Meet the FUMC Staff

We try to model faithful community and collaborative visioning for the entire congregation.  

Here's your chance to get to know us a little better.

  • Jim Bell, Lead Pastor

    Born in Charlotte, NC, Jim Bell moved with his family to Roanoke Rapids when he was 11 years old. He graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School. He continued his education at Louisburg he College, Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Duke University Divinity School. This is his second pastoral appointment to FUMC-Rocky Mount. He served as Associate Pastor here in the 1980s. Jim has also served churches in Enfield, Benson, Hampstead, Durham, and Roanoke Rapids. Jim and his wife, the former Melody Coile of Arlington, Virginia, have two adult children: Andy who lives with his wife, Erin, in Atlanta, and Sarah who resides in Durham. He enjoys reading, hiking and visiting family.

  • Matt Seaton, Associate Pastor

    Matt Seaton was born in Marion, Indiana, and grew up in South Dakota. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministries from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity Duke University. In 2010, Matt was ordained a Wesleyan Minister and is transferring his orders to The United Methodist Church. He served four previous parishes before coming to FUMC-Rocky Mount. Matt is married to Lacey and they foster three boys. Matt enjoys reading thick arduous books on theology and the bible. When enticed to read fiction, he prefers fantasy and science fiction. He also enjoys movies of the same kind, especially super hero based films. When not reading or watching movies, he spends his time playing with his boys, going to soccer games, and taking his wife on moderately romantic dates.

  • Stephanie Geanes, Minister of Next Generation Discipleship

    Stephanie  is a travel, movie, and music lover who was born and raised here in Rocky Mount.  Upon graduating from Northern Nash High School, she made Asheville her home while attending Mars Hill College as a Youth Ministry major.  After spending ten years working in higher education, Stephanie followed God’s call to help build Family Ministry here at FUMC-Rocky Mount.  When she’s not working with our families here and in our community, she can be found on an adventure with her husband, Will, and their two children, Katherine, and Sam.

  • Daniel Mullens, Youth Pastor

    Daniel Mullens was born in Durham, North Carolina. He was ordained to gospel ministry in June of 2014. Daniel currently serves as the Youth Pastor of First United Methodist Church where he began in August 2019. Prior to coming to FUMC, Daniel served two other churches in various capacities and spent time as an urban missionary in East St. Louis, Illinois. Daniel received a B.S in Religious Studies and Sport Education from Chowan University and a Master of Divinity degree from Campbell University. Daniel is married to Abbi, who is an associate pastor of The Memorial Baptist Church in Greenville, North Carolina, and the father of a baby boy, Graham Michael. Daniel enjoys reading, playing and watching baseball, walking on the beach, playing with his two dogs, and being a husband and dad.

  • TJ Shirley, Contemporary Worship Leader/Communications Director

    TJ Shirley was born in Plant City, Florida, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, and lived in Atlanta for 12 years before moving to Rocky Mount.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Southeastern University and earned both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary.  TJ is currently working on a Graduate Certificate in Church Music at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music.  He is classically trained in voice and trumpet and also plays guitar, bass, drums, and piano.  TJ has served four other churches in various capacities before coming to FUMC-Rocky Mount.  He is married to Maggie, whom he met in middle school band.  Maggie teaches orchestra and chorus in the Nash-Rocky Mount School System.  They have two lovely daughters, Brooke and Allison.  While music is TJ’s profession, it is also his biggest hobby. TJ also enjoys watching football and movies, reading, and listening to comedy podcasts.

  • Bill Wood, Director of Traditional Music

    Q: What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about God through directing choirs and playing the organ?

    A: That so many (or a few) singers of varying backgrounds, abilities and tastes can come together as one voice in praise to God. I believe that singing is the ideal for music in worship. Through singing our bodies, minds and breath are integrated in a way that I find very spiritual. The connection between the breath of singing and that of the Holy Spirit is very real to me.  I am fascinated by the many ways that the pipe organ can enhance singing, whether it be through its volume and power or the intricate details of rhythm and interplay between voices. The organ has been the standard in supporting congregational and choir singing for hundreds of years. 

    Q: You play organ, piano and guitar. If you could only play one song for the rest of your life…what song would it be and on what instrument?

    A:  "Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die."  

    from There is a Fountain by William Cowper.

    -for voices alone.

  • Wendi Beck, Office Administrator

    Q:  I’ve heard you actually have a good singing voice and enjoy music. What song playing on your playlist makes you want to belt it out in the car?

    A:  Haha, I don't know who told you that, but they must be tone-deaf! I do enjoy music though; and to name just one would be too difficult. Worship music is my first love, and that's what I listen to and sing in my car 99% of the time, but some occasions call for 90s music, specifically hip-hop.  I love this quote from my sweet friend, Emily, "I love Jesus, and rap!" Sometimes you just have to 'take it back to the old school'. 

    Q:  A lot of people might look at church finance and say “ugh.” Can you talk about how you see it and your work as a ministry?

    A:  I can assure you that is a learned ministry for me. When I started at First UMC I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, the beauty in this is knowing that although I didn't know, God knew. Over the years, he has given me the ability to grow into this position and learn so much about what it means to be a good steward of God's money; it's not just a job, but a true ministry. I feel very honored to be entrusted with the funds of the church, and count it a privilege to work alongside some very knowledgeable and passionate Finance Ministry Chairs, Treasurers, Ministry Leaders, & Pastors.

  • Llewellyn Edmondson, Administrative Assistant

    Llewellyn Edmondson was born in Rocky Mount, NC, and has lived here most of her life. She moved to Greenville, NC, in 1974, following her marriage to Henry Cooper Edmondson, to complete her senior year of college. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from East Carolina University. Llewellyn taught for 27 years in the Career and Technical Education program, mainly the middle grades Career Exploration classes in Greenville City Schools, Nash County Schools and the Nash-Rocky Mount Public School System. Additionally, she worked for the Nash-Rocky Mount School System as the CTE Academy Program administrative assistant for five years. Following her retirement from education, she was hired as the part-time administrative assistant at First United Methodist Church in June 2011 and currently holds that position. Llewellyn has two daughters, Kelley Edmondson Tyndall (Chris) and Ashley Edmondson Van Liere (Daniel); and four grandchildren, Darcy Anne Tyndall, Ayden Lane Tyndall, Stella Reagan Van Liere and Henry Thatcher Van Liere. She is a member of Englewood United Methodist Church. Llewellyn enjoys traveling to the beach, outings with family and friends, and reading.

  • Sybil Ward, Office Assistant/Bookkeeper

    Sybil Ward was born in Rocky Mount, NC and has lived here the majority of her life. She graduated from Peace College and Wake Forest University, then continued her education at NC State University in accounting. She worked at several companies in Rocky Mount as an accountant before coming to work at FUMC. Her hobbies include traveling to the mountains and reading.

  • Cheryl Stanton, Preschool  Director

    Cheryl Stanton was born and raised in Nash County. She grew up in Nashville, North Carolina and currently resides in there with her husband. She went to Campbell University and has a Bachelors degree in elementary education and special education. She also has her National Certification in Special Education. She retired after 30 years of teaching, but continued to work part time with Nash-Rocky Mount Schools until taking the position as FUMC Preschool Director. She is married to Joe, Assistant Director of N.C. Emergency Management. They have two children, Laura and Allen, and three granddaughters.