Tom Rand
Pastor
If bald is beautiful and thick glasses are a sign of intelligence, Pastor Tom (PT) is the whole package. He thinks he’s funny and, well, sometimes he’s right. He’s a Texas Aggie who grew up in Arkansas, then married an Ohio girl. His wife, Elizabeth, is also a pastor serving at Monroe St. UMC in Toledo. Their children never had a chance, growing up with two preacher parents, yet have somehow learned to thrive in spite of them. PT loves hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, walking at Wildwood, watching the wind and listening to babbling brooks. And please don’t ask him whether he prefers Ohio State or Michigan; he roots for Northwestern. Enough said.
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Julie Carter
Director of Ministries
Teacher. Servant. Mom. Friend. Mentor---Julie Carter wears all of these hats at Sylvania First...usually at the same time. One of the first faces you will see upon entering the building, Julie’s is always covered with an inviting smile and a word of welcome. For years she has organized and taught children’s Sunday experiences, bringing children and families closer to God. She also brings generations together with her creative ideas and genuine warmth and caring for all. It doesn’t matter if you are 2 or 102 (or anywhere in-between), Julie will love you, learn from you, and know your name. She may be “crazy” Miss Julie…but all around her would agree that her message of love, faith, and joy shines through even during her “squirrel” moments.
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Lynn Arvay
Director of Youth
The first thing you notice about Lynn is her devotion to Mountain Dew. Well, maybe it’s third, right behind her devotion to God and to running the Sylvania First Youth Group. Whether she’s spending her Saturday night at the church corralling a bunch of Dr. Pepper and pizza filled teenagers, or driving a fifteen passenger van on a week-long mission trip in the summer, she does it all with a smile on her face and a can of Mountain Dew in her hand. Lynn is known for her sarcasm, fun-filled ideas and, most importantly, her warm hugs.
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Jamie Partin-Miller
Staff Support Specialist
Coming to Sylvania First with a background in photography and graphic design, Jamie’s work is featured in church bulletins, Powerpoints and the website. Jamie believes the key to good chocolate chip cookies is extra chocolate chips, and if you start the day with a good cup of coffee then everything will be alright. Being a devoted Ravens fan, you’ll catch her in purple on any given day, but never black and yellow. Jamie’s favorite quote is, “Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”— Unknown
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Franklin Brewer
Director of Music
Affectionately known as “The Professor,” Franklin’s passion is music. It’s a good thing too because he doesn’t have much time for anything else. In addition to directing music for the Traditional and Contemporary services, he also teaches High School Choir in TPS, and serves as an Adjunct Voice Professor at both University of Toledo and Owens Community College. When he’s not teaching future musicians, he’s serenading his castle of Queens, wife Andrea, daughter Lily, and new baby Reina. He has self-diagnosed “musical attention deficit disorder” and will randomly start singing in the middle of a conversation. Franklin believes that real life should have a soundtrack like the movies…that’s why he is surgically attached to his signature “Air Pods.” He also thinks it makes him look like a secret agent…and what better cover than a music teacher.
Grace Mauk
Accompanist
Grace Mauk- Accompanist, Gourmet, Coffee Enthusiast Grace has travelled the world playing music, trying new foods, and enjoying delicious coffee. In addition to playing at Sylvania First, she plays with the Blue Water Kings, a wedding band, in Detroit and Cleveland, accompanies for several choirs at UT, and records at her home studio. She enjoys playing and listening to many different genres of music, especially singer-songwriter and classic rock. She studied classical piano throughout her life, but The Beatles will always be her first love.
Rick Rymers
Sound Technician
Rick was invited to the church in 2013 to run the soundboard mix for the praise band. He’s never left. Rick’s passion for tech and sound equipment started when his high school son hired him to provide tech support for band performances outside of school. From late nights to Sunday mornings, Rick switched shifts and now helps amp up the sound of worship.