Dr. Tom Smith

Senior Pastor

Rev. Nancy Tinnell

Associate Pastor

Kristen Schussler

Director of Music & Worship

Worship Ministry

I came to Middletown UMC as Sr. Pastor in June of 2012. The path that brought me here took me across Kentucky, into Georgia, then back to KY. I have pastored churches of all sizes, every one of them filled with people who inspired, challenged and helped transform me into the person I am today.  I have been truly blessed.


Cathy and I married in 1979. We have two sons, Adam and Aaron. Aaron and his wife, Amanda, are the parents of our grandchildren. Family is very important to me and I love to spend time with all of them.

I attended Kentucky Wesleyan College where I received my Bachelor of Arts degree.  I graduated there in 1986.  From there I moved to Georgia where I attended Emory University, Candler School of Theology for my Masters of Divinity.  It was in 2000 that I decided, for some crazy reason, that I should get a doctorate degree. In 2003 I received my Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.

I love to travel. I have made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land several times and love to take people there for the first time. My travels have included outrageous things like going fishing in the Amazon and traveling to Alaska in February to see the Northern Lights. 

I also like to play golf, which I do quite badly.  Cathy and I like to go to movies. I guess my two favorite movies would be Caddyshack and The Blues Brothers.

My favorite book of the Bible is the Gospel of Luke. My favorite theologian would be Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Currently I serve as Associate Pastor for Discipleship (missions, spiritual formation, and adult education).  I came to Middletown UMC in 1980 as the Minister of Music, but over time my ministry began to change from music/worship to spiritual formation ministries. The pivotal point was my 1997 ordination as a permanent deacon.  The Order of Deacons is a second clergy order in our denomination.

I earned B.M.ED. and M.M. degrees at the University of Louisville and did some theological study through United Theological Seminary.   Though I once sang praise, I now am privileged to speak my praise of Jesus Christ through teaching and preaching.  Being in ministry blesses me daily.

L.G. and I were married in 1983 right here at MUMC Our twin sons, Geoff and Jordan, were born in 1985 and baptized in this church.  L.G.’s daughter Claire and her husband Rob Warford were married here in 1996, and our son Jordan and his wife Jessica were married here in 2013. 

Listening to music of all kinds, film, and books are my favorite hobbies.  When there is time, I read and write poetry.  In recent years, I have developed an interest in the spiritual application of visual art.  It also has been a joy to plan several art and faith events, combining secular music and spiritually-themed readings  for public presentation.

Vernon Cherrix


After receiving my Bachelor of Music Degree from Peabody Conservatory of the John Hopkins University, I served in the US Army.  Following my military service, I continued my studies at the School of Church Music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary earning a Performance Certificate in Piano Performance & a Masters Degree with a double major in piano performance & church music.

Returning from teaching in Asia, I was accepted in Doctor of Musical Arts at the Cleveland Institute of music on a full tuition scholarship.  After a year there, I accepted a teaching position at Bluefield College, where Nancy Chung Chien, my student when I was teaching in Taiwan, & I were married.

We moved to Virginia Beach several years later where I acquired a Masters Degree in Teaching/Administration from Regent University.  Our sons, Josiah Lin & Simeon Lee were born there.  We returned to live & teach in Taiwan for several years, only to return to Louisville KY where I completed my doctoral studies at SBTS & taught in the music school of the University of Louisville, retiring in 2012.

It continues to be my pleasure to serve as pianist at Middletown, where I continue to have the support of both the choir & the congregation.

Nolan Hodge

Director of Communications

Growing up in a musical family, I have been influenced by hearing and taking part in music all my life.  My Mother & Dad produced a weekly radio program on station WIEL in Elizabethtown, KY, called “Chapel of the Air” , on which my Mom and Dad sang gospel hymns as Mom accompanied on the organ, & Dad offered an inspiring word.  When I was  in elementary school, they had me read the local birth announcements.  I was involved in band for eight years, a ladies’ octet, a vocal and instrumental ensemble and was organist at my church at age 14-17.

IUpon completion of my Diploma in Nursing, and State Board Exams, I worked as a Registered Nurse in the Coronary-Intensive Care Unit at KY Baptist Hospital until 1977 when I was inspired to return to school to study music.  I was accepted with a music scholarship to Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY, and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music; Organ Performance.  While at GC, I was privileged to collaborate with a fellow student in writing the original score for a musical theatre production, “RAZZAMATAZZ” , for which he wrote book & lyrics.  It was performed two nights on campus for both students & faculty, to rave revues.  The head of the Theatre Department commented that it could play “off-Broadway”!

