Rev. Brandon Gilvin is a native of Mount Sterling, KY, a graduate of Hiram College, a school with historic ties to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and of Vanderbilt Divinity School. Ordained since 2002, Brandon has served congregations in Kentucky, Kansas, and Missouri, ecumenical organizations based in Nairobi, Kenya, and Toronto, Canada, and has served with Disaster Response and Sustainable Development ministries through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Church World Service. He has passions for community building, social justice work, and the intersection of culture and faith, as well as a love for reading, writing, live music, and the outdoors.
Brandon and his wife, Dr. Lisa Hale, moved to Chattanooga in 2015, and are glad to call this bustling, growing community and church their home(s).
For more about Rev. Gilvin’s work, please visit his LinkedIn Profile
Jonathan grew up in small town America attending church every time the doors were open. Despite this, he still really loves Jesus. Jonathan has for as long as he can remember loved helping others out. This desire to help people manifests itself in terms of service projects but also through lunch, coffee, and conversations. Jonathan really loves helping people realize their strengths. Jonathan is married to a beautiful girl named Kirsten and they have a Golden Retriever named Sawyer. When Jonathan has free time he enjoys movies, good food, live music, laughing, and playing
Victoria Flores was born in Munich, Germany and had the pleasure of traveling at a young age due to her father’s service in the U.S. Army. Her mother, a veteran of military service and a gifted artist, was always creating from various landscapes during their travels and was constantly being inspired by the next place. She is one of three children, the middle child and only girl. “This was fun with two brothers, but what can I say, they’re family,” says Victoria.
While traveling to her father’s home country of Puerto Rico, she experienced the pristine waters of its oceans and mountain ranges that shielded them from hurricane rains. Victoria’s early years were spent learning and understanding faraway lands with bountiful stories of old ruins and oceans that were a child’s playground.
Victoria’s hobbies include music, song, and creative writing. “I like to dabble to see where it takes me. I’ve been learning and playing the piano by ear for many years. Recently, I began my journey into singing and learning the guitar, and I have even tried my hand at painting,” she shares.
Her passion includes community enrichment and education while she pursues a degree in Complementary to Alternative Medicine and Nutrition. “I hope to finish my education within the next two years,” she states.
Beth Harris, Financial Secretary, was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. She met and married lifetime resident of Chattanooga, her husband, Dave in 1984. Although they have no children, they are avid animal lovers and are parents to their horses, goats, donkey and the love of their life, their little dog Festus.
Beth graduated from Lambuth University in Jackson, TN with a B.S. in Business Education and Accounting and has taught Business Subjects in High School and Business Colleges in West Tennessee and East Tennessee. At one time, she had her own business setting up accounting software packages by referrals from CPA firms to their clients in Chattanooga.
She has worked for several CPA firms here in Chattanooga and eventually was led to First Christian Church where she has worked as Financial Secretary for over three years.
A native Chattanoogan, Gary Wilkes has a lengthy career in music education, teaching bands and orchestras in Texas and Tennessee. He is currently the orchestra teacher at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, and has served as the music director of the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestras and the conductor of the Chattanooga Youth Symphony for more than twenty years.
MERRY LEE WILSON , organist, grew up in west Texas where she began playing organ at 14 years old. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Music from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Merry Lee spent many years as an elementary music teacher and was accompanist for the Chattanooga Boys Choir for 12 years. After retirement from the Hamilton County School system, she worked as a staff accompanist in the vocal department at Lee University for 7 years. She has been playing for churches of many varied denominations since she began playing the organ. Merry Lee has 3 grown children and one grandson.