Staff

Rev. Dr. Alex Tracy

Lead Pastor
Rev. Dr. Alex Tracy is Silver Spring UMC’s new pastor beginning September 1, 2020. He is excited to be coming to Silver Spring after a decade of experience serving congregations in the South Georgia Annual Conference and serving as an interim and supply pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in philosophy and a Master of Divinity from Emory University as well as a Ph.D. in practical theology from Vanderbilt University. He is particularly passionate about preaching and the sacraments and the way that these practices ground the church’s work of love, mercy, and justice in the world. His favorite passages of Scripture are Psalm 146 and Revelation 21:1-10.
In his spare time, Alex enjoys tabletop gaming (especially Magic: the Gathering), reading, and listening to music and podcasts.
Alex, his wife Kelly, and their family are looking forward to getting to know the SSUMC family and being part of the community!
He can be reached at atracy@silverspringumcp.org.

Rev. Michele Johns

Pastor of Visitation and Reconciling Ministries

Rev. Michele is in her seventh year of ministry with the people of Silver Spring UMC as the Pastor of Visitation and Reconciling Ministries.  In addition to her ministry with SSUMC, Rev. Michele has served as a hospice social worker, bereavement counselor and chaplain as well as a hospital chaplain.  She is passionate about connecting folks to their faith, to journeying with folks as they reconcile parts of themselves that have been harmed by others with the abundant love and grace of God that does no harm.

 

Rev. Michele is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama and earned her Masters of Arts from Claremont School of Theology in California and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Illinois.  She is in the process of completing requirements to be a licensed clinical social worker.

Rev. Michele served as a young adult missionary with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries first in the Philippines and then in Montevideo, Uruguay and in Los Angeles, California.  Through her missionary service, Rev. Michele learned Spanish which she continues to use in ministry and secular settings.

Rev. Michele can be reached at mjohns@silverspringumcp.org

Marie Matthews

Director of Children and Family Ministry

Marie started as Director of Christian Education since May 2001 where she led a revitalization of christian education programs. Our programs grew so much under her leadership that in 2018, her role shifted slightly to Director of Children and Family Ministries so that she could focus exclusively on continuing to create and lead innovative programming for the many children and families with young children engaged at SSUMC. She has over twenty-five years of experience in Christian education and youth ministry. In addition to her work at the church, Marie also serves as the Co-President of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of Christian Engaged in Faith Formation of the United Methodist Church, a member association for persons in the United Methodist Church who have responsibility for Christian education and youth ministry. Marie has been a certified lay speaker and she taught the first Youth Lay Speaking Class for the Washington West District. She has also served as a member of the Curriculum Development team for Cokesbury at the United Methodist Publishing House.

Marie is passionate about the spiritual growth and Christian development of children and youth, stating that “children and youth are my priority.” Marie’s responsibilities also include her help in leading worship, serving in diverse roles as liturgist, scripture reader, assisting with baptisms and communion, and children’s sermons every Sunday. She also loves visiting the sick and shut-in. Marie has also been a mentor, Girl Scout Leader, Vice-President and President of the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association).

Contact Marie at mmatthews@silverspringumc.org.

Jennifer Kidwell

Director of Discipleship and Youth

Jen is thrilled to be in ministry with the Silver Spring UMC community. She believes that Christ’s light in the world is revealed in wonderful ways when people connect their passions to the ministries of the church. She loves working with the young people of SSUMC, to support them in their own ministry leadership, and in their exploration of the relationships between God, themselves, and the world.

Jen graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and has a J.D. from Emory Law School and a Masters of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. She has previously volunteered in ministry while working as a Child Advocacy attorney for Maryland Legal Aid. Jen and her spouse Jonathan are parents to two young kids and are love re-discovering the world through their eyes.

Jen can be reached at jkidwell@silverspringumc.org.

Mary Ann Willow

Director of Music

Mary Ann Willow serves as Director of Music/Organist, director of the Chancel and Festival Choirs, oversees all church music groups, and plans the church’s special concerts, many of which are collaborations with other choirs, instrumentalists and guest conductors.

Mary Ann served us first as Director of Music/Organist at Marvin Memorial UMC since 1984, then as Director of Music/Organist for the Cooperative Parishes (Woodside UMC and Marvin Memorial UMC). Prior to that, she served various Washington DC area and Minneapolis churches and music ensembles. She is passionate about church music and working with our choirs, soloists and instrumentalists, as well as performing with chamber ensembles as pianist and harpsichordist.

A native Minnesotan, Mary Ann holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and Georgetown University. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists (currently holding the position of Dean of the Potomac Chapter), the American Choral Directors Association and the Organ Historical Society. While active as a professional musician since the age of 15, she also pursued a successful career in finance. Mary Ann adores any opportunity to be with her two sons and daughter-in-law who live in Wisconsin and New York.

Mary Ann can be reached at mawillow@silverspringumc.org.

Rev. Dr. Katherine Brown

Teaching Deacon

Rev. Dr. Katherine Brown is biblical scholar and an ordained deacon.  Katherine‘s calling to connect Word and World is expressed in her passion for in-depth study of the Bible and her joy in wakening and deepening others’ passion for the same.  At SSUMC, Katherine leads adult Bible studies, preaches periodically, and supports formation for children and youth through VBS and confirmation.  She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, her M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary, and her Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America, where her research focused on the Hebrew Prophets.  She is and has been adjunct faculty at several local universities and Wesley Theological Seminary.

Rev. Katherine can be reached at kbrown@silverspringumc.org.

Kijana Mayfield

Office and Communications Manager

Kijana joined Silver Spring UMC in 2017 only to be called on to help support our office right away! Thanks to her help, we weathered multiple transitions and are thrilled to have her here as full time staff. Kijana’s background is in IT and she is helping us to manage our systems and our space in addition to managing the office.

Kijana can be reached at admin@silverspringumcp.org.