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Rev. Moonsup “Paul” Song, Pastor
Pastor Song came to Bethany in July 2021 after having served St Paul UMC, in Christiansburg, VA for six years.
Pastor Song was born in South Korea, became a US citizen, and has been married for 32 years to Mihaw Kim Song with three grown sons, Joseph, Timothy, and Daniel. He earned his bachelor degree from Soongsil University in S. Korea, his Master of Theology degree from Seoul Methodist Seminary, and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. Since becoming an ordained Deacon in 1992, and Elder in 1994, he has served local churches in the Virginia Annual Conference.
His passion for ministry is in deepening congregational spirituality, transformative spiritual leadership formation, and contemplative and authentic faith, living to be attentive to the work of God among the congregation, community, and the world.
He enjoys Jogging, walking, hiking, and bicycling, gardening, and spending time with family. He also enjoys college basketball games especially, Blue Devils, Hokies, and the Virginia Cavaliers. He is excited to get to know Bethany family, friends, and neighbors.
Sandra Fox, Director of Music
Sandy was born in Roanoke, Virginia and moved to Hampton Roads in 1965. She graduated from Cradock High School then graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Christopher Newport. She began performing in musical theatre in the 1970s; performed American music and liturgical dramas in Europe and USA in the 1980s.
Sandy began her spiritual journey as a Baptist, then became a United Methodist in the 1970s. She came to Bethany in 1987 as Choir Director where she has produced numerous Easter, Christmas and Children’s programs over the years.
Sandy married Bob Fox in the 1970s. She has two children and four grandchildren.
God has been with her throughout her life leading and guiding her. His steadfast love for all things is a life she wishes to embrace and follow through prayer and dedication.
Dr. Rudy Shackelford, Organist/Pianist
It may seem providential, if not preordained, that Rudy Shackelford should end up as Organist of Bethany UMC. Because after many childhood piano lessons dampened the allure of music, Rudy had settled on architecture as a future career—only to be “blown away” by the pipe organ at Trinity UMC in Newport News. A recital there by visiting Belgian virtuoso Flor Peeters revealed the inner architecture of musical sounds and reignited Rudy’s passion for this craft and art. But while he matriculated as an organ major at VCU, a course in music theory uncovered Rudy’s latent talent for composition. A scholarship for graduate study in that discipline brought him to the University of Illinois, where he earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in 1971.
Following graduation Rudy pursued a career as freelance composer and writer. His work was supported by residence appointments at centers for the creative arts such as Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH) and the Ossabaw Island Project (Savannah, GA). A stipend from the Rockefeller Foundation facilitated post-doctoral research in Italy on the work of Luigi Dallapiccola. A collection of his essays translated and edited by Rudy Shackelford was published in London.
Rudy’s original compositions and transcriptions have been commissioned by the Annapolis Brass Quintet, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many other organizations; they have been published internationally by Boosey and Hawkes, Belwin-Mills, and Edizioni Suvini Zerboni. Recently Paraclete Press published two compositions which Rudy wrote to celebrate Bethany’s 110th and 120th anniversaries: Trumpet Voluntary and Charles Wesley Organbook. Copies of these works can be found in the church library.
Soon after joining the staff in June 1997, Rudy perceived the urgent need to upgrade Bethany’s organ and piano consistent with his vision of a professional music ministry. With the enthusiastic support of Rev. Dr. Braxton Allport and key leaders such as Maxine Bayly and George Nelson, Rudy offered a challenge grant of $30,000 which the congregation quickly matched (and more!), affording the acquisition of an Allen three-manual digital organ and Steinway grand piano. Rudy has featured these excellent instruments in the twenty annual recitals he has given since 1999, raising over $10,000 to benefit the George Nelson Memorial Concert Series and the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society.
Kris Kent, Director of Children and Youth Ministries
Kris and her husband Jonathan have been active members of Bethany UMC for twenty years. They raised their now young adult sons, Austin and Connor, here they are both confirmed members as well. After leaving Bethany’s Staff the Summer of 2019 to care for family, Kris felt called to return to the position as Director or Children and Youth Ministry in September 2021. She previously held the position from December 2016 to July 2019. Prior to that she was the Children’s Ministry Director at Bethany from May 2006 to December 2016.
Kris draws on her professional background in Early Childhood Education, as a Kindergarten Teacher, as well as many professional positions in Customer Service Management and HR to provide well organized, safe and dynamic Christian-based activities for both ministries.
Being raised with her three sisters as an active United Methodist herself, Kris knew upon her confirmation in 8th grade that her walk with Jesus would be a rewarding, lifelong journey. She was involved in Sunday School, Bible Studies, retreats, summer Christian Camps, Job’s Daughters, mission projects, Youth Group and Junior Choir. These are all a part of her personal Christian foundation that she looks forward to drawing from when making plans for connection with Bethany’s youth and children. Kris knows it is truly God’s blessing and is excited to be able to serve in person and digitally as a ministry leader at Bethany UMC. She happily looks forward to being part of the next generation as they begin or continue their journey with Jesus Christ.
On a personal note, being a New Englander for much of her life, when Kris and her family are not at church you may find them watching a Red Sox, Patriots or Celtics game! Kris also enjoys cooking, crafting, being a UPSer’s wife, Mom to her two guys and their yearly beach vacations.
Dee Dee Wike, Church Office Administrator
Dee Dee served as Bethany’s Church Office Administrator from September 2014 through May 2020, leaving to pursue opportunities with a Hampton Roads non-profit organization during the COVID pandemic. Sensing God was moving her back toward a ministry position, she resigned her non-profit position and began praying for God’s confirmation. In October 2021, she happily returned to her “dream job” at Bethany.
Dee Dee and her husband Steve are actively involved in Bethany’s choir and share a passion for worship and music. Although she has a degree in Music Education, Dee Dee’s strength is providing administrative support to the pastor, staff, and congregants of the church, a calling she thoroughly enjoys.
Dee Dee is a native Texan and life-long Memphian, who moved to Virginia with Steve and their adult children, Chris and Joy, in 2014. Happily married since 1987, Steve and Dee Dee now consider Gloucester their home.
A published author of three devotional books, Dee Dee spends time daily reading and studying God’s Word. Her passion for scripture continues to grow as God reveals himself through His Word. It is her most cherished position.
Cathy Raines, Treasurer
Jack Whitmore, Finance Chairperson