meet the staff

  • Dr. Lester Spencer


    Served here since: 1993-2011 and reappointed to serve here July 1, 2016. 

    Family: Lester and his wife, Janeese, have been married for 28 years and have three children, Harden, Ciara, and Joshua. Janeese has been an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church for 28 years. Harden, the oldest, is attending seminary at Duke Divinity School. Ciara is in the Nursing School at UAB, and Joshua, the youngest, is attending Auburn University!

    Born/Raised: Born in Mobile, AL. Raised in Montgomery, AL.

    Hobbies: Adventure Travel, Working Out, Golf, Hunting, Scuba, Enjoy Family and Friends

    Sports Team: Auburn and USA Soccer Team.

    Random Fact: Sailed the Virgin Islands with my beautiful and adventuresome wife on our honeymoon... just the two of us!

    Dream Vacation: Alaskan Wilderness Adventure

    Bible Verse: Isaiah 43:19 - For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you see it?" 

    Quote: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Passionate Leader, Relationally Focused, Kingdom Builder




    Serving here since: January 1, 2004

    Family: Dean and I have been married 64 years as of June 1, 2016. We have five children: David (who awaits us in heaven), Matt, Mark, Tim and Steve. We have twelve grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. They are all beautiful and brilliant like Dean. We live in the Cabin near the Tallapoosa River down the hill from Emerald Mountain in Elmore County.

    Born/Raised: Elmore Country, AL near Wetupmka.

    Hobbies: Writing, Gardening

    Sports Team: Auburn


    Random Fact: I met Dean when we were six, in the first grade; my biggest regret is that I did not ask her to marry me when we were six.

    Dream Vacation: Camping on backwaters of Minnesota

    Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

    Quote: "Don't sell your mule to buy a plow."

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Servant of Jesus

    Contact: 334-224-6107 or


    associate pastor of pastoral care

    Served here since: 2017

    Family: Wife Rene. 3 children. 8 grandchildren

    Born/Raised: Born in Newton, AL; raised in Dothan

    Hobbies: Golf, Catan

    Sports Team: Alabama and Auburn

    Dream Vacation: Alaska

    Bible Verse: Hebrews 13:5 - I will never leave or forsake you. 

    Quote: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Easy going, Love Christ and the works, Love my church family


    Pastor of YOUTH & EVANGELISM

    Serving here since: January 2013

    Family: I am a Father to my son, Braiden, and my daughter Baylee.

    Born/Raised: I was born in Hollywood and raised in Lubbock, TX. Go Tech!

    Hobbies: Hunting, biking, the great outdoors

    Sports Team: Texas Tech U

    Random Fact: I look big, but I only weigh 180 pounds

    Dream Vacation: Grizzly hunt in Alaska with my bow

    Bible Verse: Philippians 1:21 - For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

    Quote: The only life worth living, is the one you give away.

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Big, Fun, Sensitive

    Contact: 334-481-0728 or


    Executive Pastor

    Served here since: the church moved to the east side of town

    Family: Wife Susan, son Jeffrey, daughter Rebecca, and six grandchildren

    Born/Raised: Miami Beach, FL. Montgomery, AL

    Hobbies: wood working

    Sports Team: Auburn

    Dream Vacation: Fly fishing

    Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    Quote: "It's never too late to be what you could've been" - George Eliot

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Friend, Accountable, Encourager




    Serving here since: June 2016

    Family: Married for 8 years to my wife Kathryn, 2 daughters Jayna (4 years old), and Elsie (1 year old)

    Born/Raised: Panama City, FL

    Hobbies: Playing Drums, Fitness, Technology

    Sports Team: LA Galaxy Soccer

    Random Fact: I'm a huge Star Wars fan!

    Dream Vacation: Sydney, Australia and sightseeing in New Zealand

    Bible Verse: Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    Apple or Android: Apple, all the way!

    3 Words that Describe You: Sincere, Loyal, Constructive



    worship LEADER

    Serving here since: June 2013

    Family: I married my husband in September 2012 and we welcomed our first baby boy, Anderson, into the world in February 2016.  We have the cutest, spunkiest pup named Grady.  Our favorite moments are lazy Saturday mornings with coffee and homemade breakfast.

