Welcome to St. James and The Connector!

Welcome to your St. James UMC online community! We hope you will be able to get better connected by using our group communication tools. For instance, you can look for groups and ministries that may be of interest to you and then join one or ask for more information. Find out more by signing up or login.

Sunday Worship Services

8:30 and 11:00 A.M.

Our worship services are designed to glorify God, exalt Jesus Christ, and to give us an opportunity to hear God's Word preached to us each week. Because we know not everyone worships in the same style, our two services reflect that. Here's a little more for you to know:

8:30 Worship Service
A classic United Methodist worship service that features traditional liturgy and hymns. Typically lasts 50-55 minutes.

11:00 Worship Service
A praise-oriented worship service with a live band that sings current Christian music with a
blend of familiar hymns. This inspirational service lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Regardless of the style you prefer or the service you attend, our desire is to lift up Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

What to Expect

What are the worship services like?

First of all, we believe that everyone who attends worship services at St. James, whether you’re a first-time guest or you’ve been around here for years, should be able to come with the expectation of meeting with God. That applies to those who are on top of the world and to those who feel like they’ve hit rock bottom: the Lord wants to meet with you.  So, our worship services are designed to facilitate those encounters—meeting with each other, and meeting with God.  You will hear good news proclaimed to you each week. 

Not everyone worships in the same style. Our 8:30 service, for instance, is a more traditional worship service, while our 11:00 service incorporates both traditional and contemporary worship styles. It's not unusual at our later service to have traditional hymns as well as a jazz ensemble accompanying our Praise Team. Regardless of the style, our desire is to lift up Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

How should I dress on Sunday morning?

Coat and tie and traditional “Sunday best” clothes are not the norm at St. James, though you will see some folks wearing just that. Most people dress casual, but wear what you are comfortable in. If you’re worried about what you wear, the less likely you’ll expect an encounter with God.

What should I bring with me?

Bring an joyously expectant attitude, and a reverent attitude in recognition of the God whom we worship.  Bring a Bible if you have one. If you don’t have a Bible, we’ll have plenty in the pews for you to use.


Directions and Contact Info

  • 111 West Lake Drive
    Athens, Georgia 30606
  • (706) 548-1680 
  • Office hours:  Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm.  Closed Fridays.

Bill Curington
Pastor

Bill has been the Pastor of St. James since June 2012. He met his beautiful wife Sherry on a snow skiing trip in Colorado back in 1990 and have been married for 25 years. They have three awesome kids who love God more than Xbox and Snapchat, and that's saying quite a lot! Living in a Dawg-central region, Sherry forgives Bill for attending the University of Alabama. They enjoy weekly lunch dates with Mexican food and they root for the Bulldogs together, although Sherry's cheers are a touch louder. Beyond being a sports junkie, Bill enjoys landscaping and he likes it even more when his kids do the work!

Lloyd Craft
Pastor of The Light

Bryan Shaw
Minister of Music

Bryan Shaw came to St. James back in August of 1978. He has been on staff in the Music Ministry for the last 27 years.  In his current position as Minister of Music, Bryan directs the choir, leads the Praise Team and coordinates the overall music program.  When he's not behind a piano, Bryan can be occasionally spotted on a community theatre stage, and more often on a tennis court. Bryan is blessed to have his three beautiful sisters living in Athens with their families, and assisting with the St. James Music Ministry.

Glenn Cole
Executive Minister

Glenn is a native of Kentucky, but has called Athens home for over thirty years. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Psychology, and came to UGA to complete his graduate work in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In 2001, St. James hired Glenn to the newly created Executive Minister position, and he serves the pastor and the church through administration, staff leadership and mentoring, as well as teaching. He is currently working on his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in their ExL program. Glenn and his wife Kelly are the very proud parents of two wonderful daughters: Hannah, who is married and living in Toronto, Canada, and Sarah, who is an undergraduate student at Asbury University. Glenn loves leading and teaching Bible studies and helping people grasp the amazing truths of God’s Word. He also loves dogs (but doesn’t currently have one), and unwaveringly believes that life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Jenny Major
Children's Minister

Jenny joined the staff as Children’s Minister in January 2017. She and her husband, Mark, have two boys—Chase and John. Mark and the boys like to run, but Jenny prefers a slower pace. In her free time, she enjoys walks around the neighborhood with the family dog, Pepper. She also enjoys baking and photography. Jenny has a B.A. in English Literature from Florida State University. Elizabethan Drama and Southern Literature, interestingly juxtaposed, were her favorite classes in college. Jenny’s main goal for the Children’s Ministry at St. James: Show them Jesus.

