Evangelists & Staff 2018


Rev. John Branning, John Branning is the senior pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Meridian, MS where he has served since 2013. John also serves as the Brigade Chaplain for the 185th Theater Aviation Brigade with the MS Army National Guard and has served twice in combat theater in Northern Iraq. He and his wife have three sons, B.J., Aidan, and Jasper. He holds degrees from East MS Community College, Mississippi State, and Memphis Theological Seminary. John will be our evangelist for the entire 2018 Campmeeting.  

Music Director

Tom Mercier
, We are fortunate to have our own Tom Mercier, the Worship Pastor of Felder UMC, leading us in worship this year.


         Vicki Martin Mercier, will be blessing us again with her musical talents.


         Steve Russell, Steve teaches piano at Co-Lin Community College and lives in Brookhaven, MS. He has been with us the past few years and will bless us again with his musical gifts.

Children's & Youth Ministers

         Carolyn Felder, 4 through 6 year olds.  

Mike Howington,

Mike HowingtonMike graduated from the University of Louisiana in Monroe, Louisiana. “My enthusiasm for youth ministry started when I was a college student. I just wanted to find a place of involvement when I saw the huge lack of student ministry people. My heart wanted to help solve the problem. So my passion is to help the church recreate youth culture,” he relates.

Since joining the Mississippi Conference’s Connectional Ministry team in 2013, as the Youth and Family Ministry coordinator, Mike has been instrumental in:

        Building The Gathering Student Conference to be the largest Mississippi Conference student event in history. In 2017, over 1500 students were in attendance.

        Growing connection among youth workers throughout the state of Mississippi; impacting districts through training events and district gatherings of youth ministries.

        Developing the SMI movement (Student Ministry Initiative) which has multiple levels to it with the most significant being the SMI Conference. Along with the conference, the SMI Cohort for youth workers has launched their third year long group.

        Teaming with Ministry Architects, Inc. to develop a Cohort for youth from across the state. This year 14 students have begun a two-year journey.

        Teaching each of you! Mike has spoken at churches, small and large workshops on: Lead Small, Leading Effective Change and It’s Just a Phase, so Don’t Miss It.

        Leading by speaking at many different events throughout the year, by helping small camps with programming, and by assisting local church youth ministries evaluate their core values.

 Mike is married to Tara, and has two daughters, Annsley (8) and Adelyn (3). During his free time, Mike also enjoys playing softball and golf, and he is the self-proclaimed world’s best Ms. Pacman player.

Felder UMC Host Pastor

        Rev. Michael Evans

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