Meet Our Staff

Chris A. Branscomb

Senior Minister
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Rev. Chris Branscomb came to Varnell to serve as the pastor in June 2018.  He came with his wife Heather, who he married in 2000, and his children Emily and Joshua.

Chris has been a United Methodist all his life.  He grew up in Tucker, GA and was a member of Tucker First UMC.  He attended Shamrock High School in Decatur, GA and went on to Auburn University, receiving a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in June 1994.  After answering his calling into the ministry in 1995, Chris spent a few years serving as a youth minister before returning to school at Emory University where he received a Masters of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology in May 2003.  He was first appointed in the North Georgia Conference in 2000 as a Student Pastor and was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection in 2008.

Chris and his family are all excited about the opportunity they have to serve our God alongside the faithful people of Varnell UMC.  They all look forward to being in mission in this community, in our state, in our nation, and around the world.

Tammy Burek

Office Administrator

Tammy grew up in a small town in the foothills of the Virginia mountains, along with her three sisters and one brother. Tammy enjoyed playing basketball, swinging on the family’s tree swing, wading in their creek out back and going to the beach with her family every summer.  Tammy attended Virginia Tech and double majored in Communications and English.  She worked for Pepsi Cola Company for 15 years before coming to Varnell UMC.  Tammy is a mother to her daughter , Jessica, and enjoys spending time with her.

Kurt Baron

Director of Youth Ministries
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Kurt was born in Wooster, Ohio on June 30, 1987. He moved to Georgia when he was six and have been here ever since. He grew up at Varnell UMC and was part of the Youth group. For the past twenty one years Kurt has been a drummer, and got his start playing with the Praise Band here at Varnell.

Kurt is married to his best friend and love of his life, Andrea. She makes his life so much more of a blessing and makes him better each day. Her love for Jesus and people is incredible and he loves being with her at all times. They love traveling and making memories, going on walks with their dog, Mya, and working together with Youth. Kurt and Andrea have 3 children, all boys, Miles, Owen and Jasper. They are the raddest little boys on the planet. They are blessed beyond measure and thank God for everything they have in their lives.
Kurt is a graduate from Lee University with a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Religion. During his time at Lee he felt the call to ministry and worked for a church for four years as one of the leaders. Kurt also has a Master’s Degree in Specialized Ministries from Southwestern College.

Kurt loves Jesus, his family, coffee, Disney movies, Chinese food and talking music and tattoos.

-Jeremiah 29:11

Kurt says:
“I am not afraid, I was born to do this”. -Joan of Arc

Sharon Ewing

Preschool Director
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Sharon Mullins Ewing was born and raised in Dalton, Georgia.  She graduated from Northwest High School and Dalton College.  She faithfully attended church with her family her whole lifetime. Raised as a Southern Baptist, she and her family began attending Varnell UMC in January of 2010.  She quickly learned that it doesn’t matter what denomination a church is, it’s the people and presence of God that make up a church.  She and her family were welcomed into VUMC with open arms and have made it their church home.

After working for 22 years as a legal secretary and paralegal, Sharon attempted to retire from the business world in 2005; however, she was convinced to come to work at Praise and Play Preschool in August, 2006, and for the first year taught the 2-year old class.  The next year, she moved into the Financial Coordinator position at the Preschool, where she was for the next 5 years.  She became the Director in June, 2011.

Sharon is the wife of Phillip, the mother of Olivia who attends New Hope Middle School, the mother of Amy who teaches at Westside Middle School, mother-in-law of Ryan who works with the Department of Public Safety, and the Nana of Bo, age 7, and Gabe, age 2.  She enjoys time with her family, travelling, reading, cooking and enjoys a good power nap.  She loves Mexican food but does not like chocolate.

Sharon believes that children are an integral part of the church.  They are the future of the church.  Bringing children into church, whether at Preschool or the worship service, gives them a foundation in Christ that will be a part of their lives forever.  Sharon is excited about being able to show and share God’s love with the preschool children and their families. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.´ Proverbs 22:6.

Janice Richards

8:40 and 10:45 Pianist

Varnell United Methodist Church has been an important part of my life for over fifty years where I am honored to play piano for the worship services. My husband, Bill, and I are blessed to worship at Varnell with our children and grandchildren:  Matt, Ambyr, Harris and Jack Gallegly, Eric, Keyla, Beckley, Cal and baby (coming in June) Manning. I am thankful for my wonderful church family!

Misti Hulsey

Children’s Coordinator
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I was born on January 17 in Dalton and have lived in the north Georgia area all my life. I was raised in the Methodist church and in the Tunnel Hill community and graduated from Northwest high school. My husband, Anthony, is my high school sweetheart and we have been married since December 1995. He is the current mayor of Varnell. We have three sons, Zack, Ryan and Nathan. We are proud to call Varnell United Methodist church our home as well as the city of Varnell. My educational background is in early childhood education and educational administration. I love teaching and I currently teach at New Hope Elementary. I was the children’s church coordinator at my previous church and it is truly a blessing to be your children’s coordinator. Children are our future and it is our responsibility to guide them as they grow. I am excited to be a part of helping children grow in their relationship with God.