xclose menu

Staff

Rev. Stephen Sparks
Lead Pastor
stephen@mapleschurch.org

Stephen Sparks has been serving as Lead Pastor at Maples since his appointment in July 2018.  Stephen is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and has served in various capacities throughout the time of his ministry. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Before coming to Maples, Stephen served churches in Kentucky, Southaven, Tupelo, the Gulf Coast, and Indianola.  He has also served as a clergy delegate to General Conferences in 2012, 2016, 2019, and will do so again in 2021.  As lead pastor, Stephen leads the way in developing and growing a vibrant ministry primarily through relational ministry and developing a large volunteer staff and small group leader network. Stephen is married with three wonderful children.  In his spare time, Stephen enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with his family. 

*********************************************************************

Rev. Sam Jones
Associate Pastor
sam@mapleschurch.org

Sam Jones has been on staff part-time since June 2019, but began his full-time appointment as Associate Pastor at Maples in July 2020.  Sam is a Licensed Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church and is enrolled at Memphis Theological Seminary pursuing his Masters of Divinity.  Sam discerned God's call to full-time ministry and is currently on the track for ordination as an elder.  Sam is a retired high school history teacher and is married with two children.  As our associate pastor, Sam will be focused on Christian education, online engagement, connections & integration of new members into the life of the church, missions & evangelism, and working with our senior adults.  In his spare time, Sam enjoys spending time with his family, going trout fishing, cooking outdoors, reading history and theology, and rooting for his beloved Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks.  

*********************************************************************

Dr. Joey Lott
Pastor of Worship Arts
joey@mapleschurch.org

Joey serves as Director of Worship Arts. He earned his BA from Delta State University and an MM in vocal performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He completed a Doctorate in Worship Studies at The Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies in June 2014. While earning his BA degree in music, Joey served as a summer missionary in Washington State, Oregon, and Tokyo, Japan. He is very active in The Fellowship (The Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians in Worship and Arts). Joey joined the Maples Ministry Team in 2001. Joey was born and raised in North Mississippi. He is married and has three children. Joey enjoys running, traveling, cooking, spending time with his family, and working in the yard.

*********************************************************************

Joel Garrott
Pastor to Students and Families
joel@mapleschurch.org

Joel joined the Maples team in summer 2019. Joel grew up in Mississippi and attended Ole Miss in Oxford where he studied history and worked for several summers in camping ministry. From there, he moved to Atlanta and earned an MDiv from Candler School of Theology. Joel works primarily with youth and college students at Maples. He enjoys tennis, frisbee, Lord of the Rings, and being outside.

*********************************************************************

Sarah Kirchhoff
Children's Ministry Coordinator
sarah@mapleschurch.org

*********************************************************************

Jane Downs
Administrative Assistant
jane@mapleschurch.org

Jane Downs has served Maples as Administrative/Financial Secretary for over 25 years, beginning as part time staff in January, 1980. She majored in English during a two year stint at Memphis State University. Born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, she grew up in and around the Memphis area. Jane is married, has three children, and four grandchildren. Traveling, reading, singing and trout fishing are her favorite forms of fun.

*********************************************************************

Brennan Ballard
Director of Media Ministry
brennan@mapleschurch.org

Brennan Ballard was hired as the Director of Media Ministry in June 2020 after his internship as such in the summer of 2019. Brennan directs the main service livestreams and provides other technical media services for Maples. He earned his bachelor's degree in Media Production from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2019. Brennan has attended Maples his entire life, and is as born and bred in Olive Branch as they come. He spends his free time playing games online with friends.

*********************************************************************

Amy Cline
Bookkeeping

Amy joined the staff in February 2011. She handles the bookkeeping services for the church and Maples Learning Center. Amy received her BA degree from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1993. She received her CPA certificate in August 1997.
Amy was born and raised in Prattville, Alabama. She moved to Olive Branch in 2001. She currently resides in Hernando with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading and working puzzles.

*********************************************************************

Shea South
Director of Maples Learning Center
shea@mapleschurch.org

Shea joined the Maples Learning Center Team in 2001 as an After School teacher. She became Assistant Director in August 2004, and then became Director in 2007. Shea completed the Director Credentialing in September 2004. She was born and raised in Walls, MS. She is married and has two children. Shea enjoys playing with her children, cooking, relaxing outside, and spending time with friends.

*********************************************************************

 
Bobbie Ross
Accompanist
Allen Sanders
Accompanist
sanders.allen@outlook.com

Jeanette Busby 
Assistant Director of Maples Learning Center
jeanette@mapleschurch.org