Staff

Staff

Rev. Melanie Ruta – Interim Pastor

Pastor Melanie’s call is to churches in transition. Grace Covenant is her fifth interim after serving as interim pastor at four other congregations in Central Florida Presbytery. She is an active member of the CFP Committee on Ministry and a commissioner to the 224th General Assembly in 2020. Prior to being called to the ministry, Pastor Melanie was an attorney and business owner in Orlando. She and her family have called Central Florida home for over 30 years.

Mike Beam – Interim Director of Youth and Family Ministry

Mike felt Christ’s call to minister to students and young adults 30 years ago. He was a volunteer for First Presbyterian Church Orlando’s Youth for 15 years; the full-time Director of Youth Ministry at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in College Park for 12 years; and became a youth ministry volunteer here at Grace Covenant after retiring in 2017. Mike served on The Great Escape-Southwind planning team, on the Board of Directors for Aldersgate Chrysalis (21 years), and more recently The Russell Home for Atypical Children where he is a full-time volunteer. Mike is married to Vantrease Blair, Executive Director of The Russell Home. They are guardians to Emily, a special needs child from China. Mike’s interests are playing guitar, thinking about working out, imagining a good golf game, and chasing Emily.

Sheryl Chernault – Director of Children’s Ministry

Sheryl has extensive church-based experience in Children and Family Ministry and Christian Education. While more recently serving at AdventHealth, she was responsible for creating and producing CREATION Kids materials for churches, hospitals, schools and homes. Sheryl is passionate about people and loves spending time with her family and with all who God brings her way.  We are blessed that she followed God’s leading to Grace Covenant.

Rhonda Edmiston – Church Secretary

Rhonda is a native Floridian.  She was raised in central Florida and graduated from the University of Central Florida.  Rhonda and her husband, David, have lived in the Conway area for over 30 years. She is a long time member of the Grace Covenant Chancel choir and became Secretary of Grace Covenant in 2011.

Dr. Kelly A. Miller – Choir Director

Kelly received her doctor of musical arts degree in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University in 2010. Since 2012 she has been with the University of Central Florida as the coordinator of music education and the director of women’s chorus.  She has served as music minister for Methodist churches in Michigan and with Presbyterian churches in Florida and Nebraska.  She plays the flute and saxophone.

Barbara Browning – Organist

Barbara Browning has a B.S. in Church Music and Music Education from Cincinnati Bible Seminary and an M.A. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in music education, voice and piano.  She has over 30 years of  professional experience in vocal, piano, and organ performance nationally and abroad, teaching private and collegiate levels, composing, organizing and directing vocal ensembles, choirs, and producing musical and theatrical productions.  Barbara has been an instructor at Valencia College since 1998, St. Andrew’s Music Conservatory since 2006, and currently has a private studio of 20 students.

Phyllis Cornell – Financial Director

Phyllis has served Grace Covenant, first as Financial Secretary and then as Financial Director, since 2015. Prior to that she served our sister church Park Lake Presbyterian from 1996 to 2015.  Phyllis  is a native of Miami and graduated from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in North Carolina.

Rev. Karen Estes – Parish Associate

After studying theater at Vanderbilt University, Karen responded to God’s call to ministry. She graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary and ordained by the PC(USA).  Pastor Karen served large and small churches in Tennessee, Florida and Texas before coming back to Central Florida again in 2014. She is an active member of Central Florida Presbytery and a frequent preacher in local pulpits. Karen brings her many gifts and talents for ministry to her new position here at Grace as Parish Associate for Pastoral Care.

Wayne Champion — Facilities

Wayne is a long-time resident of Central Florida and member of Grace Covenant. He has served the church for many years maintaining and repairing the church facilities.

Edie Fike — Facilities

Edie assists in cleaning and caring for our church facilities and also serves an on-site ambassador to community groups who use the church facilities in the evenings.

Kimberly Cliett – Director, Small Blessings Child Care