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Welcome

MINISTRY STAFF


Steve Wingfield

Senior Pastor

What is your role at First Christian?

My calling is to serve as senior pastor. That means I preach God’s Word most Sundays and communicate the vision for our ministry. I lead as one of our elders and oversee our ministry staff team. My favorite part of my role is helping those who are new to our church to take their next step of faith to honor God.

What is your educational/ministry background?

I received a B.A. in Bible & Preaching from Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, Tennessee and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. I was ordained by the First Christian Elders in 1983 before joining the staff as Associate minister at First Christian in June 1987. In 2006 I transitioned to become the senior pastor.

Family?

I am married to my best friend, Beth. We’ve been married 33 years and consider our four children among God’s greatest gifts in life. Joshua, Lauren (husband, Kyle), Brianna and Stephanie. Also, just ask me about my granddaughter Ashton who is 2 years old!

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

One thing I love most is alone time. Though much of ministry involves time with people, I am energized by quiet time writing in my journal. Sometimes being alone means exercise with my earphones and favorite music. Alone time brings a balance and energy that fuels my creativity.

What is your favorite thing about First Christian?

In having a long view of First Christian (45 years) my favorite thing is that we are a church that celebrates life change. Seeing baptisms into Christ each week in our worship services and hearing the spontaneous, enthusiastic applause celebrating that moment continues to move me.


Kyle Shelnutt

Worship Pastor

What is your role at First Christian?

My role at First Christian as the worship pastor is to help organize and lead weekly worship services that will help move people into a space where they encounter God. Worship is our response to these "encounters" with God's greatness, and so it is my desire that we all have that encounter together, weekly. This is done through collaboration with the senior pastor to make sure each week is as effective as we can make it, while leaving plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to do His work!

What is your educational/ministry background?

While living in my home state of Georgia, I studied at Point University (previously known as Atlanta Christian College) and worked at Eastridge Community Church as the worship leader of students. I continued my education at St. Louis Christian College while serving as student worship ministry intern at Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles, Missouri. From there I went on to be the worship and creative arts pastor at Gateway Christian Church. After almost two years at Gateway, I went on to be the Associate Worship Pastor at Harvester Christian Church. All of these places imparted invaluable knowledge and experiences that I feel have helped mold me into the man I am today.

Family?

I am married to the woman of my dreams, Lauren. She has been a great balance and encouragement for me throughout our marriage and ministry together. We have a 2 year old daughter name Ashton who fills our life with joy. Lauren and I enjoy doing just about anything together, but some of our favorite things are movies, The Muny, anything sports related (which I'm pretty sure she mostly puts up with because she loves me so much!), and all things Disney!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a child there were two main things I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was 8 I experienced two severe tornados on back-to-back days while I was at camp, which resulted in an abnormal fear of ALL storms… So I decided to face my fear I needed to become a meteorologist. At the same time, however, I had an intense love for basketball and wanted to make it all the way to the NBA! Unfortunately, I did not meet the minimum height requirement to ride this ride… or skill level for that matter!

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

Most people don't know that I am really a country boy at heart! I love being barefoot outside, driving trucks, going fishin', UGA football and Braves baseball! It just goes to show, you can take the boy out of Georgia but you can't take the Georgia out of the boy! Go Dawgs!


Joe Sanders

Music Director

What is your role at First Christian?

I help spearhead our wonderful worship and fine arts team. I co-lead alongside Kyle in organizing and leading weekly worship services. I also provide encouragement, clear vision, and support to our team.

What is your educational/ministry background?

I earned a diploma from North Tech for Travel and Tourism. I was raised in church and proclaimed Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a very young age! My parents are pastors so I have been singing and playing different instruments in church all my life. I have been serving as a musical director for about nine years at different churches in the St. Louis area.

What is your fondest memory?

Moving to South Carolina at the beginning of my middle school year changed my life. I had always played drums in church, but never had a desire to learn keys or any other instrument until we joined our new church home. There I heard what a keyboard/Hammond was supposed to sound like! Our minister of music was amazing. This started my real musical journey in learning how to play multiple instruments and sing!

Who inspires you?

If anyone knows me, they know that I am a diehard BETHEL MUSIC fan! Their worship is so anointed. The passion of that church is so on fire for God! I Love BETHEL CHURCH.


Ruth Wingfield

First Impressions Coordinator/Children's Director

What is your role at First Christian?

On Sunday mornings I lead the First Impressions Ministry and on Wednesday evenings I oversee the children's choirs.

What is your educational/ministry background?

I am an alumnus of Johnson Bible College and was a minister's wife for 50+ years (37 of these at this church!).

Family?

My late husband Charles and I have six grown, married children, 19 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I am a preacher's kid (often referred to as a PK). I loved going places in ministry with my father. He died when I was in sixth grade and from that time on, I asked God to allow me to be a good minister's wife.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired to do Kingdom work because it has eternal value. It inspires me to lead as many people to Christ as possible. I look forward to a heavenly home with those of my own family and all those who have been influenced by the efforts of the body of Christ.


Manda Miller

Children's Director

What is your role at First Christian?

I serve as one of the Children's Directors at First Christian. I primarily oversee volunteer staffing and teacher training for the nursery through kindergarten age range of the children's ministry, Up Kids. I also help coordinate special events such as Vacation Bible School.

What is your educational/ministry background?

I studied at Johnson University (previously known as Johnson Bible College) and completed an Elementary Education degree at University of Missouri-St. Louis. I have served in various roles in both Student and Children's Ministry over the last twenty years. One of my favorite aspects of Children's Ministry is teaching preschoolers on Sunday mornings.

Family?

My husband Brad and I met at First Christian and were married here in May of 1996. We have been blessed with three daughters, Emmelinne, Ashley, and Olivia. As a family we love to travel, play with our cat Mabel, and watch TV shows together including Survivor and Amazing Race.

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a wife, mom, and teacher. I enjoy that I currently get to do all three of those.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I love flowers and gardening. For me there is something so relaxing about working in the flower beds around our home. I am fascinated by the creativity of God on display in the variety of colors and textures in nature.


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