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 United 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.

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.

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 hello. You can contact me at youth@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.

Elizabeth Tieman

Office Administrator

My name is Elizabeth “Ellie or El” Tieman (Teaman, for pronunciation). I am thrilled to join the staff here at St Paul United Methodist Church! I grew up attending Highland Heights United Methodist Church in Memphis since I was a child. I was born in East Ridge, Tennessee but raised in Memphis the majority of my life. I have a quiet personality until you get to know me but I do love to keeps others laughing and on their toes. My husband and I are members and attend church at Immanuel Lutheran. We also attend services and events at Grace Celebration Lutheran, where my Father In Law is the pastor. I embarked on my first mission trip to Guatemala in June 2016 with Immanuel and knew instantly I was where God wanted me to be. I do enjoy being able to give back to our community in various ways. My husband and I have not been blessed with a human child to love as of yet, but we have been blessed to rescue/foster/adopt our 4 legged fur children and we both take care of my parents who are Stroke Survivors.
When I am not at the church I can be found at my father’s house assisting him, in Dayton, TN visiting my mother, binge watching one of my favorite shows, completing a DIY project, spending time with my fur children, reading, crafting, preparing for Christmas (my favorite holiday), or being an awesome Aunt and Godmother to 9 beautiful kiddos.  You can contact me at SPUMC@stpaul-lakeland.org.
I look forward to meeting each one of you, soon!

In God’s peace,

Ellie <3

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.