Jimmy Sherrod
began serving Central United Methodist Church in July 2014. He was born in Knoxville and grew up on the east side of town. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2000 and Wesley Theological Seminary in 2010. He has served the French Broad Circuit in East Knox County, Metropolitan Memorial UMC in Washington, D.C. and most recently Powell UMC in Knoxville. He has served in the church as a youth minister, music minister, associate pastor, and lead pastor. He loves music and has had the opportunity to sing and play in various worship settings, including leading music for two different annual conferences. He is passionate about helping people to connect with God using their gifts, talents and skills. He is also passionate about justice and mercy and the role of the local church in advocating for and offering both. Jimmy is married to Lesli Bales-Sherrod, a journalist and they have two small children, Henry James and Catherine Grace. They live in Old North Knox in a wonderful, creaky ole house that was built in 1905. In his free time, Jimmy enjoys reading, college football, traveling, and remote control airplanes.

Jimmy Sherrod, Pastor
(865) 524-1659

George Hayden has been Music Director since 2003 and supervised the growth in the music program at Central. He is the band director at Maryville Intermediate School and assistant band director for the Maryville High School "Red Rebel" Marching Band.

George is in his 19th year as a Band Director with the Maryville City School System, and is currently the Band Director at Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School. He teaches trumpet and operates a school for student conductors who want to become drum majors and serves as a judge at marching band competitions. George is a graduate of University of Tennessee and recently completed his masters degree at Lincoln Memorial University.

George Hayden
Email: gwhayden3@aol.com

John Lansford has served on Staff or as a volunteer in children and youth ministries since 2009. He feels a calling to serve children and youth in the local church. He obtained his B.S. in Bible from Tennessee Temple University in 2015.

John believes that children and youth are active and productive members of the church. He is devoted to building relationships and mentoring children and youth as they discover their God given gifts. He believes empowering them through thought provoking study and service opportunities to show the love of Christ to everyone they encounter. He enjoys seeing young people grow spiritually and guiding them through bible centered teachings as they find their place in the Body of Christ. John and his wife Christy have been married since 2007 they have two older children Desiree and Devon.

John Lansford
Email: john@knoxcentralumc.org

Charles Parham has been a Methodist church musician for over 50 years. Prior to retiring in 2005 and moving to Knoxville, he served churches as organist and choir director in Brownsville, TN; Milan, TN; Big Spring, TX; Abilene, TX; Memphis, TN; and Middletown, OH. He has been the organist and choir director at several churches in Knoxville, and became organist at Central in September, 2011.

Charles received his Bachelor of Music in 1962, Master of Music in 1969, and Doctor of Music Arts in 1994 at Memphis State University. He is an ordained Deacon of the United Methodist Church and has the Associate Degree in the American Guild of Organists.

Charles and his wife, Patty, have two children and six grandchildren.

Carolyn Cottrell came to Central as pianist in 2006. She began playing for school and church choirs at the age of thirteen and has served as church pianist at several churches in Knoxville.

Carolyn retired from the Internal Revenue Service in 1990 and worked for a local law firm as a tax and probate specialist until 2008. She and her husband, Clarence (Bud), have two children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Doug Johnson came to Central in 2012. He served in the United States Air Force for 32 years, retiring in August of 2015. Doug has served on the Board of Trustees here at Central since 2013 until accepting the position of Facility Manager in February of 2016. He is married to Sherry Cole-Johnson and they have two sons, Reese and Keith.

Lauren Gangaware grew up at Central United Methodist. She has worked in childcare for over six years in the Knoxville Area, and attended the University of Tennessee, receiving a BHHS in Child and Family Studies. She is a provisional Family Life Educator and is currently working on her full certification. Lauren works for a local non-profit as a supervisor for a domestic
violence program.

Ashley Garren grew up Methodist here in Knoxville. She graduated high school from Webb School of Knoxville and she has a BA from University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a double major of Psychology and Religious Studies and minor in Sport Management.

She comes to us with 12 years of full time ministry experience serving as a Youth and Children’s Director at St. Mark UMC, Knoxville. Most recently Ashley has worked in the title industry.

Ashley and her husband, Anthony live in Fountain City and have two children, Grace and Grant.

Ashley Garren
(865) 524-1659
Email: ashley@knoxcentralumc.org

Perry Starkey became the Food Services Manager at Central in March 2009. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BA in Social Studies.

Prior to coming to Central, Perry owned and operated a restaurant, “Perry’s on the Square”, in downtown Knoxville.

Perry and his wife, Susan, have one daughter, and attend Fairview United Methodist Church.

Jeff Criswell came to Central in early 2012. He served three years in the US Army and holds an Associate Degree in Electronics from ITT Tech.

201 East Third Avenue | Knoxville, Tennessee 37917
Phone (865) 524-1659 | Fax (865) 524-1650 | e-mail office@knoxcentralumc.org