Meet Our Staff

Rev. Dr. Birgitte T. French

Senior Pastor

My name is Rev. Dr. Birgitte Thaarup French, but please call me Pastor Bee. I am a lifelong Untied Methodist, and grew up as a PK in Copehagen, Denmark.

In 1983 I became a medical missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries and for the next 13 years I served in Zaire (now Congo,) Algeria and Kenya. After graduating from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, I was consecrated and ordained Elder in the North Georgia annual conference. In Georgia I served an inner-city church and as staff pastor in a large suburban church. In 2005 my family and I moved the Memphis, where I have served several congregations and in extended ministry. I have served on the McKendree-Metro dCOM for 10 years and currently serve as chair of Metro dCOM. I also serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministries, as chair of the Family Care Ministry, as well as serving on the full Board of Ordained Ministry since 2016.

I am married to Niels French and together we have two children, Fletcher who lives in Chattanooga with Casey, and our daughter Hanna lives in Little Rock. We have a dog named Lou whom I love to take on long walks. I read mysteries, love to cook a good meal, bake bread and knit.

Contact Pastor Bee at pastor@stpaul-lakeland.org.

Will Dougan

Director of Worship and Music

Will Dougan joined the St Paul staff in 2007. He has 3 children and has been married to his wife, Angie since 1995. Will enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves, the Ole MIss Rebels, eating BBQ and is an avid shooter and outdoorsman. Contact Will at music@stpaul-lakeland.org.

Jill Kirk

Director of Children's Ministries

Jill Kirk has been a member of St. Paul since 2001. In the Fall of 2007 she joined the staff as the Children’s Ministry Director. She and her husband Marty have been married since 1997 and have two children. In her free time she likes to spend time with her family, garden and read. Contact Jill at children@stpaul-lakeland.org.

Nancy Ytzen

Director of Nursery Ministries

Nancy Ytzen joined the staff as Director of Nursery Ministries in July 2008. She and her late husband, Bob, became member of St. Paul in 1994 while Rev. Richard Smith was pastor. She is a mother of two sons and a daughter; and a grandmother of twelve. her focus in serving St. Paul has been working with young children (pre-school assistant teacher, children’s summer programs, and nursery ministries)

Vickie Hamilton

Office Administrator

Vickie is the face of Saint Paul. She is friendly voice on the phone and the keeper of our church calendar. If you need to know anything about our ministries or special events she can provide you with the information you need to know. Contact Vickie at vhamilton@stpaul-lakeland.org.

Susan Holmes

Finance Administrator

Susan Holmes joined the St. Paul staff in 2009. She has 2 grown children and has been married to her husband, Wes for 30 plus years. Susan and her family have been members since 1990 and over the years she has been involved in many areas of the church. She also enjoys Memphis Tiger and Grizzly basketball, boating, going to the beach, swimming, gardening, and hanging out with her family and friends. Contact Susan at sholmes@stpaul-lakeland.org.

Jessica Clough

Preschool Director

Jessica Clough has been a professional educator for nine years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Arkansas State University and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Central Arkansas. Jessica is recognized as a board certified teacher by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  Since 2017, Jessica has served at St. Paul Preschool as an assistant teacher, where she has built strong relationships with her students, their families, and her coworkers.  Jessica has been married to Jared since 2009 and they have three beautiful children, two of which attend St. Paul. Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, playing the piano, and watching the Chicago Bears. Contact Jessica at preschool@stpaul-lakeland.org.

Sam Belcher

Youth Director

Hi, my name is Sam Belcher, and I’m the new Youth Director here at St. Paul. I’m from Nashville, TN, and I went to college at a small Christian school named Lipscomb University. Starting in August, I’ll be pursuing my Masters degree at Memphis Theological Seminary. I am thrilled to start working with the youth group, and I hope to bring to it unity, wisdom, and passion. I’ve worked with several youth groups, and I’m always amazed by the ways that God can work through teenagers who are united in Christ-centered community. I can’t wait to be a part of that here! Some of the things I enjoy in my spare time are hiking, kayaking, reading, and going to the movies. If you see me around the church, come say hi! You can contact me at youth@stpaul-lakeland.org