute teacher, and server at Cool Cafe. She was married in 2012 to Adam, who is a youth minister at Brentwood UMC. The only thing better than being with Adam, is being with both Adam and their sweet bulldog, Hurley. Carlisle also loves to exercise, read, cook, and spend time outdoors. If she could, she would also learn spells and charms at Hogwarts.
Rev. Jackson HenryDirector of Music Ministries
Rev. Jackson Henry comes to Franklin First UMC as a servant of Christ and a follower of the Holy Spirit, all in praise and thanksgiving to our loving God.
Jackson is a native Appalachian who has lived in Tennessee most of his life. He did spend a few years in Texas, but he and his wife, Katie, decided to return to Tennessee. Jackson and Katie have been married 18 years and have two wonderful children, Anna (13) and Jack (11). Their family is quite small, but they are also blessed to have all of their parents living in this area as well. It is all-hands-on-deck at the Henry house.
Jackson has served in ministry since he was 18, but his call that led to ordained ministry began when he was 19 years old, and he has been serving in music and worship ministry ever since. His work in ministry has allowed him to be in service to the local church, the Tennessee Conference, and the global United Methodist Church. Jackson’s primary instrument is piano, but he also plays guitar, organ, trumpet, and the occasional drums. In reality, he plays whatever he has time to learn!
He is a lover of family time, golden retrievers, good naps, and great music. It is not altogether uncommon to find him around all four at the same time.
Rev. Jason BrockPastor of Missions and Operations
Jason Brock came to Franklin First UMC as Pastor of Mission and Operations in 2016, working closely with our local, regional, and international mission efforts. In addition, he works closely with our Business Office, Support Staff, and Maintenance Staff. He came here after serving as Pastor of 61st Avenue UMC, our mission covenant partner church. He has served as a pastor since 1999, including 2 other churches and working with the regional TN Conference UMC Connectional Ministries where he coordinated disaster relief, resourced a variety of mission efforts, and helped expand the planting of new churches in Middle Tennessee.
Jason grew up in Manchester, Tennessee, but has lived in Nashville for the last 17 years. His parents were originally from Louisiana, so he enjoys cooking food “with a bit of flavor.” Jason loves to travel, whether on a mission trip or on vacation. His life and ministry is centered around “making room around the table” for everyone as he serves God and Neighbor.
Rev. Miriam SeylerPastor of Congregational Care
Miriam Seyler came to Franklin First UMC from Murfreesboro First United Methodist where she served as Associate Pastor for the last ten years. Formally trained as a classical musician, Miriam has served the church as organist, pianist, and choir director, in addition to owning a music studio for thirty-five years before going into full-time ministry.
Miriam received her Master of Divinity from the University of the South School of Theology and is an elder in full connection to the Tennessee Conference.
Miriam has five children and eight grandchildren and enjoys gardening, yoga, baking and reading in her free time.
Rev. Sarah CartyPastor of Adult Ministries
Seeking to lead and encourage others into a passionate, committed, and growing relationship with Jesus Christ, Sarah has been an active layperson in Christian Education for over 20 years. A graduate of the Northwestern University, Sarah has used her spiritual gifts and enthusiasm to teach numerous adult, youth, and elementary age Sunday School classes, Small Groups, the Disciple Bible Study program, and the Alpha Course. She is a Certified Advanced Lay Speaker, and served as a Stephen Minister.
Sarah joined the Staff of Franklin First in 2006 serving as the Assistant Director, then Director of Children’s Ministry at FFUMC before moving into Adult/Older Adult Ministry. Prior to being in full time ministry, Sarah was active in politics, and worked in the Financial Services sector as a Financial Consultant for Merrill Lynch than as an Independent Consultant in Asset Information and Performance Measurement for a large Medical Foundation. Sarah is a widow, and has three wonderful adult children: Shannon, Garrett, and Sheridan Kate, and 2 very un-spoiled cats. In her free time, Sarah loves to drink coffee, read, travel, and hike.
Amber WakefieldNursery Coordinator
Amber Wakefield is the Nursery/Childcare Coordinator at Franklin First United Methodist Church. She has worked in the Nursery for 12 years and in the PDO program as a teacher for the youngest class, 18-24 months. Amber has three wonderful boys: Nicholas, Connor, and Ryan. “I think I have the best job in the church being able to play with and take care of the youngest part of our Church. It is amazing to watch as the babies that I once had turn into wonderful teenagers.”
Amanda KnauerAdministrative Assistant
Barry JohnsonFacility Supervisor
Barry Johnson joined the Franklin First UMC staff in 2012. Barry is at the helm when it comes to keeping the buildings maintained and everything running smoothly. Barry is best contacted through the staff offices at 615-794-2734.
