Sherill Clontz, Senior Pastor
Sherill was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in Manassas, VA, Dallas, TX, and Atlanta, GA before moving to Alabama as a teenager. She was baptized at Grace Methodist in Gaithersburg, and confirmed at Brooklyn Avenue UMC. She attended Auburn University, earning a BSBA in Industrial Management. A month after graduating from Auburn, she married her husband, Craig, an electrical engineer, who has worked at Dynetics, Inc. since graduating from Auburn. She worked at the Army Materiel Command Management Engineering Activity as a management analyst and then at McDonnell Douglas Space Systems as a Logistics Analyst and an Experiment Operations Engineer. During that time, Craig and Sherill became active members of Epworth UMC in Northeast Huntsville. Also during this time, she earned her MBA in Logistics at Alabama A&M. After the birth of their third child, Sherill took some time off to raise them. And it was during that time that she finally responded to the call God had placed on her life at confirmation and entered into candidacy for the ministry. She attended Vanderbilt Divinity School and earned her M.Div in 2003. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Ministry focusing on the Gospel and Culture at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.
Sherill’s first appointment in 1999 was as the pastor of McDonnell Chapel and the associate at the Huntsville Korean UMC. Since then she has served as the associate at Epworth and Trinity (Huntsville), the pastor at New Life in Grant, a one-year interim return to Trinity as the main preacher in their C&C service, the associate superintendent of the Northeast District, and for the last five years as the superintendent of the Cheaha District.
Craig and Sherill have three grown children. Their eldest, Steven, is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Alabama. His wife, Jessica, is an elementary school teacher. Their middle child, Phillip is a software engineer for SCIC and he is married to Christina. And their youngest, Laura (Webb), teaches 5th grade math and science at Moody Middle School. Her husband, Trent, is a quality assurance engineer with Honda. They also currently have two grand-dogs and three fabulous grandchildren (would you like to see a picture?).
You can email Sherill here
Tim Tatum, Associate Pastor and Director of Youth Ministries
Tim grew up in Montgomery and graduated from Catholic High School. The youth group at his church was his second home and he experienced a call to ministry during his senior year. After his freshman year at The University of Alabama (I won’t even say the obligatory phrase that comes next because you know what it is) he never looked back. In his freshman year, he also started dating his future wife, Stacey Davis of Huntsville, who was able to look past the mountain-man beard and poor study habits. During college, Tim was the co-director of a cooperative youth group in north Birmingham and then interned with the youth ministry at First UMC Tuscaloosa. In his senior year of doubled up 21 hour semesters (did you catch the poor study habits he mentioned earlier?), he took his first appointment to 2 small churches in rural Tuscaloosa county. A month after graduating, they got married. A month after that, Stacey started medical school at UAB. And a month after that Tim started seminary at Emory in Atlanta. With three places to live and multiple school and church responsibilities, they don’t remember much from those first two years of marriage.
They moved to Huntsville where Tim took over from Sherill (see the Sr. minister’s bio above) as the Associate Minister at Epworth over the youth and young adults and also serving as the minister of Wesley UMC. After completing seminary and med school, they moved back to Birmingham so Stacey could do her residency training in Pediatrics while expecting their first child, Elizabeth. Tim served at an Associate Minister at Trinity UMC in Homewood over hospitality, visitors and new members, men’s ministry, and other duties as assigned.
Once Stacey completed residency, they moved back to Huntsville while Stacey was expecting their second (and last!) child, James. Tim was appointed at Valley, and Stacey began working toward partner at Cornerstone Pediatrics in Madison (and, no, you may not ask her any medical questions on Sunday mornings). After 7 up and down years at Valley, Tim was appointed to serve as the associate here at Aldersgate, getting back into youth ministry and being glad not to be responsible for the general church budget and committee meetings.
