Rev. Dr. Alex Tracy – Lead Pastor
I’ve served as the Lead Pastor here at Silver Spring UMC since September 2020. My journey in ministry has brought me to the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference from South Georgia, where I served churches in Savannah, Lake Park, and Tybee Island over the course of ten years. Since moving to this area, I’ve also served as an interim and pulpit supply pastor for congregations in Pasadena and Annapolis. I studied philosophy and Latin at Emory University where I also received my Master of Divinity. I hold a Ph.D. in practical theology from Vanderbilt University.
My wife Kelly and I met online back when meeting your spouse on through online dating was still something of a novelty, and today we are the parents of two wonderful sons.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing tabletop games (especially Magic: the Gathering), playing vintage video games from the 16-bit era, and spending time with my family.
My favorite passage of Scripture is Psalm 146, and my favorite contemporary theologian is Rowan Williams.
To see my full CV, please click here.
Rev. Michele Johns – Pastor for Visitation and Reconciling Ministries
I am grateful to be in my 8th year serving with the people of Silver Spring UMC as the Pastor of Visitation and Reconciling Ministries.
My areas of ministry include pastoral presence when congregants are sick, in the hospital, facing other physical, mental, or spiritual challenges as well as when congregants are celebrating the birth or the adoption or other entrance of child into their family or getting married.
I also participate in other areas of ministry including Sunday worship services, memorial services and funerals, baptisms, and weddings.
The “Reconciling Ministries” part of my ministry is working with those who identify on the gender and sexual orientation spectrums, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary. While our denomination continues to debate over the full inclusion of persons who identify as LGBTQ+, Silver Spring UMC is committed to the full embrace of LGBTQ+ persons in all areas of service in the church.
In addition to my seminary training, I am also a licensed social worker.
Rev. John Monroe – Pastor for Youth and Young Adult Ministries
John A. Monroe has been in ministry for ten years. He attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL where he received his BA in Philosophy and Religion with a minor in Youth Ministry (2014) and Wake Forest University School of Divinity where he received his Master of Divinity (2019). He has served as assistant to the youth pastor at his home church Bethel Community Baptist Church in his native St. Petersburg, Fl. He has also served a yearlong internship with the Wake Forest University Chaplain’s Office. He was ordained in 2020 by the National Baptist Convention USA. Inc. and completed a hospital chaplain internship (2017) and residency (2020).
Bro. Monroe is familiar with the Methodist doctrine primarily through the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). He has also attended several services at Ardmore United Methodist Church and Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston, Salem during a period of discernment concerning ordination. He also has preached at several United Methodist Churches during his tenure in seminary. Two phrases help make up Bro. Monroe’s ministry take, De omnibus Dubitandum which means to “doubt everything” and Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam which translates to “Do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand.” To me, both mean to seek out wisdom and understanding, to challenge the status quo and to seek to grow. That is why I always try to get people in classes and in sermons to wrestle with the hard questions like Jacob on the banks of the Jabez river with the divine being. This is also how I approach unconditional love as Jesus teaches, that we must wrestle with it.
Outside of ministry he likes political dramas and hopes to take advantage of the outdoor beauty surrounding Maryland and Virginia. His goals are to continue to grow in his education, professionally and personally and become a board-certified chaplain as well as to eventually get a dog.