Pastoral and Program Staff
Rev. David Christy, Senior Minister- David Christy was appointed Sr. Minister of First United Methodist Church on July 1, 2012. David was born in Jefferson N.C. into a "parsonage family", so he grew up across Western North Carolina. His father (deceased) was a minister, and his sister and two brothers are all in ministry in Western North Carolina. He considers Albemarle his hometown because he got to attend high school there. He graduated from Pfeiffer University in 1988 with a B.A. and from Duke Divinity School in 1991 with an M.Div. He is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.
David loves the privilege of getting to be an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. He has served in Franklinville-Rehobeth UMC (Randolph County), Fair View UMC (Mt. Mourne), Epworth UMC (Concord), and Central UMC (Canton). He has served on several boards and agencies in our conference and in each community where he has been. Currently, he serves through the Gastonia Rotary Club, th Board of Disciple Outreach Bible Ministries, Chair of Construx through RFD CDC, and on Te Conference Board of Ordained Ministry of the Western North Carolina Conference. David has served as a delegate to the Southeast Jurisdiction and General Conference of the United Methodist Church.
David is married to Pam, who teaches kindergarten at Sherwood Elementary School here in Gastonia. David and Pam have two children; Luke, who is doing his undergraduate work at Appalachian State and plans to enter ministry; and Maggie, who is in high school. The Christys have one dog, Penny. David enjoys running, trout fishing, and golfing. But, most of all, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Rev. Gregg Plott, Senior Associate Minister - Gregg was appointed Senior Associate Minister of First United Methodist Church on October 1 2012. He was born in Winston-Salem, NC. Gregg graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1982 with a B.S degree in Criminal Justice. He worked in the marketing and business administration field for twenty-one years before entering the ministry in 2004. Gregg is currently attending Hood Theological Seminary with an anticipated graduation in May 2013 with a Masters of Divinity Degree. In the Senior Associate position, Gregg oversees much of the business, supervisory, and administrative duties of the church, and is also involved in various pastoral and worship responsibilities.
Gregg has served at Millers Creek UMC (Wilkes County) as a Lay Associate Minister from 2004 until 2006. He has served in appointed ministry in the Warrensville-Smethport-Clifton Charge (Ashe County) since 2006. While in Ashe County, Gregg serve as Chairperson of several boards and on several committees within the district. He currently serves as Vice-Chairperson of the Commission on Communications of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Gregg is married to Kim who was a tutor and substitute teacher in the Ashe County School system. Their daughter, Mackenzie, is a middle school math teacher in Rocky Mount, VA. Gregg likes to spend any of his spare time with Kim and Mackenzie.
Reverend Dr. Jim Westmoreland, Minister of Congregatonal Care - Jim was born in Charlotte, N.C. He attended Charlotte schools and Dilworth United Methodist Church was his home church. He graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in 1968 with a B. S. degree in Political Science. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia in 1971. During seminary he served a student appointment of 8 churches on the Murphy Circuit in Cherokee County, N.C. Following graduation he entered the Western North Carolina Conference and was ordained an Elder in full connection in June, 1971. He was appointed and served as Minister of Youth and Education at Memorial United Methodist Church in Thomasville, NC for 16 years.
In 1981 Jim completed three years of study and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. In August of 1987 he was appointed to First United Methodist Church, Gastonia as Minister of Education and continues in that position now as Minister of Programs.
In Gastonia he has served on the Aids Council as chair of the task force on Family and Community and President. He served on the House of Mercy Board for Holy Angels. Jim is a member of the Gastonia Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
He is a certified Counselor with the Association of Pastoral Counseling and presently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Methodist Counseling Center. He has expertise in small group facilitation, as well as pastoral counseling. He enjoys clown ministry and working with children, youth and adults.
Jim is married to Barbara and they have 2 sons: Chris, who serves as Minister at Assurance United Methodist Church in Huntersville, and Andy who is a Commercial Sales agent for Watson Insurance in Gastonia. They have five grandchildren.
