The Idlewild Church family extends a warm welcome to our newest members! If you don't know them yet, please introduce yourself. And as always, when you see someone you don't recognize at church, ask them, "Are you new here? Or just new to me?"

March 2018

Wendy Rylee joined March 18, 2018. She has a son, Robert. 

Eric and Deanna Metz joined the church March 18, 2018. Eric is from Maryville in East Tennessee and Deanna is from Tampa, Florida. They met at Maryville College, where they both majored in history, and were married on campus in 2011. Eric later obtained his graduate degree from the University of Memphis. He works as an administrator for Methodist Healthcare and Deanna is a teacher with Bartlett City Schools.

February 2018

Chuck & Beverly Blanton
have been attending our 8:30 service for two years—We are glad to have them as “official” Idlewild family members! They were previously members at Wynne Presbyterian Church in Wynne, Arkansas. Chuck is a Corporate Director for Mueller Industries and Beverly is a loan officer at Primary Residential Mortgage. Beverly has a son who is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and a daughter who lives in Nashville. Beverly & Chuck also have a cat.  They were drawn to Idlewild because of the openness and acceptance of the congregation.

January 2018

Nichole Cooley

Nichole Cooley, a Memphis native, graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in journalism. She works for The New Teacher Project, a national non-profit based in Brooklyn, that focuses on getting great teachers to the students who need them most. She has been visiting Idlewild for about a year now and is excited to join (and we are excited to have her!). She is already serving on the Young Adult Committee.

Emily Draffen & Stephen Gannett

Stephen Gannett grew up in New Albany, Miss. and attended Ole Miss. Now he is a general manager and trainer for Newk’s Eatery in Memphis. Emily Draffen grew up in Reinbeck, Idaho and attended Drake University in Des Moines. She is the PR and events coordinator for Novel, an independent bookstore in East Memphis.


Zach Godfrey

Zach Godfrey was born in Abilene, Texas and graduated from Rhodes College after studying Russian. He is now a basic EMT with a private ambulance company. He is thankful to be welcomed to this church and looks forward to searching for God along with this congregation.

December 2017

Tom & Pam Charlier

Pam Charlier has experience in church planting, having helped plant a church for the Episcopal Diacese of West Tennessee, and she also has ran an active youth group. Tom has been a journalist for the Commercial Appeal for more than 30 years, covering such topics as the environment, healthcare, and science as well as human interest and investigative stories. 


November 2017

Mark & Nicole Kennell

Mark and Nicole Kennel, with their daughters Madeline and Michal Grace, have been visiting Idlewild for the past year. We are so happy to have them as part of our church family. They moved back to Memphis in 2014 from their home in Togo, West Africa, where we served as missionaries. Now, Mark teaches art history at Wooddale High School and Nicole is the Director of the Adult ESL program at Hopeworks. Their daughter Madeline is a Rhodes student, and Michal Grace is a junior at Immaculate Conception Cathedral School. 


Elle Lawhead

We warmly welcome Elle Lawhead, who is married to Josh Lawhead, a longtime Idlewilder. She grew up in Germantown and attended Rhodes College, where she earned a bachelor of art and was a member of the CODA fellowship program. Elle is a buyer at AutoZone. She and Josh (“the guy next door”) met in 2013 and were married last spring. They are expecting their first baby this December 18! 


Ira & Sarah Wigley

We are happy to welcome Ira and Sarah Wigley and their four children, Oliver (17), Emily (14), Philip (2), and Andrew (8 months). Ira and Sarah in Southaven in a home built by Ira’s grandfather.  Sarah, who graduated from the University of Memphis, is a property manager with Fogelman Management Group. Ira is the retail manager of the cafeteria at St. Jude, where he has worked for more than 10 years. He is also a pastry chef.  Ira, Sarah and their whole family enjoy cooking, trying new recipes, camping, and reading. They are so happy to be part of the Idlewild church family. 


September 2017

Justin Lomax

Justin recently moved to Memphis and is a first year medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. He was born and raised in Knoxville, where he grew up in Farragut Presbyterian Church. While attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he earned a degree in biology, Justin was a regular at First Presbyterian Church and was active in their UKirk college ministry. Outside of school, he loves to travel, ski, and play soccer.


