Chris Bryant, our Senior Pastor, wears multiple hats as the chief preacher, visionary, and staff manager. His dynamic leadership blends administrative acumen with the gifts of teaching and guiding our mission. Nestled in Ringgold, Chris finds strength in his family, which includes his wife Kara (affectionately known as "the first lady"), oldest son Christopher, middle son Isaiah pursuing college, youngest son Jacob, and stepsons Cole and Sam. Outside the pulpit, Chris dedicates time to good workouts and good food. His passion lies in the transformative power of practicing the Christian faith through Jesus-centered living, rather than mere belief. Not only did Chris play college football for the Division II Kentucky Wesleyan, but he has also served as a pastor for thirty years.
Minister of Care
Sally Ensley embodies compassion and dedication as the Minister of Care and Community. Her role extends to connecting with the sick and shut-in members of the church, fostering the power of prayer, and making meaningful visits. Sally's community involvement echoes her commitment to representing the church and identifying opportunities to support the local community's needs. Facilitating Bible and book studies, Sally helps enrich the spiritual growth of the congregation. She is a cornerstone in various mission endeavors and uses her wisdom to guide those in need. Residing in Ringgold, Sally's heart finds joy in her two grandchildren, Savanah and Jaice. Her selflessness shines through her lifelong mission to help those in need, making missions and counseling her pillars of passion. Sally has also led over 75 mission trips, spanning weekends and extended stays, both locally and internationally. Her dedication to service leaves an indelible mark on the church community and beyond.
Director of Youth Ministries
Jamie Smith, our Director of Youth Ministries, takes on the vital task of nurturing the spiritual and emotional growth of our youth community. Jamie provides a supportive environment where tweens and teens are cherished, understood, and empowered on their spiritual journey. Residing in Ringgold, Jamie lives with her husband Mason and their feline companions, Copper and Gilbert. Beyond her role, Jamie delights in the simple pleasures of life, from delving into books to cheering on the Braves, all while sipping on a good cup of coffee and completing a challenging puzzle. Her true passion lies in cultivating a sense of belonging and acceptance for all youth, ensuring every voice is heard and embraced. Notably, Jamie's commitment to history shines through her collection of antique books, particularly those that tell the story of United Methodist heritage.
Director of Children's Ministries
Britta Alton is the Director of Children's Ministry, dedicating herself to the spiritual growth and joy of our youngest members. She invests time in planning and organizing the weekly children’s programs, coordinating Children's Ministry servants and making sure they have the necessary tools and support. Britta is a beacon of outreach, readying the community for events that make a difference. She embraces the needs of families with children spanning from nursery age to elementary, creating a holistic ministry experience. In Ringgold, Britta lives with her husband of over 27 years, two teenagers, and their lively assortment of a dog and two cats. Beyond her role, Britta enjoys quality time with loved ones, showcasing her culinary skills, cycling when the opportunity arises, and seeking connection with nature. Her heart's desire is rooted in nurturing those around her, highlighting the beauty within individuals, and tirelessly demonstrating their inherent worth. Britta has lived much of her life with an ADHD brain, a unique trait she's learning to harness and appreciate as a remarkable superpower.
As the versatile Office Administrator, Pam Blaylock is the cornerstone of organization at RUMC. Her multifaceted role encompasses a warm welcome to visitors, attentive assistance to all in need, meticulous management of accounts receivable and payable, payroll oversight, and a vigilant eye on the myriad of details that keep our church running seamlessly. Residing in Ringgold, Pam shares her home with her husband, Tommy, and their dogs. Beyond her administrative prowess, she enjoys assembling jigsaw puzzles and creating intricate crochet works. Pam's heart is a beacon of kindness and compassion, driven by her unwavering dedication to living her life for Jesus and emulating His love in her interactions with others. Her steady presence ensures that the inner workings of the church reflect the harmony she strives to bring to every aspect of her life.
