The leadership and staff here at Duluth First United Methodist Church is comprised of men and women who love, care and pray for every single person in the church. If you have questions for any of our staff, feel free to reach out and email them or call our church office to speak with them.


    SENIOR PASTOR; e-mail - ttippens@duluthumc.org

    I have been serving as our Senior Pastor since June 2016. My wife Missy is a published author who writes inspirational romance. She volunteers in our Music Ministry. Missy and I have three grown children – two sons and a daughter, and one daughter-in-law. The Tippens are lifelong Atlanta Falcons fans, enjoying season tickets as a family for the last 30 years.

    I am a graduate of Duke University (B.A.) and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (M. Div.). I have worked in ministry in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church since 1981. Missy and I are thankful for the wonderful blessing of serving God with the great people of Duluth First UMC.

  • C. Kay Fuino

    Associate Pastor; e-mail - ckfuino@duluthumc.org

    It is my joy to be one of the pastors at Duluth First United Methodist Church.  My primary areas of focus are Contemporary Worship, Adult Education, Women’s Ministries, Missions, Prayer, Stephen Ministries and Scouting.  I love to watch our church members grow in their faith through learning from our preaching, Bible studies, retreats and being a part of special ministries.
    God calls us to be the disciples who share the gospel message of love to all.  The best witness you can offer is your own story of how you know Jesus as your savior.  That is a story others will listen to and want to walk along with you.  I’m happy to talk with you about your journey in Christ, find ways you can offer your gifts for service, line you up with a class or a mission project, or visit with you when you need words of comfort or encouragement.

    My undergraduate degree is in business from Auburn University in Montgomery, AL; an MBA from Samford University in Birmingham, AL; an MDIV from Candler School of Theology at Emory University; and I am currently completing a DMIN in Christian Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA as well as a Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction at Springhill College in Mobile, AL.

    My husband Mike and I have three children and seven grandchildren to keep us occupied in our spare time.  I am blessed to serve at this church with such a wonderful congregation.

  • Beth Brown Shugart

    ASSOCIATE PASTOR; e-mail - bshugart@duluthumc.org

    I serve as an Associate Pastor at Duluth First United Methodist Church, working with visitation, new members and family ministries.  

    I have a degree in Music Education from Belmont University, a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Tennessee, and did theological study at Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  I have been serving churches in the North Georgia conference since 1991.  Before entering the ministry, I taught high school choral music in the Atlanta area for thirteen years.

    I am married to Al, and we have two grown children.

  • David Burchett

    Assistant pastor and DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRIES;

    E-mail - dburchett@duluthumc.org

    I consider it my joy and privilege to serve as one of the pastors at Duluth First United Methodist Church.  My primary areas of ministry are Youth Ministry and Contemporary Worship.  It is truly a blessing to be able to be a part of young people’s lives as they come to know Jesus, and mature and grow in their faith walk with Christ through worship, Bible study, small groups, retreats, and fellowship with other students and an amazing group of adult volunteers.

    My wife Joanna and I have two daughters, Kaitlin, who is a fourth year medical student at Medical College of Georgia, and Kasey, who is a junior at Gwinnett College of Georgia.  We all feel blessed to be a part of the body of Christ known as Duluth FUMC.

  • David Daniel

    MINISTER OF MUSIC & WORSHIP ARTS; e-mail - ddaniel@duluthumc.org

    I have served as Minister of Music & Worship Arts since September 2007, working with singers, instrumentalists, and artists in numerous areas to develop and enhance the worship of Duluth First UMC. I previously served churches in Springfield, VA, West Columbia, SC, and Montgomery, AL.


    I earned degrees from Birmingham-Southern College (BS, finance) and the University of South Carolina (MM and DMA, conducting). Additionally, I studied at Huntingdon College (sacred music, voice) and Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where I now serve as part-time Director of Chapel Music and Assistant Professor in the Practice of Music Ministry.


    Among my many loves in the realm of music and worship arts, my greatest love is for the hymns of the church, old and new. I have obtained an extensive collection of hymnals from many different denominations. I believe that no music in the church has a higher place than the hymns, songs, and responses sung by the Great Choir, the congregation.


    I am a member of several professional organizations, including The Hymn Society, American Choral Directors Association, Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and Choristers Guild. I have served as music director for the North Georgia Annual Conference (2012-2015), and was the chair of the worship design team for the June 2018 Music & Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska, NC.


    My wife, Ellouise, our daughters, Cynthia and Alicia, and I are active in the life and ministry of Duluth First UMC beyond music and worship, and are thrilled to be part of this community of faith.

