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Our Staff


Rev. Dr. John Hinkle, Jr.

Senior Pastor

John has a passion in ministry to reach those wanting more than the world has to offer. He believes the local church is where one can raise questions and discover answers to life's problems and, through such a process, become awakened to the love of Jesus Christ. John is married to Leila Hinkle and they have a son, Tripp. Email him at

Rev. Bobby Harding

Associate Pastor for 
Family Ministries

Bobby spends most of his time around the families at FPC. He is passionate about equipping parents to disciple their own kids, creating spaces in our church family for intergenerational relationships to flourish, and helping kids come to know and experience a Gospel of Grace. Bobby and his wife, Lexie, have four children: Scout, Magnolia, Jovie, and Oscar.  Email him at

Rev. Joyce Merritt

Parish Associate

Joyce has a strong belief that all God’s children are created for “life, and that to the full!” (John 10:10)  She gets excited when folks share their time and talents with one another, living out the full life of Christ by sharing daily acts of Christian love.  Joyce directs Still Waters Family Ministries.  She and Timothy have five children.  Email her at

Lauren Brandon

Director of Children's Ministry 

Lauren Brandon is the Director of Children’s Ministry. She believes childhood is a precious opportunity to share Christ with receptive hearts. She is determined to share Christ with children one popsicle stick at a time. She is a wife and the mother of two children, who serve as guinea pigs for Sunday School lessons. She enjoys spending time with her family and God in nature. Email her at

Valerie Rains


Valerie serves as organist/accompanist for the church.  She took her first organ job during high school in Michigan and has been playing for churches ever since.  She loves using her gifts to help lift hearts to worship the Lord through music.  Valerie also teaches general music at John Pittard Elementary School.  

Jocelyn Fisher

Music Director

Jocelyn is the Director of music, overseeing our six musical ensembles, as well as conducting the two adult choirs. Jocelyn has a strong musical background, having performed in opera and concert in Fort Worth, Columbus, Santa Fe, and Dallas, among others. She currently teaches Private Voice and Diction at Belmont University.

Charlotte Lynn

Administrative Assistant 
Charlotte lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Byron and their two children Jackson & Emme. She has a master of divinity degree in psychology and counseling. She enjoys reading British mysteries and watching Lord of the Rings and James Bond movies. She considers herself a foodie and she loves Mexican food. Charlotte really likes the upbeat and happy atmoshphere at FPC. You can email her at 

Amy Smythe Leonard

Preschool Director

  Amy, the Preschool Director at FPC, works with the preschool teachers and parents. She feels honored to work with such wonderful teachers and blessed to be a part of such an important mission: working with the families in our community. Away from work, she enjoys spending time with her two girls, Kate and Caroline. You can email her at

Kym Taylor

Nursery Director

Kym loves helping parents ease their children into the church community.  She has worked with young children for over 12 years, and is CPR and first aide certified.  Away from work she spends time with her daughter, reading, and when the weather is nice, enjoys kayaking.

Pat Cox

Financial Secretary

Pat handles the finances of the church and preschool, and holds a degree in Business Administration from MTSU. She believes that God owns everything we have and we are to be good stewards of his funds. Pat is married to her high school sweetheart, Billy. She has three children and four wonderful grandchildren. Email her at

Joe Rich 


Joe serves FPC by helping to maintain the church building and property. If you asked Joe his favorite thing about working at FPC, he would tell you it would have to be the uplifting environment here. He is an active volunteer in the community and his local church.  You can reach Joe at the church 615-893-3882 ext: 36

Josh Dale


Josh also serves FPC by helping to maintain the church building and property. When he comes to work, he loves serving the Lord and feels that everyone here is more like family than just co-workers. In his time away from work, Josh loves watching football, movies, and spending time outdoors.  You can reach Josh at the church 615-893-3882 ext: 36

Sunday School

Sunday School

Sunday Worship

Middle School Pizza and a Movie

Lunch Hour Circle

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