Mailing Address / Physical Address:
St. James United Methodist Church
213 N. Lanford Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301
Pastor, Rev. Chris Barrett
Pastor Chris came to St. James in 2012 from St. Andrews Parish (Charleston,SC). He and his wife Elise love their life with Jesus, their three children, their St. James family, and, of course, with their pound dog, Booda. Chris is a native South Carolinian, born and reared in Spartanburg. Upon finishing Wofford College in 1997, he took a year off to sell bagels in Winston-Salem, NC. After that, he enrolled in Duke Divinity School, where he finished his studies in 2001.
He is an avid (if much-distracted) reader, and enjoys traveling. He also loves Latin America, a place to which he returns as frequently as possible. Since 1999, he has been to Peru a dozen times. In 2011, he led a group from St. Andrews Parish to Costa Rica on a mission trip.
Chris invites you to contact him by e-mail (email@example.com), phone (864-576-6480), or by stopping by the church office.
Director of Intergenerational Ministries, Deborah Lemke
Born in Searcy, Arkansas while her parents were students at Harding University, Deborah is the only daughter and oldest of three and the only one in the family to leave the state of Florida where her parents settled the family. She enjoyed the pools and beaches while in high school and taught swimming, did some lifeguarding, and performed in a synchronized swimming team. Her family was at church 'every time the doors were open.' Her leave-taking occurred when she left for David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee where she earned a B.A. in Speech and Education in just three short years...she loved going to summer school! After Nashville and a stop in Charlotte, NC Deborah found herself 'at home' in Spartanburg, SC. She has two adult children, Tim and Alicia, who have gifted her with three grandchildren she delights in. Her education and experiences are in the fields of education and graphic art. She was a free-lance graphic artist for more than a decade. She's worked with area school districts in building education-business partnerships and developing career pathways. She's worked nationally as a motivational speaker, trainer, consultant, and curriculum writer while employed with a national textbook developing company. Her personal hobbies are reading and creative arts, especially sewing, calligraphy, and jewelry making. The facets of her education, experiences, and hobbies coupled with her passion for Christian education and service brought her to the staff position at St. James the summer of 2004.
At St. James Deborah is in touch with all groups and areas of the church to work toward creating an environment where the church family is nurtured to grow spiritually, enjoy intergenerational fellowship, and participate fully in the life of the church. Specifically she: works with age-level and on-going ministry groups in developing innovative ministries; participates in the planning, resourcing, and implementation of Christian education; recruits and empowers laity leadership in age-level ministries; provides leadership for ongoing church-wide communications; and serves as liaison to St. James' Kindergarten. Deborah has special joy in teaching her elementary aged Sunday School class and hopes to move along with them because she just can't imagine not being with them each week.
Deborah invites you to contact her via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (864-576-6480) or by stopping by her office to learn more about becoming involved in the ministries and programs at St. James.
Director of Music, Betty Farley
Betty (Bradham) Farley grew up in Sumter, SC and received a B.S. Degree in music education from Winthrop University and a Master's Degree in Christian Education from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. School year 2010-11 will be her thirty-first year of teaching. She'll be teaching music at E.P. Todd Elementary School and traveling to Cleveland Elementary for three classes. She has two sons--Burke, who is in marketing in Richmond, Virginia, and Gordon, an elementary Spanish teacher, who lives in Spartanburg with his wife Diane. Throughout Betty's life, music has always been her great passion. In addition to teaching public school music, she has taught private piano lessons as well as having served as pianist and organist at different churches. She also enjoys working in her yard, walking, and baking. "Miss Betty's Sugar Cookies" are a special treat to experience and are always a bid magnet at St. James' annual Fall Festival Silent Auction.
Coming to St. James in February of 1999 as Director of Music was an answered prayer for her and continues to be a special blessing. It has been a real joy in her life to lead and direct the Chancel Choir, the Youth Choir, and the Children's Choir as well as to play occasionally and encourage others to share their talents by singing, playing instruments or leading other groups like the Handbell Choir. Working with four different ministers and with a staff that has also changed some during her eleven years at St. James has helped her grow professionally and spiritually. She is especially grateful for the opportunity to nurture and instill the love and understanding of music to our youth and children and to witness their growth in faith, music, and ministry.
Betty welcomes suggestions and help with the music ministry of the church. She always has an eagle's eye out for volunteers to sing in the Chancel Choir and help with the other choirs. She invites you to contact her via e-mail (email@example.com) or by phone (864-577-9500).