  • Leslie Yokeley

    DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN'S MINISTRIES; e-mail - lyokeley@duluthumc.org

    Children have been and continue to be very important to me; there is nothing better than spending time with a child to bring a smile to your face! Jesus made it very clear that children have a supreme place of importance in all our lives when He said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)

    I have been a staff member at Duluth First UMC for 17 years as the Director of Children’s Ministry. I oversee the following areas – “Christian Beginnings”- our week day Preschool/Kindergarten program, Sunday school, Wednesday night children’s activities, Vacation Bible School and several camps.

    I am originally from Bradford, Pennsylvania but have been in the Atlanta area since 1984. I have a B.S. Degree in elementary education from Edinboro University and a Master’s Degree from West Georgia. My husband Randy and I have two beautiful daughters, Hanna and Maddie. We have been members of Duluth First UMC for 23 years and we thoroughly enjoy worshipping with this wonderful church.


    CHURCH ADMINISTRATOR; e-mail - bOVERSTREET@duluthumc.org

    As Church Administrator of Duluth First United Methodist Church, I am charged with the oversight of all business and operational functions of the church.  This includes Finance, Building and Grounds, Events, Information Technology, Communications, and Administration.
    I was raised in Fitzgerald, GA, a small town in southern Georgia about 20 miles northeast of Tifton.  I grew up in the Baptist church and accepted a call to ministry as a teenager.  I received a BA in Christianity/Greek Studies from Mercer University in Macon, GA.  I also hold a Master of Divinity degree from the McAfee School of Theology(Mercer) in Atlanta.
    My ministry has taken several unexpected turns (as they always do).  After graduating from seminary in 2000, I joined Johns Creek UMC in Johns Creek, GA as the Minister of Recreation.  I served happily there for 15 years.   After leaving Johns Creek, I embarked on a path to serve the church through administration.  Before coming to Duluth First UMC, I served Midway UMC in Alpharetta and Hickory Flat UMC in Canton in administrative positions.  After all of these years, I still feel God’s call on my life and am honored to be led to serve the Duluth First congregation.
    I am proud to be the husband of Michelle Overstreet since 2002 and the father of two wonderful children, Jessie and Levi.  We have lived in Cumming, GA since 2008.
    I look forward to meeting you and connecting with you as we do ministry together.

  • Tracy Brinker

    CHURCH RECEPTIONIST, Ministry Assistant; tbrinker@duluthumc.org

    I am blessed to have been working at DFUMC since 1995.  I worked as a teacher for three year olds at DFUMC Christian Beginnings, Preschool/Kindergarten for 19 years before I joined the administrative staff in 2014.  Today, I am the Receptionist at DFUMC, answering calls, greeting visitors & church members, and supporting ministry areas of the church with administrative duties, eager to serve the congregation and the community. I am located on the 3rd floor of the Family Life Center as you exit the stairs or elevator.

    Originally from Maryville, Tennessee, I moved to Georgia in 1987.  I am married to Dave and we are the parents of two wonderful young men, Joshua and Travid, and proud grandparents to Austin.


    CHILDCARE DIRECTOR; e-mail - kfitzgerald@duluthumc.org

    I am the Childcare Director for Duluth First United Methodist Church.  I have worked in this church nursery since August of 1999 and have been the Director since June of 2003.  I also taught preschool at another church and have subbed in our Christian Beginnings program here at Duluth.

    Our goal as the nursery staff is to provide a loving, caring place for you to leave your children while you are involved in the ministries of the church.  This allows you to be more focused on worship, bible studies, and the time you spend in all church related activities.

    I provide childcare with a highly qualified, trained nursery staff during the following days and times:

    • Sunday morning (during 8:30, 9:30 and 11:00 worship);
    • Sunday evening (for parents involved with youth, choir, and various classes);
    • Wednesday evening (for parents involved with a variety of events);
    • Other weekday mornings and evenings (during bible study classes);
    • Any special events that childcare is requested for.

    I have been married for 30 years and have two wonderful daughters.  We have been members at DFUMC since 1999 and our children have been involved in youth and choir activities.  It is a wonderful second home to us.

  • Sherry Griffeth

    EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT; e-mail - sgriffeth@duluthumc.org

    I am the Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor.  I feel blessed to work with an amazing staff.  I am the point of contact for Membership, new members & visitors, worship volunteers (ushers/greeters/photographers/welcome center/communion servers/scripture readers), All Saints Sunday, baptisms, Sunday School attendance, Evangelism/Officers & Committees/Charge Conference reports, Senior Fellowship administration, weekly prayer updates, office supplies, nametags. I serve as Administrative Council, Charge Conference and Nominating Committee Secretary.

