Rev. Carissa Surber, Pastor
Rev. Carissa Surber is passionate about heartfelt worship and authentic engagement with scripture. From lifelong membership in the United Methodist Church and a heart for service with the broader community, she believes that all of life – from the sanctuary to the school, from the kitchen to the workplace – is an act of worship. She is interested having deep conversations with everyday people and exploring together what vibrant Christian living looks like in the 21st century.
Rev. Carissa is a full elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church who has been serving as the Executive Pastor at Severna Park UMC since July 2016. While at Severna Park, Carissa launched a network of young adult small groups, guided a robust program of mission work, led a large staff team with a focus on excellence and faithfulness, and collaboratively developed creative and engaging worship series. Before serving in Severna Park, Carissa led Trinity UMC through a variety of new experiences, including intergenerational worship, missional partnerships, and a stewardship campaign grounded in a theology of abundance.
Carissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, where she worked with foster families through Lehigh County Children and Youth Services. Before attending seminary, she spent time serving in direct care at the Board of Child Care. She graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in May 2015, and was ordained as an elder in full connection in May 2019.
Carissa and her husband Matthew are excited to return to Baltimore County, where they were married in 2012. Matthew is a native of Baltimore County, and grew up as part of Carroll’s-Gill’s UMC. He enjoys long distance trail running and all types of table-top gaming. Carissa enjoys singing, playing piano, hiking, listening to podcasts, and playing board games. In October 2019, Carissa and Matthew welcomed their first child, Deacon, who is the light of their lives. They currently live in Idlewylde, with their dog, Maisy.
Beth Woody, Church Secretary
Serving Hunt’s Memorial UMC for over twelve years, Beth is a key member of our staff. In addition to clerical and administrative duties, Beth coordinates and updates publications like The Point (the monthly newsletter), the weekly church bulletin, and prayer concerns. Her role very much serves as the public face of the church, assists the pastoral staff, and is the contact person for members of the church, visitors, and newcomers.
Patrick Weikle, Choir Director
Patrick hails from Scott Depot, West Virginia and attended West Virginia University. His lifelong interest in music has helped him to become a most accomplished musician. While at WVU, he was the President of the WVU Society of Composers, a two-time winner of the WVU Young Artists competition and also performed the works of Rachmaninoff as a piano soloist with the WVU Symphony Orchestra. Patrick has also been featured as a performer on radio station WQED in Pittsburgh. He also is an avid composer of sacred music.
Jim Holford, Praise Band Director
Jim came to Hunt’s Church in 1999 to direct the music program for the contemporary worship service. Not classically trained but musically gifted, he has a talent for playing by ear and writing music. His instruments are the guitar and keyboard, and during high school and college, he was a member of several local rock bands. A sojourn in California in the 1970s coupled with a conversion and commitment to Christianity fueled his interest in contemporary Christian music, which he explored and embraced during the 80s and 90s. For ten years, he played at local churches, including the Immaculate Conception in Towson. At Hunt’s, Jim conducts the Praise Band, a 10-person worship team that includes guitars, keyboard, bass, and drums, as well as singers, who provide Christian music for the 8:45 am worship service on Sundays. Jim invites all interested musicians and singers to join the Praise Band and experience the joy of making contemporary music that touches the majesty of Christ through a modern musical genre.
Cheryl Warren, Pianist & Musician
Cheryl Warren has a pivotal role in the musical life of Hunt’s Church. She provides piano music and accompaniment for scheduled worship services and other activities in support of our music ministry. Cheryl also works with our music director and worship team to rehearse with Hunt’s Chancel Choir and Children’s Choir.