Tim loves the Church (with a capital “C”) and all that it can do to foster faith in the next generation. His desire is to continue the efforts of some great youth directors here and integrate the youth into the daily life of Aldersgate, and vice versa. He’s an extrovert that loves to preach and teach while trying not to get into more trouble than the youth he is mentoring.
You can email Tim here
Brant Butler, Associate Pastor/Ignite
Brant was born and raised in the Shoals area of North Alabama, in the small community of Elgin Crossroads. He grew up hunting, fishing, and playing in the woods. He is a life-long United Methodist. He was active in Elgin UMC growing up, served as a counselor at Camp Sumatanga for several summers, and served as a youth director at Moulton UMC before answering the call to ministry. He served as a student pastor for the Bear Creek and Isbell UM churches while earning his Degree at Memphis Theological Seminary. He served as an Associate Pastor at Huntsville First UMC for four years and then as Senior Pastor at Taylorville UMC near Tuscaloosa. Following that appointment, he took a leave of absence and then an honorable location and settled in the Huntsville/Madison area.
Brant has two children, Alex and Kate, and lives in Madison. He serves at Aldersgate part-time and has a full-time job at Remington Outdoor Company. He enjoys shooting, hiking, reading, and watching movies.
You can email Brant here
Lydia Locke, Director of Discipleship and Assistant to the Minister
Lydia is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in Public Health. She has a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She began church work in 1989 in Kentucky and also served as Minister of Education at Riverchase UMC in Birmingham for 8 years. In 1999, her family, husband Parker and sons Rob and Will, moved to Huntsville. Soon afterward, she joined the staff of Aldersgate as the Children’s Director.
Lydia gives leadership to the areas of adult discipleship, church wide fellowship, congregational care and assistant to the minister. Outside of church, Lydia enjoys reading and spending time with her family. During vacation time, she can be found back on her parent’s farm in Kentucky.
You can email Lydia here
Ellyn Smith, Director of Children’s Ministry
Ellyn grew up in the small town of Grant, not far from Huntsville, and after attending college at Birmingham-Southern and working for a few years in Tuscaloosa, she returned to Huntsville. Ellyn now lives within walking distance of Aldersgate with her husband Jake, her sister Shailyn, her brother-in-law Kevin, and her three-year-old nephew Cade. They believe in the importance of community, and are always striving to be more intentional in our relationships with others because they know we’re all stronger together.
Both Ellyn and her husband are passionate about traveling together and about pursuing ministry opportunities both here in Huntsville and all over the world. One of their favorite places on earth is Camp Sumatanga – it’s where Ellyn attended as a camper, where she met Jake and where they were married, and it’s where they return every year for at least a week as volunteer counselors. Working with children in ministry is one of her greatest passions.
Dennis Clements, Director of Music Ministries
Dennis was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City), and graduated from Wichita State with a Bachelors of Music Education Degree and earned a Masters Degree of Audio Engineering and Music Composition from The American University in Washington, DC.
While working with IVCF, Dennis met and married Jodie, and they have 3 daughters. Amy is married to Christopher Castor and has 2 children, Jaxon and Clarissa – they live nearby in New Market. Jessica is married to Robert Martin and they live nearby but are looking forward to a teaching opportunity in Japan! Leah recently graduated from Samford University and has been accepted at Candler School of Theology.
When he was 2 years old, Dennis sang a duet with his brother in church, and he has been involved in music ministry ever since. He has a passion for both Contemporary and Traditional Worship, has led worship teams, and traditional choirs in Kansas, Washington DC, Chicago, and Tampa Bay.
Dennis also has a passion for Missions, both local and international. He currently serves on the Board for First Stop, Inc here in Huntsville – a ministry to the homeless (www.FirstStop.org), as well as Reaching Indians Ministries, International (http://rimi.org/) – training Church planting missionaries in India.
Dennis and Jodie moved to Huntsville in 2011 to be close to their kids and grandkids, and Dennis is very glad to have found such a good ministry fit here at Aldersgate, and though she would not say it, Jodie is glad he found an office to go to and get out of the house.