    I graduated from Strayer College, Washington DC; retired in 2002 from Federal Government.

    My husband, Bob, and I have 3 adult sons, 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.

    I love to read and scrapbook.

  • Jan Jones

    FINANCIAL ASSISTANT; e-mail - jjones@duluthumc.org

    I am the Financial Assistant for the church.  I started working here in 2002 and I love my job.  My duties include processing contributions, managing accounts payable and receivables, and handling payroll for the staff as well as our pre-school. I also coordinate benefits for the staff and I serve as a go-between with our insurance providers. I work in the office Monday through Thursday and I am here to serve God by serving you and our staff.

    Personally, I love music and I sing in our chancel choir.  I also love photography, dogs, sports, Georgia Tech, and I am an actually Atlanta native. I graduated from the Mercer University/Atlanta campus with a bachelor in Communications. My work history includes working for Wolf Camera and the IRS.   I moved to Austin, Texas in 1997 for work and lived there for 4 years. I was hesitant about leaving my family, but I had the assurance of God that this what the right thing to do. I immediately found a church and just 6 months later I met my husband-to-be, Linton Jones. We were married in April of 1999.

    Please feel free to contact me by phone or email or by coming to my office. My door is open to you. God Bless.

  • Marilyn Scheiwe

    Event Coordinator; e-mail - mscheiwe@duluthumc.org

    As the Event Coordinator it is my job to work closely with the staff, congregation and community to schedule and coordinate any events or activities involving the church resources from the facility to the church vehicles.   I work with families and individuals to schedule everything from weddings to funerals and all things in between.  It is my responsibility to make sure that everyone’s event is held in accordance with church policies.  My responsibilities also include managing the church’s Memorial Garden; managing the custodial crews; maintaining church policies; ordering the cleaning and paper goods for the church; overseeing Wednesday Night Suppers which includes menus, food supplies and the Wednesday Night Supper volunteers; and overseeing any other church sponsored hospitality events.

    I have been a member of Duluth First UMC since 1988 and have been on staff for 20 years.  I am a native of Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia.  Before joining the church staff I taught elementary school for DeKalb County and worked in corporate America at Primerica Financial Services and Waffle House Corporate. My husband, John, and I have 3 children and 10 grandchildren.

    I thoroughly enjoy working with the staff and congregation of this wonderful church family!  My door is always open, so please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding my area.


    Assistant director, christian beginnings preschool & kindergarten; e-mail - pszathmary@duluthumc.org

    I have been a staff member at Duluth First UMC for over 16 years.  I was a teacher for 6 years at Christian Beginnings Preschool & Kindergarten, and I am currently the Assistant Director of the school. I oversee all the after school activities and summer camps that pertain to Christian Beginnings.

    Truly blessed to be in the role I am in, I love meeting and connecting with all the Christian Beginnings families and children.

    I am originally from New York and have been in Atlanta for over 25 years.  Prior to working at Christian Beginnings, I was the Director of Administration at MetLife.

    My husband Joe and I have a wonderful son, Daniel, who is living his dream of coaching baseball.

  • Ken Willi

    DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS; e-mail - kwilli@duluthumc.org

    I have been the Director of Communications at Duluth First United Methodist Church since 2002.  Responsibilities include:

    • Graphic design, publications design and printing support for the ministries of the church.
    • Design and implement marketing and advertising campaigns for the church, including print media and electronic media, mass e-mailings, video monitor announcements/presentations.
    • Manage and update the church’s website.
    • Oversee, produce and operate visual presentations for the Sunday morning Contemporary Worship service.

    Previous work experience prior to working at Duluth First United Methodist Church includes trade association management, student loan services, and photo lab management.

    I graduated from the State University of New York at Potsdam with a Bachelors Degree, with a Major concentration in Business and Marketing, and Minor concentrations in Photography and Business of Music.  I also studied Mechanical Technology Science at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, with course studies in Drafting/CAD, Manufacturing Processes, and Machine Operation.






    DIRECTOR OF Maintenance; e-mail - lstribling@duluthumc.org

    As Director of Maintenance my responsibilities are doing repairs to the facilities and parking lots.  I do the setups for different meetings, events and Sunday School.  

    I have been a member for ten years and I have been on staff for eight years.   I have one adult son and daughter and one grandson.  It is my honor and privilege to be both a church member and staff member and I am looking  forward to spending many more years here.