Meet Our Team
REV. AMY PERSONS, SENIOR PASTOR
I am passionate about faith development, spiritual formation, preaching, and writing; and I have been profoundly influenced by my participation in the Upper Room’s Two Year Academy for Spiritual Formation. The Christian mystics of the Middle Ages, as well as the writings of the early Christians a presented by the book The Sayings of the Desert Fathers fascinate me because I believe these early Christians along with St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, the writer of The Cloud of Unknowing, and the like, have much wisdom to convey to us in a modern age.
My goal in worship is to help connect the ordinary person with the Spirit of the Living God as revealed to the world in Jesus Christ. For me, worship means singing old and new hymns, chanting our prayers, grounding ourselves in the beautiful rituals and sacraments of the church, embracing the prayer of silence, and deeply listening to the Word of God as proclaimed in Scripture. One of the foundational scriptures that shapes me is “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
Being influenced by and formed by many people and their writings and teaching, I give particular thanks for the lives and works of modern folk like Roberta Bondi, Kathleen Norris, Parker Palmer, Howard Thurman, and Richard Rohr. In addition to the sense of fulfillment I receive from working for God in the church, I also enjoy gardening, walking, and running.
As for “where I come from” and my background in work and school, I grew up in the very small town of Hurtsboro, AL. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Huntingdon College, with double majors in English and History. After graduating from Candler School of Theology at Emory University with a Master of Divinity, I began serving as a pastor in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. From 1998 – 2009, I served in four appointments within our conference. Just before my appointment in January 2017, I served at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Panama City, Florida, I spent several years in Toronto, Ontario serving as a pastor in the United Church of Canada.
In addition to pastoral duties in the local church, I served as the chairperson of the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry for the annual conference from 2005-2009 and as a member of the CORE Team, the Alabama-West Florida annual conference leadership group. This work was particularly gratifying because of my belief in the need for the church to make intentional efforts to reach and be in ministry with young adults. I have also worked closely with conference and district United Methodist Women’s groups, Clergywomen in Ministry, the Commission on the Status and Role of Women committee, and the Youth Ministry Academy. Another facet of my ministry is in the written word. I have been published in two editions of The Abingdon Preaching Annual 2011 & 2012, The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual 2014 & 2015, the Upper Room’s Disciplines 2015, and I write my own blog called An Everyday Mystic (http://aneverydaymystic.wordpress.com/).
REV. KARLA DANIEL, ASSOCIATE PASTOR
I grew up outside Atlanta, Georgia and moved to the beach because of my husband's work. I am married to Judson Daniel and we have two children: Lila and Wells. I attended Wofford College (BA in English and Religion), Boston University (MA in English), and Duke Divinity School (MDiv) before returning to Georgia to serve as an elder in the North Georgia Conference. After serving ten years in churches in Carrollton and Atlanta, GA, we moved to Santa Rosa Beach for a new job assignment for Judson.
When I'm not chasing around two young kids, I enjoys taking advantage of living near such beautiful beaches and lakes, reading, cooking, and traveling. One day I will take up tennis again!
I love helping people see God's loving grace at work in their own lives and inviting God’s people to share that love abundantly with our neighbors as we seek to bring God’s Kingdom into being.
REV. DARRIN ISAAC, MUSIC MINISTER
As the Music Minister at Point Washington UMC, I am committed to cultivating, inspiring, and enlivening the worship of our community. I believe that the practice and preparation of musical ensembles is not to create a dynamic of performers for an audience, but to empower those who lead the community in praise and prayer through the offering of musical gifts. I experience worship as a time for joyful acclamation as well as a time for prayerful contemplation. Through music I feel that faith communities can learn, grow, and be sent out as prophetic leaders in their daily lives.
I grew up in rural Indiana in a little town called Waldron. I received a Bachelor of Science in Music from the University of Indianapolis and a Master of Arts in Music Ministry from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary where my primary focus of study was liturgical composition. I am currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Christian Theological Seminary.