After GC, I returned to Nursing full-time, going to Baptist Hospital East in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit while working free-lance as organist in many Churches in Louisville, and southern Indiana.  I continued to study organ at UofL with Melvin Dickinson, & Ron Boud for piano.  Since then, I have taken part-time positions at several churches in the Louisville area, and came to MUMC in the fall of 2008 at the request of Dan Benjamin, then organist, to “help out in Handbell choir just for Christmas!” Well, I have been here ever since.  I began playing keyboard for the Praise Team, joined the  Worship Choir.  I feel that God put me in the right place at the right time to step into the organist position when it became vacant in November, 2010.

I hope I can always use the love of music God has given me.  I feel most fulfilled when I am making “a joyful noise” to the Lord.  I am so thankful for my MUMC family, and am blessed to be a part of such a caring and encouraging fellowship.  As J.S. Bach wrote at the end of each composition: “SOLI DEO GLORIA”, “To God alone be the Glory.”

Rebecca Decker


Jennie Pepoon

Business Administrator

A long time ago, in a county not so far away…..begins my story.  My first home was in Centerfield, Kentucky in Oldham County.  My parents were serving at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church.  From the beginning, the church has played a significant role in my life.

As the PK (Pastor’s Kid), I was often asked to sit in committees and councils as the youth representative.  So from early on, I learned about the United Methodist Church from the inside-knowledge that later would be a blessing in my career.

It didn’t take long in college for me to figure out that the medical field and I were not going to get along well.  So, I switched to business and found a better fit.  Just as I began to contribute to the working world, I met my future husband, Dale, at a church potluck dinner.  (I told you the church had always been significant in my life!)  We just celebrated 30 years!!

Following graduation, Dale took an IT position in Florida where eventually our son, Josh, was born.  Our next move took us to Indiana and I began working for our church as their financial secretary.  That is when I discovered my ‘perfect fit’!  All of the church knowledge that I had acquired through the years was an asset every day.  In addition to Indiana, I have served churches in Ohio and Virginia. 

Throughout my career, I have personally witnessed God’s faithfulness.  When I was offered the position at Middletown UMC, it was an answer to prayer.   We are once again experiencing Kentucky and discovering all that the Louisville area has to offer – especially the food!!  We are also able to spend time with my parents and our son in the Greater Cincinnati area.

It is exciting to see God reaching the community through this congregation.   I look forward to experiencing the great things God has planned for us.

Rev. Scott Woodburn

Associate Pastor (Outreach)

I answered the call to full-time vocational ministry when I was 18 years old. I was born and raised in Sacramento…. Kentucky, a small town of 536 people, located 35 minutes south of Owensboro Kentucky.


I was skeptical about living in such a big city (coming from such a small town) but I’ve grown to love the city of Louisville.


I love meeting new people, watching sports (I bleed Blue), playing Golf, Corn-Hole, and Ping Pong. I love to watch movies, read, and play video games.


Follow me on Twitter @scoots208

Rev. Lee Twombly

Pastor of Congregational Care

Please call him Lee, if you call him Arthur or Art he says he will think you are either a bill collector or trying to sell him something.  Lee is a 1968 graduate of Speed Scientific School at the University of Louisville. Upon graduation he was commissioned in the United State Navy where he says they were so ashamed of him they kept him under water.  After completing Officer’s Submarine School, he served aboard two submarines and taught at Submarine School, New London, CT.  Leaving active service in 1973, he accepted a reserve commission, served two tours as a Commanding Officer and completed military service as the Mobilization Officer for a Naval Reserve Readiness Command.  He retired in 1994 with the rank of Captain (O6).

While still somewhat active as an engineering consultant, he “officially” retired in 2008 from his engineering career in civilian life as Executive Director of the National Surface Treatment Center.  Lee made his personal commitment to Christ in 1958 at Aldersgate UMC in Southwestern Jefferson County.  He marks the single-most formative experience of his Christian life prior to ordination as his training and service as a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader.

Lee responded to the call to ordained ministry in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Licensed for Pastoral Ministry in 2006, he has served two Methodist congregations as Associate Pastor.  In 2012 he was ordained an Elder in the Free Methodist Church where he holds an Ecclesiastical Endorsement as an Emergency Services Chaplain.  He has served as a Fire and Police Chaplain for the City of Shively since 2003.

Lee and his wife Diane will celebrate 47 years of marriage this June.  Diane is the organist at Garr’s Lane UMC (formerly Parkview) where she has held that position for over forty years.  Their son Matt, daughter-in-law Angie and grandson Nathan regularly attend the Ignite service here at Middletown UMC.