Catherine Crabb
Nursery Director

Catherine has been working with SJUMC since the summer of 2016. She has received a Bachelor of Education in Science degree from the University of Georgia in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. She is currently attending graduate school to continue her education to become a speech-language pathologist. Before moving to Athens, Catherine was a resident of Sandersville, Georgia. When she is not at work or school, you might find Catherine at a UGA sporting event, hanging out with her cat Abner, or trying out a new restaurant. Catherine has enjoyed getting to know all the kids and parents at SJUMC and can’t wait to see what the future holds for these kiddos as they continue to learn about God’s love!.

Rachel Dow
Youth Minister

Rachel first wandered into St. James in the fall of 2013 when she transferred from Mississippi State University to the University of Georgia. She kept coming back because of the hospitality she found at St. James and ended up signing up as a youth group small group leader the next fall. In 2016, she graduated from UGA Magna Cum Laude with dual degrees in Latin and World Languages Education. Following graduation, she interned for two years at the UGA Wesley Foundation in prayer and prophetic ministry areas while still devoting her time as a youth small group leader here at St. James. Rachel loves to celebrate Sabbath each week, and in her free time, she may be learning pottery on the wheel, eating ice cream, or arranging fresh flowers from the Athens Farmers’ Market.

Rev. Bill Emerson
Congregational Care Minister

Bill earned his Bachelor of Church Music degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master of Divinity in Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served a year of Chaplaincy at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland where he worked in the Pediatric Oncology Unit and with the National Eye Institute. In 1996 Bill, Ella, and William moved to Athens where Bill began serving St. James as the first Minister of Music. Soon after that, Jonathan was born-- making him a native Georgian. After serving St. James for 20 years, Bill retired from 52 years of music ministry at the end of 2016. He now serves St. James part-time as Congregational Care Minister. In his spare time, Bill enjoys cooking, reading, and snuggling on the sofa with Tigger, their 15-year old cat.

LaMurl Morris
Organist

LaMurl Morris has served as part of the music staff at St. James since 2003. For over thirty years, she has accompanied and/or directed church music ensembles. In addition to her responsibilities at St. James, she is a teacher and Fine Arts Director at a local Christian school. LaMurl is very active in the mission field leading mission teams to Tanzania, Africa, and Estonia. She and her husband, John, are the parents of two adult children—Christina, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and Tyler and his wife, Kendal, who currently live in South Korea.

Cathy Uhrick
Finance Secretary

Cathy has always been one of those “organizer” type people. She started as a child and even now... always organizing something. From rehearsal dinner parties to office events; Cub Scout Den leader projects to baseball practice and scheduling games; even gutting an old house and making it into efficient work space for an engineering company. She wouldn’t say she was OCD, but maybe little CDO (controlled demolition operator). She describes herself as organized; a farm girl (she LOVES animals); outdoors whenever possible; and a music appreciator who can’t sing a lick.

She now uses her organizational skills in new ways as a servant of Jesus. She joined the staff as Finance Secretary in January 2017, and says the staff and church members at St. James are such a joy to be around and has learned much from each of them.

Mary Swift
Administrative Assistant

Mary joined our St. James staff as part-time Administrative Assistant in 2013, and very much enjoys her contact with fellow Christians each day. Before moving to Athens in 2012, Mary was an Administrative Assistant at a Baptist church in Thomasville, Georgia, for twelve years, following a 27-year career as a professional musician and teacher in the Washington, D.C. area.

Mary and husband of 44 years, George, have a daughter in Athens, a son in Colorado, and three wonderful grandchildren, which they continue to spoil rotten. In her spare time Mary enjoys needlework, knitting, interior design and committee work for her home church here in Athens. She treasures the many friends she has made from working at St. James.