MINISTERS & STAFF

Ministerial & Program Staff

Head of Staff

David grew up in Greer, South Carolina and was raised in a Presbyterian family. He earned a BA in Political Science and History at Presbyterian College in 2004 and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina in 2006 before discerning a call to ministry. He completed a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in 2010, where he currently serves as President of Columbia’s Alumni Council.

David began his ordained ministry at Madison Presbyterian Church in 2010, serving first as Director of Youth Ministry and then as Associate Pastor before being called as Pastor and Head of Staff in 2013. David officially joined Idlewild in February 2021. 

David believes that the church is called and equipped by God to be a place of transformation, both personal and communal. He shares with Idlewild a pressing sense of God’s call to tirelessly pursue justice and equity in the world. Some of his most impactful ministry has focused on anti-racism work through formational opportunities and community organizing. Through both his preaching and his pastoral care, David encourages people to live into hopeful, Christ-centered lives in the midst of an ever-changing world.

When away from the church, David enjoys golf, hunting, all things college football (especially Clemson), and spending quality time with his friends, his family, and his dog, Sam.


Pastor and Head of Staff 

david@idlewildchurch.org

Director of Young Adult Ministry

In addition to serving as Director of Young Adult Ministry, Elizabeth is the UKirk campus minister to the University of Memphis and Rhodes College through the Presbytery. She is overjoyed at the opportunities to lead young adults in the meaning-making, truth-seeking, question-asking, faith-deepening work of ministry.

Elizabeth joined our staff in June 2018. She grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and moved to Memphis in 2009 to attend Rhodes College, graduating in 2013. After a gap year spent volunteering with an NGO in India, working as a restaurant hostess, and interning at University Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa (now Grace Presbyterian Church), Elizabeth attended Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville. While in Nashville, Elizabeth was a member of Second Presbyterian Church and completed her field education internship at Westminster Presbyterian. She earned a master of divinity in May of 2017, and married her husband Tim later that month (May 2017 was very busy!). That August, Elizabeth and Tim moved back to Memphis, where she worked as a chaplain resident at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Outside of work, Elizabeth and Tim are dog-parents to a needy-yet-cuddly Jack Russell terrier named Lucee and a sweet lab-mix named Carla. Elizabeth also enjoys spending time outside walking, running, and biking; reading a good novel; cooking and eating tasty food; hanging out with friends and family; and traveling, whenever possible.

Director of Young Adult Ministry
UKirk Minister, Presbytery of the Mid-South

901-259-4358
edoolin@idlewildchurch.org 

Associate Pastor

Sara Dorrien-Christians is a native “Michigander” and graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Before moving to Memphis in January 2017, she served as pastor to Pine Island Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A big believer in the Church’s calling to serve the community, Sara has experience in many outreach ministries at all levels of the denomination. She founded and co-moderated a faith-based group working on gun violence prevention, has served on the National Committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and has worked as a General Assembly volunteer and consultant with the PC (USA) Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy. As a seminary student, Sara chaired the seminary’s “Claiming Justice” committee, and she worked as a chaplain at an inner-city Episcopal parish and poverty center.

Sara was immediately compelled by Idlewild’s Outreach Ministry and has served as our Outreach Coordinator since 2017. She is dedicated to outreach because it reflected a commitment to wide diversity of people and the issues that affect them—from the homeless and indigent community to those who live in developing countries to children who are navigating adverse experiences. Idlewild is clearly committed to the welfare of the community in which it resides and to reflecting the way of Christ in the world.

In her free time, Sara helps to edit a gymnastics website and has traveled across the U.S. and abroad to cover elite competitions. She also enjoys writing, running, and watching HGTV.

In January 2019, Sara and her husband, Will Christians (pastor of Shady Grove Presbyterian Church in Memphis) welcomed Nicholas John William Christians to the world. They are also parents to a crazy, lovely dog, Dietrich.

Associate Pastor
901-259-4357
sdorrien@idlewildchurch.org

Temporary Stated Supply

The Reverend Mary Newberg Gale is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA) and most recently served as Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church Lawrence Kansas. A native Texan, she graduated from Austin College before pursuing her Masters of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminary. She has served churches in North Carolina and Kansas, as well as the national church and local communities in a variety of ways during her 15 years of ordained ministry. Her husband, James, is the Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of the Mid-South in Memphis Tennessee, where they currently reside with their two daughters and a brand new puppy. 

Temporary Stated Supply
901-259-4346
mgale@idlewildchurch.org

Director of Youth Ministry 

Jeanene Mutchler joined the congregation January 2021 as Youth Ministry Director.  Originally from Memphis, she has spent the last 5 years splitting her time between Dubai, UAE and Bangkok Thailand.  She previously served as the Director of Spiritual Formation and Storytelling at Creative Life Foundation- a faith informed NGO that addresses issues of poverty and human trafficking in Bangkok and Northern Thailand.  Prior to that, she was the Minister to youth and families at Metro Baptist Church in New York, Ny.  

