Meet the Staff
Rev. Dr. Sondra R. Jones
Sondra joins our church staff as Senior Pastor with great joy and anticipation, as she says, “Very excited about the next season of ministry with God’s people at Johns Creek UMC.” Sondra has served in the United Methodist Church all of her adult life and celebrates her life as a pastor. She is a native of Houston, Texas and has lived in Georgia over 25 years. She received her B.A. and M. A. in Christian Education from Scarritt College, earned her Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta and her Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Sondra is thankful for the privilege of serving Christ through ordained ministry as an Elder in the North Georgia Annual Conference. She believes in our global connection as Methodists and in the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Sondra has a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ through excellence in worship, education and missions. She finds great joy in developing the ministry of the laity and staff, and in working closely with leaders in the local government, civic and business communities to strengthen both the church and community.
Sondra is married to Rev. Walter R. Jones, who is an ordained Deacon. Walter is the Associate Pastor of Education and Administration at Snellville UMC. Sondra and Walter will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in 2017. They have two children and two granddaughters. Their daughter, Jennifer, is an elementary school teacher and is married to Justin Thrailkill, an attorney and they are the proud parents of Madison Denise, who will be two in September. Walter and Sondra’s son, Walter, Jr. is in law enforcement and is married to Candice; they are the proud parents of Reagan Abigail who will be three in August.
Sondra has also served in volunteer leadership in the North Georgia Annual Conference as the Conference Policy and Personnel Committee co-chair for 3 years, prior to the CPPPC, she served on the Committee on Investigation, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration, chair of the Stewardship Sub-Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of CFA. She chaired the Atlanta Emory Committee on Superintendency for 8 years and chaired the Gainesville District Trustees. Sondra has served on the faculty in Finance and Stewardship for Connectional Café and led numerous workshops in the North Georgia Annual Conference on Finance and Stewardship. She is also featured in the Candler School of Theology’s curriculum video on Finance and the Local Church. Sondra was also a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference in 2008 and served on the SEJ finance committee.
She loves spending time with family and friends, reading, world travel, movies, and trips to the beach and mountains. Her greatest joy in life is sharing the love of Christ.
Dr. Nathan Frank
Director, WORSHIP & Music
Nathan earned his undergraduate degree in voice at The University of North Texas. Venturing south to study conducting at Southern Methodist University Nathan served as the Senior Teaching Fellow and the Tenor Section Leader for the SMU Chorale and completed his Master of Music Degree. Returning home to the University of North Texas, Nathan began his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting. While at UNT, Nathan served as the Teaching Fellow for the Women’s Chorus and the Tenor Section Leader for the UNT A Cappella Choir. Nathan completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Choral Conducting with a related field in voice studies in 2014.
As a choral conductor, Nathan has conducted groups in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Washington D.C, Washington State and the Czech Republic.
Before moving to the Atlanta, Nathan has had teaching positions at Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and Pacific Lutheran University in Seattle Washington. Nathan was active in the musical community of Dallas-Ft Forth Metroplex. In Dallas, he was the Associate Conductor of Schola Cantorum of Ft. Worth. Most recently, he served as Director of Worship and Fine Arts at First United Methodist Church of Plano leading a music ministry of over 350 musicians. He actively services as a choral clinician and has given numerous workshops on applying Bel Canto vocal techniques to the choral palette. Nathan’s newest venture is The Choral Pickup a non-profit choir that raises money and awareness for African water wells.
Rev. Elizabeth Lobello EDWARDS
Elizabeth Lobello Edwards was born in Atlanta into an itinerant United Methodist minister’s family and she considers herself blessed to be loved, raised by and connected to many people of many churches in the North Georgia Conference. She attended Young Harris College where she was active in the Wesley Foundation and earned her AS in Business then transferred to the University of Georgia where she earned her BS in Biology. After graduating from UGA, she spent time teaching a training class to adults with developmental disabilities in order to help those individuals assimilate into the workforce.