Carmen has been an employee at Franklin First UMC for four years as the front desk receptionist. She helps the office staff with various tasks such as mailings, bulletins, flower calendar, and many other things. In her younger years, she worked in the medical field. She has been married for 49 years and has three wonderful children and two grandchildren. She enjoys reading and cooking (sometimes).
Carolyn moved to Franklin 2013 from northern Michigan. She has three children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Carolyn spent meany years in business as a gourmet chocolatier. Carolyn volunteered in the staff offices for more than a year before joining our team.
Carrie AltmanDirector of Children's Ministry
Originally from Atlanta, Carrie and her husband, Parker, moved to Franklin in 2004 and have been active members of the church since 2006. With backgrounds in ministry and education, she is excited to combine these passions as a children’s ministry staff member to help each child have a personal relationship with God. She has four children, Luke, Jane, George, and Henry with whom she loves to picnic, run, and read.
Debbie MillerMembership Secretary
Debbie began volunteering at Franklin First UMC in 1995 as a money counter on Monday mornings. After seven years, she moved over to teaching 2 year olds in Parents’ Day Out. She has been the Membership Secretary since 2006. Some of her many responsibilities include keeping the membership records for Charge Conference reports, posting worship attendance and sending out letters and information to visitors. She and her husband Jim have been members of Franklin First UMC since November 1989. They have 2 grown children, Bryan and Kimberly.
Emily MastinAssociate Director of Youth Ministry and College Ministry Coordinator
Emily grew up in Old Hickory and graduated from Mt. Juliet High in 2009. She is a graduate of The University of Tennessee with a BA in Religious Studies and of Memphis Theological Seminary with a Masters in Youth Ministry. Emily spent a year after college in the Nashville Fellows Program and has spent many summers working for a Methodist-affiliated camp on Lookout Mountain. Emily lives in a house in Nashville with two roommates. She enjoys drinking coffee, going on walks, and spending time outside whenever possible.
Hank HilliardDirector of Youth Ministry
Hank joined the staff in 2011. Prior to becoming the Director of Youth Ministries, Hank served in Young People’s Ministries of the General Board of Discipleship where he helped local churches develop youth and young adult ministries through creating resources, training adult workers, and connecting people to the tools they need to do effective ministry. In all, Hank has over 16 years of youth ministry experience. He loves helping young people grow in their faith through building healthy relationships, engaging in God’s story, and serving others.
Hank is perhaps best well known as being the dad to two sets of twins – Tanner and Kendall & Connor and Will. He and his wife Amy moved to Franklin in 2008 from Memphis. Some of Hank’s favorite things are playing golf and soccer, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family. He also loves hanging out with youth. So let’s go to a ball game, play some Frisbee, or just go grab some ice cream (because he likes ice cream a lot too!)
Helen DeBuseAdministrative Assistant to Adult Ministry and Congregational Care
Helen and her family, husband Tim and daughters, Rebekah (19) and Jessica (14) came to FFUMC in 2008. Over the years, she, along with Tim, have been Sunday School teachers for Pre-K-4 graders. Helen currently volunteers with the Spiritual Pathways Ministry developing programs that enhance our faith journeys by experiencing God through contemplative prayer forms. When not working in the church office, she enjoys exploring nature, practicing centering prayer, and traveling to Irish dance competitions with her younger daughter.
Holli DawsonAdministrative Assistant
Holli was excited to join the staff as Church Secretary just before the monumental move in October 2015. Her Franklin First UMC roots go deep with her being a fourth generation member on both sides of her family. Before coming on board as church secretary, she worked as a medical transcriptionist for 17 years. When she’s not in the church office, Holli can be seen working in her yard, reading a book, singing in the Chancel Choir, or occasionally helping the Chancel Hand Bells out. Holli is married to her high school sweetheart, Mitchell, and they have 2 children, Madalyn and Jack and a cat named Ralfy.
Jane GraysonYouth & Children Administrative Assistant
Jennifer ThoringtonDirector of Pre-School
Jennifer grew up in Columbia, TN and has always loved working with children. She and her husband, Jacob, have lived in Franklin since 2008. They have three children, Everett and Evelyn, and Emmitt. Here two older children have both attended preschool at Franklin First UMC. Jennifer has have a Bachelor of Music in Education Degree from Tennessee Tech University. She has taught elementary music for several years and then found a love for the early childhood development years of children. She began as a preschool administrator in 2007 and has loved every moment since. “It is a joy to be a part of watching children grow and learn. In addition to being a mom, I love to read, sew, and spend time outside.”
Jenny MacNeillFinancial Secretary
Jenny MacNeill joins the Financial Staff of FFUMC as the new bean counter. She has been married to Mike for over 11 years and together they have two wonderfully complex daughters, Caitlin 8 and Quinn Elyse 5. Jenny has a diverse background in both bookkeeping and centering clay on a potters wheel.
