Tim-BrackenSenior Pastor
Rev. Tim Bracken
423-476-4504 ex. 101
Tim Bracken came to First UMC Cleveland in July of 2013 after serving in Johnson City, TN.  Tim is a life-long United Methodist in the Holston Conference.  He grew up at the foot of Lookout Mountain in Wildwood, Georgia and attended church at Wauhatchie UMC in Chattanooga, TN.  Tim received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministries from Asbury College (now University) in 1987.  He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1990.  He was ordained Deacon in June of 1989 and ordained Elder in August of 1992 in the Holston Conference.Tim was married in August 1989 to Kellie Rowe of Waco, TX. They met at Asbury College where their two children, Joshua and Hannah, now attend.  Tim and Kellie are partners in ministry and both have a deep desire to see disciples born and grown.  They are both passionate about missions at home and abroad.
NEAR-MOLLY-146Administrative Assistant
Molly Near
Molly was born and raised in Cleveland, TN. She has been the Administrative Assistant since 2002 and is blessed to be a part of the ministry at First United Methodist Church.
WILKINS-JOHN-55Financial Secretary
Mae Wilkins
423-476-4504 ex. 103
Mae is a devoted wife to John Wilkins. She was born into the family at First United Methodist and became a member at the age of 9 years old. She has been the Financial Secretary since 1999.
INGRAM-MATTHEW-49Director of Children’s Ministry
Jill Ingram
423-476-4504 ex. 102
Jill is married with two beautiful daughters. She worked in our First UMC Parent’s Day Out Program from 1998-2005 as a teacher and from 2005 to the present as our Director of Children’s Ministry. Her goal is to partner with parents to raise children who passionately follow God, know God, and share His love and grace with others.
Director of Youth Ministry
Josh Lyle
423-476-4504 ex. 104
About Josh: Christ follower.  Husband.  Father.  Son.  Brother.  Friend.  Worship Leader.  Youth Director in Cleveland, TN.  Lionhearted & Lamblike.  For others.  Let’s grab coffee! Visit his website at: joshualyle.squarespace.com  Instagram: joshua_lyle  Twitter: @joshwithabeard
Karen Wood photo 2.19.16
Director of Senior Adults
Karen Wood
423-476-4504 ex. 105
Karen was born and raised in Washington State and still has family there. She and husband of 25 years, Don, have lived in Cleveland for 9 years and love it. On their search for churches, they visited First United Methodist, and upon leaving, they both looked at each other and said, “this is the church for us.” Karen sings with the Chancel Choir and has a passion for helping others.
Interim Director of Chancel Choir
Justin McElhaney

Justin McElhaney was born and raised in Cleveland, TN and has a Bachelor of Arts in Instrumental Music from Lee University. Justin is married to Elizabeth Young McElhaney and together they just had their first child, Ella.

DAVID-RACHEL-147Director of Parent’s Day Out
Rachel David
Rachel has been the Director of our Parent’s Day Out program since 1997. She and her family are members of our congregation where she is also involved with our children’s Puppet Ministry. Rachel is very family oriented and loves spending time with her husband, Alan and their three children. In her spare time she enjoys boating, horse riding, and reading a good book.
SMITH-JEFF-50Director of the Child Development Center
Cathy Smith
Cathy has been CDC Director since 2012. She is very excited for the chance to get to know and be a part of such a wonderful group of people at First UMC. Cathy and her husband, Jeff have been married for 33 years and have two beautiful daughters. She has a love and passion for Christ and has a big heart for people…especially for children and the special needs community. Cathy says, “I consider it a privilege to be a part of the FUMCDC Family.”
STEVE-KARON-148Assistant Director of CDC and PDO
Karon Steve
Karon became part of the First UMC church team in 1991, where she started as a nursery worker. As time went by, she joined the Parent’s Day Out program as the Preschool four and five year old teacher. In 2007 she joined the childcare office staff as the Assistant Director to the CDC and PDO. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets.
Chris OffreyDirector of Maintenance
Chris Offery
Chris is a devoted husband and proud father of 3 beautiful children. He is a certified Marine Engineer with 10 years of residential and commercial construction and remodeling experience.
Jeff Smith
Jeff has worked with FUMC since 2011 and excited to be a part of a wonderful church family; he has a heart for music and people.  He and his wife, Cathy, have been married for 33 years with two daughters.
Tausha PlatePianist
Tausha Plate
Tausha was born in Maryland and a resident of Cleveland, TN since 2001. She has a BME from Evangel University and a MM from Converse College. In addition to serving as pianist at First UMC, she also teaches adjunct at Lee University in the school of music.

Terry Barger

Terry has served as organist for First UMC since 2012. He came to First UMC from First Baptist, Cleveland where he served as one of the main pianist /organist for 23 years. Terry’s musical training was private piano lessons growing up and organ training through working with a very fine organist from First Baptist. Terry received his Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1987 and is a staff accountant for a Ian Harper CPA firm.

Paul-PonzianiMedia Director
Paul Ponziani

Paul is the husband to Christina Ponziani and father to Leah and Silas.  Although he is originally from Florida where he attended Oakhurst UMC he has live in Cleveland since 2002.  Currently working with Central Technologies Inc as Sr. Network Engineer,  he is thrilled to have the opportunity to assist with the ministry First UMC is involved with here in Cleveland and abroad.