Staff

 

Senior Pastor - Rev. John Purrington 

John is starting his 21st year appointed as a pastor in the North Georgia Annual Conference. In that time, John has served in a church start (Wesley Way in 2000-2007) and most recently at Ringgold and St. John UMC Atlanta in the years following. John's deep loves are baseball, cooking, fishing (and hunting), ministries of recovery and deepening discipleship in Jesus Christ. John writes a daily devotional entitled The Philip Endeavor (on Facebook and via email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) that focuses on discipleship development through a continuing journey in Scripture. John has coached 10 year old baseball for the past 3 seasons at the Northside Youth Organization and serves as a volunteer at MARR (Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences) one day a week.

John atteded the Candler School of Theology and is a diehard Florida State Seminole, attending as an undergraduate. It was at the Wesley Foundation at Florida State that John first received and responded to the grace of being loved in Jesus Christ. The remaining three years at Florida State were spent on the program staff at the FSU Wesley Foundation, the last two years coordinating the Wesley program staff. The grace of being loved in Christ soon took the shape of a call to pastor and serve that John continues to answer. John follows in the footsteps of his grandfather who was a pastor himself for nearly 40 years.

John has been married to Beth for 21 years. They are blessed with children, Ian (10th grade) and Gracie (8th grade). As a family, they enjoy trips taken to some of America's national parks, the God given journey in ministry and the grace of sharing life together with the local church. Beth works as a physical therapist doing home health when she is not busy cheering on her Tennessee Volunteers. Ian pitches for his high school team while Gracie sings and dances wherever there is an audience. The Purringtons are excited about the grace of serving Simpsonwood UMC and look forward to what God will do in the days ahead.

 

Associate Pastor - Rev. Amanda Garvin Lane


Amanda Garvin Lane serves as Associate Pastor.  She is an ordained Elder in the North Georgia Annual Conference.  Amanda attended Cannon UMC and felt a call to ministry at an early age.  She credits the youth and music programs at Cannon as instrumental in her faith development, and recognizes mission work to Honduras as a particularly formative experience.

Amanda attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, where she majored in Christian Education and minored in Spanish.  She then attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University and received a Master of Divinity degree in 2009.

Prior to joining SUMC, Amanda served as the Associate Pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Greensboro, as Ministry Intern at Grayson UMC, the Summer Youth Intern at Hopewell UMC in Lancaster, South Carolina, and has taught at various summer day camps in Gwinnett County.

Amanda has a passion to see people actively live out their faith.  She enjoys preaching, teaching Bible studies, and serving her church and larger community.  She believes that service plays a large part in allowing people to live out their faith

Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband, Victor. They have a son, David. She enjoys gardening, hiking, running, walking, Zumba, and Mexican food.

  

 

Director of Worship Ministries - Richard Hamrick

Richard Hamrick serves as Director of Music and Worship Ministries. He is primarily responsible for Worship at Simpsonwood, including the two Sunday morning services, special Advent, Lent, Christmas, and Easter services. He also provides leadership to Simpsonwood’s L.I.F.E. Group Ministry.  Richard is also a certified Stephens Minister and Trainer.
 
Richard has been an active church musician since 1974. He has served churches in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1976 from Augusta College in Augusta, Georgia. Richard attended Scarritt College in Nashville Tennessee, a United Methodist graduate school for Church Music and Christian Education, from where he received the Master of Church Music degree in 1983. Richard has served on the Faculty of Music Week at Lake Junaluska, the Mable Boyter Choir Camp at Reinhardt College, and has written for THE CHORISTER, a music ministry magazine.
 
Richard enjoys time with his dog Maggie, international travel, Dunkin’ Doughnuts Coffee, a good crossword puzzle, and concerts at the Atlanta Symphony.

 

 


Director of Children's Ministries - Bryan Coats

Bryan Coats is Director of Children's Ministries.  He has served this ministry at Simpsonwood since September, 2004.  He directs all ministries for children in Pre-K through 5th grade, including the “Mission 252” and “45’s” program. He also directs church-wide special events such as the Fall Festival, Family Advent Celebration, Jesus' Birthday Party, Easter Egg Hunt/Spring Festival, and Vacation Bible School.

A native of Neptune Beach, Florida, Bryan attended Community Presbyterian Church where he 

received his call to ministry. In 2001, he received a Human Services degree in Social Work from LaGrange College.  He also holds a Master of Social Work degree from Georgia State University, which he received in 2003.  He has plans to further his education in the social work arena.

 

 

 

 

Director of Student Ministries - Chris Mixer

Chris Mixer joined our staff on May 1, 2016. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was Confirmed and came to know the Lord as his personal Savior. He attended the University of Florida, and graduated with two degrees (Religion & Business Administration). While at UF, he served with YoungLIfe and fell in love with student ministry. Knowing he was gifted and called to disciple students, Chris accepted his first full-time youth ministry position in 1998 in Panama City, Florida. After four years, Chris met and married his wife, a talented photographer named dana. Over the next 14 years they would serve in two more cities: Mountain Brook, Alabama and Woodstock, Georgia. In 2008 Chris and Dana welcome their first child, a lego-loving son named Jules. 

 

 

 

Preschool Director, Sally Katz

 

Sally Katz joined our staff on June 1st, 2016. She comes to us from Christ the King Lutheran Church where she had been a Lead Teacher for the last 4 years. She graduated from the University of Georgia.

Sally and her husband, Seth, have two children, Ben and Emily. They live in Peachtree Corners and are very active in our community.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Members of Our Staff:

Church Administrator - Linda Romarion
Director of Missions and Connections -  Wendy Willis
Director of Buildings & Grounds - Don Ortega
Accountant - Debby Stanley
Coordinator of Nursery Ministries - Deborah Crowe
Communications - Jann Roeder
Administrative Assistant - Martha Ullrich
FLC Administrative Assistant - Michelle Wehrheim
Organist/Accompanist - Lincoln Wood
8:45am and Renew Worship Leader – Grady Deel
Security - Ken  Poland & Linda Poland