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David was appointed as Senior Pastor of FUMCLR in July of 2015. A native of Little Rock, David graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1996. After spending four years as Director of Ministries to Youth and Families at FUMCLR, he began his seminary education. He graduated from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2003 and served as the Executive Pastor at FUMC in Springdale Arkansas for 12 years. David is married to Katie Woodruff Freeman and they have two daughters, Emily and Hannah. David enjoys running and reading.
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Rev. Donna Hankins
Associate Pastor, Children & Family
Donna Hankins-Hull, Associate Pastor for Children and Families, joined the First Church staff in 2009. Donna’s duties include Christian education and programming for children, occasional preaching, leading in worship and pastoral care. Donna is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C, and a member of the New York Annual Conference. She was first ordained in 1991 and has served churches in Connecticut, New York and New Hampshire prior to her appointment to FUMCLR.
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Sonja graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in Accounting and Finance. She has been working in Finance, Administration and Human Resources for 29 years. She also has certifications in Human Resources and Life and Health Insurance. She has been married Jerry Larkowski for 4 years and together they have 5 sons, Austin, Mason, Colin, Clayton, and Trevor.
501-372-2256 Ex. 209
Lesley Andrews joined the First Church Staff as Communications Director in August 2010. Lesley is the managing editor of the church’s newsletter, In The First Place, and is responsible for church publications, advertising, and maintaining the church’s website. Lesley graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.A. in Journalism with a special emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. Lesley and her husband, Justin Andrews (also a U of A graduate), live in Maumelle with their three boys Cody, Beau, and Tag.
501-372-2256 Ex. 207
Director of Buidings, Grounds & Security
Jerry Carpenter joined the First Church staff in April 2007 as the church’s Maintenance Superintendent. Jerry has 18 years of experience as a Building Maintenance Supervisor for a non-profit, religious organization in Michigan. Jerry has three sons, Randel, Jordan and Shane.
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Pastor of Community Engagement
Haley joined the staff as Pastor of Community Engagement in September 2017. She is a native of Mississippi and a member of the Mississippi Annual Conference. After graduating from seminary at Boston University School of Theology in 2015, she spent two years on the Reconciliation Ministry Team at Coventry Cathedral in Coventry, England. Haley has a passion for reconciliation and helping faithful people be “repairers of the breach” to live into God’s call for shalom. She is responsible for inspiring and energizing First Church to engage in transformative service across Little Rock and think critically about issues of justice. Haley works closely with the SERVE and SPEAK committees at First Church that work on missions and public advocacy, leads small groups and book groups on social justice themes, and coordinates the daily community assistance program.
501-372-2256 Ex. 219
Director of Youth Ministries
Brandon has served as youth minister since July 2017 and has served in various churches in Arkansas since 1999. His goal is to help youth grow in relationship with Christ, and with one another, as they take ownership of their faith when going out into the world. His time in youth ministry has also included serving as a District Youth Coordinator, the Conference Youth Coordinator, and the Jurisdictional Youth Financial Coordinator. Brandon grew up in Beebe, AR (Your Dream Hometown) and has been a United Methodist his entire life. He graduated from Hendrix College in 2002 with a degree in History. Hebrews 12:1 is a Bible verse that speaks to him often. He enjoys traveling, a good nap, exercising, watching Netflix, laughing heartily, and a good meal with good company.
501-372-2256 Ex. 206
Director of Music and Worship Arts
Kyle comes to us from Central UMC in Kansas City, MO, where he has served for the past two years as Director of Worship Arts and Welcoming Ministries. Prior to his work in Kansas City, Kyle served for 11 years as Director of Worship Arts and Evangelism at St. John’s UMC in Memphis. Kyle is a graduate of Arkansas State University, where he majored in vocal music education. He has held leadership positions in the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and he has served as a guest clinician for high school choral festivals in Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas.
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Director of Children's Ministries
Tammy has been married to her husband, Russ, for 14 years. They have two girls, Autumn (10) and Charlotte (7). They also have a family dog named Georgia-- she’s a sweetie! They love spending time with friends and family. Their favorite pastimes are camping, hanging out with friends, and playing games with their kids. She earned a degree from Texas A&M University in 1998 and is currently enrolled in her fourth year of a five year program at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in pursuit of dual professional certifications for Christian Education and Children’s Ministry. She is passionate about education, not only for herself, but for her students.
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Sara graduated from Arkansas State University in 2010 with a degree in Graphic Communication. She previously worked for 5 years as an Administrative Assistant at Edafio Technologies. She and her husband, Jesse, live in Benton with their children Audrey and Ty. She enjoys baking, crafting and shopping.
501-372-2256 Ex. 203
Associate Director of Buildings, Grounds & Security
Sunday mornings, you can find Jonathan outside our church building helping those who need assistance and providing security for our members and visitors. He is happy to be on staff at First Church, and we are thrilled to have him as part of our team.
Associate Director of Music and Worship Arts
James joined the staff as Associate Director of Music and Worship Arts in August of 2016. He serves as organist and administrator of the First Arts program. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree from the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia in organ performance and organ pedagogy. James has held positions in Georgia and Indiana as organist, choir director, praise team leader, and choral section leader in Presbyterian and United Methodist congregations. His wife, Christen, is a teacher.
Chris is a 2013 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in Mass Communications. Chris focuses on the Audio/Visuals for First Word and First Tradition. So when you see him around the church, he will usually be holding a video camera!
Maintenance & Security
You will see Sammy's smiling face early in the morning at First Church. He is often working security and helps keep our beautiful facility at its best!