Rev. Lynn Mote
Rev. Lynn Mote is ordained as an Elder in Full Connection in the Mississippi Annual Conference. Mississippi has always been home for her, as she was born and raised in the small town of Magnolia, Mississippi. Lynn met Ansel Mote during her senior year of high school. They both attended the University of Southern Mississippi. Following their graduation from USM, Lynn and Ansel were married in the small United Methodist Church that was Lynn’s childhood church home. Together they have one daughter, Emily, who now resides in Tupelo, Mississippi. They recently celebrated 38 years of marriage. Lynn is a 2005 graduate of Duke Divinity School where she received her Master of Divinity degree. Lynn and Ansel currently live in Bruce, Mississippi where Lynn serves as Pastor of Bruce UMC and Shady Grove UMC.
Rev. Susan Hood
Rev. Susan Hood is an Ordained Deacon in Full Connection in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. She currently is the Pastor at Washington United Methodist Church, which was founded in 1799 and is the oldest Methodist congregation in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. She is also the Pastor at Church Hill United Methodist Church. Rev. Hood accepted her calling to vocational ministry after careers as a Director of Volunteers in the healthcare industry and as the Director of a computer help desk at a major five-star resort. She has a passion for equipping and connecting people. She loves teaching and organizing things. Rev. Hood attended Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and Asbury Seminary. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from Western Kentucky University. She and her husband, Tom, have been married for 37 years and have two grown daughters. She loves hiking and gardening.
Rev. Mary Beth McCandless
Rev. Mary Beth (MB) McCandless is the pastor of West Bethesda and West Eagle Creek Presbyterian Churches in northwest Ohio. She earned a Master of Divinity with a certificate in Educational Ministry at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky in 2016.
A singer, writer and retreat leader whose interest in Christian formation and spiritual practices has deepened through the years, MB is discerning training in spiritual direction and leadership coaching. Developing vital congregational ministry in rural and small church contexts is an area of commitment and passion.
MB has been married to Murray for 35 years. Rocky, the Chihuahua, brings them much joy! MB is thankful they can regularly travel to spend time with their two young adult children (and spouses/partners) who are living their best lives in California and that she lives close enough to her mother to spend time with her each month.
Reverend Tara Collins Hayes was born and raised in Winona, MS, and educated in the Winona Public School System. Upon graduating high school, she entered Millsaps College, where she received a B.A. in English. She began her career in Logistics Management, and moved to Alpharetta, GA in 2002. Rev. Tara found a home with St. James United Methodist Church, where she began to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and acknowledged the call of God to pastoral ministry. In 2008, Rev. Tara entered Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, receiving her Master of Divinity degree with honors in May of 2013. She was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in June of 2018, and ordained an Elder in Full Connection in June of 2021 in the MS Conference of The United Methodist Church. Tara has served numerous congregations and is currently on loan to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, serving as the pastor of Melrose Chapel United Methodist Church in Quincy, Illinois.
Rev. Tara has become known for her energetic teaching ability, and believes in preaching with purpose. She has a passion for Church revitalization, truly fulfilling the Great Commission as outlined in Matthew 28: 16-20, and serving those whom society has deemed the “least, last, and lost.” She believes that parish ministry and community ministry go hand in hand. Rev. Tara is the Godly-proud mother of one daughter, Karsyn Alyssa.
Most of all, she loves God, and she loves God’s people.
