Director, Music Ministries
Kitty is responsible for Sunday morning worship and all other activities in which music plays a leadership role.
An accomplished musician and teacher, Kitty conducts the Chancel Choir and Pure Joy! Youth Choir, and oversees the Children's Music Program.
Among the many hats she wears, Kitty is a singer, arranger, spiritual director, mission director, 'travel agent,' 'tour guide,' fund-raiser, motivational speaker and friend.
Raised at First United Methodist Garland, Kitty spent 28 years 'in the wilderness' before returning as Director of Music Ministries in 2007.
Her previous professional experience includes teaching choral music at Greenville High School, where her choirs earned top ratings in University Interscholastic League (UIL) concert and sight reading.
Prior to that, she taught voice as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M Commerce while serving as Director of Music Ministries at Wesley United Methodist Church in Greenville.
Kitty holds a Masters of Music with emphasis on conducting and choral from Texas A&M Commerce, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin. She also has a Church Music Certificate from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.
Director, Missions & Student Ministries
Josh plans and directs all church mission activities and leads the United Methodist Youth Fellowship program for youth grades 7-12.
A long-time member of First United Methodist Garland, Josh was heavily involved as a youth leader, a lay speaker, a Sunday School teacher, a member of the Chancel Choir and an active participant in missions and musicals long before joining the church staff.
His passion for youth development has led him to develop a family-centered approach to ministry with teenagers.
Influenced in his early spiritual development and growth by his grandmother Mary Medlock, Josh is studying to become a local pastor and plans to seek full ordination in the United Methodist Church.
He brings a wide variety of professional experiences that serve him well in his role at First United Methodist Garland - from printing press operator, loss-prevention specialist, warehouse manager, courier, fry cook, assistant scheduling manager, martial arts instructor, sales trainer and service technician to his most recent position as turn manager for a multi-family management company.
Josh also holds a 1st Degree Black Belt (Kukkiwon-certified) and a 3rd Degree Black Belt (American Martial Arts Academy) in Taekwondo.
Artist in Residence & Associate Director, Music Ministries
A conductor and critically-acclaimed pianist, Eldred leads First UMC Garland's efforts to cultivate Christian community in Garland and the surrounding area through music and fine arts.
This includes producing a community concert series and other musical and artistic collaboration with the greater Garland community as well as concerts featuring Eldred and guest artists from around the area and around the world.
Eldred also serves as organist and accompanist for the Chancel Choir and Pure Joy! Youth Choir and assists with the day-to-day workings of the Music Ministry.
In addition to his role at First UMC Garland, Eldred serves as Artistic and Music Director for Opera Diversità, an opera company based in Dallas-Fort Worth, and Music Director for the Next Gen Chamber Players of Mansfield.
He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton and three Masters of Music degrees - in Piano, Organ and Orchestral Conducting - from Southern Methodist University (SMU). He also holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Yale University.
Eldred has performed in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, the Republic of San Marino and the People's Republic of China as well as throughout the United States.
He has conducted the Ukrainian State Academic Orchestra and Kharkov Youth Symphony in the Ukraine; the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra and Vidin Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria; and Filharmonica Oltenia di Craiova and the Constanta "Black Sea" Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania.
Eldred has also served as conductor for the Children's Opera Division of the Riverside Opera Institute in California; assistant conductor for the Meadows Symphony Orchestra at SMU and the Opera dell'arte Ensemble in New York City; and has collaborated with the UNT Symphony Orchestra.
Mark is responsible for the church website, social media, First Week (weekly e-mail), First News (bi-monthly newsletter), Sunday morning bulletins and other internal and external communications.
He also produces multimedia for Sunday morning worship and other activities, and manages the church computer network.
Mark previously served more than three years as Director of Communications for First United Methodist Church Plano.
Prior to that he spent 32 years in high-tech public relations and marketing communications, including 22 years with Nortel Networks and 10 years with Harris Corporation.
Mark began his professional career with five years as a sports writer for The Morning Sun in Pittsburg, Kansas and The Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. He continues this 'first love' today, covering high school football as a freelancer for The Dallas Morning News.
Mark holds a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Dallas Baptist University. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional.
Coordinator, Welcoming Ministries
Connie makes sure visitors and new members feel welcome and get plugged in to church life and activities.
She also assists in planning and organizing adult Christian educational opportunities, fellowship activities, mission trips, local mission activities and more.
Educated and certified in Early Childhood Education, Connie particularly enjoys being in ministry with children and families.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Connie loves Cajun food and culture. She is an avid cook, and enjoys visiting with her family and talking on the phone with friends.
Nora is responsible for making the church nursery a loving, caring and safe environment for children on Sunday mornings, on Wednesday evenings and at church meetings and other events when childcare is offered.
She joined the church staff after more than 13 years working in the nursery and at the Learning Academy, where she continues to serve as a pre-Kindergarten teacher.
Nora previously worked in Mother's Day Out, Kids' Night Out and Mothers of Preschoolers programs at The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson and Buckingham United Methodist Church in Garland.
Born in Garland, Nora is a graduate of South Garland High School. She also attended Richland College. She is state-certified in childcare and continues to pursue early childhood education.
Nora loves to cook for family and friends. She specializes in making custom cakes and cupcakes.
Harriette has been responsible for business and financial affairs at First United Methodist Garland since 2006.
A veteran of many years in the financial industry, she has worked as Financial Manager for the Salvation Army in Garland and Treasurer for New Hope Fellowship.
Harriette enjoys the challenge of working with computers and numbers, especially for non-profit organizations in the Garland community.
She also enjoys sewing, knitting, traveling and writing, and was recently published in Guideposts.