Dr. Glenn Ethridge | Senior Pastor
404.636.7558 ext. 211
Glenn is our lead pastor. He preaches weekly and leads the church in visioning and strategic planning. Glenn was born and reared in the faith, and answered the call to ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church in college. He is grateful for the local church that nurtured his faith, tolerated his adolescence, and grounded him in Jesus Christ. During his 28 years of pastoral ministry, Glenn has been deeply touched by small group discipleship and international short-term mission trips. Glenn seeks to create a vibrant faith community that is rooted in faith, welcoming to all, and passionate about serving others. Glenn earned degrees from the University of Georgia, Yale University, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He serves as chairperson of the N. Georgia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and is a member of the Board of the Foundation for Wesley Woods. Glenn and his wife Cathy, a music therapist/teacher with DeKalb County, have one adult son. Lee, who works at Northside Hospital.
Susan Allen Grady | Associate Pastor
404.636.7558 ext. 212
Susan became Oak Grove’s associate pastor in June 2012. Susan brings considerable experience and passion to this position. She is a graduate of Emory University and Candler School of Theology and while at Candler, served as Youth Minister at Briarcliff UMC for two years. After obtaining her Masters in Divinity from Candler in 2001, she served as Associate Pastor at Mountain View UMC in North Cobb County for two years, Pastor at Trinity UMC in Austell for four years, and for the last five years has served as Pastor at St. Paul UMC in Grant Park. She also is an elder in the United Methodist Church and in line with her passion for campus ministry she currently serves as Finance Chairman for the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministry.
As Susan says, Methodist ministry is her family’s business. Her father served as a minister in the North Georgia Conference for many years and her husband, Dave, is currently Pastor at Druid Hills UMC. Susan and Dave reside in Druid Hills with their daughter, Joy.
Amy Morgan | Associate Pastor of Service Ministries
Amy Morgan is a United Methodist pastor who has served churches in North Georgia for over 30 years, both a lead pastor and as a staff associate. After attending Young Harris College and LaGrange College, Amy pursued her M.Div. degree at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree in 1999 from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur.
Amy has served on numerous conference and district committees. She had the honor of being chosen to preach at Annual Conference in 2008 and served as a Head Clergy Teller at 5 Annual Conference sessions. Amy teaches Worship and Sacraments in the Emory Course of Study School and has taught Preaching in the Advanced School. She was selected to participate in two different grant funded learning opportunities which included a trip to Brazil and to the Holy Land. Her passion in ministry is bringing people into relationship with Jesus and helping them discover how to use their gifts to engage in significant ministry.
Amy’s husband, Dan, is the Fire Chief for Rockdale County. They have two grown children. Hannah and her husband Brandon live in Athens where Hannah is a nurse and Brandon is in medical school. Jarrett lives in Atlanta and is a camera operator for the film industry. Amy and Dan have one grandchild, Lillian, and love being part of the “grandparents club!”
Rev. Mary Lou Gilbert | Pastor of Visitation and Senior Adult Ministry
With a degree and background in Christian Education, Mary Lou served part time on the staff of Glenn Memorial UMC while the Gilbert children were young. Once they reached junior high and high school, she enrolled as a part-time student at Candler School of Theology and continued to serve at Glenn Memorial UMC. She graduated from Candler in 1998, was ordained Elder in the North GA Annual Conference and served in the following appointments: Associate Pastor at Saint Mark UMC, Pastor in Charge at Buchanan UMC, Associate Pastor at Oak Grove UMC, and Senior Pastor of Haygood Memorial UMC. She has initiated and participated in numerous mission trips, including Bolivia, Appalachia Service Project, and Urban Atlanta. Her love of people has led her to work with volunteers in many areas including: evangelism, senior adult ministry, Christian Ed., recreation, and mission.
She and her husband, Jack retired in 2011. Jack enjoys teaching Sunday School at Oak Grove, and volunteers to support the refugee program of the RRISA organization, while Mary Lou volunteers as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Intown Collaborative Ministries (ICM), sponsored by 16 religious congregations. ICM works to find permanent housing for the homeless, and to provide food for the hungry.
The Gilberts have three married sons and a two-year-old granddaughter (two families are in Atlanta and one in Charleston SC). Mary Lou and Jack have lived in the same house in Druid Hills since 1979, when they came to Atlanta for Jack to work at Candler School of Theology. Mary Lou currently serves with pleasure as Pastor of Visitation and Senior Adult Ministry.
