Meet Our Leaders

Karen Andrews

Karen Andrews is the Director of Music and Worship at Boerne (TX) First United Methodist Church, where she directs the Chancel Choir and Jubellation handbell choir and leads a creative lay worship team. Karen has a great passion for intergenerational and creative worship. She has studied dance, theater, and voice and believes all of the arts are creative tools given by God in order to worship and draw others into worship.

She has previously been a presenter at the Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA) on the subject of children’s and student choirs and has served as the worship dance clinician for the Texas Conference Choir Clinic for eight years. She has also served as choreographer at University UMC in San Antonio, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, and the Rio Texas Conference Youth Worship Conference.

Karen has been married to Kyle, her theatre teacher husband, for 20 years and has two highly theatrical daughters … and two not-very-dramatic cats.

Laura Jaquith Bartlett

Laura Jaquith Bartlett has a passion for designing and leading worship. As a musician, she especially enjoys finding ways to empower God’s people to sing out their faith. Laura served as the Worship & Music Director for the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, with responsibility for 27 global worship services across 11 days. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including all 14 editions of the Abingdon Worship Annual. As the president of The Fellowship, she writes a bi-monthly column encouraging all Fellowship members to claim their calling as worship artists. A deacon in the United Methodist Church, Laura lives with her family near Portland, Oregon.

Hannah Adair Bonner

Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner is the curator of “The Shout,” a spoken-word poetry focused arts and justice community that seeks to put words into action. Their most significant contribution has been working on the ground in Waller County, TX, to amplify the voice of activist Sandra Bland.

Hannah is a graduate of Furman University and earned her Master of Divinity at Duke University Divinity School. Ordained in the United Methodist Church in 2012, she served local congregations on the East Coast before relocating to Houston, TX.

Although a much sought after speaker and writer, the greater portion of Hannah’s life is still spent in the trenches. Hannah worships and serves at Hope AME, the church upon whose threshold Sandra was taken into custody.

Taylor Burton-Edwards

The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards is an Elder in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served as Director of Worship Resources with Discipleship Ministries (formerly known as The General Board of Discipleship) since 2005. He is a member and currently Secretary of the North American Academy of Liturgy and convener of the seminar “Exploring Contemporary and Alternative Worship” (2010-present). He also serves on the Consultation on Common Texts (2005, secretary 2009-2014, chair since 2014), The Liturgical Conference (board member since 2004, treasurer since 2015) and Prior for the CyberChapter of the Order of Saint Luke (1996-present). He is married to The Rev. Dr. Grace Burton-Edwards, an Episcopal priest canonically resident in the Diocese of Atlanta, and they have two sons.

Dawn Chesser

The Rev. Dr. Dawn Chesser is an ordained elder and currently a member of the Holston Annual Conference. Dawn grew up in Arkansas, but moved to Northern Illinois to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Dawn served for nineteen years in the Chicago metropolitan area as a member of the Northern Illinois Conference. She has led congregations ranging from urban to suburban to rural, large, medium, and small, in varied worship styles. She also served for a short time in campus ministry. While completing her PhD in liturgical studies she taught at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology and Tennessee Wesleyan College. Dawn has served as the Director of Preaching Ministries at Discipleship Ministries (The General Board of Discipleship) in Nashville, Tennessee, since 2012. She lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with her husband Scot Danforth and their two dogs and two cats. Dawn and Scot have two adult sons.

Grace Cox-Johnson

Grace Cox-Johnson is a nationally-known visual artist who specializes as a fiber artist and dyer. Her company, Color 4 the Journey, specializes in art for worship settings. She has given workshops in the fields of church music, the use of symbols and colors in liturgy and worship, as well as many hands-on workshops in various surface design techniques with fabric and dyes.

Grace has been the artist-in-residence for both the Presbyterian Association of Musicians conference at Montreat Assembly and for The Fellowship’s Music & Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska. She also served as visual artist for the San Francisco and St. Louis Fellowship convocations.