I graduated from the University of Louisville (Go Cards!) with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology.  Later, I attended Campbellsville University where I received my Associates Degree in Child Development.  

I have been married to Chris for 17 years and we have three awesome children; Kylie, Cassidy and Alex.  I am involved with my children's sports and enjoy watching them play field hockey, lacrosse and soccer.  I also love and adore my dog Barkley!

I have taught preschool for over nine years with the last two as a teacher here at MUMP.  I knew after my first day of teaching here, that this is where I am supposed to be.  I believe that God brought me here because he has a bigger plan for me. 

Music has always been my best expressive context.  I’ve been playing piano since I was six and participated in worship groups from high school on.  I’ve had the opportunity to lead and learn from several worship teams over the years, most notably five years at High Street UMC in Muncie, IN.  I am thrilled to be have found another dynamic and loving congregation in Middletown UMC to share and grow with and look forward to where God is leading us every week!

My passion beyond music is for connecting with and understanding people.  I graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, IN in 2007 with a bachelors in Psychology, specializing in Developmental Studies and Counseling.  My hope is to always be a reflection of Christ’s love to the world and to provide an outlet for others who want to serve and develop their musical talents to find their own expression of worship.


When I’m not frolicking about the Connection Center, I spend my days wrangling my two boys: Kaemon and Callister, alongside my wife Desire’.  Much of our time is spent on playgrounds or watching cartoons, but when I can, I love to read, grill, fence, watch movies, and play all manner of games. 

Eric Wuertemberger

Ignite Worship Leader

Eric Wuertemberger

I have been married for 44 years this May 10th to a wonderful husband named Bob and have two beautiful daughters.  Amy is living in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a naturalist in charge of Woodland Mound Park in the Anderson area that overlooks the Ohio River. One of her jobs is teaching children all about the wonders of nature. She graduated Cum Laude from Florida Southern University with a double major in Biology and Criminology. Carrie is the Lead Two’s Teacher at the Child Development Center. She attended Wilmington College and Criminology was her major, but she discovered that she loves teaching young children.  Carrie also assist me in the office in the afternoons. She is the mother of my three grandchildren, Peyton, Camryn and Rylee. All three have attended the CDC.  Rylee is in the Three’s class.  I love children, nature, books, music, cooking and being with my family.

My objectives personally are the education of children in a Christian environment and teaching in ways to prepare children for the future. I have always known God wanted me to teach children in a Christian setting. He has always opened doors for me and my family. When I was looking for a job in the Louisville area, I checked the local Sunday paper ads and the first ad that I seen was the one for the Middletown United Methodist Child Development Center for Lead Teacher in the Pre-K room. When I called the director, Debbie Snow, informed me that she was relocating to another city in Indiana the very same time that I was relocating here to Louisville!

For 14 wonderful years I have been the Director of the CDC and consider our school to be a ministry to my church, Middletown United Methodist.  The CDC is providing a loving Christian foundation the children’s future lives are built upon.

My dream is to live happily ever after with my family and friends near me and to ALWAYS be close to God (hopefully in Naples, Florida)

Desire’ Wuertemberger

Associate Director of Children’s Ministries

Children’s Ministry

Lynelle Tarleton

Administration Assistant

Serving Ministries

After ten years spent in the heart of Pittsburgh, I’ve recently packed my bags to land here in Kentucky!  After an eight and a half year stint in Logistics/Supply Chain Management, I prayed and prayed for God to open a new door in my life; something I could love, a place that would feel like home, filled with people I could call family.  (I wasn’t asking for much, right?)  When I walked through the doors here at MUMC, I knew this is where I wanted to be.  A place filled with laughter, strong people of faith, a congregation full of authentic love and friendship, and so much more than I could have possibly thought to ask for. 


Being a Pittsburgh native, I was born to bleed Black and Gold!  I absolutely love hockey and going to baseball games (purely for the nostalgia and eating hotdogs and ice-cream with jimmies).  And while before I was allowed to enter the state of Kentucky I had to declare my allegiance to the UK Wildcats, you will, I’m sure, be very sad to learn to that 1.) I had my fingers crossed, and 2) I am a UNC Tar Heels fan.  If I’m not sporting Black and Gold, it’s Carolina Blue. Don’t worry though, we will come together in mutual rivalry against Duke!


I live to be outside.  I enjoy hiking, running, kayaking, gardening, you name it.  I am also a huge nerd and spend a lot of time with my nose in a book, far away in another land.  My life goal is to have a library like Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”.  I have a deep love of music!  Whether singing, playing, teaching, or simply listening, music is, at the very core, who I am.  I am also an avid crafter.  I will have to admit that I don’t sit still very well and the creative world is appealing in that the imagination is endless.