My name is Jacqueline Marie Davis-Gines. I was born in Seneca, South Carolina and attended Seneca High School. I am a 1984 Byrnes Scholar. I graduated from Clemson University in 1988 with a BA Degree in Sociology. I earned a Master of Science Degree in Sociology from Mississippi State University in 1990, where I was named Outstanding Sociology Student and Outstanding Graduate Woman at Mississippi State University. I went on to earn a PhD in Sociology / Social Psychology from Iowa State University in 1993. I am a 2020 graduate with a Master of Divinity from Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In the non-profit sector, I have developed a non-profit, Housing Efforts for Low-income Persons In Need of Greater Support (HELPING, CDC). I am currently the Associate Pastor of Ooltewah United Methodist Church (OUMC) in Ooltewah, TN and am working towards becoming an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church. My roles here have included: Associate Pastor of Ooltewah United Methodist Church (OUMC); small group organization and development; Congregational Care Pastor; staff administrator organizing service opportunities for congregants; lead pastor support; and, serving as the Digital Pastor for our online congregation. I am married to Marlin Douglas Gines and have two children, Maiya Dominique (28) and Matthew Daniel (25). I enjoy gardening, creative writing, reading, live theatre, and a variety of board games. My favorite times are those spent playing and laughing with my family.
Rev. Jenny Newman
Rev. Katie Bradshaw
The Rev. Canon Katie Bradshaw is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College with a B.A. in History, and from Mississippi College School of Law with a J.D. She practiced law for a number of years serving as Staff Attorney for Judge Lester F. Williamson in Meridian, MS, and later as an Assistant Public Defender with the Hinds County Public Defender's Office in Jackson, MS. Katie earned her M. Div. from The School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. She first served as Curate at St. Columb's in Ridgeland, MS, and, currently, is the Vicar of St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson, MS.
Rev. Sandras Anderson
Rev. Sandras Anderson is a licensed local pastor of Hopewell United Methodist Church in Louisville, MS. Sandras is serving into her second-year appointment as pastor. She is a 2022 graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA where she obtained her Master of Divinity. Sandras has a great passion for serving in rural communities with diverse demographics and backgrounds. After a lengthy career in healthcare and social services she has received her calling into pastoral ministry. Sandras is the mother of four adult daughters and four amazing grandchildren. They are the wind beneath her wings as was their deceased father. When Sandras is not in ministry with her church community, she is assisting her daughter with her goat farm and small area gardening projects. Sandras is currently working with her community members to start a small community garden. She is considering the opportunity to be a part of The Thriving in Ministry Program as a gift to grow in spiritual engagement and nurture her spiritual well-being.
Rev. Emily Sanford
Rev. Emily Sanford, originally from Starkville, MS, serves as the pastor of Wesley UMC in Tupelo, MS. After attending Duke Divinity School for her Master of Divinity and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her Master of Social Work, she served as an associate pastor at Galloway UMC from June 2008-June 2020 and was ordained as an elder in 2011. In her spare time, she enjoys cheering on her Mississippi State Bulldogs and participating in the Tupelo Community Theater.
Rev. Hannah Shempert
Hello my name is Hannah. I am a second-career pastor who is greatly humbled and called to be a United Methodist pastor to love, serve, and lead God’s people in a spirit of grace and truth. Just as others have poured into me and sent me forth, one of my passions in ministry is encouraging others to fully live into God’s calling and claim upon their lives in their everyday setting. It is a deep honor to listen to someone’s soul and to walk alongside him/her in both joy and sorrow. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray that my life may be a source of manna for others as I seek to proclaim and invite others into the wide expanse of God’s love.
I would not be here without my husband Jim Shempert and our two beautiful daughters Kenley (9) and Adalyn (3). Most of my “hobbies” include keeping up with the girls and creating a loving environment for them to grow and thrive in. Aside from that, I love to cook, read for pleasure, and travel with friends to explore God’s creation. I love the National Parks and the wonders of finding the joy of God in the outdoors. To me, creation always serves to remind us of resurrection.
Rev. Claire Dobbs
Claire Dobbs is a Mississippi native (Amory), and a life-long United Methodist. She serves as an elder in the United Methodist Church and is pastor of First United Methodist Church of Gulfport, MS. She's a graduate of The University of MS and Duke Divinity School. She enjoys exercising, spending time outdoors, and hanging out with friends. Her life motto is: "What you can't get out of, get into wholeheartedly."