In addition to her work in worship visuals, Grace is the Director of Music at Raytown (MO) Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church and the Artistic Director for the Transfinity KC Chorus. She holds a bachelor of music in vocal performance from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in church music from Scarritt Graduate School.

Tracy DePue

Tracy DePue is the Director of Music, Worship & the Arts at Little Rock (AR) St. James UMC. Previously, she spent 19 years at Plano (TX) Grace Presbyterian Church.

Tracy has directed the youth choir at the Montreat Worship and Music Conference and served as youth choir clinician at the PAM West Albuquerque Conference, the Dallas Mid-Winter Workshop, and the Mo-Ranch/PAM Music and Worship Conference. Her work as a handbell clinician has led her to teach seminars at Perkins’ Church Music Summer School Certification Program, Montreat Worship & Music Conference, the 2010 Baylor Alleluia and the 2011 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. Her passion for congregational singing has been developed as a Melodious Accord Fellow – earned through attending two week-long song leading workshops taught by Alice Parker.

She earned her master’s in choral conducting from the University of Houston and holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Maryville College in Tennessee. She is currently the Design Team Chair for the 2019 Fellowship Convocation.

Carla Swank Fox

Carla Swank Fox is the Communications Director for The Fellowship and Coordinator for Ministry With Children at Discipleship Ministries. She is co-founder of Craft Content Nashville, an annual “un-conference” event for digital content creators in the Mid South, and also serves as a member of the community board and marketing lead for the Technologist Federation of Nashville.

An accomplished writer, producer and social strategist, Carla was a reporter, copy editor and webcast producer for the Beaver County Times near Pittsburgh, where she won a Bronze Telly Award for webcast production. She also worked as a writer, editor and network producer for Rivals.com and Yahoo! Sports.

Carla has been a church musician for more than 20 years and currently is active in the music department at Nashville (TN) West End UMC as a member of the Chancel Choir and Joy Ringers, and director of the youth handbell ensemble. Previously, she served seven years as resident pianist at Coraopolis (PA) UMC where she also directed the contemporary ensemble, “Two or More.”

Carla holds a B.A. in Communication, Media Production and Corporate Communication as well as an M.S. in Organizational Studies and Leadership, both from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. She lives in Nashville with her husband, David.

Justin & Lisa Hancock

Justin and Lisa Hancock are the co-founders of The Julian Way, an initiative of the Missional Wisdom Foundation focusing on ministry and communal engagement with individuals and families with physical and developmental disabilities.

Justin works as the Prior of the Epworth Project, a network of intentional Christian communities under the umbrella of the Missional Wisdom Foundation located in North Texas. He works with residents in areas of spiritual growth, personal development, and community engagement. He is a graduate of the Perkins School of Theology with a master’s degree in Christian ministries and an ordained deacon appointed to the North Texas Conference.

Lisa is currently a Ph.D. student in Systematic Theology at Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on the intersection of systematic theology and disability studies. She is also the associate minister of music and worship at Dallas (TX) Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey serves as bishop of the Louisiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, having been assigned there in September of 2012. Under Bishop Harvey’s leadership, the Louisiana Annual Conference follows a mission and vision focus to: lead others to an abundant life in Christ; engage in the community; learn, live and tell the gospel story; and reach out and draw-in people from all walks of life resulting in vibrant, alive and vital congregations. The vision and mission are undergirded by Core Values: integrity, accountability, unrelenting love for all people, courage and risk, and holding nothing sacred but the mission.

Bishop Harvey also has a passion for young people as they lead the church into a future filled with possibilities. In connection with her Episcopal assignment, she serves on the Boards of Trustees for Centenary College, Dillard University, and Southern Methodist University, and The Perkins School of Theology Executive Board.  She also serves as a board member of the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana. Bishop Harvey is the Vice-Chair of the Commission on United Methodist Communications for The United Methodist Church. She served as the President of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops from 2013-14 and currently serves as the Secretary of the Council of Bishops. Just prior to her election as a United Methodist bishop during the 2012 South Central Jurisdictional Conference, Harvey served as Deputy General Secretary for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

She and her husband, Dean Alan Harvey, were married in 1981. Their daughter, Elizabeth Grace Harvey Reames is an interior designer in Dallas.

