Church Staff

Ministry Staff

Dean Bowers

Dean Bowers
Pastor
(256) 764-1692

 

Chris Weldon

Chris Weldon
Associate Pastor
(256) 764-1692

Chris Weldon is the associate pastor of St. James United Methodist Church. He organizes and preaches The Gate, our weekly contemporary service. He teaches Wednesday evening classes, and performs other pastoral services as needed for our church family and for the community. Chris has been a licensed minister for over 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Science from Mississippi State University and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Biblical Seminary. He has been married to his wife, Julie, for 19 years. They have two sons.

Brandi Oliver

Brandi Oliver
Director of Children's Ministry

Brandi loves to serve the Lord and she has always been a kid magnet. As the two combined, she found her passion by becoming the Director of Children's Ministry at St. James UMC. Brandi's desire is that as the children learn tools to defend their faith and build a personal relationship with Christ, they will also build strong relationships with each other. Brandi is the wife to Jimmy and mother to three year old, Jaxton. At home she plays with Jaxton and their dog, Bojo, she cheers for Alabama Football and she loves to write poems. "My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ." Colossians 2:2

Andrea Dowdy

Andrea Dowdy
Director of Youth Ministry
(901) 389-7707

Andrea and her husband Bryan moved to Florence in 2014 from Memphis, TN. They are empty nesters with two adult daughters. Andrea retired from the dental field in 2013 and is a student at the University of North Alabama. Before serving the youth of St. James, she was the youth director at Arlington UMC in Arlington, TN. Prior to that, she served the youth of First UMC in Covington, TN. as a Sunday school teacher. The youth have been the focus of her service since she was a young adult. Andrea loves spending time with teenagers and sharing with them how Jesus works in her life. Her greatest joy is to see Jesus in them. At St. James UMC, our youth ministry is bible truths, praise and worship, mission field minded, and mixed with fun (and food)! We love the Lord and want to share Him with the world. Won’t you come share with us?

Meredith McClanahan

Meredith McClanahan
Director of Middle School Ministry
  

Meredith McClanahan has been a teacher for 15 years, 12 of those years were spent teaching 5th grade. She recently decided to combine her love of teaching with her love for the Lord! Her passion led her to become the Middle School Director, a new ministry at St. James UMC. Meredith is the wife of John McClanahan, who has been a member of St. James UMC since childhood, and mother of two. She loves traveling, reading, and all things Auburn!!

Music Staff

Patsy Killen

Patsy Killen
Choir Director
(256) 764-1692

Patsy is a retired elementary school teacher. She was married to the late Danny Killen. Together they have two sons. Patsy is active in the Alabama Emmaus Community. At St. James UMC, Patsy directs the choir and praise team for the traditional service. She also leads part of the congregational singing. In her spare time, Patsy enjoys singing in the Florence Camerata and traveling to Paraguay.

Support Staff

Gale Humphries

Gale Humphries
Administrative Assistant
(256) 764-1692
 

Gale has been the secretary at St. James for 16 years. She is married to Jim Humphries. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. In her spare time, Gale loves to spend time with her husband, play with the grandchildren, do yard work, and read.

Julia Thaxton

Julia Thaxton
Assistant to Director of Children's Ministry
(256) 764-1692

Julia has been a member of St. James for 18 years and has been serving with the children of St. James since 2012. She has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education and has taught elementary school for 33 years. Julia has two beautiful daughters and a diva dog named Daisy.