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Leadership

Clergy Staff

Pastor: Dr. Paula B. Smith

libertyumcpaula@gmail.com 

God, family, church “ these are the influences that have formed and shaped Paula's life and ministry.  As one of nine children in a small town in Southern Louisiana, Paula credits her parents for fully embracing the Biblical directive of "training up a child in the way that they should go and when they grow old they will not depart from it. It was in this small community from both Protestant and Catholic influences that Paula learned to love God and neighbor.
 
While listening to a sermon on Jeremiah 29.11-13 at Ousley United Methodist Church in Lithonia, GA, Paula began to discern a call from God into vocational ministry.  With the support of her church family she obtained a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  Paula's gifts for ministry were affirmed by the Tennessee Annual Conference by conferring Licensed Local Pastor September 2012 and as Provisional Elder in 2013.
As a minister dedicated to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, Paula takes seriously her responsibility, "to equip the saints for ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. She is thankful for the previous opportunities to serve in ministry as pulpit assistant at Ousley UMC while in seminary, as a student minister at First Street UMC in post Katrina New Orleans, Wesleyan group leader with the World Methodist Evangelism Institute in Fiji, Youth Pastor at Clark Memorial UMC in Nashville, and as  Associate Pastor at McKendree UMC in downtown Nashville.
 
Paula acknowledges one of the joys of ministry is sharing her spiritual journey with her husband of 30 years, Bobby and their 23 year old daughter Brieanna.  The family has been engaged in ministry through active participation in  church by planning mission and service projects both locally and nationally.
 

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Director of Youth Ministries: Jacob Wood

jwood5709@hotmail.com

Jacob grew up in Gurley, Alabama. A small town outside of Huntsville Alabama, known for the US Space and Rocket Center. Jacob's dad is a Nazarene children's pastor his brother is a youth pastor, and his adopted brother is a police officer in South Carolina. Jacob's mom is an elementary school teacher. Jacob's passion for ministry began with his family's policy of stewarding god's children by fostering seven children, and adopting one.

Jacob began working in ministry as a youth minister in Alabama, and was a youth minister at a church in Nashville for a year as well. Jacob played football for two years at Olivet Nazarene University on a scholarship, and finished his bachelor of arts in religion at Trevecca Nazarene university in 2013. Jacob them graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School with a Masters of Divinity in 2016.

Jacob loves to read, walk his dog, hike, golf, and play tennis. Jacob loves to compete in triathlons, and is usually up for a good meal. Jacob has a passion for children and youth, and loves to play videogames as well.

Program Staff

Pianist: Josephine Huang-Yeh

jhuangyeh@email.usn.org

Josephine Huang-Yeh, a native of Republic of China, came to the States more than 20 years ago. Josephine started to be a pianist at her 1st church at the age of 14, and has been playing for churches ever since, from Taiwan to US. She has played for children's choir, adults' choir, women's ensemble, and praise worship. She has also conducted college choir, children's choir, handbell choir, and served as a praise worship leader before she came to Liberty three years ago. She loves to "sing and dance with her fingers on the keyboard, and often integrates both the traditional hymns with contemporary praise songs. She truly believes that "the spirit that inspired the musician to write a wonderful hymn is the same spirit that inspires the composer to write a contemporary song to praise God.  Josephine has two masters' degrees, one in Education, the other in instructional technology. She is currently a full time teacher at University School of Nashville. Her "collection is to teach kids from 18 month old to 18 years old. She loves to write caring cards, take pictures, do Taichi, do drama, sing, and every now and then to teach cooking classes.