Winterville United Methodist Church

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

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Meet Our Staff

altRev. John Merk, Pastor






altKristy Smith, Administrative Assistant

Pastor John is the 4th pastor that I have had the privilege to work with here at WUMC as I have been here for almost 15 years and look forward to the next 15 years.

On Feb. 9, 2016 my life changed dramatically as my first grand child was born.  What an amazing gift the Smith family received. I've been married for 35 years and have 2 grown sons and 1 precious grandson. 

!!!Then God blessed us with a grandDAUGHTER, on May 5, 2019!!!!                                                           God is good!!

Love my WUMC family.



altTom Bouknecht, Music Director
Tom Bouknecht was born April 27th, 1949 in Troy, Ohio. At the age of 3, his family moved to St. Petersburg, FL, where he was raised. He graduated from Boca Ciega High School in 1967. He earned his BME degree from St. Leo College in Florida in 1971, with a double major in voice and piano.

In 1971, after graduation, he enlisted in the US Army and was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield/Fort Stewart with the 80th Army and then the 94th Infantry Division Band.

After he was discharged, he took a job with the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company in Athens, Georgia and worked with Consolidate Freight and Watkins Moto Lines until starting with the US Postal Service in 1987. He retired as postmaster in Stephens, GA.

He has served as Music Director at several United Methodist Churches; Grace in Savannah, 1st in Watkinsville and now, here at Winterville.

Tom and his wife Angela live in Lexington and have 5 grown children and 6 grandchildren.


altBrenda Keen, Nursery Director

I was hired as Nursery Director in October 2016.  In March 2018 I retired as business manager of the literary journal The Georgia Review after 29 years on the staff of the University of Georgia.  I am present for both the 8:45 and 11:00 services, and am assisted by church volunteers on a rotating basis.  Time in the nursery is free play only, within the structure of respect, kindness, and acceptance of children's individuality.  I am cognizant of developmental differences in ages (for example, a four-year-old can share better than a two-year-old) and try to guide children into growth as loving friends by example. Children give me the opportunity to learn and grow, for which I am grateful.