Minister - Katherine Bryant-Graves
Katherine Bryant-Graves began her pastorate at First Christian Church of Carbondale November 1, 1999.
Katherine is a fourth generation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister from Oregon. She received her Master's of Divinity degree from Phillips Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1997. This followed a career in banking, marketing, insurance and securities.
Katherine has served as pastor for the First Christian Church in Pryor, Oklahoma, since July 1996.
As a lay leader, Katherine was active in youth ministry and camp counseling in Oklahoma and Oregon.
Katherine has served as President of the Pryor Ministerial Fellowship, District Secretary in Oklahoma, and keynote speaker for CYF (Christian Youth Fellowship) conferences in Oklahoma and Oregon.
Katherine's husband, Ron, is Director of Institutional Development for the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Christian Education Coordinator & Ministerial intern - Marleen Shepherd
Marleen Shepherd is a lifelong member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Carbondale. In addition to serving as a ministerial intern and the coordinator of Christian education, Marleen is a freelance religion reporter who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She also serves as vice-president of the Carbondale Interfaith Council and is active in the interfaith community through dialogues and planning special events. Marleen is also part of a revolving team of co-hosts on WDBX’s “Faithfully Subversive: Progressive Christian Radio” and sits on the board of Gaia House Interfaith Center.
Parish Nurse - Marge Schulhof
Marge is a Registered Nurse who graduated from St. Joseph's Infirmary School of Nursing in Atlanta,Georgia and holds a degree in Health Education from SIU. Marge has over 30 years experience in nursing and health care. She completed the Parish Nurse preparation course through Deaconess Foundation in St. Louis in 2000 under the sponsorship of Southern Illinois Healthcare.
Marge is active in the Southern Illinois Parish Nurse Network, is an Elder, serves as Chair of Health Ministry, and member of Special Projects Committee. She and her husband Bob have been members of First Christian since 1972, when they moved to Carbondale.
Office Administrator - Mary Jane Burnham
Mary Jane Burnam is our Office Administrator at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She makes her home in Murphysboro, Illinois where she is a member of the Elm Street Baptist Church. Mary’s 81 year “young” mother lives with her along with two sweet and funny cats.
Mary previously worked for the State of Illinois, Department of Public Health for 20 1/2 years. She then transferred to the Illinois State Police Zone 7 Investigations and worked for ISP for 10 years. She retired from state service October 31, 2006.
Mary has two grown children, daughter and son, and between them she has six terrific and wonderful grandchildren. Mary’s daughter and her family live in Benton and her son and his family live in Texas. Mary says, she is thoroughly enjoying her new job and meeting so many new people. Mary wants all to know she looks forward to serving the Lord by serving all of you!
Director of Music Ministries - Derek Hamblin
Derek Matthew Hamblin (Director of Music Ministries) comes to First Christian Church, after completing his Master’s in Music Theatre/Opera Performance at Southern Illinois University. He received his B.A in Vocal Performance from Berea College, in Berea, Kentucky. While pursuing his musical education at Berea, Derek was a member, section leader, and secretary for the Berea College Concert Choir & Chamber Singers. With this ensemble, he was actively involved in recruitment, fundraising, and performed with this ensemble as a soloist and member throughout the United States and Europe.
He also held the position of Finale Desktop Music Publishing Assistant for the Department of Music, which assisted students and faculty with music theory publications and manuscripts. Instrumentally, Derek was Student Conductor and 1st chair Horn for the Berea College Concert Wind Ensemble, and a tenor saxophonist for the Berea College Jazz Ensemble, which also toured. He also helped the Theatre department in music composition (Shakespeare’s The Tempest ’98-’99) and was Chorus Master/Cast in Camelot.
SIU Credits: RUTH (Premiere), Don Pasquale (Ernesto), Parade (Britt Craig), BatBoy (Mrs.Taylor/Rev. Hightower), Singer in Festival of Spirituals Event.
Professional Credits: Jenny Wiley Theatre, Prestonsburg KY (2001 & 2002)
The Taffatas (Cousin Rick/Piano/Mus Dir), Annie (Orch/Asst Mus), Fiddler on the Roof (Orch/AMD), Legend of Jenny Wiley (Orch/AMD), You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Orch/AMD), Guys & Dolls (Orch), New York, New York! Cabaret (Orch), & Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (Asher). Lincoln Amphitheatre, Evansville/Lincoln City, Indiana (2003-2005) ~ Young Abe Lincoln (Slave Handler/Chorus/Reh. Accomp), Fiddler on the Roof (Russian Soloist/Lazar Wolf~Understudy), South Pacific (Chorus/Reh Accomp)
• CATS (Music Director/ Bustopher Jones~ ARTStarts )
• CATS & AIDA ( Keyboards~ McCleod Summer Playhouse & Carbondale Com. Arts)
• Songs for A New World ( Eastern Ky University), Mozart’s The Magic Flute(Tamino~Eastern Ky University), Scrooge(Ghost of Xmas Present~ Eastern Ky University)
• Co-Founder of Musica Antiqua, a professional acapella ensemble that performed in Eastern States, and Europe.
• Member of American Choral Director’s Association during 2001 (Attended the National Convention in San Antonio, TX)
• 1st place finalist for Junior Men’s, Senior Men’s, & Advanced Men’s Categories (’01 ’02 ’03) Kentucky National Association of Teacher’s of Singing
• Recital Presenter( Junior, Senior, History of Music Theatre, and Graduate)
• Major Choral Works( Messiah, Rutter Requiem)
• Studies Abroad~ Choral Performance, Opera Performance, Instrumental History, and Music History( Kentucky Institute for International Studies~Salzburg, Austria)