Taylor was appointed to Grand Avenue UMC in October of 2020. He was ordained an Elder in Full Connection in The United Methodist Church in August of 2020 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Henderson Stand University, a Master of Arts in International Relations at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a Master of Divinity at Duke Divinity School.
Taylor is passionate about worship and the Church's history and tradition, traveling the world (cheaply), collecting old Bibles and prayer books, using fountain pens, and reading. He cherishes his frequent trips to El Salvador where he met his wife whom he married in Nov of 2018. Where he is happiest is with his wife or celebrating Holy Communion, though leading Bible Studies and pastoral visitation is a close second!
Sun Ug “Isaac” Choh has served as the Music Director at Grand Avenue United Methodist Church since September 2021. Isaac directs the Chancel Choir and Grand Avenue Bells. He also prepares and leads all congregational songs during worship. Isaac believes that the heart of music ministry is connecting to the presence of God through all kinds of musical elements. Isaac likes camping, fishing, cooking, and espresso coffee. Isaac, a native of South Korea, is an ordained Deacon in Full Connection and holds degrees from Sterling College, University of Oklahoma, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and University of Arizona.
Charla, who also goes by Michele, grew up in Fairfield Bay, AR and went to school at Shirley Public Schools. Upon meeting her husband in 1996, they made their home in his hometown of Stuttgart, AR in January 2001. Charla has three adult children, Josh, who lives in Oklahoma City, OK; Valorie, who lives in Stuttgart, AR; Robert, who lives in Tulsa, OK.
She has been the secretary at Grand Avenue UMC since February 2017. Since that time, she has met wonderful people in the Grand Avenue UMC congregation and has since become part of Grand Avenue's church family. She enjoys visiting with the members and listening to stories of the history of the church and listening to stories about themselves.
Spending time with her family and her grandchildren is her greatest joy. In her free time, she loves camping and hiking with her husband, taking road trips to capture the perfect sunset, reading, and collecting old bottles.
Wanda was born in Stuttgart and has been a member of Grand Avenue all her life being baptized as an infant. She attended a small parochial school for her first 6 years before finishing her junior high and high school in Stuttgart. Later she took organ lessons from Miss Doris Whilhelm who was the organist at Grand Avenue.
Wanda married Pat Mayfield in 1963 and had two sons, Jay and Brad. Jay lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Brad lives in Lake Village, AR. They now have a precious granddaughter, Mary-Margaret.
Austin is married to his wife Erin and they have two wonderful daughters, Allison and Emma. He is a lifelong resident of Arkansas County and the Stuttgart area.
Both Austin and Erin are passionate about youth ministry and focus on the relationships with youth. Erin is a former teacher, while Austin has served as youth director in three churches and was the Park Director for the City of Stuttgart. Austin also is a high school sports official and youth sports official.
“People say that kids are our future, but I disagree. Kids are our present. Youth ministry is not about how many kids we get to show up, but about the relationships we make and the impact we have. Our number one job is to tell our kids about Jesus.”
Outside of church Austin and Erin operate Hayes Family Farm. A small farm in Lodges corner that raises beef, chicken, and produce. Allison loves gymnastics and Emma loves animals of all kinds.
History of the Congregation
The Grand Avenue United Methodist Church was organized in 1887 with seventy-four members as a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church and became the first Methodist congregation organized in Stuttgart. This new congregation worshiped in a store building located at 426 South Main Street. The Rev. George Noble was the congregation's first pastor. A small frame church was constructed in 1889 at the present location and hosted the Arkansas Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1905 with Bishop William Fraser McDowell presiding and again in 1915 with Bishop Frank Milton Bristol presiding. The original frame building was replaced in 1941 by the present church, which was designed by the church's pastor, Roland E. Darrow, and was constructed by the men of the church, along with help from community friends, while the women of the church prepared their meals. The sanctuary and educational unit were debt free and dedicated by the Rev. Neil Hart, District Superintendent, on September 14, 1941. Building materials, some of the furnishings and the bell of the original church are included in the present building. The sanctuary light fixtures are from the First State Bank building once located at Third and Main in Stuttgart. A larger Fellowship Hall was added in 1958. The Grand Avenue Church has a rich history of worship, Christian education and programs for all groups, and for addressing human need both locally and internationally.
What We Believe