Pastor - Beginning June 20, 2019
Since childhood I have been a part of the community of faith we commonly call the church. I was born into a family which placed godly living at the top of its priority list. My parents were faithful in making the teachings of faith available to me. Though I grew up in the church, my parents tried to avoid drowning me in religion. Yet they sought to instill in me the values found in scripture.
As I matured in my own faith, I tried to find my place in the church and in life. After many attempts, I found a place in the church as a choir director and youth worker. Through my work there, and through words of encouragement and direction provided by members and the pastor of that congregation, God clearly revealed to me that he wanted me to become more involved in the ongoing ministry of the church. Following that awakening, I began the journey to the ordained ministry.
Since beginning my pastoral ministry, I have found that people are hungry to hear and to experience the love
and freedom which are found in Christ. In almost every setting in which I have ministered, the good news that God loves them as they are, and that God will free them from the baggage of the past, has been received with much joy. I have been privileged to minister in many settings, and with a fairly large number of persons.
I feel more strongly than ever that God has called me to ministry. God has endowed me with gifts for music and public speaking. People tell me I have the gift of compassion. God has been gracious in permitting me to see a number of the persons I have been in ministry with come to faith, and to share in their joy.
I am always looking for opportunities to witness to God’s love, and to introduce persons to the ministry of the Church. I believe the ministry to which God is calling me extends beyond the walls of the church I serve to the whole community in which I live. My ministry includes, for instance, serving as a Georgia P.O.S.T & International Conference of Police Chaplains certified Law Enforcement Chaplain. This allows me to live the message of unity that I preach on Sundays, among our law enforcement community as well as with the victims of crime.
I see ministry as more than preaching, though preaching is a very important component. I see ministry being as much about presence -- both God’s presence and my presence as a representative of God and of the community of faith -- as it is about the sharing of information. I have come to understand that, for a person or family in a time of crisis, the physical presence of the minister is itself a form of ministry. I still feel the need to have the right thing to say, the right word, the right action, the magic thing that will make this situation better. But I am learning that sometimes it is often enough to simply be there, and that silence is not a bad thing.
God has blessed my family and allowed us to be a blessing in so many ways. I welcome the opportunity to share with you at any time. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family in any way.
In the service of Christ,
Music Ministry Director
Joy was born and raised here in Lathemtown. Her love for music came mostly from her father, Ralph Gaither. He sang beautifully and also played the piano and was the music leader here at Orange UMC for many years. She was surrounded by many other wonderful musicians here at Orange throughout her life. From talented pianists, organists, and instrumentalists, to fabulous vocalist—the influence on her was, in her words, life-changing! No wonder music became so important to her!
Joy has led the Adult Choir since she was a young adult. She also leads the Kids Choir and Hand Chimes Group.
Quote: "It is such a blessing to me. I feel like music is an important part of our ministry here at Orange UMC. I pray that it touches the lives of everyone in our Church and throughout the community."
Bethany also grew up in Lathemtown. She is the daughter of our choir director, Joy, and has attended Orange UMC all of her life. She has fond memories of participating in VBS, Sunday School, Kids Choir, and other children’s programs at OUMC. Her goal is to provide great opportunities for fun and learning to the current children of Orange. She is a member of our Adult Choir as well as singing in our smaller ensembles. Her husband, Brandon, operates the sound system at church and helps out with all the kids programs.
They have one daughter, Camille, who loves spending time with the other children at church, and a cute doggie named Foxy. During her free time, Bethany enjoys spending time at Lake Lanier, singing, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Please feel free to contact her if you have any questions about our Kids programs.
Junior Youth (BLAST) Leader
Nataleigh grew up in the United Methodist Church since she was young. As a “Pastor’s Kid” she moved throughout the North Georgia Conference growing up. She graduated as Salutatorian from Jasper County High School in 2017 and is currently a student at Reinhardt University where she majors in Digital Media Arts. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in the arts through graphic design or film production.
Nataleigh has worked with youth and children’s ministry in the past as a summer camp counselor at Camp Glisson in Dahlonega, GA. There she worked to help kids have fun while also facilitating their own walks of faith.”
& Financial Secretary
Any time you have business at the church office, need to call for information, or are in the neighborhood and want to stop to say “hello”, chances are very good that you will be greeted by the smiling face of Sharon, the administrative assistant for OUMC.
Sharon has lived close to Orange UMC for twenty years. She has called Macedonia and Hickory Flat home, and has finally settled in Ball Ground. She grew up in Misowa, Japan and Stuttgart, Germany where her parents were DoDDS teachers. She moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend Capital University graduating with a Business Administration degree. Tom is her husband and they have three beautiful daughters, a granddaughter, and a cat. She loves to read, run, and laugh.
Sharon is also currently serving as our Financial Secretary.
Senior High Youth Leader
Patrick grew up in the Methodist Church with his family in Marietta. He graduated high school from Mount Paran Christian School in 2015 and is currently a student at Kennesaw State University where he is majoring in sports management. After graduation, he plans to open up a Christ based gym while continuing to work in youth ministries.
For more information, please contact the church office
(770) 886-9662 or visit the contact page.