Say hello to the leadership team at Royse City First United Methodist Church

Meet our leadership

Say hello to the leadership team at Royse City First United Methodist Church.

Christopher Everson - Lead Pastor

Rev. Christopher Everson has served in various ministry settings since he moved to Texas in 2000. He has served in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2001.

Before he answered his call to ministry, Chris taught music in the public schools in Wichita, KS for 4 years. Pastor Chris graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music Education from Friends University in Wichita, KS in 1995. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 2005.

During his free time, Pastor Chris loves to watch baseball, play guitar, play golf and spend time outdoors. 

Chris is married to Tracy, the love of his life. They have three adult children (Deborah, Timothy, and Jacob) and one grandson (Samuel).

Jo Nell Mellody - Administrator

Jo Nell Mellody, a 30-year+ member, has served Royse City First United Methodist Church in a variety of ministries. Retired from Royse City ISD after a 30-year career, she served as community relations director and lead the formation of the Royse City ISD Education Foundation.

JoNell married Jim Mellody in 1976, and they have two married daughters, Candon and husband Danny; Casey and husband Gerard; and four precious grandchildren Lily, Lane, Oliver, and Camille.

The Mellodys enjoy spending time with family, game nights, throwing water balloons from the tree house, and traveling anytime there's an opportunity!

Maegan Kirschner - Youth Director

Maegan Kirschner brings her amazing ability to see God’s presence around us in beautiful and vibrant ways to her role as the Youth Director.  Maegan grew up immersed in the Methodist Church and especially enjoyed her participation in the Youth Ministry Program.  She lovingly carries those experiences with her into her role with the Royse City First United Methodist Church.

Maegan and Brandon were married in April 1998 in the original sanctuary (now the Chapel) of the historic Arcola United Methodist Church in Arcola, Virginia. Over the following 7 years and 7 months they were blessed by the birth of their 6 children; Austin, Brennan, Cameron, Daylin (the one and only princess of the family), Ethan, and Finnian.  

During this time of blessing Maegan managed, with God’s strength and guidance, to pursue a Bachelor of Art degree in History with minors in American Studies and Art History. She graduated in December 2011 from Missouri Southern State University.   After her graduation she taught history courses at NEO Northeast Oklahoma A&M College, where her ability to connect with her students and bring the subject matter to life in the classroom captivated her students.

Maegan’s steadfast belief in the beauty of God’s creations and the wondrous blessing of God’s Grace drives her to share her belief that we are called to share God’s message through our inner light.  In all the ways that she finds, she works diligently to share this light with others. She works as a volunteer with several local organizations, including working as the Co-Director and also teaching classes at a Homeschool Co-op in Greenville Texas, as the Art Gallery Director of the Texas Visual Arts Association Art Gallery, and serving on the Board of Directors with the Habitat for Humanity in Greenville.

Wanda Pille - Children's Coordinator

Wanda Pille retired in 2016 from Wilson Plywood and Door as Accounting Clerk. She has always worked in VBS and taught Sunday School up to 3rd grade. That was always a passion for her- to work with children. After retirement, she wanted to be more involved in her church. She says God has answered her prayers and placed her in the Children's ministry as Children's Coordinator.

Tom and Wand have been married for 30 years. He has two children (Dean and Traci) and they have 6 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In her free time, she loves watching good movies and being with friends.

April Payne - Connections Coordinator

April Payne loves helping people connect. As a military spouse for 20 years, April traveled the world meeting new people and exploring new places. She learned to grow roots quickly wherever she moved and bond tightly with the people God placed in her path.

April graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Elementary Education. She earned her Master's Degree in 2002 in Learning and Instruction from California State University- San Marcos. She taught grades K-5 for many years before choosing to stay home to raise her children. She has worn many different volunteer hats over the years- assisting deployed spouses with gaining access to resources, helping to teach struggling students to read, serving in Parent-Teacher Organizations, teaching women's Bible studies, and helping with Vacation Bible Schools. She and her husband Jason facilitate the Faith Forward small group on Sunday mornings.

Jason and April married in 1996, and they have three children in Elementary and Middle School. The Paynes love the outdoors- hanging out poolside, watching the kids' sports activities, working in the yard, and playing with their farm animals.

Lori Gilkinson - Praise Team Leader

Lori Gilkinson is originally from northeastern Ohio. Her husband Dean's Air Force career brought them to Texas and they decided to make this their home when he retired from the military. They have two married daughters and one awesome granddaughter, and love to spend as much time as possible with them.

Lori has been involved in the music ministry of several churches and feels blessed to lead our Praise Team in creating a worshipful experience of God's presence through contemporary Christian music. She also leads a small group study on Sunday mornings.

Lori is a senior branch office administrator for a financial services company. In her spare time, she likes to read and watch the Texas Rangers. She also enjoys exploring flea markets and shops, always looking for a bargain that can be restored or repurposed.

Bryson Foster - Choir Director

Bryson Foster is originally from the small town of Conyers, Georgia and grew up in Wylie, Texas. After graduating from Wylie High School he attended Texas A&M University Commerce where he studied under Dr. Randy Hooper and obtained his Bachelor's degree in Choral Music Education. He currently is a middle school and high school choir director.

Bryson has been connected to church since childhood and has been active primarily through music, singing as a soloist and section leader in various churches. He has been active staff at Royse City FUMC since 2017, and has plans to grow and develop the choir and music experience for the entire church. Bryson has a strong love for classical music, traditional sacred music, and jazz.

In his free time, Bryson loves watching and playing basketball, watching documentaries, and having jam sessions!

Richard Davis - Our Daily Bread Site Manager

Richard Davis has been a member of Royse City FUMC for many years and has served on many boards and committees. He currently plays keyboard with the Praise Band at the modern service and is accompanist at the traditional service. Richard also teaches the Steward Memorial Sunday School class. His other calling is director for Our Daily Bread food pantry.

Richard was raised here in Royse City and attended The University of Texas at Austin earning a B.S. in Chemistry in 1970, then received as M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in 1972. Most of his working years were spent at UT Southwestern Medical Center in biomedical research before his retirement in 2012.

Richard and his wife Pam have two grown sons (Nathan and Stephen) and one granddaughter (Kayden Grace.) His leisure time is spent gardening and reading.