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.

  • REV. David Burchett

    Assistant pastor;

    E-mail - dburchett@duluthumc.org

    It is my joy and privilege to serve on the pastoral staff at Duluth First United Methodist Church. My primary areas of ministry include preaching Contemporary Worship, Missions, Young Adults, and Scouting. I count it as a great blessing to have the opportunity to witness people come to faith in Jesus Christ and then grow in that relationship in their faith walk.


    Originally from Bartlesville, Ok, I met my wife Joanna while attending North Carolina State University. We were married and moved to the Atlanta area in 1988. We have two grown children. Kasey is a 5th grade teacher at Roberts Elementary School in North Gwinnett County, and Kaitlin is in training as a Gynecologic Oncologist. I enjoy spending time with Joanna and the girls, reading, traveling, and I am passionate about all Arkansas Razorback sports.

  • REV. 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 adult Christian education.  

    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.

  • DR. 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.

  • REV. DR. 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.  In my retirement my role here at Duluth First is now in the area of pastoral care and preaching our 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship service. 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, and be with you when you need words of comfort or encouragement. As a trained spiritual director I offer an opportunity to companion with you in holy listening outside of my normal office hours.

    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; a Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Springhill College in Mobile, AL. and a Doctorate in Ministry in the area of Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.

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

  • REV. Min lee

    director of youth ministries & contemporary worship music director; e-mail - mlee@duluthumc.org

    It is my joy and honor to be a part of Duluth First United Methodist Church!  I serve as Director of Youth Ministries and the Director of Contemporary Music.  I consider it a tremendous blessing to be able to live out my passion of  journeying with students and leading worship.  I graduated from Biola University and majored in psychology.  I received my M. Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary with Worship, Theology and Arts as my concentration.   

    My wife, Lucie, and I moved to Georgia from California in April 2015 as newlyweds.  We have a three-year old daughter, Madeleine, and she is our bundle of joy!  I love spending quality time with my family and friends, watching baseball, watching movies, playing video games and reading a good book while enjoying a cup of coffee.  My family and I are truly grateful to be a part of this amazing community and we are excited to do life with you all!

  • 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)


    My family and I have been members at Duluth First UMC for over 26 years and I have been on the church staff for 20 years. Being the Director of Children’s Ministry, I oversee the following areas: Sunday school, Wednesday night “DuluthKids,” Vacation Bible School, special activities throughout the year, kid’s camps, and Christian Beginnings – our week day Preschool & Kindergarten program.


    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 the University of West Georgia. My husband Randy and I have two beautiful daughters, Hanna and Maddie. Hanna was recently married to Nolan Graham. Being a member of Duluth First UMC has greatly enriched my family!

  • 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 Major concentrations in Business and Marketing, and Fine Arts Photography, and a Minor concentration in 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.





    A native of South Korea, I have served as the organist at Duluth First UMC since 2008. I previously worked at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, MD, and Towson Presbyterian Church, MD, where I was invited to perform the Inauguration Schoenstein pipe organ Concert in Baltimore.

    I performed numerous organ concerts in MD, VA, and DC area. I appeared on the French Marathon Organ concert for four consecutive years, was invited to the Young Organist Recital at the American Guild of Organist in the VA chapter, and performed at the Music at Midday Recital at National City ChristIan Church, Washington, D. C.

    After finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Organ Performance at the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance with a full scholarship at Emory University, GA, with Dr. Timothy Albrecht. Then I moved to Baltimore, MD, to continue to study for many years for a Graduate Performance Diploma in Organ Performance and Organ Chamber Music as well as an Artist Diploma which is a prestigious program with a full scholarship and is equivalent to a Doctoral Degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, MD, with a world renowned organist Donald Sutherland.

    During my time at the Peabody Conservatory, I was a recipient of numerous awards and prestigious competitions, including the Outstanding Student Award, the Dorothy L. Prize, a semifinalist at the Young American Guild of Organ Competition, a finalist at the Arthur Poister Competition and at the Regional American Guild of Organist in Atlanta.

    Currently, I live in Duluth, GA, with my husband Dr. James Lee, who works at the Northside Gwinnett Hospital, and my three beautiful children, Tabitha, Daniel, and Joseph.


    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.


    FOOD MINISTRY MANAGER; e-mail - HROERIG@duluthumc.org