First UMC Staff

 

Pastoral Staff

Rev. Alvin J. Horton

Senior Pastor

Al graduated from The College of William & Mary with a BA in English (was certified to teach English & Physics), then went on to earn an MDiv and ThM at the Divinity School of Duke University. Al is former conference director of communications and editor of the Virginia Advocate and, to help communicate the gospel, he loves to dress up and pretend he's someone out of the Bible (Some say he is a character!). Al and his wife Cheryl have three sons: Matthew, Michael and Jesse. Contact Pastor Al

Rev. Phil Woodson

Associate Pastor for Outreach and Witness

Phil graduated from James Madison University with a BM in Music Education, and earned his endorsement in Gifted Education in 2011. Before answering God's call to Pastoral Ministry, Phil was an elementary school teacher for nine years, serving in Warren County and Albemarle County, Virginia. Along with his duties as an Associate Pastor, Phil also leads the band at our 9:45 service in the fellowship hall. Phil and his wife Ellen have two sons: Cooper and Peter. Contact Pastor Phil

Program & Ministry Staff

 

Carolyn McGee

Spiritual Life Coordinator

Carolyn is not originally from Charlottesville, but she got here as fast as she could!  She has been a part of First United Methodist Church since 1988 and serves as our Spiritual Life Coordinator through facilitating opportunities for the church family to experience and grow in their own relationships with Jesus Christ and foster an environment of fellowship and spiritual development that engages the congregation in living out a Christian lifestyle. Part of this position also includes leading the Celebration Singers and the children’s music ministry – along with providing additional opportunities for worship through the Fine Arts. With a B.M. in Music Therapy and another in Music Education, Carolyn spent 33 years in education before becoming an owner and proprietor of a local Inn. She is married to Gary and has two grown sons and a sweet daughter-in-law. Be sure to watch her face light up when you ask her about her grandchildren Willow and Gillispie! Contact Carolyn

Alex Erwine

Director of Discipleship for Youth & Children

Alex grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but quickly ran to the south where she has spent the past four years studying at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia for business and communication studies. She was very involved with InterVaristy Christian Fellowship on her campus. Alex has also held many internships in the past two summers. She has held a position of Intern of Youth Ministries, where she helped Grace Presbyterian Church lead the youth group. Alex was also Vacation Bible School Coordinator for Grace, where she organized and oversaw the event. In her down time, you can find her on a golf course or watching a good movie. Contact Alex.

Kevin White

Chancel Choir Director and Organist

Kevin White is a 
graduate of Eastman School of Music in Rochester, majoring in
 piano performance and music education, he has more recently 
served as pianist at Hinton Avenue UMC and at Broadus Memorial
 Baptist Church. Kevin moved to Charlottesville in 1983 and has taught music in the public school system for 32 years, working with singers of all ages (including leading a 150 voice choir of elementary school students and other choirs of many age levels). He has also worked with professional singers and directed musicals for UVA's Department of Drama and Heritage Theater. Kevin's wife Carol is a nurse at Albemarle Square Family Healthcare; his son Luke is a junior at AHS; and his step- daughter, Samantha, is a junior at James Madison University. Contact Kevin

Erika Woodling

Coordinator of Infant and Toddler Care

Erika moved to Charlottesville from WV in 1999.   She is married to Kevin and they have two daughters: Elana and Viviann. She has always enjoyed working with children - when her oldest was 2 yrs old Erika decided to find child care jobs that enable her to stay home and focus on her family while connecting with other families around the area.  A lifelong Methodist, she came to First U.M.C. in 2014 and is so grateful to be part of the church family and spend her Sundays in the Nursery. Erika coordinates paid nursery staff and nursery volunteers for Sunday services and special events. Contact Erika

Ida Caramanis

Director of First UMC Preschool

Ida oversees the ministry of the Preschool including the scholarship program, admission applications, and Preschool volunteer opportunities. Ida graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology, then earned her MSEd in Special Education from Old Dominion University. She was an elementary Special Education teacher for Charlottesville City Schools for several years. Ida and her husband Pete have three children: Brandon, Grace, and Evan.  Contact Ida

Administrative Staff

Kathy Berkeley

Administrative Assistant

Kathy was born in Connecticut, raised in Texas, but is a Virginian at heart.  "I feel very lucky to be here.  I have worn many hats in my life, working in the marine industry as VP/Sales, in the film business as a make up artist and Emmy winner,  and now here at First United Methodist Church. We are a fantastic church family and I am so blessed to be a part of it." Kathy produces the weekly bulletins, maintains the church calendar, oversees office volunteers and orders supplies. Contact Kathy

 

Jeannie Gentry

Business Manager

Jeannie is a lifelong resident of Albemarle County and now a happy member of the First UMC family.    She received her Business/Accounting education at the Jefferson Professional Institute some years ago and has worked with at least three nonprofit organizations in Charlottesville and Albemarle.  She and her husband Lewis (Buck) reside in the Crozet/Ivy area where they enjoy the company of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jeannie maintains the church's financial records, assists the church treasurer, and is always excited to answer questions and welcome visitors to her office. Contact Jeannie

Lyndsay Harshman

Facilities Manager

Lyndsay landed in Virginia early 2016 and is of Scottish decent although born in London England.  Having worked overseas since 1993 she has a wealth of experience as English Editor for the Kuwait Oil Company, PA to an Arab Investment Banker and Executive Household Manager to VIP residence, palaces and Royal Families in Qatar, BOS Manager for NSA Bahrain and most recently Facilities Manager at the DoDea School in Bahrain. Lyndsay, her husband and two dogs live in Ruckersville and  has two children being educated at University in Scotland.  Lyndsay provides for maintenance of church facilities and assists the work of church trustees. Contact Lyndsay

Tim Williams

Director of Technical Ministries

Tim moved to Charlottesville in 1979 and has been married to his wife Nellie for 36 years. They have two grown children, Josh and Katie. He has been a staff member for 15 years starting as an original member of the Incredible Journey Contemporary Worship Team and now coordinates audio-visual equipment for Sunday morning worship and special events. He has been a Field Engineer for GE Healthcare for the past 15 years and has been working on medical equipment for the past 35 years. He enjoys fishing, kayaking and spending time with Nellie when he is not working. Contact Tim

Oscar Anderson

Custodian

Oscar assists the facilities manager with care of the church facilities.

Emeritus

Rev. Dr. Harry Kennon

Pastor Emeritus

Harry, his wife Gale, and their two sons became lay members of FUMC in 1970. Harry entered the pastoral ministry in 1982, after a 15 year business career. He served the rural Greene Charge while attending seminary and returned to FUMC as Associate Pastor from 1985-88. Subsequently, Harry served churches in Richmond, Chesterfield, and Norfolk before being appointed to FUMC as Senior Pastor in 2003. Upon his retirement in 2009, he was given the title Pastor Emeritus and continues to be active in various ministries. Harry and Gale are the proud grandparents of four. They both love to travel and are avid “sports nuts”, especially UVa baseball. Harry also enjoys riding the motorcycle he bought when he retired. Contact Harry