Stephen Handy – Pastor
Stephen Handy is currently the lead pastor at McKendree UMC. Not only is he our pastor, he is visionary strategist and partnership collaborator of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. He is a passionate communicator that desires to speak God’s truth so people of different cultures, experiences, neighborhoods, and all of God’s unique diversity can be reconciled through the unity in Jesus Christ.
Stephen is a strong advocate of restorative justice, serving the poor and needy, and participating in life groups for spiritual formation and accountability. He is a firm believer in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle by honoring God with our bodies through our thoughts, words, and actions. And ultimately Stephen loves spending time with God, family and friends by imitating JESUS CHRIST and making a lasting difference in our community and the world.
He loves to check out the latest movies, read the latest leadership books, learn from children and youth and hang out in the broader downtown community where Jesus Christ is creating a movement of transformation and a culture of discipleship.
Stephen and Shelley are married with three children and live in the Greater Nashville area. His go-to scripture is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me.”
Eric Coomer – Modern Worship Director
The child of a retired Methodist minister, Eric has been our Director of Modern Worship for 4 years. Eric has been leading worship since he was a teen and writing songs since he was just twelve.
A native of Kentucky, Eric resides in Old Hickory with his wife, Daphne and sons, Jackson and Evan. Eric recently released a 5 song EP called “The Vast Configuration of Things.”
You can learn more about Eric at ericcoomer.com.
Ezra Howe – Director of Children, Youth and Tweens
I majored in religion studies in my undergraduate degree at Trevecca Nazarene University. I graduated at 2016 and went back to Florida (home) for two years. In 2018 I came back to Nashville and enrolled in Vanderbilt Divinity School for their master of theological studies. I have been working in the youth and children departments since 2008 at the First Church of Nazarene Bradenton, Florida. Then I worked almost two years at Sarasota YMCA as a counselor and an assistant manager to a school site. Now I have the honor to serve at McKendree UMC while furthering my theological education.
I believe in the world that God created in diversity. My hope is to provide the next generation a wholistic understating of Christian faith and practice and in conversation with all the messiness of the world. God’s will indeed is good, and surely we are responsible to do the rest.
Cindy Ligon – DayCare Director
McKendree UMC Church is proud to operate a high quality, three-star day care program in our Christian Life Center. Cindy helped to open the center in 1990 and continues to direct this remarkable program. She oversees an outstanding 20-member professional staff who care for 86 children, infants through five year olds. She says McKendree is “a supportive and loving community that ensures ‘best practice’ for children, families, and staff.”
Cindy holds a B.S. in Child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee and has
previously directed three other early childhood programs. She serves on the board of the Tennessee Association for Children’s Early Education, is a former president of the Nashville Area Association for the Education of Young Children, and is active in the early childhood education community as a trainer, editor, and mentor.
Married to Jay Ligon, they are the parents of two grown sons, Peyton and Wes (and a 4-legged canine son, “Mr. Pants”). Cindy enjoys spending time with her family, reading suspense thrillers, traveling, and creating art.