Senior Pastor of North Decatur
Patrick Faulhaber serves as the pastor at North Decatur United Methodist Church. He received his Masters in Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University after graduating from Pfeiffer University with a degree in Religious Studies. His wife Susannah serves as the Director of Nurture and Children’s Ministries at Embry Hills United Methodist Church and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Wise Heart Families Therapy in Tucker. Patrick and Susannah have two dogs: Khayli and Benny who keep them thoroughly entertained! Patrick’s hobbies include running, biking, and gardening—essentially anything that gives him an excuse to be outside. You can contact Patrick at patrick @ndumc.org.
Minister of Visitation
Edrye (ed’ree) Maurer is a recently retired, second-career ordained clergywoman. She has lived and served in rural, suburban and urban locations. Throughout her adult life she has often worked with differently advantaged people.
Edrye moved from Michigan to Decatur early in 2017 to be near family. Georgia is the eighth state Edrye has called home. Edrye has skills in using a sewing machine, a library card and a passport.
Rachel is a PhD student in Hebrew Bible at Emory University and the Theologian-in-Residence here at North Decatur. In 2017, she received her Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference. Before that, she was at the University of Rochester majoring in physics, music, and religion, and spending most of her free time with the medieval re-creation group known as the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Rachel is an unabashed nerd about everything from liturgy and United Methodism to ancient languages and ancient manuscripts to sewing and crafting of all kinds. She plays the flute (among other things), writes hymns on occasion, and enjoys British television and ice cream.
Office and Communications Director
Alina joined North Decatur In April 2014 after working in nonprofit communications and fundraising, including eight years at the United Methodist Children’s Home. A life-long United Methodist, Alina grew up in Roswell UMC and is now a member of Eastside UMC. Alina earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Furman University – where she met her husband, Jeff – and Masters of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Alina and Jeff have two sons, Charlie and Caleb. When she’s not in the NDUMC office, you’ll probably find Alina building LEGOs with her kids or getting lost in a book.
Director of SAND Preschool
Emily Howard is the Director of SAND - the School At North Decatur. She came to us in 2011 as a teacher and has over 15 years experience teaching preschool. Emily grew up in Atlanta but spent some time as an organic farmer and instructor at UMN in New Mexico. Emily has a B.A. in English and in History and loves the Reggio Emilia approach to education. Her own creativity, coupled with an enthusiasm for a Reggio-inspired approach to teaching, provides an exciting foundation for the programs at SAND. In her spare time, Emily quilts, raises chickens and loves gardening.
Alfred has been a member of the North Decatur staff since October 1980. Alfred grew up in the city of Lithonia, Georgia along with seven other siblings. He has previously served as youth minister at The Druid Hills Church of God in Christ in Lithonia, and now serves as an assoiate minister and worship leader at The Temple of Faith Church of God in Christ in East Atlanta. He enjoys sharing the good news of Jesus Christ by giving of his Time, Talents and Treasures.
Director of Worship and Arts Ministry
As the Director of Worship and Arts, Sandra serves as Organist and Director of our Chancel Choir, Men’s Chorus, Contemporary Ensemble, and Handbell Choir. The Worship & Arts ministry seeks to support and create opportunities for using creative gifts in Worship for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Sandra Kirton has served as accompanist for several local, district, conference, and jurisdictional events and was recently selected to serve as Organist and as one of six House Musicians at the 2012 United Methodist Church General Conference in Tampa, Florida. Sandra is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Fellowship of United Methodist in Music and Worship Arts. She has previously served as Director of Music at several Atlanta-area United Methodist churches and most recently served at St. Mark’s UMC in Brooklyn, New York where her husband, the late Rev. Dr. F. Allan Kirton (former GBGM Staff Member) was Senior Pastor. She welcomes all who wish to share their creative gifts in Worship.
Children and Family Minister
Brittany Morgan serves North Decatur United Methodist Church as the Children and Family Minister. She is also working on her Masters of Divinity at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Brittany and her two daughters, Genevieve “Evie” and Amelia, and their two cats, Coco and Ms. Little LB, moved to Decatur from Mississippi in July 2018. Most of Brittany’s time is spent keeping up with her children, they love to take walks, go swimming, draw and watch Pokemon. In her spare time Brittany enjoys painting, crocheting, singing and playing her banjo.
The Table Music Leader
Nik Pettye is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and a product of Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, an institution related to the United Methodist Church. Ever since childhood he has been composing worship music and singing in church. Nik has been exercising his gifts of creative worship as a worship leader since he was a freshman in college. As an indie inspirational recording artist and Spoken Word artist, he is also affectionately known by his artist name "nYk p" (pronounced "Nik P").
Nik received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with an emphasis in television, film, and radio from Paine. He is currently a student of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia which is the United Methodist seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center. After graduating, he desires to continue serving in worship leadership full-time by way of the United Methodist Church by leading God’s people in worship experiences that incorporate all facets of the fine arts, media, and production.
Daniel is a Master of Divinity student at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is joining the NDUMC team as a pastoral intern through Candler’s Contextual Education program. A native Kansan, Daniel graduated from Southwestern College with a degree in Philosophy and Religion before moving to Atlanta in 2017. After graduating with his MDiv in May 2020, he plans to return to Kansas to begin serving as a local licensed pastor in the United Methodist Church. He loves to hike and spent any spare time in the pottery studio where he makes functional and decorative pieces, mostly for friends and family.
Jenna Shepherd is the Bookkeeper at NDUMC. She returned to college as a single parent when her daughter, Traci, was fourteen years old. She earned a B.S. degree in Commerce and Business Administration with an accounting major from the University of Alabama, and then an MBA with a concentration in management information systems and accounting focus at the University of Georgia.
Jenna's professional background includes accounting and/or systems management positions as well as teaching at the two year college and technical college level. Included in that experience is one of parish administrator for a start-up church.
Jenna has served as a volunteer with CHOA at Egleston; Kairos Prison Ministry; and as the leader of Hearts 4 Christ, a movie ministry at the women's transitional center in Atlanta.
Jenna has discovered a love of gardening in recent years and she is a beginning silversmith. She and her husband of 31 years, Don, live in Conyers with their 3 rescue dogs: Kizzy (Kismet), Tyler, and Dottie. Traci and her husband live within walking distance.
Tyler is United Methodist to his core, originating from both Illinois and Kansas. In June 2015, he graduated with a BA in Religious Studies from North Central College (Chicago, IL). During his undergrad years he also worked with Rockford Urban Ministries and Urban Village Church (Wicker Park). In May 2018, Tyler earned his Masters of Divinity degree from Emory University: Candler School of Theology. He is an avid hiker, a dedicated (though goes at his own pace) runner, and loves meeting for conversation over a cup of coffee.