Our Ministry Staff

  • Amanda Hollis

    Director of music ministries

    Amanda Hollis, a native of Abilene, TX, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Church Music from McMurry University, and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Hardin-Simmons University.  Amanda grew up in the Methodist church and has been involved in the musical life of the church and theater since childhood. From children’s church musicals to the professional stage, Amanda has many performance credits to her name. Amanda served as Music Minster for eight years at St. James United Methodist Church in Abilene, Texas before moving with her husband and daughter to Dallas in 2015. Amanda has served as a staff soprano with the Highland Park UMC choir for the past two years.  Amanda joins our team on January 3, 2017.

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  • Sungmoon lee

    director of children's ministries

    Sungmoon (聖文, which means “the sacred word, the Bible”) Lee is from Seoul, Korea. As the son of a Methodist pastor and a music teacher, Sungmoon grew up caring for children and playing music in the church. He played the Korean traditional percussions (Samulnori) for 8 years and taught children and youth at a community center. Sungmoon graduated from Methodist Theological University (MTU) in Seoul, Korea. During his time at MTU, Sungmoon served children, youth, and young adult ministries at several churches in Korea. He worked as a founding member of Chrysalis (Young adult version of Walk to Emmaus) in Seoul. His two-year mandatory military service in Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) allowed him to complete a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at E-hwa Woman’s University Medical Center in 2012.

    Sungmoon came to Dallas in 2013 to study at Perkins School of Theology, where he is pursuing his Master of Divinity degree; he will graduate this coming May. In the DFW area, Sungmoon has served in youth ministry at Immanuel Korean UMC and in children’s ministry at Northgate UMC where he completed his internship for seminary. Sungmoon is currently working as a Residential Community Chaplain at SMU, and living in Bonhoeffer House, an intentional Christian community serving homeless friends around the neighborhood. He is pursuing ordination as an Elder in North Texas Conference. Sungmoon loves coffee, traveling, taking pictures, and playing the guitar.

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  • marcela eckenroth

    child care coordinator

    Marcela Eckenroth was born and raised in the Dallas area. Marcela attended Mesquite High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. Marcela has seven years of experience working with children in a variety of settings. She currently teaches Pre-Kindergarten at Mi Escuelita Preschool at KIPP Truth Elementary in South Oak Cliff, where she instructs a classroom of 25 students in all subjects, including literacy, math, KinderMusik and emotional and self-help skills. Marcela and her husband John were married at Arapaho UMC in 2014. Marcela joins our team on January 3, 2017.

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    Senior pastor

    Blair is from Norman, Oklahoma.  Growing up, she spent a lot of time in the principal's office (waiting for her mother to finish her work for the day).  Blair graduated from the University of Kansas with her B.A. in English and Communications Studies.  After graduation, Blair became a teacher through Teach for America.  She taught sixth and seventh grade English and coached girls basketball in inner city Houston.  Blair attended Perkins School of Theology for her Master of Divinity degree.  During her time at Perkins, Blair worked at University Park United Methodist Church and interned at Greenland Hills United Methodist Church.  She also completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Children's Medical Center.  Blair was appointed as Senior Pastor of Frontenac United Methodist Church in Frontenac, Kansas, where she served for two years before being appointed to First United Methodist Church of Dallas as Associate Minister of Discipleship in 2014.  In January 2016, she was named Executive Associate Minister.  Blair became our Senior Minister in July 2016.  Blair serves on the boards of Project Transformation and the Wesley Foundation at the University of Texas at Dallas.  She shares her poems and prayers at www.awemoments.wordpress.com.  

    Blair is married to Adam White, who is commissioned as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.  Adam serves at Grace United Methodist Church and with the Missional Wisdom Foundation. 

    Email Blair


    Administrative assistant

    Judy handles the administrative needs of our church from bulk mailings and maintaining data base records to introducing potential members to our church home. This career is an answer to her prayers to be serving God's children through the various activities, meetings and communication that this position allows.

    Favorite hobbies include walking, biking and cleaning. Her older brother lives in Lewisville and a younger sister in Arkansas. Family is most important in her life and that includes her Arapaho UMC family. 

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  • Brittany burrows

    Director/Campus Minister, Synergy @ UTD

    Brittany was born and raised in Dallas, and is a graduate of the University of North Texas and SMU Perkins School of Theology. She is excited to serve in ministry with the awesome students at the University of Texas at Dallas! Her experience includes social justice advocacy, youth ministry, grassroots organizing, and campus ministry at the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University. She has also served as a missionary to the Democratic Republic of Congo through the General Board of Global Ministries, and has traveled throughout central and southern Africa through her work as a project coordinator and mission team leader. Brittany is passionate about social justice and working with the marginalized. She loves kayaking, playing guitar and djembe, and traveling.

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    Director of Youth Ministries

    David (on the right) was born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in the Air Force.  He lived in five states and Japan.  When his father retired from the military, the family moved to Longview, Texas, which he considers his hometown.  David majored in civil engineering at Texas A&M University, where he met his wife Linda.  They married and moved to Dallas, where David pursued a career as an engineer and a project manager.  David felt a call to ministry during his eight years of working as a youth ministry volunteer at Christ UMC in Plano.  He quit his job and enrolled at Perkins School of Theology, graduating in May 2015 with a Master of Theological Studies.  He is pursuing ordination as a Deacon. 

    David and Linda have twin daughters, Becca and Kate, and a cocker spaniel, Watson.  Linda is a manufacturing manager for Raytheon in McKinney.  Becca and Kate are students at Oklahoma State University, where they enjoy the occasional photobomb.  Watson chases rabbits in the backyard.  

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  • Thiago Nascimento

    Piano & organist

    Thiago Nascimento is a pianist praised for his innate musicality, impressive technique, and ability to improvise in a variety of styles. Born in Arlington, he was raised in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. His unique talents span classical piano technique, expressive musicality, "stride" jazz piano, improvisation, composition, and an amazing ability to seemlessly combine any melodic fragment into any other piece of music.

    Belying his fluency of pianistic gymnastics, which might lead one to believe his first toy as a child was a grand piano, Mr. Nascimento in fact only began teaching himself how to play piano at the age of thirteen and began studying classical piano with a teacher at fifteen, an age when most child prodigies are already entering their mid-life crisis. Nonetheless, after a year of study, he was accepted into Dallas' Booker T. Washington arts magnet high school.

    He began his college studies at Peabody Conservatory and continued them at Southern Methodist University, where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music degree as a student of Alessio Bax.

    Thiago currently works as a professional pianist in the DFW area, equally at home in the realms of classical, jazz, ballet, and musical theater.

  • sharon groves

    day school director

    Sharon grew up in Dallas and earned a B.A from Southern Methodist University. She has been the director of the Day School and Mother's Day Out since 1989 after teaching in the school for 8 years.

    In addition to being a part of the church staff, Sharon has been a member of AUMC for 30+ years, active in her adult Sunday School class and various volunteer positions.

    Email Sharon