    Born/Raised: I was born in Decatur, Georgia and grew up in Snellville, GA in the suburbs of Atlanta.

    Hobbies: Traveling, reading, eating and decorating.

    Sports Team: Georgia Bulldogs!

    Random Fact: I like cloudy days and thunderstorms. They make me want to curl up on the couch.

    Dream Vacation: New Zealand

    Bible Verse: James 4:8

    Apple or Android: Apple. 

    3 Words that Describe You:  Simple, Conscientious, Friendly

    Contact: 334-481-0740 or

    preschool DIRECTOR

    Serving here since: July 1997

    Family: Married to Dan, with two children Mary Hayden and Daniel, and three grandchildren.

    Born/Raised: I was born in Columbia, South Carolina and have live in Montomgery since the age of 12.

    Hobbies: Listening to music, Reading

    Sports Team: Auburn

    Random Fact: I love to dance.

    Dream Vacation: Anywhere with my family

    Bible Verse: Psalm 91:2 - I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

    Quote: When in doubt, don't

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Grateful, Loved, Happy

    Contact: 334-481-0722 or

  • Linwood McClain

    Worship Leader OF Traditional WORSHIP

    Served here since: Interim for the past few months, been a member over a year now. 

    Family: Debora and I have been married for 29 years. We have one son, Parker, who many of you know from his involvement as a Youth Intern here at Saint James. Parker will graduate from Huntingdon in December - Praise God! We have been blessed to answer God's call to ministry in many locations and roles through the years - youth and children's work, bi-vocational pastoring in the UMC, leading small groups and seminars, and music. We moved back to Montgomery after being gone for 23 years when the bank I work for purchased a bank in the area. We are excited to be a part of the Lord's work here at Saint James. 

    Born/Raised in: Montgomery, AL

    Hobbies: Love to ride our horses and spend time outside. Play a little guitar and enjoy a variety of sports. 

    Sports Team: ROLL TIDE! 

    Random Fact: Gave some serious thought to being a country singer early in life - thank God He had a better plan for me! 

    Dream Vacation: Anywhere in the Rocky Mountains with clean air, snow and a view! 

    Bible Verse: Romans 8:28 - For we know that all things work together for good, for those that love Him and have been called according to His purpose.

    Quote: Don't talk too much or too soon - Bear Byant

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Predictable, Careful, Social

    Contact: 334-301-7761 or


    spiritual life minister

    Serving here since: May 2014

    Family: I'm married to the man who completes me, Bradley Pemberton, and I've been blessed with 3 amazingly unique children, Anna Lawerence (13), Norris (10), and Mary Blake (8).

    Born/Raised: Decatur, AL

    Hobbies: Love to be outdoors at the lake, beach, and mountains. Anything outside, except running.

    Sports Team: Auburn and Atlanta Braves

    Random Fact: My brother and sister called me "wild woman" growing up. 

    Dream Vacation: Hike into the rainforest, then zip-line down to the beach and watch the waves crash into the shore.

    Bible Verse: John 3:30 - He must become greater; I must become less.

    Apple or Android: Android, all because of my husband Bradley

    3 Words that Describe You: Feisty, Persistant, Compassionate

    Contact: 334-481-0728 or

    director of children's ministrIES

    Serving here since: February 2010

    Family: I have two children. One daughter, Josey, and one son, Graves.

    Born/Raised: Born and raised in Montgomery!

    Hobbies: Going to the beach with my kids, working out, going out to lunch with friends

    Sports Team: Auburn & Trinity Wildcats

    Random Fact: I have been a member of Saint James since I was born! I eat dessert everyday! It keeps you sweet!

    Dream Vacation: Anywhere there is sand, sun, and water!

    Bible Verse: Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Quote: Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministy of Jesus flows out of you! - Corrie Ten Boom

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Enthusiastic, Encouraging, Faithful

    Contact: 334-481-0735 or


    buildings & grounds supervisor

    Serving here since: 2004

    Family: I live in slapout AL. I have two grown children who have just graduated from college! Yea!

    Born/Raised: I was born in Montgomery and grew up in Wetumpka AL. 

