Senior Pastor: Rev. Whit Byram
Whit has been pastor of First United Methodist Church in Cairo since June 2014, and is in his 15th year of ministry. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Asbury Theological Seminary.
Quotable Quote: “I love being a pastor and try to think a lot about the intersection between God’s story and what’s happening in the lives of people and our community and world.”
Fun Facts: Whit grew up in Savannah, GA. He and Katy have two children. He runs and enjoys any outdoor activity and in the third grade played Wilbur the pig, in a production of Charlotte’s Web.
Associate Pastor: Robert Beverly
Robert has been at Cairo First UMC since January 2014, so y’all can call him by his nickname—R.T. He is serving as the Associate Pastor with an emphasis on Youth Ministries.
R.T. is a Licensed Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church, and is in his second year of ministry. He is currently a student at Asbury Theological Seminary pursuing an M.Div. and is a candidate for ordination in the South Georgia District of the United Methodist Church.
Quotable Quote: “Love Jesus enough and everything else works out.”
Fun Facts: According to current and former students, R.T.’s greatest strength is that he can teach without being boring. So even though he’s a total nerd, it’s okay. Though he never played team sports, R.T.’s athletic adventures have run the gamut from Ballet and Tap Dance, Rock Climbing and Horseback Riding, all the way to Archery and Sword-fighting (yep, legit sword-fighting).
Minister of Music: Dr. Ed Lyon
Dr. Edward Smith Lyon attended Samford University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and received his Doctorate at Florida State University. He has been at FUMC since January 2007 and has served churches throughout Alabama, Arkansas and Florida. Most recently he was at Bradfordville Baptist Church in Tallahassee for 13 years, part-time. He is married to Mary McMahan, a nurse with Big Bend Hospice. Ed has two grown sons and six wonderful grandchildren. He works full-time as Chaplain for Tallahassee's Big Bend Hospice. He and Mary live in Crawfordville, Florida. They love to travel and have been to Germany/Austria, a Cruise to Belize, and several trips to California to see hippie son, Stephen and his five children.
Fun Fact: Dr. Lyon once played the part of Edna Turnblad (John Travolta's character) in the Broadway musical, "Hairspray."
Organist: Mr. Ed Self
Ed has been the organist and primary accompanist for First United Methodist Church since 1984. He is a graduate of Troy University and has a master's degree in music education with a principal in organ. Ed retired from the Grady County School System in 2007 after teaching choral and general music for 30 years. He holds memberships in the Georgia Music Educators Association, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and the Tallahassee chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Quotable Quote: "Each day should be part of a lifelong quest of learning.”
Fun Facts: Ed stopped riding horses when one ran away with him; He stopped playing golf when his ball landed in the wrong fairway, and he quit bowling after his ball rolled backwards into the chairs. He is thankful for music to fall back on!
Pianist: Mrs. Megan Lokey
Fun Facts: Megan enjoys spending time with family, reading, gardening and antiquing/thrifting, but really uses the time practicing for church as her number one hobby. It's the best stress reliever there is!
Preschool Director: Mrs. Jamie Allen
Jamie is a native of Cairo, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a B.S. in Psychology in 2000 and completed her Master of Education degree in Counseling from Georgia Southern in 2002. In 2004 Jamie and her husband of 13 years Chad moved back to Cairo and became active in the Cairo First United Methodist Church where Chad was raised. They have one son Tyson who fills their days with love and laughter. Jamie has served on the Children’s Council for CFUMC and has had a role in the preschool as committee member, volunteer, or director since 2006. Jamie has a true love for children and their development both ademically and spiritually. She also has a love for the Preschool and the families who are a part of it.
Quotable Quote: “Enjoy the little things because sometimes God’s biggest blessings come in the smallest packages.”
Fun Facts: Jamie enjoys cooking, going to the movies, and spending lazy days with Chad and Tyson. Jamie would love to eat a meal with Giada De Laurentiis and Ina Garten.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Assistant: Mrs. Ruth Sims
Ruth Sims has been a member of Cairo First UMC since 1967. Before coming to work at the Church in 1977, she had previously worked at Grady EMC and was a Tupperware consultant. Ruth is a member of the state and national chapters of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries. She has served in several elected offices of the state organization and is currently serving as the chairperson for the by-laws committee. She is also on the finance Committee of the National Association. She is a certified United Methodist Church Secretary having attended the certification institute at Emory University. She also attended the Church Business Administrators Certification Program at Emory University.
Fun Facts: Her hobbies include antiquing, collecting items that have morning glories and white angel figurines with musical instruments, reading and cooking. She is married to Ross Sims. Ross is from Ashland, Alabama and a graduate of the University of Alabama so the family members are all Alabama football fans. They have two daughters, Rhonda and Rebecca. Both daughters are married to United Methodist pastors, The sons-in-law were seminary roommates at Emory Candler School of Theology. Ruth and Ross are proud grandparents of Wesley Addington.