PASTOR MIKE BRIGGS
Wow. How do you talk about yourself without sounding arrogant?
Not really sure, yet I would like to tell you a little about myself. So, here we go.
I am married to a wonderful woman, Stephanie, since September 15, 1996. Not only does she support God's call on my life to be a pastor, she is truly a Partner-in-Ministry with me. We have two amazing adult children. Caleb is going to school at University of South Florida. Naomi works full time as a much-loved preschool teacher.
We have two dogs. Jake who is about eight and is my running partner. Ziva, our daughter's dog, is an amazing (or troubling) burst of energy. Cricket is our son's cat that he left us with. She is my breakfast friend who must be reminded (so says my wife) to not get on the counter top.
I have had the privilege of serving First United Methodist Church of Tavares since January 2016.
I grew up in the small town of Manchester, Massachusetts, north of Boston. I graduated high school in 1985. I received my Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture and a Third Mates Unlimited License from Maritime College in the Bronx, New York City in 1989. I recieved a Master's in Social Work for the University of Central Florida in 1998. I completed my Masters of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida in 2009. I am Ordained Elder in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2015.
I served as the Youth Pastor of Aloma United Methodist Church in Winter Park, Florida from 1993-2006. I worked at Walgreens as an Assistant Manager from 2006-2009. I served the people at Saint Cloud United Methodist Church as their Pastor from 2009-2015.
I absolutely love to spend time with my wife and children. I ride my Harley Low Rider most Saturdays with my biker gang. I love kayaking wherever and whenever I can. I find great satisfaction in wood working projects and refinishing furniture. I shoot a recurve bow. I run and go to the gym - running really slow and lifting only a few pounds. I read books about Jesus, the local church as the hope of the world, and books and movies about spies (Jason Bourne to Kim Philby to Duško Popov.)
I love to teach people about God-the-Father, God-the-Son and God-the-Holy-Spirit so they can live effective and powerful lives for God in the abundant and eternal life of God!
Please listen to Jesus say to you,
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
(see Mark 4:9)
Paul Carraway holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The University of Florida, and has been involved in Music Ministry for over 35 years, serving in United Methodist, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. A Florida native, he is blessed to be married to his best friend, Deb, who directs the music program at St. James Episcopal in Leesburg. They are excited to have in their family their two grown children, their spouses, and three fantastic grandsons.
Paul encourages all of us, as the apostle Paul did in Colossians 3:16, to “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”