Meet the Staff

Rev. JonathAn Tompkins

Jonathan grew up in a small town in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York but quickly converted to “Southernism” when he moved to Columbia, SC after graduating college in 1998. He taught seventh grade English at Crayton Middle School for three years, then felt called into youth ministry. He served Shandon United Methodist Church as Director of Youth and College Ministries from 2001-2006. It was during his time at Shandon that he joined the United Methodist Church, met a wonderful woman, Rebecca Neal, who would a few years later become his wife, and ultimately felt God’s call into ordained ministry. He attended Candler School of Theology, Emory University from 2006-2009. In May of 2009, he was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in the SC Annual Conference, and then ordained an Elder in Full Connection in June 2011. Jonathan served as Associate Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach from 2009-2013. He was appointed to Travelers Rest UMC in June 2013, and has been incredibly blessed to pastor a growing, enthusiastic, open-hearted and open-armed church of folks since.

He continues to look forward to all the great things that TRUMC will accomplish in ministry, led by God’s Spirit, as we follow Christ as part of his kingdom of love, grace, and mercy here on earth. Jonathan has a passion for worship, preaching, teaching, and building relationships, and enjoys running, biking, reading, music, strong coffee, and time together with Rebecca and their two children.

Rev. Christine Matthews

Christine Matthews grew up in a small Ohio town. She began to experience a call to ministry as a part of her youth group in high school. She moved to Greenville to attend Furman University. At Furman, she majored in both religion and social advocacy and started a faith-based non-profit after school ministry called the Clubhouse Gang. After graduation, she became the full time director of this ministry to children and youth in low-income neighborhoods in Greenville and served as the director for eight years. This ministry was a life-changer and deepened and broadened her call to pastoral ministry and a calling to become a foster parent as well. During these post-college years, she met and married Kyle Thompson, a native of Greenville. background image In 2002, she and Kyle became foster parents. Also in 2002, Christine became a licensed part-time local pastor and was appointed to Minus Chapel UMC (Greenville District) for five years. While at Minus Chapel, she commuted to seminary at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta. Both Dominique and Andy became a part of the family during their years at Minus Chapel and Candler. In 2007 Christine graduated from Candler, was commissioned as a provisional elder, and was appointed as the senior pastor at Salem UMC (Greenville District). While at Salem, Christine and Kyle became parents again to Amelia. Christine was ordained an elder in full connection in June 2010 and served Salem until June 2015. She has been on family leave of absence since last June to spend more time with her three children. Christine has a passion for children, youth, local missions, social justice issues, and “the least of these” in our world. On the lighter side, she also has a passion for coffee, chocolate, and HGTV.

Office & Financial Manager: Jan Paxton

I am married to John and have two grown children, John and Jill, along with a daughter-in-law, Christina. Since 2002, I have worked at Travelers Rest United Methodist Church as the Office/Finance Manager, and I hold a BS in accounting/business from Furman University.

Nursery Worker: Nicole Cruell

Hi I am Nicole, I have worked in the nursery at Travelers Rest United Methodist since 2007. Throughout my time with TRUMC, I have been blessed to care for numerous babies, and form lifelong bonds. I love to play games, create crafts, and entertain children of all ages. I have 3 beautiful daughters and 3 four-legged kids who mean the world to me. I am beyond blessed to part of the TRUMC family.

Music Director: Jann Howell

I am a retired Music Educator with BA in Music Theory and MM in Music Composition. I have taught strings in Greenville public schools (and others) for 28 years; including teaching the hearing impaired, band, handbells, and autistic kids; played string bass in SC Philharmonic (and others) for 21 years; and have been an organist/choir director for about 40 years. I have been lending my talents to TRUMC since 2014.

Pianist: Debra Lusk

I grew up in the upstate of South Carolina and graduated from Converse College and Furman University. I am currently a part-time Chorus teacher at Greenville Middle Academy and have been the pianist at TRUMC since June of 1998.