Dale Smith | Church Administrator
404.636.7558 ext. 225
Dale came to Oak Grove in March 2011, after completing his degree in Organizational Leadership with a minor in Religion at Atlanta Christian College. Previous to serving at Oak Grove, he was on the staff at Emory University for 21 years, 13 of which were with the Candler School of Theology. He was born in Seville, Spain to Air Force parents but grew up in Northern Maine and the farmlands of Southeastern Kansas. After high school, he joined the United States Coast Guard, serving on Marcus Island Japan; Coast Guard Far East Section Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan; the Coast Guard Institute in Oklahoma City, OK and completing his seven years of service as a Recruiter based in Atlanta.
Dale is the youngest of three children, and his mother currently resides in the Oak Grove area. She worships at Oak Grove UMC. My sister and her family currently live in the Houston, Texas area. She has two adult sons, both of whom are married, but have not graced her with grandchildren, yet. Dale’s brother and his family live in the Seattle, Washington area. They have two adult children, both of which have children of their own, making Dale the proud great-uncle of three beautiful young girls. His brother’s son, Robert, is currently serving in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Dale currently serves on the North Georgia Conference Board of Laity as a Lay Leader for the Atlanta Emory District of the United Methodist Church. His favorite thing at Oak Grove is the wonderful people here. “While many congregations claim to be warm and welcoming, the people of Oak Grove truly open their hearts to invite others in.”
Rachel Fullerton | Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor
404.636.7558 ext. 216
Rachel joined Oak Grove in August of 2011 as the Administrative Assistant for the Young Children’s School where she worked with Sue Balcom. She left and became Administrative Assistant to Dale Smith, then in June 2015 Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor. As a lifelong United Methodist, Rachel comes from a long line of church folks. Her grandmother, Faye Hutcheson, worked for the Council on Ministries (now referred to as Connectional Ministries), her mom, Karen Fullerton, is the N. GA Conference Benefits Officer, and her dad, Lee Fullerton, is now retired clergy from the N. Ga Conference. Rachel has a Bachelor of Science in History and Political Science from Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. While at Wesleyan, Rachel was very active in campus-wide activities. She was President of Student Government Association her senior year, a member of the Wesleyan Disciples, a member of WAVE, (Wesleyan Admissions Volunteer Experience), and served on many more committees and clubs in her time at Wesleyan from 2006-2010. Rachel is currently a member at Embry Hills United Methodist Church, where she is a youth counselor and in charge of the young adult program.
Pamela Reynolds | Director of Finance
404.636.7558 ext. 224
Pam joined Oak Grove in October, 2010, but she grew up locally and attended Lakeside High School. She graduated from theUniversity of Georgia with a degree in Finance and Accounting. Pam and her husband Scott, also a native Atlantan, have 3 children. George is the oldest, a civil engineer and a 4th generation Georgia Tech graduate. Alice is a Samford University graduate and is a preschool teacher here at Vanderlyn Elementary. Their youngest, Mary, is a teacher at Briarlake Elementary. Pam is currently on the Lakeside Foundation scholarship committee. She taught 1st grade Sunday School for 10 years, and assisted with children’s choir and children’s mission programs for many happy years.
Susie Mobley | Membership / Database Administrator
404.636.7558 ext. 221
Susie became a member of Oak Grove Church in 2000 and joined the Oak Grove Staff in 2003. Susie worked in several areas of the Church in her first year. With her love of children, these areas included Program Assistant for Children’s Ministry, teacher at the Young Children’s’ School and Program Assistant in the Oak Grove Christian School after school program. Susie even directed the Kid’s Clubhouse Summer Camp that year! In 2004 she began full time as Administrative and Program Assistant in Children’s Ministry with Kim Cody. After Susie and her husband Steve became “empty nesters”, she took the position of Membership / Database Administrator for the Church. Susie and Steve met while attending Georgia Southern University and married in 1984. They have two grown daughters, Caitlin and Britt. Their youngest daughter, a chocolate lab named Gussie, still lives at home. Susie is an avid reader, enjoys exercise and eating out!
Sandee Edmondson | Administrative Assistant to the Church Administrator
404.636.7558 ext 228
Sandee joined the Oak Grove staff in the summer of 2015 after leaving the Henry County Court System where she served as a court clerk and member of the customer service team. Sandee is currently the organist and accompanist at Jonesboro First United Methodist but has also served many other Methodist Churches in the Atlanta area such as McDonough First UMC, First UMC of Austell, and Cliftondale United Methodist Church. Sandee is a native of Atlanta where she graduated from Arlington High School before attending West Georgia College earning a bachelors degree in piano performance. Sandee is married to husband Scott Keesey; each bring 2 children to their blended family. Kristen Edmondson 19, Brett Edmondson 17, Emilia Keesey 12, and Camden Keesey 9.
