About Us 2018-04-16T13:45:20+00:00

Our Mission

“To know Christ and to make Him known”

We engage and connect people with a saving knowledge of Christ and then equip and send them to do the same for others.

What We Believe

There are no rules or regulations alone that we can follow that will give you the life you were intended to live. Everyone should live into their own life, and the only way to truly do that is by living your life Christ’s way.

We believe in the one true living God, revealed in three distinct persons, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Our Core Values

SCRIPTURE

Led by God’s word

LOVE

Love God and your neighbor

HUMILITY

Walk with God and be humble

SERVANTHOOD

Give oneself for the good of others

MISSION

Reaching out to the world

Our Pastors

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DAVID ATKINSON
Senior Pastor

David is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Sociology from Lambuth College in Jackson, Tennessee. He also attended The Divinity School at Duke University, where he earned a Masters of Divinity degree. David responded to the call to ordained ministry at the age of nineteen. He has served churches in North Carolina, Kansas, West Tennessee and Kentucky. At his most recent appointment, David has served Benton 1st UMC for the past eleven years.

David and his wife Susan, have three grown children: Christopher, Stephen and John Michael.

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DEBORAH SUDDARTH
Executive Pastor

Deborah was born and raised in Oklahoma, graduating from Elgin High School. Deborah began going to church when she was in Kindergarten at Grace United Methodist Church, Altus, Oklahoma. Deborah’s senior year in high school, while at church camp at Red Rock Canyon, she heard her call to youth ministry. She attended Oklahoma City University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a minor in Psychology. She moved to Nashville and attended Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she focused on Pastoral Counseling.

Deborah and her husband Trey have 2 children: Reese and Douglas.

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CATHY LARSEN
Pastor of Students

Cathy is a native of Columbus, Mississippi. She attended The University of Mississippi where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a double major in Instrumental music and Vocal Performance with a minor in History. She also attended Asbury Theological Seminary where she earned two Master of Arts degrees, one in Christian Education with an emphasis in Children, Youth and Young Adult Faith Development and the second in Church Music with an emphasis in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance.

Cathy heard a call to ministry while serving as a Camp Counselor at Lake Stephens United Methodist Camp at the age of 20. She has served churches in Kentucky and Mississippi as Minister of Music, Children’s Minister, Youth Minister and most recently as Associate Pastor of Worship and Discipleship in a church relocation and plant program for 16 years at Mineral Wells UMC in Olive Branch, MS.

Cathy is married to Rev. Scott Larsen and they have four children: Holly, Ben, Lise Lee, and Laurel.

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DANE WOOD
Associate Pastor

Dane began his ministry career in Atlanta, GA where he attended seminary at Candler School of Theology in Emory University.  During his time there, he interned and worked for Lawrenceville Road UMC as the youth minister and later as an associate.  It was at Emory that Dane met his love and married her, Megan.  Dane would go on to serve a 2-point charge in Abbeville County South Carolina at Sharon UMC and Smyrna UMC.  Megan was hired at St. Jude in 2016 and that brought them out to Memphis, TN.  Dane served Shiloh UMC in Somerville before moving to Collierville in 2017.  Dane is passionate about missions, history, and learning how the awesome power of God is practical and life-changing, every day.

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