You can email Dennis here
Rebecca Bundy, Accompanist
Rebecca has over 35 years experience providing piano and/or organ accompaniment for church worship services. She began playing full-time for Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Albertville, AL at the age of 9. During that time, she was a regular part of Pastor Cook’s Sunday morning radio show on WAVU. She played for the show, and often joined her brother Steve for special music duets. At age 16, Rebecca began playing for Solitude Baptist Church in Albertville. At age 19, she went on to First Baptist Church in Albertville to play for the Youth Choir and the Sunday night service. She later would add playing for Sunday morning services at First Presbyterian to her schedule.
Rebecca attended the music program at Snead State Jr. College. After graduation, she taught piano, both in the Preparatory Division of the college and for a local music store. She later went on to Jacksonville State University where she graduated with honors in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in Piano Performance. After graduation, she was appointed choral director at First Presbyterian Church in Albertville. She remained there until coming to serve Aldersgate in 1991.
Rebecca met her husband, Mike Bundy, in 1991 while she was working for the Huntsville Police Department and the Madison County EMA. They were married in 1992 at Aldersgate. Their daughter, Heather, was born in 1994. In 1995, Rebecca left her job with the city police and resumed teaching piano.
You can email Rebecca here
Dennis Cornelison, Contemporary Worship Leader
Dennis was born in Harvey, IL, just outside of Chicago January 25 1967 He grew up playing the drums and singing in his parents traveling gospel group;The Waylighters. Born with glaucoma, he experienced complete sight loss by age 11. Dennis is also a self-taught guitar player. He attended Crete Monee High School where he was on the wrestling team and also started his first band. Dennis and family moved back to their hometown ofScottsboro,AL, when his father retired from Ford Motor Co. Dennis remained in Illinois to continue his music career. For more than 30 years he has played various music venues and traveled across the country with an array of artists.
Dennis met his wife Fran after moving back to North Alabama. They were married on August 5, 1998. Dennis and Fran were part of the music ministry at Trinity UMC for 8 years and began worshipping at Aldersgate in 2006. Since that time, Dennis has attended an Emmaus Walk and was recently baptized in the Aldersgate Bread Service. Both Dennis and Fran are active in serving at Aldersgate and in the Emmaus Community. Dennis is quick to state, “God has mightily blessed me by leading me to Aldersgate.”
You can email Dennis here
Bob Davidson, Facilities Manager
Bob Davidson and his wife, Mary Ellen, have been active at Aldersgate for many years. Bob works with our Trustees and manages all of our cleaning and maintenance contracts. He also coordinates the use of church facilities and the church van.
You can email Bob here
Jessica Johnson, Office Manager
Jessica and her husband Bobby are natives of Huntsville. Jessica graduated from Grissom High and Bobby from Lee High. Bobby works for Schwan’s Food Service as a Customer Service Manager. Jessica has over 20 years experience in administrative and customer service based businesses. Her church/Christian based work includes Hillwood Baptist Church, Southwood Presbyterian Church and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jessica & Bobby have been married since August 31, 2013 and have a combined family of 5 children. Garrett Dunn, Clark Dunn & Brady Johnson, Ashlyn Johnson & Macey Johnson. Jessica enjoys teaching 1st grade children’s choir at Whitesburg Baptist Church where she is a member. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks, traveling and coffee with friends.
You can email Jessica here
Wendy Sampson, Financial Manager
Wendy and her husband Rich have been residents of Huntsville for over 30 years. Rich took a job with PPG Industries after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh (PITT). Wendy has a degree in Psychology/Sociology and has taken several courses in Accounting at UA Huntsville. She and Rich have been members of Aldersgate UMC since February 1984. They have two children, Jill is a Physical Therapist in TN and Jimmy is a Dentist in Birmingham, AL.
You can email Wendy here