C. Michael Hawn

Michael Hawn is the University Distinguished Professor of Church Music and Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He has conducted extensive research on global music and worship, cross-cultural worship, and enlivening congregational song, and is considered to be one of the leading experts in global hymnody. He has published more than 400 articles and books and taught in 40 countries.

Prior to joining the faculty at Perkins in 1992, Michael served churches in Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas as minister of music. He also was a professor of church music at two Baptist seminaries for a total of 15 years.

Michael is a life member of the Choristers Guild and served as President of the Board from 1990-1992 and 2001-2003. He was elected a Fellow of the Hymn Society in 2008.

Susan Hiller

Susan Hiller, widowed at age 35 with a five-year-old daughter, helped to establish the local chapter of a national widow/widower support group, THEOS [They Help Each Other Spiritually]. Subsequently, she co-founded and led a company that computerized medical clinics. Upon selling it to a national company 20 years later, she began to explore opportunities to align with her personal interests. Family members, including daughter, grandchildren, aging mother and second husband, were her first priority, but she knew that there was more to be done.

Susan was invited to join the first Community of Hope training class given at St. James United Methodist Church, an experience that seemed to help all else fall into place. Since becoming commissioned in 2003, she has served on the Community of Hope State and National Councils and co-facilitates each year’s training of new chaplains at St. James. The next logical step for her was to become a certified patient volunteer for both Arkansas and Baptist Hospices. Her main services in these organizations include nursing home visits and bereavement assistance. These affiliations led to her becoming certified as a Grief Counselor. In this capacity she leads “Uplifted Living after Loss” at St. James and “Uplift after Loss” at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and helps to facilitate “Grief and Loss” at Second Presbyterian. In addition, she is available for one-on-one sessions.

It is evident that the combination of Community of Hope, Arkansas and Baptist Hospices, and Grief Counseling has allowed her, indeed, to explore opportunities that align with her interests, yes, passions in life.

R. DeAndre Johnson

R. DeAndre Johnson is the pastor of music and worship at Houston (TX) Westbury United Methodist Church, where he directs choirs for children and adults, handbells and worship band. He has worked in churches of various sizes, demographics and worship styles in both Louisiana and Texas, receiving accolades for his musicianship and expertise in the music of the global church.

He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music at Centenary College of Louisiana where he sang with and was a student conductor for the Centenary College Choir and Centenary College Camerata under the leadership of Dr. Will K. Andress and Dr. Julia B. Thorn, respectively. He also received a Master’s of Sacred Music from Southern Methodist University where he studied with Dr. Alfred Calabrese, Dr. Pamela E. Huffman, Dr. Christopher A. Anderson and Dr. C. Michael Hawn. He is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and served three years as the worship coordinator for the Texas Annual Conference.

He was the worship leader for the 2013 Exploration event in Denver, CO, and the music coordinator for both the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Portland, OR, and the 2016 World Methodist Conference in Houston, TX. In addition to these, DeAndre has served as the guest conductor and chorus master for the Houston Ebony Opera Guild.

Karla Kincannon

Karla M. Kincannon is an artist, author, teacher, spiritual director, and United Methodist elder. She has been a liturgical designer of sacred space at national gatherings and in local church congregations.

Karla believes God’s gift of creativity is an essential tool for navigating the spiritual journey, and a necessary element for the corporate life of the church. She invites others to be courageously creative as a way of knowing God, embodying God’s image, and building God’s kin-dom on earth.

Karla founded SpiritArt Ministries to help individuals and congregations encounter the living God through the use of their creativity. She is the author of Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection, as well as numerous articles about the spiritual journey and curriculum for the United Methodist Church.