Jen Wahlen | Accounting Oak Grove Christian School
404.636.7558 ext. 235
Jen works with the Oak Grove Christian School in Finance, as Staff Accountant. She began working at here in October 2010. Jen ismarried to Eric and has two daughters, Emery and Annie. She lived in Cleveland, Ohio until I was 16, and finished high school in Lakeland, Florida. Jen graduated from Auburn University with a degree in accounting and continued to University of South Florida for her MBA. She then went to work in public accounting in Tampa where she met Eric, and moved to Atlanta in 2002.
Jen grew up in the Methodist church – first at Brecksville UMC in Brecksville, Ohio; then First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, Florida. She and her family have been members of OGUMC since 2003. In addition to working with the church finance office on and off over several years, Jen has been on the Children’s Ministry Team, worked with Vacation Bible School and served as a Friend in Faith. She thoroughly enjoys all of the activities at the church, especially seeing the 9:35 service grow and change.
Kim Cody | Director of Children’s Ministry
404.636.7558 ext. 218
Kim Cody became a member of Oak Grove in 1991 and joined the staff in 1995. Kim worked part-time as Director of Elementary children for seven years before taking over as full time Director of Children’s Ministry. She was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL and majored in communication arts at The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale. Kim worked as a graphic artist in West Palm Beach and Atlanta for over 15 years. Prior to joining Oak Grove she also worked at the Center for Puppetry Arts. While volunteering extensively in church and in the community, Kim felt a calling to work with children. An invitation to work in ministy at Oak Grove led to a new career, one she thanks God for each day. Kim and her husband share the same name, but according to Mr. Kim, are not hard to tell apart…. She is tall and blonde, he is short and good looking! They have two children, Shannon who resides in London and Alex who is a Navy Officer currently stationed in Japan. Kim loves cooking, gardening, and traveling, but most of all, she loves being in ministry with families at Oak Grove!
Sue Balcom | Director of YCS
404.636.7558 ext. 205
Sue has just begun her 7th year at Oak Grove. Sue is married to her patient husband, Tom, and they have just celebrated their 32nd anniversary this August. Sue’s oldest daughter, Olivia is married to Bryan, and they are the proud parents of Sue’s sweet first grandchild, Eloise, who lives close enough to visit every week. Sue’s daughter Kristina, lives and thrives in Seattle, Washington, working to make the world a more fit and peaceful place. Sue’s African foster daughter, Colette has been with her since 2008. She is a senior at South Gwinnett High school and a talented basketball player and creative writer.
As the daughter of two Air Force parents, Sue lived many places before settling in Syracuse, New York. She graduated Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania with a degree in Special Education/ Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Psychology. Sue finally settled in Atlanta in 1995.
Sue may be a practicing Catholic, but her heart has found a special home in the Oak Grove Methodist community. Since moving to Atlanta, she served as Children’s Minister and Director of Religious Education at St Oliver Plunkett Church in Snellville for 3 years, and Youth Minister at Corpus Christi Catholic Church for 2 years.
For Sue, working at YCS is a dream come true. It allows her work to make my philosophy of early childhood education a daily reality at YCS in partnership with our wonderful YCS staff. Sue also works with immigration assistance, teaching ESL classes, and children’s music ministry.
404.636.7558 ext. 230
Barbara has been the director of the Oak Grove Christian School for over 20 years. She lives in Roswell with her husband of 42 years, has two grown children and seven grandchildren. She is blessed to have her son’s family close by in Roswell.
Barbara is originally from Cincinnati, OH, where she grew up, got married and raised a family there. Her daughter and her family live there with four grandchildren. Barbara graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Child Development and attended Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati to complete her teaching certification and graduate work. Her entire career of 40 plus years has been dedicated to working with children’s programs and early childhood education. It is her passion and true joy to serve as the director of the Christian School.
Nancy Brooks | Assistant Director of Oak Grove Christian School
404.636.7558 ext. 232
Stephanie Mitchell | Children’s Ministry Program Director
404.636.7558 ext. 239
Stephanie Mitchell started sharing her gifts and talents at Oak Grove UMC in middle school 14 years ago, in the church nursery. Her love for working with children led her to pursue a degree in education. After graduating from college in 2010 with a BA in education, Stephanie accepted a full time position as Assistant Children’s Ministry Director at OGUMC. Stephanie and her husband, David, have a son, Mason and live in Decatur. Her favorite part about being at Oak Grove is the congregation. Stephanie considers herself blessed to be part of this very special family of faith & friendship.
