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Executive Team

Vaughn Stafford

Vaughn was born in Livingston, AL, and lived in Eufaula, AL in his early years, but grew up primarily in Anderson, IN. He received degrees in accounting and vocal performance from Anderson University. He received his Master of Divinity Degree from Asbury Seminary and plans to complete his doctoral studies at Asbury in May of 2023.

Vaughn began singing at Gaither Studios when he was just twelve years old and sang there until he began ministry at age 25, on September 1, of 1996. Vaughn’s call to full-time ministry came while he was touring. He has served United Methodist churches in the North Alabama, Mississippi, North Georgia, and Alabama West Florida conferences. He has served as the Lead Pastor at Clearbranch since June of 2013. He is passionate about people growing in a personal relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord and creating worship experiences that invite people to encounter the living God. He believes that our calling is to help bring the kingdom of God on earth as in Heaven and to further the cause of Christ to the ends of the earth. He lives by the mantra of “living life above reproach, but never beyond approach.”

Vaughn married his love, Cindy, in April 1997 and they have two children. Their son, William, will graduate from Trussville High school in May of 2023. Their daughter, Ellie, is a kindergarten teacher, wife, and mother of Vaughn and Cindy’s two amazing grand children (Just ask them and they will tell you and show you pictures to prove it). Their grandchildren’s names are Dak and Emmie. Vaughn enjoys fishing, playing golf, tennis, and most any other sports, and loves spending time with his family and friends.




Liz Bowlin

Liz Bowlin is the director of children’s ministry at Sheffield First United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Rev. Bart Bowlin, have 6 adult children and 5 Grands. Liz enjoys reading and cross stitching.

Although Liz grew up in the UMC, she became very concerned with the direction of the church following the Re-imagining Conference in late 1993. Since that time, Liz has advocated for orthodoxy as a lay delegate to Annual Conference, reserve delegate to GC2020, lay delegate to SEJ2022, and active participant in The Wesleyan Covenant Association.
Liz’s prayer for the Church is that the Word of God would purify our conscience, dictate our thinking, and govern our living so that the glories of Christ and the transforming power of the gospel would be clearly on display through us.




John Hill

John was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He graduated from Samford University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a second major in Biology. After graduation, John went into the corporate world, working for State Farm and Automatic Data Processing. He also taught high school history for two years at Pelham Christian School. It was during this time that he realized God had bigger plans for him.

John served four years as Youth Director at Avondale United Methodist Church in Birmingham, while pursuing the Ministerial Candidacy track of the United Methodist Church. He has also served at Chapel Hill UMC in Decatur and Latham United Methodist Church. John started a new church in the Huntsville area called “The Bridge” in June of 2007 and began his ministry to Union: The Church at Chelsea Park in June of 2010. Since 2013 John has served Flint Hill Church in Alexander City.

John graduated from Memphis Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Divinity in 2006 and currently serves as a Law Enforcement Chaplain, with 12 years of experience, for the Alabama State Trooper’s, the United States Secret Service, and is the Lead Chaplain for the Alexander City Police Department. Rev. Hill holds many certifications including a certification in Critical Incident Stress Management from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He is also a member of the International Conference of Police Chaplains with the credential of Master Chaplain. Chaplain Hill currently serves as President of the Alabama Critical Incident Response team, President of the Russell Medical Center Board of Chaplains, and in many other leadership roles.

John is very active in youth events at Camp Sumatanga, where he met the love of his life in Jill. They were married in May of 2006 in a beautiful ceremony beside the lake at Camp Sumatanga. They have five children, Erica, Jackson, Noah, Graden, and Sophie, and enjoy hiking and camping together.


Jody Hooven

Jody Hooven became a Christ-follower at the age of 20 and instantly felt the call into ministry. He has served voluntarily, part-time, and eventually full-time, primarily as a Student Pastor over the past few decades. Currently, Jody is a full-time Local Pastor, serving as the Associate Pastor at Christ Church Birmingham, where he has been serving since 2013. Spending most of his live in North AL, He received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Athens State University and is currently enrolled in the Course of Study.

Jody and his wife, Sheri (who serves as the children’s minister at Christ Church Birmingham), have three amazing children, Marissa (husband Gerald), Joseph (wife Lauren), Hannah (17 yrs old), and is a proud Papa of two amazing grandchildren, Amelia and Elias.

Jody is a big fan of the Tennessee Volunteers (Go Big Orange!) and the Las Vegas Raiders (since his son, Joseph, works for the Raiders). He enjoys time with family, cooking/grilling, and 80s music, as well as, hacking around the golf course when he can find the time. A verse of scripture that encourages him daily is James 4:8- “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”




Dr. John Kearns

John is the founding pastor of Christ Harbor United Methodist in Northport, Alabama. He has pastored since 1985 in Gadsden at Union Hill UMC, Fayette at Mt. Vernon UMC (Charge) , Northport at St. Mark UMC (Associate Pastor), and Christ Harbor UMC. Dr. Kearns has a bachelors from Furman University, Greenville, S.C. and completed both his Master’s and Doctor of Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.

He is married, since 1980, to the former Kathy Duggan of Mountain Brook. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.




Ann Lee

Ann Lee was born in Tuscaloosa, AL, but grew up in Florence, AL.    She is a 1981 graduate of The University of Alabama with a degree in Communications and a major in Public Relations.  Most of Ann’s adult life has been spent in Guntersville Alabama where she began her working life as a News Reporter and Director for WTWX/WGSV radio.  Ann has served as an active lay member of Guntersville First United Methodist Church for over 37 years having served on Nominations and Leadership Development, Long Range, Evangelism, Communications, Choir, Administrative Council, and Emmaus.  She went on staff at GFUMC as the part time Music Director in 1989 and continued in that position for 8 years, went to work for United Way of Marshall County, and returned to a full-time staff position in 1999 as the Director of Discipleship/Communications/Children’s/Programs/and Outreach.  She currently serves as the Director of Discipleship/Communications/and interim Traditional Worship Leader.  Ann has had a passion for the church with a capitol C since childhood and first felt a call into ministry prior to attending college where she was active in Campus Crusade for Christ.  Her passion is linked closely to the church’s mission to “help people become devoted and contagious followers of Jesus Christ”.    She considers it a joy and a privilege to be used by God to help people know Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him.

Ann is the proud mother of Zach Lee and proud grandmother of Whit and Shep.



Michael Wilder

Michael Wilder is married to Dana, his bride of four years. They live just outside of Guntersville, Alabama on their family farm. Michael has been in vocational ministry since answering God’s call in 2017. He currently serves as both the Associate Pastor and Director of Student Ministries at Guntersville First UMC.

Michael has also served in the connectional aspect of the church for the last few years. He has been a Young Adult delegate to Annual Conference, was elected as an alternate to the postponed 2020 General Conference as well as a delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, and now is privileged to serve as a member of the WCA Executive Leadership Team for the North Alabama Chapter. He has a passion for God’s Word, for traditional Wesleyan theology, and for seeing Christ made known.

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