    Hobbies: Woodworking, Making metal sculptures (yard art)

    Sports Team: Alabama Football

    Random Fact: I am hard headed.

    Dream Vacation: Cruise ship anywhere it will take me

    Bible Verse: John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Quote: You can't fix stupid. - John Wayne

    Apple or Android: Android

    3 Words that Describe You: Comical, Quick-witted, Timely

    Contact: 334-657-3780 or


    church accountant

    Serving here since: February 2005

    Born/Raised: I have been married to my husband, Mark, since November of 2002. We are the parents of two precious daughters, Ella Kate and Mary Ellis. Both of which have been raised during the week roaming the halls of Saint James UMC!

    Hobbies: Going on vacation with my family and constantly finding things to upgrade in my house.

    Sports Team: The University of Alabama, Roll Tide!!!

    Random Fact: I decided to convert when I married my husband, Mark. After dating Mark for several months and spending every weekend in the fall of 2001 among nothing but strong "believers" of this southern tradition, I decided it was time for a life change. And that is how I saw the light, switched sides, and started rooting for the Crimson Tide!

    Dream Vacation: Italy

    Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

    Quote: Begin with the end in mind. - Stephen Covey

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Detailed, Content, Logical

    Contact: 334-481-0726 or

  • Laura Jane (Sellers) Hughes

    Executive Administrative Assistant

    Served here since: September 20, 2017

    Family: Husband Steve Hughes and two children Richard & Erin Hughes

    Born/Raised: Born in Montgomery, AL, but raised in Monroeville, AL. 

    Hobbies: Visual Arts (Painting, Mosaics, Crafting,) Music (Singing, Clarinet, Hand Bells), Camping, Travel

    Sports Team: Auburn University, War Eagle!

    Random Fact: Have a 2nd generation pen-pal from Scotland. Our families have been connected since WWII. 

    Dream Vacation: Complete my bucket list

    Bible Verse: Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Quote: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. - African Proverb

    Apple or Android: Android

    3 Words that Describe You: Adventurous, Fearless, Good Listener

    Contact: 334-481-0724 or


    technical director

    Serving here since: May 2013

    Family: My beautiful wife and I have been married for 8 years, have a 5 year old daughter named Eleanor, a 3 year old boy named Charlie and newborn named Margaret. 

    Born/Raised: Montgomery

    Hobbies: Computers, Fishing, Tennis, Anything with my family

    Sports Team: Auburn! War Eagle!

    Random Fact: My name starts with a C because it is short for Carlyle. 

    Dream Vacation: Anywhere in Australia

    Bible Verse: Luke 14:11 - For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Quote: Don't tell God how big your problems are; tell your problems how big God is.

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Nerd, Funny, Quiet



    ADMINISTRATIve assistant to executive director

    Serving here since: 2007

    Family: I have been married 8 years to my wonderful husband, Matt. We have 2 beautiful children, Amy Kate and Lucas.

    Born/Raised: I grew up in Dothan, AL but claim Okaloosa Country in the FL Panhandle as my "home".

    Hobbies: Sewing

    Sports Team: I'm not really a fan of much sports, but in our household, we cheer for Auburn and the Chicago Bears.

    Random Fact: I have driven/owned more cars than years I've been married.

    Dream Vacation: Yellowstone National Park

    Bible Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

    Apple or Android: Apple! 

    3 Words that Describe You: Trustworthy, Content, Joyful

    Contact: 334-481-0748 or



    Serving here since: February 2016

    Family: Singles have an undivided responsibility to serve God; Paul said I wish you all had the gift of singleness (1 Cor. 7)

    Born/Raised: Troy, AL

    Hobbies: Anything creative or nature oriented. Anything new.

    Sports Team: Whatever team I'm playing for. Don't make me watch!

    Random Fact: I will steal your plants

    Dream Vacation: Hike in Peru. Visit Egypt, Israel, or India.

    Bible Verse: 

    • 1 Cor. 14:1 - Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit
    • Matt. 6:33 - Seek first... His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

    Quote: I didn't do enough! This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten more people. This pin. Two people. This is gold. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! - Schindler's List

    Apple or Android: whatever the best deal is.

