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
Rev. Bright is a graduate of Truman State University and Texas Christian University’s Brite Divinity School, was ordained in 2022. Before coming to FCC, she served for two years as an Assistant Minister at University Christian Church (DoC) and Assistant Minister at South Hills Christian Church (DoC), both in Fort Worth, TX. She has worked in children’s ministry, youth ministry, and in ministry with college students. She has honed her skills as a preacher since she was in high school, studying classical rhetoric at Truman State, providing pulpit supply to churches in the Mid-America Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and was recognized as a Walker Ministerial Preaching Scholar at Brite. She also currently serves the wider church on the Bilateral Dialogue Team with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Rev. Bright is also this year’s Disciples delegate to the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, She is currently on leave, studying for a semester at the institute with students from other World Council of Churches communions, which will include Protestant, Orthodox, and Independent churches from Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. She will return to First Christian Chattanooga in February 2023.
Mr. Sandoval comes to Chattanooga from Boston, where he has been the Assistant Conductor
of the Boston Philharmonic and Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. Along with extensive orchestral
conducting experience, he has conducted choirs, directed operas, and provided instrumental
instruction for brass and woodwind students. Mr. Sandoval also served as the artistic director
for The Women’s Chorus, which is a group that was created to give exceptional singing and
musical experiences to women in Boston who are dealing with homelessness and poverty. In
addition to his position as FCC Music Director, he will be the new conductor for the
Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestra. Mr. Sandoval will begin his work at First Christian in October.
Sarah C. Harr, a native of Memphis, TN, completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance with Dr. John David Peterson at the University of Memphis in 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Church Music from Valparaiso University and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Emory University. Sarah has taught undergraduate and graduate-level Music Theory and Ear Training at the University of Memphis, Queens College in Charlotte, NC, and Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, TN. She holds the Fellow Certification from the American Guild of Organists, is the Dean of the Chattanooga AGO chapter, and the Southeast Regional Councilor for Education and Certification. She teaches K-8 Music at Belvoir Christian Academy in Chattanooga and has an extensive private organ studio. Sarah’s husband, James, is the Director of Choral Activities at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, and they have a son, Oliver, who is five years old.
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.
Andrea McCurdy grew up in Minnesota and Texas and came to the southeast in 2001 to be with her boyfriend, Bob, who is now her husband of 17 years. She enjoys the many natural wonders of the area and can most often be found hiking with her dogs, exploring waterways in her kayak, spending time with family or working on an endless list of house projects. She also fosters dogs until they can find a forever home. Andrea found a love of nonprofit service as a volunteer and board member of a couple of animal rescues. She completed her Masters in Non – Profit Management in 2016 and has since decided she wants to focus on bookkeeping/accounting roles for nonprofits and churches. Gaining employment as the Financial Assistant at First Christian Church has opened a whole new avenue for her career interests and has helped her to learn about all the ways FCC serves the community and God. She is beyond happy to be a part of such a kind, proactive and faithful church staff.