Our Senior Pastor

The Reverend Dr. Gregory S. Neal is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, Duke University, and Trinity College, where his studies included extensive work in Bible, Languages, Systematic Theology, Worship and the Sacraments. While having been trained to be a Christian educator, as an ordained United Methodist minister Neal’s heart and soul can be found in the mission and ministry of the local church. To this end he has served for 28 years as the pastor of churches in North Carolina and North Texas and is currently Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Farmersville, Texas.

To take his teaching and preaching onto the world-wide-web, in 1999 Dr. Neal founded Grace Incarnate Ministries (http://www.RevNeal.org), which serves audio and video sermons, audio Bible studies, written theological papers and articles, to an internet-based audience numbering in the tens of thousands. The purpose of Dr. Neal’s ministry is “to share the Real Presence of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, creed and deed, with all.”

As a popular teacher, preacher, and retreat leader, Dr. Neal is known for his ability to translate complex theological concepts into common, everyday terms. He has spoken on many topics before thousands in churches and at conferences all over the world, but his area of specialization is the Theology of the Sacraments. He has led several pilgrimages to Israel, has traveled widely to teach for the General Board of Global Ministries and Discipleship Ministries, and enjoys volunteering his time as a Protestant Chaplain for the Holland America Cruise Line. In addition to travel, his interests include astronomy, photography, music, hiking, sailing, fishing, reading, computers, and the internet. He is the author of several books, including Grace Upon Grace: Sacramental Theology and the Christian Life and Seeking the Shepherd’s Arms: Reflections from the Pastoral Side of Life.


Our Church Secretary

Ms. Ann Bridges

Ms. Ann Bridges has been our secretary for the past 11 years. She formally worked in the Collin County Clerk’s office and as the city secretary for the City of Farmersville, Texas. Ann is indispensable to the life and work of our church.

 


Our Audio & Visual Director / Webmaster

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Mr. Joel Cook  has always had a love for technology and music. He attended public school most of his schooling. As a junior and senior he attended McKinney Christian Academy where he helped with sound system for Chapel and was co-editor on the school newspaper staff. He attended and graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a bachelor of arts degree in Broadcast Communication. He has 17 years technical experience with church audio/visuals as he volunteered at Wesley United Methodist Church in McKinney from 2001-2012. His day time job is a Veterinary Technician/Receptionist at Eldorado Animal Hospital where he has used his talents since 2011. He’s also a DJ for weddings, small parties, etc. He  loves the Lord and uses his gifts to further His kingdom!

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” – I Timothy 4:12


Our Director of Music

Mr. Ben Clifton has been a choir director and music teacher at schools and churches in Oklahoma for more than sixteen years. In 2017, he moved to Texas to be the choir director at Farmersville Junior High and High School shortly before also accepting the position as choir director at First United Methodist Church of Farmersville. Ben’s beautiful wife is Caroline. They have three children: Adam, Samuel, and Diana. Ben earned his Master of Education in 2011 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his Bachelor of Music Education in 1999 from Oklahoma Baptist University.


Our Pianist

Ms. Dreda Ryder

Ms. Dreda Ryder has been faithfully playing piano for our morning worship services for more than 3 years. Dreda’s talent and bright personality add so much to our time of worship.

 


Our Children’s Director

Mrs. Ashley Gatlin

Mrs. Ashley Gatlin loves children and has two precious of her own Emily and Haley. She is excited to serve her church and God teaching and loving God’s children.

 

 


Our Youth Director

Mrs. Tiffany Barber has been serving in Youth Ministry since 2012. She started as a Youth Volunteer at First United Methodist Church in Farmersville, Texas while completing her Associates Degree from Collin College. In the summer of 2013, while on a youth mission trip, she surrendered to God’s calling into Youth Ministry. She began in full time ministry serving as the Director of Youth Ministries at the First United Methodist Church of Wellington, TX in 2014 where she spent the next three years creating and growing a thriving Youth Ministry. In 2017, Tiffany served at Wylie United Methodist Church in Wylie, Texas as the Youth and College Minister. In September of 2018, Tiffany joined the Ministry Team as the Youth Minister here at First United Methodist Church of Farmersville, Texas . Tiffany is a firm believer in the saying, “The youth are not the future of the Church, they are an essential part of the Church now.” Although ministry is where most of her life devotion is, she enjoys and values spending time with her husband and extended family, reading about how we can creatively grow God’s Church, and enjoying some of her hobbies (camping, hiking, golfing, and just spending times outdoors in general). Tiffany and her husband, Frank, were both raised as Air Force Brats and have lived many places over their lives. This afforded them the blessing to have had many different experiences in travel, culture, and life in general, it taught them how to have an open mind and see the world through a different lens.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8