Tricia Fazio | Children’s Ministry Program Director/Nursery Supervisor
404.636.7558 ext. 238
Tricia has been a caregiver since her early teens, beginning as a trusted babysitter for neighbors, family and friends. At age 14, she was offered a summer-long position at Kittredge Daycare. Her nurturing spirit led her to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University, followed by a 17-year tenure at Equitable Life as a Sales Assistant, specializing in client relations. After marrying her husband, Matt, in 1998, followed by the birth of her son, Cleve, in 2001 and daughter, Libby, in 2004, Tricia devoted her time and talents to motherhood full-time.
It was in 2007 that her entrepreneurial spirit was reignited, resulting in a successful one-woman childcare business. Not content with just one prosperous business, in 2010, Tricia began her self-taught research and development of a new line of natural bath and body products. The result, after less than a year of cosmetic chemistry experience, was Southern Gal Soaps, a nod to her native Atlantan pride.
Since taking on the role of Nursery Director, Tricia feels blessed for the privilege to care for OGUMC’s youngest members as well as getting to know and support their parents.
Andy Webb | Youth Director
We are so excited that our new Director of Youth Ministry, Andy Webb, started June 15. Andy is a native of DeKalb County, born and raised in the Decatur/Avondale area. Andy has worked with youth and children for 30 years, most recently at Johns Creek United Methodist Church for the past 17 years.
Andy brings many years of experience, a fun spirit, and a heart for youth ministry in the name of Christ to Oak Grove. We look forward to getting to know Andy and his two daughters Maizie (14, right) and Cari (12, left). Please send a note of welcome to Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shara Sanders | Interim Youth Director
Shara joined Oak Grove United Methodist Church in 2006 and immediately started volunteering with the Youth Ministry. As a youth volunteer, Shara enjoyed chaperoning retreats to Awanita and Camp Glisson, being a confirmation Friend In Faith, and being an adult leader with Caring For Clarkston. In addition to helping with the youth at OGUMC, Shara has been a Guide and Recreation Leader for Vacation Bible School, served on the church’s Finance Council, and filled the Assistant Treasurer role. Shara also volunteered at the Oak Grove Young Children’s School and was the president of the school’s Parent Council.
Before “retiring” to stay at home with her daughter, Shara practiced labor and employment and general litigation law for over 10 years. Shara moved to Atlanta from Florida in 1996 to attend Emory School of Law and graduated in 1999. Shara received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Presbyterian College in 1992 and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Florida State University in 1995.
Shara lives close to OGUMC with her husband, Garrett; her daughter, Jillian; her dog, Lulu; her cats, Twix and Kit Kat; and hamster, Snickers. She looks forward to working with Thomas, Atticus, Davis, and Taylor on the Youth Team
Thomas Benefield | Youth Staff
Thomas Benefield grew up at OGUMC where he participated in children’s choirs, the Youth Program and Choir. His strong ties to the Youth Program come from the years he spent at OGUMC MYF (where he met his wife, Anna) as well as having an 8th-Grader currently participating and a 5th-Grader excitedly waiting her turn to join “the Youth group”. During the week he teaches 5th-Grade at Trinity School in Atlanta. He enjoys reading comic books, eating pizza, and being outdoors.
Ed Scruggs | Director of Traditional Music
Edgar Scruggs is Director of Traditional Music for Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur, GA and has also served churches in Connecticut and Tennessee. Ed held the position as Director of Choral Studies, first, at the University of Georgia and most recently, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee where he was Musical Director for “Christmas at Belmont,” produced by PBS and nationally televised each holiday season.
He received degrees from the university of Tennessee (B.S., MM.), the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MCM), and has completed his Ph.D studies at Florida State University (ABD).
His ensembles have given invitational performances for the Music Educators National Conference, the American Choral Directors Association and have been guests of music Education in China. Ed’s guest conducting includes performances for the International Church Music Festival in Coventry, England, for both television and radio for the BBC and festivals in Latvia, Estonia and Switzerland. His articles have been published for both the Music Educators State and National Journals and for church music publications.
Ed and his wife Elise live in Vinings and have a new grandson Cooper.