Karla received her Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is the Director of Spiritual Formation at Alexandria (VA) Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Megan Mash

Megan Mash is currently the Music Minister at Sebastian (FL) United Methodist Church, where she has served since August 2010. Megan was born in Tampa, FL, but grew up in Independence, MO. She began taking piano lessons at age seven and became involved in band, playing flute, and choir during middle school. During her high school years, she became active in music at her home church. Megan sang in the adult choir, served as a soloist and directed the youth choir. Following graduation, Megan went to Simpson College in Indianola, IA and graduated summa cum laude earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Religion. Here she began her organ studies with Mark Babcock and continued piano studies with Ron Albrecht.

Megan pursued a master’s degree at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Here she studied organ with Larry Palmer, conducting with David R. Davidson, children’s music with Julie Scott and church music with Michael Hawn and Christopher Anderson. In May 2010, she graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s of Sacred Music with a concentration in organ.

Megan is an active member of The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, The American Guild of Organists and Choristers Guild. She currently serves as Sub-Dean of the Treasure Coast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Kevin McBeth

Kevin McBeth is the Director of Music at Manchester United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis, where he serves as administrator for their 18 choral and handbell ensembles as well as conducting the 140-member Chancel Choir. He also serves as Associate Conductor for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, leading both the IN UNISON Chorus and the Holiday Festival Chorus.

A native of Houston, TX, Kevin is a graduate of Houston Baptist University and has done graduate studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston. Previous appointments include Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Adjunct Professor in Choral Music at Webster University and Music Director of the St. Louis Metro Singers. He has also served as guest lecturer at the Westminster Choir College. Most recently, he was appointed as the National Community Choir Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for the American Choral Directors Association.

In 2002, the National Religious Music Week Alliance named Kevin one of the top 10 church Music Directors in the country.

Glenn McCracken

Glenn McCracken is a Licensed Counselor, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer and Business owner.

Glenn graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Master’s in 2012. Glenn moved to Little Rock in 2013 and established a business promoting self-care through the six domains of wellness: physical, social, emotional, spiritual, psychological (mental) and vocational.

Glenn likes to play with his daughter and wife, move his body, and spend quality time with friends outside playing golf or through other venues of play.

Rebecca Garrett Pace

Rebecca Garrett Pace has been singing, drumming, and creating art since before she could walk. She holds the Master of Sacred Music degree from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas, TX, and has been participating in Fellowship events for the last 27 years, beginning as a tiny tot at Lake Junaluska Music & Worship Arts Week with her mom.

Currently, Rebecca is the Director of Worship at East Dallas (TX) White Rock United Methodist Church, which is a community committed to doing church and finding community in new ways. She is called to reveal God’s love for all people through fresh ways of worship, congregational singing, and holy laughter, not in spite of, but through and in partnership with, complex global societies filled with injustice, pain, and tension. She plays, or convincingly fakes, global percussion, piano, guitar, flute, and ukulele. Rebecca currently lives in Allen, TX with her husband Jeff, her two stepchildren, and their two ridiculous cats.

Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is the Director of Congregational Care at Little Rock (AR) St. James United Methodist Church. She coordinates a team of lay chaplains, trained through the Community of Hope International (COHI) lay chaplaincy program, who are responsible for visiting members that are hospitalized, in a nursing home, are homebound, and many other places where pastoral care is underserved. She works with the church Prayer Shawl ministry, facilitates Uplifted Living After Loss (a grief recovery group), and provides counseling support and referral guidance to individuals.

St. James UMC houses the COHI Regional Training Center where Jenny serves as the Community of Hope Arkansas Director – coordinating training and supporting pastoral care givers working within their church communities. The COHI mission is to create and sustain Christian communities of lay pastoral care givers united in prayer, shaped by Benedictine spirituality, and equipped for and serving in pastoral care ministries. Jenny has completed studies in Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, which included a 2 year internship and 1 year residency. She has found that her work in congregational care has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her career.