Stop in any time to visit me and share your life stories, books you’ve read, crafts you’ve made, adventures you’ve taken.  I look forward to getting to know the faithful people of MUMC and building great relationships!

Erin Sigmund

Director of Youth Ministries

Youth Ministry

I’m not into Christian cliches and I don’t plan on dumbing Christianity down. On the contrary, I craft sacred spaces where young people and their families encounter the living God in the midst of their reality and circumstance.  I engage the Holy Spirit and latch onto teachable moments in the midst of the ordinary.  I’m not afraid to admit that being a follower of Jesus means accepting the radical.  For me, accepting the radical means saying yes to cultivating leaders of all ages and skill sets, growing ministry to simply give it away, and settling into grace rather than perfection.

I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, although pieces of my heart now reside in Wilmore, KY; Cincinnati, OH; Lakeland, FL; and Middletown, KY.  In May, I graduated from Asbury University with a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry with a minor in Worship Arts.  I have an (unhealthy) obsession with blue raspberry slurpees, plain pizza, and mac n cheese.  I didn’t play sports growing up, but I did choreograph musicals and sing opera.  I’ve been compared more than once to Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but I promise that I don’t brush my hair with a dinglehopper (fork).

I challenge everyone to memorize Ephesians 2:10.
“For you are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus, to do the things He planned for you long ago.”

Mona Walker

Director of Children’s Ministries

Children’s Ministry

God called me to serve in spiritual formation in the local church almost 34 years ago, however, God called me to lead, teach, and love children long before then!  Children are a joy and a blessing and I love to help them learn and grow in their faith. 

I am an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and have served churches in Iowa, Illinois, and Tennessee.  I received my Master of Christian Education degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.  My BA is in elementary education.

My husband, Ken, and I met at Wesley Foundation at the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and were married in 1979.  We have two grown daughters.  Melissa, and her husband, Matt, live in western Washington State and have a six-year-old daughter, Madelyn, and a three-month-old son, Marcus.  Kimberly and her husband, Joe, live south of Chicago with their cat, Elphie Lawrence.  Ken and I currently have two cats, Penuche and Oreo.

I was born and raised on a farm in Iowa.  I like college football (Go, Hawkeyes!) and the Chicago Cubs (This IS the year!).  Ken and I enjoy exploring new places together, reading, spending time with our family, cooking, and playing card and board games.  Ken has degrees in graphic arts and elementary education.  He is currently a care provider for elderly persons so they may stay in their homes.

My favorite Scriptures are Philippians 4:4-7 and John 14.  It fills my heart and is comforting to know I may take anything to the Lord and that He is making sure I have a home with Him someday.

I look forward to serving alongside you at MUMC!

Creativity and imagination have always been a part of who I am. They continue to motivate me as I work on various media-related projects.

I hail from the Chicagoland area, but I have spent time in Kentucky during my years at Asbury University. I studied film and television production, along with Christian ministry. I am a big film enthusiast, but I also enjoy making music, sketching, and graphic design.

I am thankful to be here at MUMC and for the opportunity to use creative mediums and artistic expression to help connect this community to God and each other.

I've worked in the church as a music director, choir director, handbell director, organist, and accompanist for the past 16 years, and though I’ve served in different denominations, I was baptized, raised, and confirmed in the United Methodist Church, and I’ve always felt at home in the Wesleyan tradition. I originally hail from a very small town in upstate NY, and after earning a Bachelor’s of Music from Ithaca College, I moved south as soon as I graduated. In 2011 I was called to serve God's church in full-time ministry, so I found myself quitting my office job and moving from Richmond, Virginia to Nashville, Tennessee for Belmont University’s M.M. program in Church Music. I am so excited to be in Louisville now, and working with all of the talented, passionate people who are a part of the music and worship ministry at Middletown UMC.


My passion for the music of the church comes from the joy of helping all ages and abilities more deeply engage in worship through music. Music has the potential to teach, to encourage, to comfort, to reach the very depths of our souls, to help us experience anew the Good News of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection-- and that makes it a powerful tool as we seek a more profound connection to God in our worship, whether we're singing in the pews, or in the choir or band.


When I'm not at church, you'll usually find me running around with my dog. I seriously enjoy history—from US history, to the early Methodist movement, to the birth of the Christian church, and everything in-between, and museums are my jam. I also enjoy playing tennis, though I’m pretty terrible at it, and I enjoy baking, which I’m pretty terrific at.

Click here for my blog.

Bio coming soon...