Elise Piper

Elise recently moved back to Memphis from Atlanta. She is working at the Dixon Gallery and two daughters, Katie and Anna Douglas Piper. Elise is the daughter of Dennis Higdon and the sister of Catherine Higdon.


Gay Patterson Prewitt

Gay has recently moved back to Memphis from Houston. She has worked in film production for the past 20 years and is about to begin work with a feature film that will be shooting in Memphis for ten weeks. Gay is an alumni of St Mary’s School and Southern Methodist University. She is the daughter of Julia Patterson and the sister of Meg Comes.


August 2017

Sophie Jones & Chad Cunningham

Sophie grew up here and attended Hutchison. She earned a degree in fashion/textile design from the University of Alabama then moved to NYC, where she worked on Women’s Runway for Ralph Lauren for five years until deciding to move back to Memphis. Her fiancé, Chad Cunningham, has been an Idlewild member  for quite; after attending services with him here, she knew this would be the perfect place for here to continue to grow closer to the Lord! Sophie and Chad are to be married here on September 23—which they are very excited about! 


John & Tess Huwe

Jon and Tess met in undergraduate school at Ole Miss and were married this past December. Tess, who is originally from Potts Camp, Miss., recently finished her master’s degree in speech language pathology from the University of Memphis and now works for Shelby County Schools. Jon is from Corinth, Miss., and is in his final year of pharmacy school through Ole Miss. Jon and Tess are both excited to have found a new church home that shows the love of Christ through community involvement — and cannot wait to get to know their new Idlewild family!


Pete & Tracey Sanders

Pete and Tracey Sanders come to Idlewild from Fourth Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Caroline, where they lived for the past 10 years. Prior to that they lived in South Florida, Connecticut and Virginia, and both served on committees and as officers in their PC(USA) churches along the way. Pete’s career is in education; his move to MUS is what caused their westward migration. Tracey is a “recovering techie” who enjoys helping to improve small-company websites. Their daughter, Hope, recent graduated from university in London and is now studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan.


July 2017

August & Brandon Walker (Mara Layne) 


Brian & Alisha Boone (Scarlett)  
Brian is a Memphis native who grew up playing basketball and participating in the youth groups at Idlewild. He is a graduate of Rhodes College and is currently the CFO of Sommerset Apartment Management. Alisha grew up in California and graduated from MTSU. She is the Senior HR consultant for UT Health Sciences Center. They are parents to one-year-old, Scarlett, who will be baptized here in August.  


Chris Parker & Katherine Martin  
Katherine grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She earned her under graduate degree from Alabama and her graduate degree from Auburn, then moved to Memphis from Charleston, South Carolina about a year ago. She currently works in marketing with Looney Ricks Kiss Architects. Chris grew up in Fairhope, Alabama and received his bachelor's of architecture from Auburn. He is a designer/associate with John Harrison Jones Architect.


Shannon & Michael Hall
As a child Shannon attended Idlewild with her grandparents, Bill and Ruth Moore. She and Mike have been married for 32 years and live in Olive Branch. He works for General Mills and she is a supervisor with Desoto County Schools. They have three children, Amber, 19, who is in college at Mississippi State, Aaron, 24, a Germantown police officer, and Andrew, 27, whose son they enjoy spoiling.


John Tower  
John is the son of Steve Tower and has sung with the Idlewild Choir on a regular basis. He grew up in Memphis, graduated from White Station and attended Western Kentucky University. He has taught English as a second language in Korea and volunteers as a teacher at Vision Tree Language School, a part of the Korean Church of Memphis. John is currently coaching AAU track (middle distance) and preparing 10 athletes to run in the Junior Olympics in August. He also owns and operates the Pawsome Pet Concierge.

June 2017

Daniel and Anna Hamilton (Alma June)
Anna grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and Daniel is from Nashville. She is a lawyer with the public defenders office and he is also an attorney with the Hamilton Law Firm. They are parents to eight-month-old Alma June.