Organist, Connie Gillespie
Connie grew up in Woodruff, SC and continued her musical studies as a Piano Performance major at Converse College, including four years of organ study. She has been married to David for 48 years and they have two adult children, Dave and Donna Ann, and three wonderful grandchildren who all live in Spartanburg. Connie describes her clan as a 'stay at home family.' She loves all activities involving her grandchildren and spends a lot of time cooking with her younger granddaughter. She is known for her 'world famous brownies' and gorgeous cakes. Connie teaches piano and especially loves teaching children--the younger the better she says. She hopes to always 'make music fun.'
Connie has gifted numerous churches with her passion and talent and joined the St. James staff as organist in 1994. Her duties at St. James include working with the Pastor and Music Director, providing organ and keyboard music for church services, special presentations, weddings, and funerals. You may reach Connie via e-email(firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kindergarten Director, Wendy Gibson
Wendy has lived in Spartanburg since 1979. She is a 1987 graduate of James F. Byrnes High School. She attended Clemson University, transferring to USC Upstate after three semesters. She married Bobby Gibson, whom she met as a member of the First Baptist Spartanburg youth group, in July 1990. She graduated from USC Upstate in 1991 with a B.A. Degree in Early Childhood Education. She was a kindergarten assistant at Jesse Boyd Elementary for one year. In 1992 she was the Kindergarten/First Grade teacher at The Village School, now known as Oakbrook Prep. Their first son was born in February 1993. After Tyler was born, Wendy went to work part-time at First Baptist Spartanburg Preschool for five years. Brandon, their second son, was born in June 1995 and daughter Allie in March 1999.
Wendy joined the St. James staff as a teacher in 2000. She taught 2 and 3 year olds for 5 years before becoming St. James' Kindergarten director in June 2005 where she continues to serve our young children and their families. She loves her job and the children she serves. Wendy can be reached via e-mail (email@example.com) or by phone at 864-1458.
Church Administrator, Mary Sczechowicz
Mary grew up in Woodruff, SC. During her childhood she was privileged to live close to and attend church with both sets of grandparents. Her dad was Treasurer for the church and her mother was the pianist and taught Sunday School and Bible School. Mary was allowed to 'practice' the piano on the congregation on many occasions. She played basketball for Coach Willie Varner during high school where she was nicknamed 'Flossie.' She was editor of the Woodruff High Times, the school newspaper, and was the class speaker at her graduation. After high school Mary attended Winthrop College, Cecil's Business College, and raised 4 children before completing her education at Spartanburg Methodist College and Limestone College.
She worked at home for many years making window treatments for decorators in the Atlanta area. She and her partner (the pastor's wife) did many office buildings and homes in the Atlanta area and were excited to do the home of Phil Niekro, pitcher for the Braves. After her children were grown, Mary became a supervisor in the clothing industry and later became the first lady supervisor for Gould-Brown Boveri (originally the ITE Circuit Breaker Company of Philadelphia, PA) who had moved south to break ties with the union. Knowing nothing about this type of product, Mary was trained by a person who had been with the company many years. In fact, he was trained by a man who had received his training from Thomas Edison. Later the Woodruff division was purchased by three managers and Mary became the Administrative Assistant to the President of the company (Piedmont Dielectrics) where her duties included accounting.
Wherever Mary moved, she always moved her church membership to a church close by and that is how she came to St. James in 1985 when she moved to N. Lanford Road. Mary sings in the choir and has served on several committees, including the Finance Committee. She served as volunteer Financial Secretary before becoming a staff member in 1997. She worked part-time until 2008 when the Administrative Assistant retired and she was asked to join the staff full-time as the Church Administrator. You can reach Mary via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling the church office (864-576-6480).
Custodian, Nancy Barton
Nancy was born on the island of Cyprus in the town of Pendia. Her father was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency so they traveled and lived in many foreign countries and states. Most of her elementary school years were in many different schools as they moved every year or two. She did get to do her high school years in Manassus, Virginia. She then moved to Spartanburg, SC in 1977. She has attended Spartanburg Technical College where she earned certification as an EKG Technician and Monitor Technician as well as becoming certified as a Medical Transcriber. She is married to Perry and they have two sons, Blake and David, and two grandchldren, Tyler and Felicitie. They became members of St. James in 1986.
Nancy started working at St. James in 1987 where she was Director of the Parents Morning Out program for ten years. She also worked with the Latch Key Program and currently assists in the two-day two year-old program. In 1999 she assumed the Custodian position. Nancy works closely with all the St. James staff in helping prepare for special events and activities. She works hard to keep the facilities sparkling clean so that ministry can occur in a hospitable environment.