Mr. Rudy Wilson served as a Georgia Music Educator for over 37 years and as Band Director at Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia for 28 years. Mr. Wilson is a native of Alma, Georgia and received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Berry College, Master of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music, and the Education Specialist degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia. Under Mr. Wilson’s leadership, the Brookwood Band program grew from 75 members to over 300 involved in the band program. The performing bands at Brookwood consistently received superior ratings for 27 years in concert, jazz, and marching band festivals and performance evaluations. The Symphonic Winds performed at Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference in 1991, 2003, and 2008 and performed as featured band at the University of Georgia High School Music Festival in 1995, 2005 and 2010, University of South Carolina Band Clinic and Conductors’ Symposium in 1995, University of Alabama Honor Band Clinic in 2008, and the Columbus State University Honor Bands of Georgia Clinic in 2008. Mr. Wilson has served as District IX Instrumental Chair, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity Zeta Chapter President and Secretary (3 terms), District IX and XIII Honor Band Chair, GMEA Marching Band Committee Chair, and Smoke Rise Baptist Orchestra Director and Fine Arts/Music Committee, and deacon for Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Mr. Wilson also serves as the Band Chair for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and band liaison for Brightspark Events, a student travel company. Mr. Wilson presented an article published in BandWorld entitled Bridging the Gap (using marching band as transition for rising freshmen). Mr. Wilson has served as concert and marching band adjudicator for GMEA, SCBDA, and AMEA events. He served as Honor Band Conductor/Clinician for Fulton County, Districts IV, VIII, IX, X and XIII, and Aiken County Honor Band. Mr. Wilson enjoys performing trombone in various organizations and churches. He has performed with the Rome, Lanier, and Gwinnett Symphony Orchestras and is currently a member of the Atlanta 17 Big Band. He studied trombone with Stan Pethel, Gail Wilson, Roger Rocco, and Charles Vernon. Mr. Wilson’s professional affiliations include: NAfME, GMEA, NBA, PAGE, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Wilson has been awarded eight National Band Association Citations of Excellence.
Mr. Wilson resides in Lawrenceville with his wife Mary, Retired Band Director from North Gwinnett Middle School. They have two adult children, Katy, a graduate of the University of Georgia in Music Education, currently serving as band director at West Hall High School in Gainesville, and Daniel, a Financial Analyst for Arby’s and his wife Jenna, an elementary educator. Mr. Wilson enjoys being a substitute on occasion, being a clinician and sharing his experience with other band programs.
Leanne Herrman | Organist
Leanne is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and holds the degrees of Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Oberlin College. She is the accompanist for the DeKalb Choral Guild, Collegium Vocale, the Summer Singers of Atlanta, and works in the Atlanta area as a freelance pianist and organist. Leanne serves as staff pianist at Paideia School, accompanying choirs and playing for over 50 musicals. Leanne served as organist at Northwest Presbyterian Church 2004-2009. Leanne has accompanied statewide festival and honor choirs and has played under the direction of Larry Lapin, Rodney Eichenberger, Anne Howard Jones, Norman MacKenzie, Kevin Hibbard and Katherine Murray. Leanne lives in Decatur with her husband, John. Her daughter, Megan, is a freshman at Oberlin College. Her son, Daniel, is a senior at Eckerd College.
Atticus Hicks | 9:35 Worship Leader
404.636.7558 ext. 208
Atticus began leading worship in his youth group at Mt. Carmel UMC in Norcross, GA when he was a freshman in High School. While in college he was the worship leader at Hope Springs Christian Fellowship in Athens, GA as well as leading services at various college ministries on the UGA campus. Atticus started leading contemporary worship at Oak Grove in November 2011 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and a minor in Portuguese. In July 2012 he also began working with the Youth praise band. Atticus comes from three generations of Methodist pastors and his mother, Nanci, is currently the pastor at Briarcliff UMC just up the road. His father, Steve, is on the building staff at Dunwoody UMC. Atticus is married to Leslie. Atticus enjoys listening to and playing all kinds of music, as well as watching and playing football, baseball and basketball.
Virginia Sowell | Communications Coordinator
Virginia joined Oak Grove UMC with her husband Jim and sons Daniel and Thomas in 1998. With her background in advertising and graphic design she quickly jumped in, sharing her skills with the church. Not long after she was asked to come on board to help in an official capacity. She has been called a part-time worker with a full-time heart, and truly enjoys viewing God as the ultimate “client”. She designs the weekly bulletin and newsletter in addition to creating posters, brochures and other types of visual communication. Virginia is passionate about the Oak Grove Mobile Soup Kitchen, serving the homeless downtown every Wednesday morning. She has also been an active volunteer in Oak Grove’s Scouting ministry for many years and works with the Refugee Ministry too.
The best part of Oak Grove is the congregation. In 2011, when her son Thomas was injured in a snowboarding fall, Virginia and her family learned just how much Oak Grove members come together in a crisis. Oak Grove folks are a faithful and prayerful group, who make this the ideal place to worship and to work.
Carl Craig | Campus Coordinator
404.636.7558 ext. 219
Dwight Howard | Maintenance Coordinator
404.636.7558 ext. 234
Novis Cody | Director of Food Service
404.636.7558 ext. 227
Larry Edwards | Office Assistant
404.636.7558 ext. 215