Joe Stobaugh

The Rev. Joe Stobaugh currently serves as the Executive Minister of Worship and Arts at Frisco (TX) Grace Avenue United Methodist Church.

He is an ordained deacon in the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Joe holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas (where he studied music education and saxophone) and a Master of Sacred Music degree (Magna cum Laude) from Southern Methodist University.

Joe has been a member of The Fellowship for many years and has served the organization in a variety of roles: clinician, worship designer, and various committee assignments. He is currently finishing his term as the Immediate Past National President of The Fellowship.

He is an in-demand clinician in the areas of worship and sacred music. In addition to serving the local church, the annual conference, The Fellowship and keeping an active career as a performing musician and clinician, Joe founded The Frisco Ukulele Society this year as way to connect people from across the community (many of whom would never step foot in a local church!) with the Imago Dei that resides within them!

Joe has recently released several albums. Visit joestobaugh.com to learn more.

Jackie Thompson

An Ordained Elder in the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Thompson is currently appointed as lead pastor to Clear Lake (IA) First United Methodist Church. Jackie enjoys singing, playing the piano, ringing handbells, writing liturgy, offering liturgical dance and praying with her camera. She has been a member of The Fellowship since 2007.

Jackie is a graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music & Dance. Originally from Dayton, Ohio she has served as a church musician in Ohio, Missouri and Iowa, has worked as a performing artist and teaching artist, and was the owner of the Potpourri Fine Arts Academy in Ottumwa, IA.

Tom Trenney

Tom Trenney is the Minister of Music at Lincoln (NE) First-Plymouth Church, where he leads four adult choirs, accompanies the congregation in worship, and preaches. In the last two seasons, First-Plymouth’s choirs have been featured at conventions of the Nebraska Music Educators Association as well as the Nebraska, North Central, and national ACDA events.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom also teaches the Collegiate Chorale at Doane University. He conducts Sounding Light, a Michigan-based chamber choir, which he founded in 2003. (The choir performed at the national ACDA convention in 2016.)

Tom’s organ and choral recordings are featured regularly on public radio, and his choral compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress, G. Schirmer, Morningstar, MusicSpoke, and Pavane.

Toni Phinisey-Webber

Toni Phinisey-Webber is a native of Columbus, Mississippi.  She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mississippi University for Women, a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Mississippi State University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She began her career with the National Park Service in 2012 as a Park Ranger at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put in Bay, Ohio. Since 2014, she has served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. She also specializes in developing programs that link history to current events and foster open communications across cultural and social boundaries. She is married to Evan Webber and has one son, Solomon. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Cynthia Wilson

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson is the newly-appointed Associate General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church and an award-winning singer. She previously served as the Dean of Students at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Cynthia has received degrees from Dillard University and Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies and Theology from Garrett-Evangelical. Additionally, she studied at Eastman Conservatory and Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Cynthia has performed all over the world, including Carnegie Hall and the Washington National Cathedral. Having answered the call to music ministry, she is committed to the task of keeping God’s Word alive through biblically- and theologically-sound music that raises an awareness of the issues of justice, love, and liberation. Her work as a consultant to local churches and ministries in the areas of liturgy and sacred music has helped to produce the Songs of Zion (1981) and Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation (2007), resources that fitly represent the ethos and pathos of indigenous Black Church music.

Lisa Yebuah

Lisa Yebuah is the Campus Pastor of the Southeast Raleigh Table (SERT), the second multisite campus of Raleigh (NC) Edenton Street United Methodist Church. This campus embodies the spirit and energy of the east downtown and southeast Raleigh neighborhoods within Edenton Street’s parish. As campus pastor of SERT, one of Lisa’s hopes is to tell good stories of Raleigh communities that are often overlooked or under-appreciated.

Lisa is a 1999 graduate of Wofford College and a 2004 graduate of Duke University Divinity School. She’s a biscuit-eating crossfitter, professional people watcher and an overly enthusiastic Dallas Cowboys fan.