Past Event Speakers

Rev. Dr. Paula Smith

While listening to a sermon on Jeremiah 29:11-13, Paula Smith began to discern a call from God into vocational ministry. With the support of her church family, Ousley United Methodist Church, Paula obtained a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Paula’s gifts for ministry were affirmed by the Tennessee Annual Conference when she was acknowledged as a Licensed Local Pastor in September 2012 and as an ordained elder in full connection in June 2018. She received a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in the Wesley, Mission, Evangelism Tract in May 2018. Paula’s doctoral thesis was entitled Steal Away: Reclaiming Wholistic Health & Well-Being, which included a seven month comprehensive Clergywomen’s Health Initiative. Currently Paula is a coach, facilitator, and trainer with the John Maxwell Team and serves as the first female pastor at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church.

Rev. Dr. Vona Wilson

Rev. Dr. Vona Wilson came to Nashville as a paramedic where she served as the Director of the Emergency Medical Services in Williamson County, TN. While being ingrained in her leadership role in the medical community, Vona sensed the deep call of God to take her experience into full-time ministry. Vona has lived out her calling teaching youth and adults, and serving on administrative and ministry teams. Vona served as a chaplain for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and is currently a pastor at Franklin First UMC in Franklin, TN

Kristen Vincent

Kristen Vincent is an author, speaker, retreat leader, and the owner and principal artisan at Prayerworks Studio. Kristen has a Master of Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School and she is a graduate of The Upper Room’s two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation (Academy #34). Kristen loves dark chocolate, gadgets, and the mountains.

Tia Runion

Tia Runion is Director of International Relations, Europe & Global Contracts Manager at Upper Room Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys helping people share their faith stories and has led workshops in Asia, Europe, and the US.

Casey Seamon

Casey Seamon is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist currently on staff at the YMCA. She has several years of experience in all things food, nutrition, and wellness. Casey has a passion for impacting the lives of others through guidance in healthy lifestyle practices. She is dedicated to helping clients understand how to shop, cook, eat and live well.

Rev. Marie C. King

Rev. Marie C. King is an ordained deacon with the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. She has served in pastoral roles at multiple United Methodist churches and as a chaplain with Tristar Centennial Medical Center and as a volunteer chaplain with Skyline Medical Center. Rev. King is a Faith Community Nurse in the health ministry setting at the Office of Connectional Ministries of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church Health and Welfare Committee and Steal Away Ministries.

Rev. Dr. Kim McLean

Kim McLean is a songwriter with over 300 song credits by artists like Tim McGraw and gospel mainstays The Martins and Sierra. Grammy-nominated, she won a Dove award for her gospel copyright “Count Your Blessing.” She became an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 2009 and has lead revivals and retreats in multiple denominations. Kim earned her EdD in Leadership and Professional Practice in 2018 and while teaching at Trevecca University she directed and helped develop an Associate Degree Program in Songwriting. As the owner of HCT Media, Kim is building a Creative Collective of musicians, songwriters, preachers, and artisans.

Linda Furtado

Linda is a musician, artist, lay minister, seminary student, and certified candidate for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. While pursuing ministry efforts in teaching and training others through her website, she is a loving pastor’s wife and mother of three girls. Through helping other thrive, Linda is blessed to be a blessing to many and such opportunities to serve bring her great joy.

Sarah Denger

Sarah Denger is 28 year-old yoga instructor who loves her cat Petunia. Her passions include fitness/movement and activism for young adults battling cancer. Sarah is a two-time cancer survivor which drives her passion and desire to help others reach their potential, as their abled-bodies will allow. Yoga has been a great way for Sarah to connect my mind, body, and spirit, and it brings her nothing but joy to share this light with others.