Our Leadership

Cordele First UMC is a part of the connectional system of the United Methodist denomination. 

At a local level this means that our Lead Pastor and Hispanic Pastor are appointed to our church by the South GA conference. They are called Elders, and focus on preaching and teaching the Word of God, administering the sacraments of baptism and communion, ordering the church for its mission and service, providing pastoral care, and exercising pastoral supervision. All other Ministers and Staff are hired directly by the church to serve over specific ministries.

The role of our Pastoral staff is to equip the people of the church for the work of the ministry. This is called the ministry of the laity, which every believer is called to accomplish. Our Lay Leadership team works with the ministry staff to fulfill the vision of the church. They model Christian discipleship and live out their faith daily. Church members are asked to serve in these leadership roles on a yearly basis. Serving on these committees and in these leadership roles allows the church to effectively make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Our Pastors & Ministry staff and Lay Leadership team are listed below.

*For any questions or concerns about our Pastoral, Ministry, or Lay Leadership team please contact the church office.

Our Staff Team

  • Larry Rollins

    Senior pastor

    Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Larry graduated from Oglethorpe University with degrees in history and political science. After nearly a decade as a high school teacher he answered the call to ministry serving as the Director of Christian Education and Youth at Isle of Hope UMC before taking his first pastoral appointment at Chester/Cedar Grove UMC. Receiving his Masters of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Larry was ordained a United Methodist elder in 2000 and has served churches across the South Georgia Conference.

    Larry has a passion for sharing the gospel, for teaching and for mission work, having served as the chairman of the Open Hands Partnership with East Africa as well as coordinating ministries to the homeless and marginalized in Columbus through the Fellowship at Rose Hill among other ministries. He has also written and illustrated curriculum for Cokesbury and other publishers. 

    Larry and his wife Cindy have been married for thirty years and have raised two sons, Walker and Lewis.

    Cindy is originally from Atlanta and is a former RN with degrees in biology and nursing. Her real passion, however, is music and she also has a bachelor’s degree in church music from Brewton-Parker College. She has sung in professional and amateur choral groups for years, most recently with Cantus Columbus. Cindy currently works as the Administrative Assistant for the Southwest District of the South Georgia Conference UMC.

    Larry’s hobbies include hiking, woodworking, cooking and drawing while Cindy loves crafting, gardening and generally being creative! They both love to travel, read and spend time outside.

    Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:37-38 (CEV) "In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us! I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love-not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below.  Nothing in all of creations can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!"

    Favorite Food: Shrimp in any form!

  • Tania Montero

    Associate Pastor, Nuevo Pacto Pastor

    Favorite Bible Verse:


    Youth Minister

    As Youth Minister, Kody aims to guide students into a better relationship with Christ. Although he ultimately desires to assist all people, his focus is on students in particular. Students have different needs than adults, and these needs and experiences can affect them for the rest of their lives. One of the most important factors of his ministry is showing students that accepting Christ into their lives is the same as joining a family. His goal is to help them to reach a point in their walk with Christ where they are able to effectively state their beliefs, know why they have faith, and know how to share it with others. He desires for students to not only accept Christ into their lives but to be totally transformed by Him. This means that they resist sin, learn to pray effectively, study God’s Word, worship Him, serve others, and share their faith. Once they are able to accomplish these things they should be able to walk others through these processes as well.

    About Kody: Kody aims to share the love of Christ with others, and to make disciples that make disciples. He recognizes that students today are under an increasing pressure from society to neglect their relationship with Christ. He looks to develop leaders in Christ that can impact their families, friends, churches, and entire communities. Kody is a lifelong resident of Cordele where he lives with his wife, Katy, and their cat, Leo. He graduated from Crisp County High School in 2009 where he played for the soccer team. After high school, Kody attended Georgia Southern University where he graduated with a degree in Biology in 2013. Soon after, he finally answered God’s call to join the ministry. He enrolled in SEBTS in 2015 to pursue a Masters of Divinity with a focus in Youth and Family Ministry. He was the Children’s Minister at Pinecrest Church in Cordele for 3 years.

    Favorite Food: Pretty much anything with rice and gravy.

    Favorite Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (HCSB): We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

    Favorite Stuff To Do: Be outside and play soccer.

  • Brenda farrow

    director of Children and Family Ministries

    The children's ministry of this church holds a special place in my heart. I have officially been a member since my 6th grade confirmation. My parents and sisters are also active members of the Nuevo Pacto congregation. I am thrilled to be able to work with the same children's ministry that helped raise me. I am excited to have the opportunity to work along side of many of my mentors. I pray that the children grow to love this church as I have. I have been volunteering with the children's ministry since high school and love working with them. I look forward to getting to know each and everyone of our children and their families. My main focus is striving to get our children and our church more involved in the community with a focus especially on local missions. Thank you for allowing me to opportunity to serve at Cordele First.


    About Brenda:

    I graduated from Crisp County High School in 2012. Before taking the position at First Methodist, I worked as a paralegal at Rainwater, Gibbs and Wright of Cordele. There I worked under the direct supervision of a Family Law Attorney. I am married to Taylor Farrow of Cordele and we have four dogs. 