Rev. Saxon Scarborough, Minister of Music - Rev. Saxon Scarborough has served as Minister of Music at First United Methodist Church since 1999. He co-ordinates a varied ministry of vocal, instrumental, and handbell music for all ages, supervises the music staff, helps plan worship, and assists with communications in our church.Saxon is ordained as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church, and is the past Chair of the Order of Deacons in our Western North Carolina Annual Conference.
A native of Raleigh, NC, Saxon is married to Patti, and they have a daughter, Lauren. He has a passion to help people experience authentic worship, and to help them grow spiritually, especially through music. He also wants to help connect the ministry of the Church to the life and needs of the world. Saxon holds a Bachelors degree in music and English from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from Georgia State University, and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University. He is also certified as a Director of Music Ministry in The United Methodist Church. He has previously served Methodist Churches in Alabama and Georgia.
In his spare time, he likes to garden, read, play tennis and golf, and follow Braves Baseball.
Becky Greene, Director of Youth Ministries - Rebecca Blanton Greene is an honor graduate of Shelby High School and Pfeiffer University. She has served as the Director of Youth Ministries here at First United Methodist Church since 1979.
She is a very dedicated advocate and volunteer for the West Gastonia Boys and Girls Club and was voted to the the North Carolina Volunteer of the Year for Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 2006. Also, because of her service in the community, she was named Gaston County's Woman of the Year in 2001.
Becky enjoys spending time with her family, especially during the holidays. Her husband, Charles, has a Masters Degree from Appalachian State University in Business Education and her daughter Catherine, has her Masters Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Sports Administration. In her spare time, Becky enjoys traveling, and is an avid sports fan who enjoys attending sporting events and reading biographies.
Rev. Sarah Watkins Davis, Minister of Children's Ministries - Sarah has served First United Methodist Church since July 2002. Sarah was born in rural southwest Florida and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She is a graduate of Greensboro College with an interdisciplinary degree of Child & Family Ministry and received her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
Sarah was ordained as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church in 2008 and currently serves in the Western North Carolina Conference as an Excutive Team member of the Board of Ordained Ministry as well as the President of the Board of the Christian Educators Fellowship of Western North Carolina. Sarah has a passion for engaging children and families in faith developement and missions.
Sarah is married to Dave and they have two sons, Brock and Harrison. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys family time, playing with her boys, knitting, and gardening.
Jim Ware, Director of the Family Life Center - Jim is a retired educator who began his second career in 2008. Jim holds a Bachelors Degree in Health and Physical Education from Mississippi State University and a Masters Degree in Education Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Jim served Gaston County Schools for 31 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator.
Jim's duties include managing the day to day operations of the Family Life Center, sports and recreation coordinator, plan and coordinate recreational trips for all ages, mid hi youth coordinator, and planning family friendly programs and activities.
Jim is married to Debbie and has two daughters, Loren Radford and Whitney Ware and two granddaughters, Gracie an Annabelle. In his spare time, Jim enjoys spending time with his family (especially the grandkids), reading, and golf.
Kristi McClellan, Weekday Preschool Director - Prior to becoming the Preschool Director in 2013, Krist's connections to the preschool and FUMC go back to 1998. She worked the Summer Camps during her college summer breaks. Kristi graduated from Appalachian State University in 2002, with a B.S. in Elementary Education. Kristi enjoyed teaching first grade, second grade, and kindergarten at Robinson Elementary School from 2002-2007. Beginning 2008, Kristi taught the four year old class at the Preschool until 2013. She completed her M.A. in Exectutive Educational Leadership/School Administration at Gardner Webb University in 2011.
Kristi is married to Steve, who she met at Appalichian. They were married in 2004 and have two girls, Karalynn and Kaci. Thy enjoy spending time with lots of family and friends. The seem to either have someone in visitng them or they are traveling to see someone. Their favorite spot to travel is any beach; but Charlerston does top the list.
Kristi feels that the Preschool has been one of the greatest blessings in her life. The Preschool provides her with a wonderful outlet to love, teach, and grow with God's children, while watching her own girls grow through the Preschool.
First United Methodist Church
190 E. Franklin Blvd., PO Box 218 | Gastonia, NC 28052 | PH: (704) 864-4371; FAX: (704) 864-2076