Executive Director of Worship and the Arts
Taylor Lankford serves as the Executive Director of Worship & the Arts where he masterfully orchestrates the symphony of worship and artistry. Taylor navigates the intricate planning and execution of each worship service, collaborating with different teams. With a deep understanding of the transformative power of the arts, Taylor guides, nurtures, and cultivates various creative ministries, spanning music, dance, drama, and visual arts. He lives in Ringgold, with his wife, Kirsten, and their beloved cat, aptly named Church Cat. Beyond the realm of worship, Taylor's interests vary from watching football, spending time cooking & baking, playing video games and traveling. His passion lies in the belief that singing is a universal human birthright, and he advocates for the therapeutic and unifying potential it holds. Taylor also serves the community as an election worker, embodying his commitment to community service as he assists voters at the polls.
Communications and Technical Director
Drew Sherrill brings versatility to his role as Communications and Technical Director. Juggling a myriad of responsibilities, he creates multimedia and worship content, spearheads church communication across various platforms, masterminds our weekly live streams, and expertly manages technology within the building. Beyond the technical realm, his heart resonates with serving God and spending time with wife Bailey and son Liam. When not immersed in his work, Drew finds joy in spending time with friends, video games, nature outings, and the occasional attempt at golf. Drew has a passion for bad movies, a trait that he believes adds a unique perspective to appreciating the better things in life.
Director of Preschool
As the Director of r|Preschool, Kodi Lowry exemplifies a commitment to nurturing young hearts and minds. With a devotion to creating a secure, enjoyable, and Christ-centered environment, Kodi oversees our preschool, fostering growth for children, staff, and families alike. Beyond her professional role, she finds strength and joy in her loving family, living with her husband Bradley, energetic sons Barrett and Beau, and their two canine companions Boone and Charlie. Kodi's enthusiasm for life extends to her hobbies, including reading, cheering on her kids in sports, and lively game nights. Her heart resonates with sharing the love of Christ and celebrating the joys of family, often accompanied by a refreshing sip of Dr. Pepper. An unabashed Christmas enthusiast, Kodi's spirit shines as she embraces the early celebration of Jesus' birth.
Director of Senior Adult Ministries
Marty McGee brings a wealth of experience to our Senior Adult Ministries as its dedicated director. With a heart for serving senior adults, Marty coordinates the vibrant 49'ers monthly activities, spearheads the Growing Stronger exercise program, and curates the insightful Communicator newsletter. Beyond his role, he extends his care by assisting families and funeral homes during times of loss. Marty's devotion to aiding families in biblical budgeting underscores his passion for financial stewardship. Beyond his service, he finds joy in golf, playing music ranging from Liturgical to Bluegrass, and exploring new horizons through travel. An accomplished trombonist for over five decades, Marty has graced stages from churches to renowned venues like Riverbend. He lives in Ringgold with his wife, Laurie.
Contemporary Band Leader
Michael Arnold finds his calling as the Contemporary Band Director, guiding worshipers through music. Residing in Chickamauga, he shares his life with his wife Christy, their son Sam, and their trio of canine companions - Maverick, Bama, and Ollie. Beyond music, Michael's loves woodworking and photography. He extends his passions to being the best possible husband to Christy, supporting her endeavors and her students. Michael has a love for the show "The Office," as evidenced by his use of quotes from the show in everyday conversations.
Director of Cleanliness
Will Waldrop, the Director of Cleanliness, plays a vital role in ensuring our church is a welcoming space for worship and service. From Friday to Sunday, Will's diligent efforts prepare the church for vibrant Sunday worship and a fruitful week ahead. His tasks are diverse, covering everything from toilet scrubbing to blind dusting. Will's heart overflows with gratitude for the church's impact on his life, believing that a church in need of cleaning is a church actively touched by God's children. Residing in Ringgold, he finds solace and companionship with his father and step-mother. Outside of his role, Will loves any form of exercise, traveling, and participating in missions that serve others. He's a passionate advocate for guiding individuals to embrace their true selves and gladly shares their burdens, echoing the spirit of Galatians 6:2. And beneath his exterior, Will surprises with his ability to converse in Spanish, proving that appearances can be deceiving.