I have been involved with music ministry for most of my life as a leader of praise bands, a choral scholar, a conductor, and as a composer. My creative passion is composing new hymns and anthems that respond to contemporary issues while remaining rooted in the traditions of justice, compassion, and hope that are professed in the Christian faith.
I currently live in Panama City Beach with my wife Natalie, son, and my husky Yeti. In my free time I enjoy gardening, skateboarding, and playing music with my wife and friends.
PAUL BARNETT, YOUTH DIRECTOR
I have served as Director of Youth Ministries at Point Washington United Methodist Church since July 2005. Prior to joining the ministry team at PWUMC, I served on staff at Niceville UMC, as a volunteer youth leader at St. Augustine UMC, and as a short term missionary to Guinea-Bissar, Africa. I came to know Christ at the age of 16 in 1997 and experienced the call to the ministry in 1999 while working as a youth ministry intern at Niceville UMC.
I was born and raised in Niceville, Florida and graduated from Niceville High School in 1998. I received a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in History and Religion from Flagler College in 2004. I have one child, Isaiah.
I have a deep passion for connecting teenagers to Christ and to each other in true Christian community. When not hanging out with the students of POWASH Youth, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, playing disc golf, ultimate frisbee, kayaking, throwing the cast net, watching movies, and watching college football!
KELLY YOAKUM, CHILDREN'S DIRECTOR
My first experience in ministry was leading worship in children's ministry growing up as a preacher's kid in a small military town in Alabama. After graduating with an Early Childhood degree, I began teaching in a private Christian school in Birmingham, Alabama. While volunteering in the children's music ministry, my home church asked me to step in as children's director interim to coordinate, recruit, and lead children's programming. Through that experience, I found an excitement for working full time in church ministry.
Throughout the years, I have served in children's ministry through a leadership role full time and as a volunteer. My passion is building a community to reflect the love of God through gifts and service. My hobbies include playing the piano, beach time, watching her daughter play volleyball, baking apple pies and homemade yeast rolls, and taking my dog, Conner, on walks.
I am excited to build relationships within the Santa Rosa Beach community and offer a welcoming place for children to grow with connection and create a curiosity for spiritual growth.
TERRI ALEXANDER, BUSINESS MANAGER
Growing up in DeFuniak Springs, I am a Walton County native who has returned home after many years away. I graduated from the University of South Alabama with a B.S. in Business Management and an Accounting Major. For most of my career, I held various positions in leadership with Penske Truck Leasing. I have served as District Administrator, District Financial Manager, Branch Manager and Lease Sales Representative in Atlanta and Montgomery. T
I am happy to be part of our staff where I can offer my gifts in business administration and finance to the work of God through our church. I have a long history with the United Methodist Church and have served in several leadership capacities in other churches in our conference, and am very happy to be back “home” at Point Washington UMC.
MADISON LEWIS, COMMUNICATIONS & OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
Hello Everyone! My name is Madison Lewis and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve the community through PWUMC. I grew up in Freeport (back before there was a Publix) and moved to Tallahassee in 2009 to attend Florida State University. I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Family & Child Sciences in 2012 and began working on my Master’s Degree in 2016 in Human Resources Management from Florida Institute of Technology. I moved back to the beach while working on my degree and graduated in 2018.
I love working in the church office and having the chance to make an impact on others!
CHERYL FORDE, FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR
Cheryl's photo and bio are coming soon!
JULIENE WATSON, SENIOR NURSERY ATTENDANT
I have been the senior nursery attendant at PWUMC for over 10 years! I love the kiddos of this community and looks forward to providing dependable, safe, and nurturing care every Sunday morning, Wednesday night, and anytime in between!
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and grandson.
EMILY VANDEMARK, PIANIST
I have been the pianist at Point Washington UMC for over 20 years! I love the community and the people that I am able to interact with whenever I am at the church. The music ministry at PWUMC holds a special place in my heart.
I look forward to seeing you at a service!