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
Rev. Harden is a second-career, retired Elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. She attended Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Justice and was the recipient of the Illinois Laureate Award for academic excellence. While attending undergraduate school, she worked for Commonwealth Edison Company, now Exelon Corp. for 18 years. After receiving her call to ministry, she attended the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois where she received her Masters of Divinity Degree and the Myrtle Saylor Speer Award for her contributions and expanding the vision of Women in Ministry.
Throughout her career, Rev. Harden has served several churches as an Associate and Senior Pastor in both urban and suburban-rural settings. She was a regular teacher on the International Sunday School Telecast on TV channel 38. She also served McCormick Theological Seminary as a part-time Field Education Instructor. While in seminary, she traveled abroad to Israel, Korea and Russia. Her greatest honor was becoming the first African-American and female to serve as pastor of Sycamore United Methodist Church where she retired in June, 2018 to be with her family in Georgia.
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 (now Wellroot). 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. They all love to hike and kayak on the weekends, and Alina is an avid reader.
Rachel is a lifelong United Methodist, and comes from a long line of church folks. Her grandmother, Faye Hutcheson, worked for the Council on Ministries at the Conference Office, her mom, Karen Fullerton, is the now retired N. GA Conference Benefits Officer, and her dad, Rev. Lee Fullerton, is retired clergy from the N. GA Conference and served at North Decatur UMC from 2007-2011. She loves the name "Aunt Rachel" best from her four nephews and one niece (Sam, Charlie, and Benjamin Ammons and Wyatt and Ada Fullerton). Rachel has a Bachelor of Science in History and Political Science from Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. Rachel works full time at Oak Grove United Methodist Church as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor. She is currently a member at Embry Hills United Methodist Church, where she is the lay leader and a youth counselor. You can reach Rachel at RachelF@ndumc.org.
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 Families Minister
Jon is an MDiv student at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Raised in the Church of the Nazarene, he grew up in Lenoir City, TN and developed a passion for children’s ministries. He earned his BS in biology from Trevecca Nazarene University before moving to Atlanta for Candler (the road to seminary is a long story that he would love to share over coffee). In his spare time, Jon enjoys reading/writing poetry, studying church history, karaoke car rides, and hunting down new coffee shops with good chai.
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.