    Favorite Food:

    I am a foodie but authentic mexican food tops it all.

    Favorite Scripture: 

    Isaiah 54:10

    "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken not my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

  • Makinsey rosser

      Director of music

    About: Makinsey is the Music Director at FUMC. She is a graduate of Valdosta State University where she majored in voice and music education. She taught in the public school system working with middle and high school level bands and choirs for two years before joining FUMC. She greatly enjoys her job here, planning music and events, directing the adult choir and childrens choir, leading the Emerge band, leading Handbells and just worshiping God. Makinsey believes that when it comes to dealing with music, people and God, its “The More, The Merrier”. She is always looking to grow and expand our music ministry and put everyone's talents to good use.

    Favorite Food: Jamaican Oxtails with Rice, Peas and Gravy.

    Favorite Scripture: 

    “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.”

    1 Corinthians 14:15

  • Cindy ELLIS

    Administrative Assistant

    I put together and print a weekly bulletin and a monthly newsletter with a calendar and birthday/anniversary list. I assist those who come in requesting help with their utility bills. I answer the phone,  take reservations for the Wednesday night suppers and prepare a reservation list for it.  I compile and complete monthly and yearly reports for the district and conference. I tend to the needs of church members who come in with questions, concerns, or need assistance- mainly to be the hands and feet of Jesus and show his love as much as I can. 

    About Cindy: I graduated from high school in 1980 and attended Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA. In 1982 I began working at First State Bank where I worked in bookkeeping, as a Customer Service Rep., and as a teller for a brief time. I left there on June 17, 1998 and began working at First United Methodist Church on June 18, 1998. I have been here since and love waking up every day and coming to work. 

    Favorite Food: Apple crisp

    Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:5 & 6 " Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."

  • Tricia Joiner

    Financial Secretary

    I am responsible for the finances of the church, including Offerings, Accounts Payable, Payroll, & Benevolence Assistance. I also maintain employee records, insurance files, and computer information. I assist the janitor with buildings and grounds issues and I assist in keeping membership records current. 

    About Tricia: I grew up in this church as a child and youth and Cordele FUMC was instrumental in my spiritual development. As a young adult, I joined other Methodist churches in other cities where I lived. I re-joined in 1994 with my husband Joe at the same time we baptized our son, Alec. We also have one daughter, Lexie. I have a BBA degree in Accounting from Georgia Southwestern University and had experience in retail, government, and industry accounting before coming to work at Cordele FUMC.

    Favorite Food: Chocolate, Watermelon, Okra

    Favorite Scripture: Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

  • Michael Barnes

    Facilities Manager

  • Elbert "tater" Terry


    I am the custodian for the church. I do a little bit of everything from electrical to plumbing, from painting to mopping floors. I also help people with any job that need to be done around the church.

    About Tater: I am married and have three children (1 girl, 2 boys). I like watching football games and going fishing. I travel when I can. 

    Favorite Food: Fried Chicken

    Favorite Scripture: Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

  • Barbara Eschmann

    Church Keyboardist, Choir Accompanist

    I am responsible for selecting and preparing for the Prelude and Offertory music for the 11:00 Traditional Service. Selection comes from a study of the subject matter/sermon the pastor is presenting. Preparation includes private practice at the church and joint practice with the pianist. Tune selections and composers or arrangers are given to the church secretary in order that they may be listed in the printed Sunday bulletin. Congregational songs/hymns are selected for the service by the Choir Director and these songs are prepared and performed during the worship service. As needed, the organist accompanies the Adult Choir during rehearsal on Wednesday night and accompanies the choir on Sunday during their special music. 

    About Barbara: I began my study of music when I was 6 years old. I took private piano and flute lessons for 12 years and following graduation of High School attended college at the University of Georgia on a dual music scholarship. I am presently a member of the Redcoat Alumni Band and occasionally attend Homecoming in Athens where we, once again, march between the hedges. In 1969 I moved on scholarship to Samford University, Birmingham, Al. where I studied music for 2 years, being the first instrumental major at that University. My professor was a member of the then known Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Due to a death in my family, I returned to Ga. and attended Ga. State University in Atlanta continuing my music education. In 1971, I meet a young man from Dooly County, Vienna, Ga. who was visiting a friend in Atlanta. He swept me off my feet, married me within a few months and moved me to South Ga. He is the father of my three children, Tripp, Holly and Lynn Stripling. I was privileged to be the church pianist and organist in Vienna, Ga. both in the Baptist and the Methodist church, for approximately 15 years. In 1988 we moved our family to Cordele and I became the full time organist at the First United Methodist Church where I served under the direction of Scott Hearn for 6 years. Incidents in my life took me back again to Alabama, however, I came home in 2008 and began attending church again at FUMC. I accepted the position of part time organist to substitute services with the regular organist. I enjoy being part time as I am now a grandmother and also the caretaker of my parents who still live in the Atlanta area.

    Favorite Food: BBQ Ribs

    Favorite Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."