Jody ToddCommunications Director
Jody joined the Franklin First UMC staff in September of 2010. She has been helping churches communicate more effectively for over two decades having first answered this specific call to ministry in 1992. She is married to Bill and together they have 3 children: Kaleigh, Hannah & Liam. Their family moved to Franklin in the Fall of 2008 from mid-Missouri where she and her husband both served on church staff. “It’s an exciting time in the life of the church. It’s a true blessing to be a part of such a great team.”
Karen AustinAccounts Payable
Karen KearKitchen Director
Katie YommerAssociate Director of Children’s Ministry
Katie and her husband Chris moved to Tennessee from Virginia in 2003 and joined FFUMC in 2005. She has been active in several areas of ministry and is passionate about helping children and adults to intentionally develop their faith. She enjoys teaching Sunday school, being involved in small groups, and working on mission projects. She has two children, Wyatt and Lily and in her free time she loves to cook, read, and spend as much time as she can with her family.
Kortland FuquaConnections Director
Kortland Fuqua came to Franklin First UMC as Connections Director in 2018, helping to connect visitors, both new and regular as well as members, new and long-term, to the ministries and service opportunities at Franklin First and to our neighbors and nations. He came here after serving as one of the pastors at Conduit Church and Small Groups Pastor at Journey Church. He has served in ministry since 1999, serving churches to non-profit ministries focusing on efficiency and growth as well as fundraising and development.
A native of Lakeland, Florida, Kortland has been in middle Tennessee for 18 years. Kortland is married to Christin Fuqua, his bride of almost 20 years. They have 6 children, Elisabeth, Sarah, Kaleb, Karis, Asher and Ayslen. Kortland enjoys being outside and digging in the dirt as much as he enjoys listening to the stories of people to help better connect them.
Larry RepaskyAudio Visual
Linda BowenDigital Media & Print Communications Coordinator
Linda is a native of the Franklin area, and came with her family to Franklin First UMC in 1982. A 1994 graduate of Franklin High School, Linda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design with a Minor in Business from Samford University in Birmingham, AL.
Linda joined the Franklin First UMC staff after over 19 years in Retail Marketing for the LifeWay Christian Stores where she worked on an in-house creative team that developed and produced design solutions for in-store, national and local store marketing such as catalogs, mailers and event display graphics, supporting more than 170 LifeWay Christian Stores nationwide.
When she’s not designing, you might find Linda tending to her rose garden, kicked back with a book and a glass of iced tea, or in the kitchen baking up some kind of goodness. You will find her volunteering on many different teams at Franklin First UMC as well as co-leading a Wednesday Night Small Group of (the most amazing) 11th grade girls in the Youth Ministry. Linda believes in having fun, laughing often, taking time to smell the roses (literally) and giving back as much as she can.
Natalie BinghamAssociate Director Children’s Ministry Education and Faith Development
In 1984, 3 year old Natalie Piper Bingham joined FFUMC with her family. In 2015, she excitedly joined the Children’s Ministry staff. Natalie strives to share the love of Christ with the youngest disciples of our community of faith while treasuring the precious memories of her early life at FFUMC, cultivating the multigenerational relationships that are so special to the church, and eagerly looking to the exciting future for our entire church family.
Natalie is a 1999 Centennial High graduate, holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from MTSU, and taught for several years in the Franklin Special School District and Rutherford County Schools. Prior to becoming a staff member, she volunteered as a Children’s Choir director, in various other Children’s Ministry activities, and worked as a teacher in the FUMC Preschool. Natalie is married to Drew and they have two amazing children, Luke and Emmy, and one very loud dog, Harriet. A few of her favorite things include Snoopy, playing the flute, and rooting on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Rick BeckMinister of Visitation
Rick Beck is a native of the Chicago area, but moved to Alabama in the late 1970s. While in Alabama, Rick worked as the Director of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, became a Lay minister in the Methodist church, and was on the original team that began the Walk to Emmaus movement for the North Alabama Conference. Rick also worked as a flight paramedic for Huntsville Hospital MedFlight. Rick joined FFUMC in 2013 and became a Congregational Care Minister with the church in March of 2014.
Rick earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Faulkner University in Montgomery AL, and a Master’s degree in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He and his wife Suzy have a son Brian, a daughter Amanda, and a spoiled Pembroke Welch Corgi named Emma. Rick enjoys traveling (with Suzy of course), walking, watching movies, and he is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.
Sarah EvinsAssociate Director of Music Ministries
Sarah Evins has been a member of Franklin First UMC for over 20 years. She was raised in St. Louis and graduated from the University of North Texas. She has worked in music all of her life, from singing jingles to teaching private piano lessons. Presently, she plans the music for the blended services. She also directs the youth choir. “I am fortunate to be a part of such an amazing church and congregation. The musicians I work with are so gifted that it makes “working” not seem like work at all. I am blessed to be a part of the staff at Franklin First UMC.”