    3 Words that Describe You: Curious, Accepting, Searcher

    Contact: 334-481-0742 or

  • Robbie AMunds


    Served here since: May 2016

    Family: Don and Joanna Amunds. Brother Scott

    Born/Raised: Ft. Walton Beach, FL

    Hobbies: Swimming, fishing, anything outside, and Netflix of course. 

    Sports Team: Florida State

    Random Fact: Swam in college for two years

    Dream Vacation: Anywhere new! Just want to see things I haven't seen before! 

    Bible Verse: Psalms 119:9,11 - How can a young man keep his path pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word inside my heart that I might not sin against you

    Quote: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke, Tears of the Sun

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: I am a rebel

    Contact info: 850-374-0267 or

  • Karel Gulley

    Assistant Director OF girls ministry

    Served here since: June 2017

    Family: My dad is Scott Gulley and my mom, Janet Gulley, has been in Heaven with Jesus since 2006. My step mom is Ann Gulley. I have 3 sisters: Sarah, Hope, and Joy and 3 brothers: John, Ben, and Allan. We’re a big family!

    Born/Raised: I’ve lived in Montgomery, AL my whole life!

    Hobbies: basketball, frisbee, running, photography, hanging out with friends, traveling, and Netflix

    Sports Team: Auburn Tigers!

    Random Fact: I have a list of 23 words that I can’t stand!

    Dream Vacation: Honestly, any place that’s new or anywhere with water and sunshine.

    Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 - But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    Quote: Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands. - Elisabeth Elliott

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Encouraging, Loyal, Trustworthy

    Contact info: 334-318-6590 or

  • Diane E. Scott

    TRADITIONAL Choir Director

    Served here since: Organist since December 2008. Choir Director since September 2016


    Family: Vernon and I have been married since February 1990. We have three wonderful children: Laura Leigh, Goodwin, and Franklin. 


    Born/Raised: Luverne, AL: The Friendliest City in the South


    Hobbies: Organ, Piano, Sewing, and Reading


    Sports Team: University of Alabama; Roll Tide! I am the only Alabama fan in my household!


    Random Fact: My favorite TV show is JAG and my favorite movie is The Sound of Music


    Dream Vacation: An organ crawl in Europe where I could actually play organs in some of the historic European cathedrals.

    Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13 (TLB) - For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.

    Quote: A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Sir Winston Churchill


    Apple or Android: Apple


    3 Words that Describe You: Energetic, Determined, Forward thinking


    Contact: 334-315-2840 or


    connections ASSOCIATE

    Serving here since: March 2014

    Family: I have been married to Clayton "Pip" for over 27 years. It gets better each year. Our son is Zachariah Valdez Pippin who is a student at Auburn. It has been an absolute blast raising Zach! I am blessed!

    Born/Raised: I was born in Montgomery, Alabama, but was an Air Force brat so I had the opportunity to travel and live in some really cool places!

    Hobbies: Gardening, Cooking (and eating), Dancing, Music, and I loooove animals!

    Sports Team: Auburn! War Eagle! (Our house is divided; Clayton supports the other team)

    Dream Vacation: Beach, Beach, Beach, Mountains, and I would love to take a cruise to whale watch.

    Bible Verse: Isaiah 41:13 - For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

    Quote: Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. - Will Rogers

    Contact: 334-546-4717 or

    assistant children & recreation director

    Serving here since: 2003

    Family: I have been married for nineteen years and have three boys. 

    Born/Raised: I was born and reared in Pensacola, Florida

    Hobbies: Sewing, Painting, Sports, and Outdoors

    Sports Team: Alabama... Roll Tide!

    Dream Vacation: Alaskan cruise

    Bible Verse: Isaiah 40:31 - but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

    Apple or Android: Droid

    3 Words that Describe You: Athletic, Artisitic, Honest

    Contact: 334-481-0746 or

  • Sharon Hoque

    Children Nursery DIRECTOR

    Serving here since: June 2015


    Family: Married to Anis and we are blessed with 3 amazing girls; Jasmeen, Lilly, and Neela.


    Born/Raised: Bury St. Edmunds, England


    Hobbies: I love to walk, explore new places, drink good coffee, and spend time with my family.