Jeanene loves conversations and work around the intersection of faith and justice and exploring how the Church is called to be the hands and feet of Christ in our society.  She thinks youth have a unique perspective and calling to speak to people of faith in this cultural moment. 

Her husband, Will, a pilot for Kalitta Air, and children Noel and Liam, endure and occasional delight in her culinary experiments. They do not have a dog yet, but are gradually becoming convinced by their son,  Liam, that a pooch must soon be added to their family. She loves a good book, a good walk, a good netflix, a good meal, and good friends. 

 

Director of Youth Ministry
901-259-4343
jeanene@idlewildchurch.org

Theologian in Residence

Nurture Ministry

Director of Nurture Ministry

Jacob grew up in Olive Branch, Mississippi, and attended the University of Memphis. He joined our staff in the fall of 2015 upon graduation. Growing up, he watched his dad run an inner-city basketball league and fell in love with the lifestyle. He has wanted to work in sports ever since. He has coached soccer for multiple high schools in the area since his own high school graduation. Jacob also loves playing in church basketball and softball leagues in the greater Memphis area. Jacob loves working for Idlewild, and when you ask him how he is doing, he will always tell you that he is living the dream.

Jacob met his wife Amy in college and was married in 2017. They welcomed their baby girl Addison to the world in 2020 and have a fun-loving dog named Sky. They love watching the occasional crime TV show on Netflix and spending time with family and friends.

 

Director of Nurture Ministry
901-259-4350
jpierce@idlewildchurch.org

 

 

Coordinator of Nurture Unit

Shari joined the Idlewild staff in the spring of 2016. She went to school at the University of Mississippi for her nursing undergraduate studies and completed her nursing degree at Methodist school of Nursing. She has been a full time Neonatal Intensive Care nurse for 30 years and works at the church part time. She grew up just over the bridge in Arkansas and lived there until 2014 when she moved to midtown. She and her husband Forrest met at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital where he is a neonatal nurse as well. They were married at Idlewild’s all church camp, NaCoMe, and now they celebrate every anniversary there with the church family. They each have 3 adult children, and together they adopted Romy and Juli from Colombia in May of 2018. It is her passion to care for people, and her work here at Idlewild brings much joy in fulfilling the calling God has placed on her heart. 

Coordinator of Nurture Unit
sgross@idlewildchurch.org 
901-259-4349

Music Ministry

Director of Music Ministry

Barry joined the Idlewild staff in October 2013. He has served churches in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Elkhart, Indiana. Music in worship has always been his greatest love as he grew up singing in children’s choirs and playing piano and organ as a child in his home church.

His formal education was in Oklahoma but he continues to study every summer at various academies in the United States and Europe.

Barry honors and loves the treasure of music that the church holds. Through centuries and throughout the world music has given life to the prayer of Christ’s body. To cultivate and to enter into the life of this treasure of sacred music is a joyous ministry and a calling to Barry.

“To work and serve at Idlewild Church is a blessing because Idlewild is a church with a long history of nurturing worship through music. The resources here are great: the distinctive French classical-style pipe organ; the splendid carillon; the fine choir; and the engaging congregation as well as the many who engage and support our work together here. It is a joy.” –Barry Oliver

BARRY OLIVER
Director of Music Ministry
901-259-4342
boliver@idlewildchurch.org 

DONIA WADE
Clerical Assistant
dwade@idlewildchurch.org

DAVID CAUDILL 
Carillonneur 
901-726-4681

PEGGY McCLURE
Assistant Carillonneur

DAVID SCHNELL 
Handbell Choir Director
901-392-1629 
dhschnell@idlewildchurch.org

Administrative & Support

JENNI BROOKS
Director of Operations and Communications
901-259-4341 
jbrooks@idlewildchurch.org

MARSHA ENLOW
Pastoral Assistant
901-259-4348 
menlow@idlewildchurch.org

ZOE WHELAN
Communications Coordinator
901-270-3080
zwhelan@idlewildchurch.org

BRIGID UNDERWOOD
Finance Administrator
901-259-4353
bunderwood@idlewildchurch.org

AMANDA KOHR
Accounts Receivable & Stewardship Coordinator
901-259-4352
akohr@idlewildchurch.org

KRIS ACKLEN
Sound Technician
krisacklen@gmail.com

VERNA YARBROUGH
Custodial Director
901-726-4681

KEITH CARTER
HVAC & Systems Engineer
901-259-4356 
kcarter@idlewildchurch.org

JESSE YARBROUGH
Maintenance Technician
901-259-4356
jesse@idlewildchurch.org

BERTHA “MAE MAE” SIMMONS
Food Services Director
901-259-4351

DANNY THOMAS
Food Services Assistant
901-259-4351

RICKY HORTON
Custodian
901-726-468122