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Gray Memorial UMC Saff

Rev. Bill Bess

Rev. Bill Bess

Visiting Pastor

Reverend Bill Bess, retired Presbyterian minister, is currently serving as visiting pastor for Gray Memorial UMC until a new pastor is selected by the Florida UMC Conference. 
Bill Bess was born in Tacoma, Washington and raised in a military family.  His secular work included time as a Jet Engine Mechanic, Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Counselor, Air Traffic Controller, Public School Teacher, Protective Service Social Worker and Supervisor.
Church work has included 25 years as an Organist/Choir Director.  Bill attended Seminary at San Francisco Theological Seminary earning his MDiv. in 2002.  He has served churches in Scotland and Havana, Florida, where he retired in 2019 after serving 17 years.  
Bill lives with his wife Sherri close to Gray Memorial and is humbled to serve in whatever capacity he can.  His extended family live in Denver and Albuquerque and include a daughter, son and 5 grandchildren.

Anita Durham


I am a retired State of Florida employee and a lifelong Methodist, growing up at Trinity UMC in Tallahassee.  My favorite activities are spending time with my children and grandchildren.  I believe God led me to Gray Memorial – I feel blessed to be working and worshipping at Gray Memorial UMC.

Kim Maxwell

Lay/Worship Leader

My name is Kim Maxwell. I am a Tallahassee native and Lay Leader of Gray Memorial. I have been a member of Gray for over 30 years and in that time I have served on various committees as well as worked with the children by teaching Sunday School, and leading the children’s choir and youth group. My family has deep ties to Gray. My husband and I were married here and both of our children were baptized and raised here. It is a blessing to serve in this capacity as I dig deeper in the word and grow closer in my relationship with God.

Kylie Branch

Music Director

I am an FSU music student pursuing a career in choral directing. I’ve been an active member of the United Methodist Church for as long as I can remember. My fondest and most gratifying moments are when I am able to make music that helps myself and others worship God.

Christy Shelenberger


Christy Shelenberger is a pianist with a passion for performing classical and sacred works, collaborating with singers and instrumentalists, and educating the next generation of music students. She believes music is for everyone, as it creates joy, brings people together, and teaches important life skills. 

Christy is currently pursuing her Master’s of Music in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy at Florida State University, where she also earned her Bachelor’s in Piano Performance. She has maintained a private piano studio for several years. As part of a teaching assistantship awarded by FSU, she teaches group piano classes to undergraduate students. Her hometown is Jacksonville, FL, where she served as accompanist for several churches and school choirs. Her ultimate goal is to honor God in all her musical pursuits.

Tyler Maxwell


Hi. I’m Tyler and I’ve been going to Gray for as long as I can remember. Within the past couple of years, I have taken the responsibility of being the audio-visual manager. It is my job to make sure Sundays go according to plan by creating special online and in-person PowerPoint presentations and video content. I am glad that I am able to have my part in worship at Gray.