May 2017

Angela Ladner (Max)

Angela grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has a master’s in accounting from Mississippi State University. She moved to Memphis in 2006 and has been a senior project manager with FedEx for six and a half years. She has a three-year-old son, Max. In her free time, Angela enjoys running or new workout challenge, having completed a full marathon and several half marathons. She loves to travel and has been fortunate to see most of the world traveling to every continent, except Antarctica, and 17 countries through business and personal travel.

Deborah Coleman 

Deborah, previously a member of First Baptist Church, found Idlewild after attending a special worship service. She is employed with Terry Reagor Realtors where she handles rental property and rents affordable vans.


Elliot & Ashley Davis (Reese)

Elliot and Ashley both grew up in Oxford, Miss., where Ashley was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. They began dating in high school. Ashley graduated from Ole Miss with a master's in tax accounting. Now she is the internal audit manager at Lucite International. Elliot graduated from Nashville Auto Diesel College and works as a diesel mechanic for MHC Ford. They have been married for 10 years and have a three-month-old daughter, Reese.

Julie Sparkman 

Julie grew up in Holly Springs, attended Mississippi State University, and has lived in Memphis for the last 10 years, and loves all things MSU. She is currently is accountant with Pfizer. Her family, parents, grandmother, sister and brother-in-law and their 3 boys all live in Olive Branch, so she tries to spend as much free time with them as possible. She is particularly interested in volunteer activities withing the church.

Laurel Dolan

Laurel moved to Memphis in January from California, where she was a member of the Laguna Presbyterian Church. A native of,Southern California, she received her under graduate degree from the University of Santa Barbara and her graduate degree from UCLA School of Public Health. She was employed as a quality improvement nurse with United Healthcare for the last 20 years. Currently she is awaiting her Tennessee RN license, then which she will seek employment in Memphis. Having been an active member of the PC(USA) for the last 40 years, she found Idlewild appealing because of the outstanding preaching and because there are three ordained women on staff. She is enjoying the Lectio Divina Sunday School class and has found connections in the Lenten Lectionary groups. Laurel has an adult son, Daniel Aaron Dolan.

Meghan & Ben Clark (Sloane & Mae)

Meghan and Ben recently moved back to Memphis from Charlotte, N.C., where they were members of Covenant Presbyterian. Ben grew up in Somerville. Meghan grew up in Germantown. They met as students at Rhodes College. He is employed with Service Master and she is an at-home mom taking care of their girls, Sloane, 3, and, Mae, who is 18 months. They are enjoying a rediscovery of Memphis after 11 years.  


Sally Lester



April 2017

Boyd & Charlotte Gillespie (Helen, Lily, Philip)

The Gillespie family moved to Memphis from Charleston, South Carolina last August. Boyd is the head of the Ear, Nose and Throat Department at UT Medical School. Charlotte recently finished service to their church in Charleston for APNC. Daughters Lily and Helen are in the 11th and 9th grades at Hutchison, and their son Philip is at MUS. 

John & Ashley Coffer 

Ashley is from Collierville and John grew up outside Houston, Texas. After graduating from the University of Tennessee. Ashley moved to Waco, Texas, to began graduate school at Baylor University; while there she met John, who was a recent Baylor graduate. They were married in 2012 and moved to Memphis in 2014 to be closer to Ashley's family. John is employed with First Tennessee Bank as a risk analyst. Ashley is an academic advisor with the University of Memphis. They live in East Memphis with their two dogs, Lady and Tux.


Justin Totty and Laura Gullet

Justin moved to Memphis to pursue a career in executive recruiting. He holds a bachelor's of business and an MBA from UT Martin, where he served as school mascot, was a campus ambassador, a social fraternity member, and a supervisor for the University Center. Now that he's in Memphis, he works as a recruiter with Gateway Group Personnel, is a Grizz and Redbirds fan, and enjoys biking and time at the dog park. Laura is originally from Martin, Tenn., and has lived in Memphis for almost four years. The youngest of three sisters, she graduated from UT Martin in 2013 with an accounting degree and from the University of Memphis in 2015 with a master's in accounting. Laura is an accountant with First Horizon National Corporation. She and Justin share in the like of sports and time with their pets.



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