After answering God’s call to ministry, Elizabeth enrolled in the Candler School of Theology where she earned her MDiv in 2009. While at Candler, Elizabeth served as a youth minister at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. Elizabeth’s first appointment was to Douglasville First UMC as an associate pastor from 2009-2012 and she was ordained an elder in full connection in June of 2012. Elizabeth lives with her husband Adam and great dane, Pepper, in Johns Creek.
REV. MIKE SELLECK
Interim Executive Pastor
Email : email@example.com
Rev. Mike Selleck retired from the North Georgia Conference in June of 2016 after 40 years of ministry in a variety of settings. Mike now serves with us on an interim part time basis as our executive pastor, assisting as needed in a variety of areas here at the church.
Mike is married to Chris, and they have two grown children and six grandchildren.
Brittany Sanders is a Dunwoody native. She was baptized and confirmed at Dunwoody United Methodist. Brittany has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Minor in International Studies from Georgia Southern University. After undergrad, she returned to the Dunwoody area and served on staff at the church working with the youth ministry. During that time, Brittany earned her Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University with a concentration in Society and Personality. Prior to coming to Johns Creek United Methodist, she served as the Director of Youth Ministries at Decatur First United Methodist Church. Brittany has a heart and passion for youth ministry and missions and connecting the two is of great importance to her. In June of 2016, Brittany was commissioned as a Provisional Deacon of the North Georgia Conference.
Rev. Mary Gene Lee
Pastor of Children's Ministries
Rev. Mary Gene Morris Lee is an ordained United Methodist
minister who, prior to her retirement, served Johns Creek UMC as the Pastor of Grow. She continues to be active in many areas of ministry, including
being part of the JCUMC team that volunteers at the Norcross CoOp in the
Tuesday night children's program.
Parents Morning Out and Preschool Director
Cathy grew up in upstate New York. She is a graduate of Endicott College in Massachusetts majoring in Early Childhood Education. Cathy taught preschool in New York before moving to Georgia in 1994. She has been at JCUMC Preschool for 19 years; first as a teacher of four year olds and becoming the Preschool Director in 2001. Cathy is involved in the North Georgia United Methodist Preschool Association as Vice President and is a recertification mentor.
Cathy and her husband, John, live in Suwanee and have four sons. Kyle (married to Megan), Christopher, Brad (married to Sarah) and Jamie. They are delighted to have 5 beautiful, active grandchildren!
Ken Axelson graduated with honors from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance, and earned a Master's Degree in Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary. Ken has vast experience serving the music ministries of large-membership, large-organ churches including Johns Creek UMC, Atlanta's Peachtree Presbyterian Church, and Houston's First United Methodist Church. In addition to holding director positions with the Bach Choir Pittsburgh and the Gulf Coast Oratorio Choir of Naples, Ken also has been active in a number of noteworthy professional organizations including the American Guild of Organists, the Choirsters Guild, and the Association of Anglican Musicians. Ken and his wife, Erma, live in Cumming and have two children (Anne and David) and enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren who live in the Atlanta area and in Texas.
Vicki Kratzer grew up close by in Alpharetta, Georgia. She received a BBA degree in Finance from Emory University in 1986 and a J.D. degree from the University of Georgia in 1990. She practiced corporate law for two years before acting on her first love – working with children. Vicki left the corporate world in 1992 to open an in-home Montessori preschool, which she ran successfully for several years. In 1997, Vicki and her husband, Frank, decided to extend their mission to help children in need by becoming foster parents to medically fragile young children. Through her work with her preschool and foster care, she has taken over 300 hours of early childhood development and education courses. Today, Vicki is the proud mom of 9 children, through a combination of birth, adoption, and fostering. They are Zak, Devin, Andrew, Nicholas, Michael, Alonna, Cheri, Christopher, and Dakota.
Music Associate for Children and 9:50 Service
Administrative Assistant for Worship and Music
Administrative Assistant/Membership Secretary
Music Associate for Children and Youth