    Sports Team: Oh dear... am I allowed to admit that sports are just not my thing?


    Dream Vacation: Greece–all that history, the beautiful beaches, and amazing food to boot. It's on my bucket list!

    Bible Verse: Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    Apple or Android: Apple all the way


    3 Words that Describe You: Approachable, British, Beloved


    Contact: 334-354-9113 or

    YOUTH & CHILDREN administrative assistant

    Serving here since: December 2003

    Family: I married my loving husband, Chris, in April 2014 and then were blessed with a wonderful little boy, Samuel, in April 2015, There is never a dull moment in our household and that is one of my favorite qualities about my life! We also have a 170lb lap dog, Bo, who we love so much! I am truly blessed beyond words!

    Born/Raised: I was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Montgomery, AL.

    Hobbies: I love to play board games, cards, paint, and play any kind of sports

    Sports Team: I love college football and I am a huge AUBURN fan! War Eagle

    Random Fact: I use to sing a lot (favorite past time!) And almost made it as the understudy of little Jenny in Forrest Gump. My parents are my heroes!

    Dream Vacation: Any where in Europe or Fiji!

    Bible Verse: 

    • 2 Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
    • Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

    Quote: Only the believers who dare to dream can make their dreams come true!

    Apple or Android: Love an Android but have to say that my Apple has definitely moved up on the List!

    3 Words that Describe You: Compassionate, Silly, Loyal

    Contact: 334-481-0736 or


    WOMEN's ministry administrative assistant

    Serving here since: May 2006

    Family: I live in Pike Road, AL and have been married to my sweet husband, Kenneth, since 1994.

    Born/Raised: I was born and raised in Selma, Alabama

    Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, Attending craft shows, Cross-stitching & Reading

    Sports Team: Auburn Tigers forever! 

    Random Fact: I had the honor and privilege of going on the Honor Flight for Veterans with my Daddy in 2009 to see the World War II memorial in Washington.

    Dream Vacation: Alaskan Cruise

    Bible Verse: 

    • Ephesians 3:20 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
    • Psalm 31:14-15 - But I trust in you, Lord I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.

    Quote: God does not want to be on the top of our to-dos. He wants to be the foundations on which all our to-dos are based.

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Loyal, Trustworthy, Considerate

    Contact: 334-481-0731 or



    Served here since: I started attending Saint James in 2015, and working here in 2017.

    Family: Husband, Chris, three children, Livia, Molly, and Luke, and our dog, Percy

    Born/Raised: Born in Arlington Heights, IL, raised in East Greenwich, RI

    Hobbies: Spending time with my family, anything fitness-related

    Sports Team: Chicago Cubs

    Random Fact: I served on Active Duty for 11 years and met my husband in South Korea

    Dream Vacation: Anywhere I could lay on a beach and take a nap

    Bible Verse: 2 Chronicles 15:7 - But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded

    Quote: Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Friendly, Loyal, Funny



    Family: My husband is Slade Rhodes and we have been married for 35 years. We have 2 adult children, Anne Ferrell Rhodes and William Rhodes, III.

    Born/Raised: I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. I have a degree in Library Science from the University of Alabama. I worked as the Upper School Librarian at University Military School before moving to Montgomery.

    Hobbies: Tennis, Needlepoint

    Sports Team: University of Alabama

    Random Fact: I love dogs Dream Vacation: Mountains

    Bible Verse: 

    • Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
    • Proverbs 9:10 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

    Apple or Android: Apple

    3 Words that Describe You: Fun, Willing to Help, Honest

    Contact: 334-481-0732 or

  • Board of directors

    Executive Leadership Team

    Chair: Mary Sanders

    Vice-Chair: Jon Killough

    Lay Leader: Barbara Fowler

    Finance Chair: Sandy Coaker

    Trustees Chair: Alan Brewer

    Staff Parish Chair: Leslie Sanders

    2018 At Large member: Tyler Hale

    2018 At Large member: Hammond Cobb

    2017 At Large member: Guy Davis

    2017 At Large member: Anne Weitman

    Ex-officio Senior Pastor: Lester Spencer

    Ex-officio Executive Pastor: Alan Brewer