Meet our Staff
Bruce Case, Senior Pastor: My family moved to Madison in 2010 from Hattiesburg. In June, I became the third senior pastor of this young church. My wife, Jen, is a fourth grade teacher at Mannsdale Upper Elementary School. Tripp, our son, is currently a freshman at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Our daughter, Susannah, is a eighth grader at Germantown Middle School.
My whole family has grown to love both our church and our community. We've made friends for life, and after six years here at Parkway Hills, I feel like we've just begun. There's a lot that I love about serving at Parkway Hills. I am inspired by an energy here to serve. We are involved in meaningful mission projects that are truly making a difference in the lives of people: making bunk beds for kids in Madison County who are sleeping on the floor, feeding 50 children at East Flora, starting a garden project at this school, packing tens of thousands of meals for Stop Hunger Now, engaging in the life of children at Methodist Children's Home, Quilting Ministry, Yarn Ministry, Guatemala Direct Trade, and much, much more.
But I also love how fluid things are here. You rarely hear "We've never done it that way before", or, "We've always done it this way". There is room for new ideas. It feels like there's a grassroots movement here that constantly wakes people up to putting flesh on their faith.
Finally, I love that Parkway Hills is a place where people can come as they are. There is a true hospitality at work here that makes it feel like family. Even more beautiful than our campus is the attitude of our congregation; when you enter into the space at Parkway Hills, you've found your way home.
Philip Messner, Minister of Music and Associate Pastor: Ann and I attended the first worship service of Parkway Hills UMC on January 15, 1995. We were curious after receiving three different postcards regarding a new United Methodist church starting in Madison. We had created our list of requirements for a church after several moves from other states. We shared this list with Bruce Taylor and PHUMC had none of them. What PHUMC did have was a warm and welcoming spirit that pulled us in to be a part of the ministry. Shortly after that first service, I volunteered to start the Music Ministry and the Adult Choir which debuted on April 9, 1995 with 9 members. Additionally, on April 9, 1995, as the Parkway Hills UMC was consecrated as a United Methodist, Ann and I became a part of the 54 Charter members that day. Ann has also found her niche, working and traveling with the Youth of PHUMC and of course singing in the Choir.
Parkway Hills UMC is a warm and welcoming church blessed to have many talented musicians singing in the choir, playing the piano/keyboard and providing instrumental support, special music solos and programs for all ages. The energy in the music area allows us to bring together musical presentations with all age groups.
Ordained as a Deacon in Full Connection with the Mississippi Conference on June 10, 2012, I am proud to call Parkway Hills UMC my home church where Ann and I can experience and share the love of God. We live in Madison with two energetic dogs, Heidi and Bailie. Ann is employed at St. Joseph Catholic School.
Cynthia Gibbs, Director of Children and Family Ministry: My husband, Chris, and I moved to Madison in 1998. I grew up in Jackson, so I was moving home. I had grown up in a very large Methodist church, and knew I wanted something smaller. We visited several churches, but they were not the place for us. Then one day I saw an article about Parkway Hills in the paper and it featured a picture of the building and grounds. I was struck by what a beautiful church it was and couldn’t wait to visit. As soon as our newborn had her first round of shots, we visited for the first time, and knew that we had found our church home. We joined two months later. Now that baby, Hannah, is 17. We have another daughter, Emma, who is 15, and a ten- year-old son, Alex. All three of our children are involved in activities in the church and have made wonderful friends.
Before I ever started officially working at the church I was active in Sunday school, VBS, Chair of the Education Committee and taught children of all ages. My husband, Chris, has served on the Finance Committee, Trustees and helped to start the Boy Scout Troop. He is currently the Scouting Chairman.
During the nine years that I have been the Director of Children and Family Ministry I have had the opportunity to work with fun, creative, dedicated and loving volunteers who work with our children, birth-6th grade. We have so much fun planning events for our children, from VBS every summer and Wednesday re:treat Night activities, to Pumpkin Patch trips and Happy Birthday Jesus parties. I can honestly say I love my job!
Parkway Hills is our church home. We are blessed by this church family and the opportunities we have to serve others through this church.
Bob Rhoads, Financial Assistant: After retiring from a 27-year career with the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, I was ready to follow new passions. I started volunteering and quickly became an avid, (and busy), volunteer with several organizations in the community, including the Mississippi Department of Archives and History where you will still find me on Tuesdays.
When a dear friend told me about the financial assistant job opening at Parkway Hills United Methodist Church, I was immediately intrigued. After a couple of interviews and a few phone calls, I was hired in April of 2017.
As your financial assistant, I am responsible for all of the financial operations of the church. Working here affords me the opportunity to use my knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience in accounting to serve and help the Parkway Hills family. I will be in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, but do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. I look forward to getting to know all of you, and serving PHUMC for many years to come.
Rebecca Olack, Administrative Assistant: I moved from Atlanta to Madison in 2006. As I looked for a church family, I was first attracted to Parkway Hills because of the wonderful music program. Every week I felt blessed by the talented people who seemed to really enjoy singing and playing for God’s glory. This is such a friendly church, there was always someone who greeted me and made me feel welcome, even when I was trying to remain anonymous! Before long, I was involved with the choir myself, as well as the Prayer Quilt Ministry, and now the Yarn Ministry. I have stained bunk beds, made baptism banners, helped with His Kitchen and the Homeless Ministry; I've even spoken German for World Communion Sunday! I found the more I helped out with this community of believers, the happier I was. So, when Bruce announced one Sunday morning that PHUMC was looking for an Administrative Assistant – I knew that was the job for me!
I enjoy everything about the job I do: I love the staff I do it with, and I am constantly amazed and impressed by the caring and generous congregation for whom I do it. If you are planning a church activity, let me help you by putting it on our calendar and in the bulletin. Is there is a ministry you are starting? Allow me to write a story in the weekly newsletter to help you spread the word. Did you take some good photos during a youth event, service project, Sunday School group or Bible study? Email a copy to the office, and I will use it on the website or our Facebook page to show others what God is doing right here at Parkway Hills. Call me if I can help you in any way!
Louise Johnson, Hospitality Committee: I love Parkway Hills because of its people. There is a feeling of family and caring for each other. Everyone is made to feel welcome and accepted. The ministerial staff is always available, encouraging, helpful, and dedicated to the work of God and the congregation.
There are many opportunities to serve in this church no matter your age, your talents, or your station in life. The church reaches out to many, both within the church and in the community outside the church. There is something for everyone at Parkway Hills, from missions and teaching, to music, youth activities, and many others. Anyone can find his or her place at Parkway Hills.
Since the congregation is well-blended with talent, all events and projects are fun and enjoyable. I love preparing food for Wednesday nights and special events and I look forward to continuing to serve God and my church through Parkway Hills United Methodist Church.
We do best the things we do together!
Ann Allen, Nursery Director: I have been working with children for over 20 years, and I never tire of it. So, when my husband and I started to attend Parkway Hills, it was only a matter of time before I migrated up to the nursery! I love getting to know your babies, and watching them as they grow. Rest assured, when you drop your child off in the Parkway Hill's nursery, they will be safe, loved and cared for. We are here so that you can relax and focus on worship, study and fellowship! For the last 7 years, I have worked with a very dedicated nursery staff. Your child will see the same faces every week and soon feel comfortable and right at home in our bright and cheerful rooms. We welcome a volunteer from the congregation each week to help in the nursery. If you would like to get on this rotation, please me know. I love Parkway Hills, and working in the nursery is exactly where I feel called to be. I hope to meet your child soon!