Rev. Dr. Hannah Garrett Johnson – Senior Pastor
Hello, Everybody! I am so honored and humbled to be the Senior Pastor at Northbrook. I received my Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University as well as an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a juris doctor from Tulane University School of Law. I practiced law in Mobile, Alabama, for more than seven years, very much enjoying it – but God had other ideas about what I should be doing with my life! I am an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church and have pastored a number of churches in both the Alabama-West Florida and North Georgia Conferences. I enjoy gourmet cooking, music, reading, sports of all kinds, exercising, and good conversation. I like good coffee, dark chocolate, and shoes!
Phone: 770-998-2000, Ext. 225
Rev. Alex Smith – Associate Pastor
I grew up in church, but when I was fourteen, God radically changed my life. I felt called to follow God with everything I have. I struggled with it throughout the rest of high school, but then I found a powerful community at the University of Georgia Wesley Foundation. While I was there, God called me into full time ministry as I found that studying theology, having deep discussions, and living out what I was learning what the deepest passion of my life. I worked for 9 years at a homeless and at-risk youth ministry in Athens. Now I’m here at Northbrook because I feel led to help lead a local congregation, using my experience in theology and benevolence ministry to push to ever deeper knowledge of God and radical living. Come join me at the 9:30 service as I preach on such topics as: the love of God, Lord of the Rings, Mean Girls, and the structural integrity of Mexico City. I have been unnecessarily blessed with a beautiful wife, Audrey, and two amazing, funny girls (see picture, ridiculously cute). I love Bic pens. I am left handed and they don’t smear. Kudos if you’re still reading this.
Phone: 770-998-2000 ext. 243
Ryan Young, M.Div. – Student Minstries Director
I was raised in Charleston, SC. I grew up as an active member of the Episcopal Church, and youth group was one of the most important and formational experiences of my spiritual life. I went to Clemson University where I found a home with the Wesley Foundation, and began exploring a call to ministry. After I earned my degree in psychology in 2009, I went on to get my Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology in 2012 and have been in Student Ministry ever since. I have been blessed with a wonderful family which consists of my wife, Rachael, and our lab. You can find me on Sundays and Wednesdays in the End Zone leading the youth in worship!
Phone: 770-998-2000, Ext. 227
Leslie Bowers – Director of Children & Family Ministries
I was born in Clanton, AL and was active at Clanton First United Methodist Church in choirs, youth group, as an acolyte, and in local and conference youth leadership. After graduating from Alabama (Roll Tide!) with a degree in Secondary English Education, teaching a few years, and then working 8 years in a job that served its purpose but was definitely NOT the right fit, I began looking for jobs on the UMC Conference website because I KNEW I’d be comfortable working in a Methodist church. After God taught me a great lesson about asking for your dreams, I ran across an add for Children’s Ministry and thought, “Hey! Those are my favorite things and my best skills.” After much prayer and family discussion, I began applying for jobs in children’s ministry, eventually landing at Canton FUMC and then Northbrook through some powerful moving of God’s hands. I have TRULY found my dream job and the path intended for me. I LOVE loving on kids AND their parents while sharing the beauty of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, strength, and guidance. (I also gained my amazing husband, Drew, who is the Director of Choirs at Milton High School and Director of Music at Alpharetta Presbyterian and our 2 beautiful and amazing daughters, Tucker -8- and Cora -1- somewhere in there.)
Phone: 770-998-2000 ext. 230
Dr. Emily Johnson – Director, Northbrook Preschool
I am thrilled to direct Northbrook Preschool. My passion is the preschool age child. I started as director here in 2002 and previously had been on faculty in the Early Childhood Education departments at the University of West Georgia and Kennesaw State University. While at West Georgia, one of my responsibilities was directing their laboratory preschool. I served at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, LA as the assistant children’s minister from 1995-97. I have been a United Methodist all my life. I am a Stephen’s Minister at Northbrook and a member of the Circuit Riders Sunday school class. I love to read, knit, and grow flowers. I am married to Mike, and we have two sons and a daughter-in-law.
Phone: 770-998-2000, Ext. 231
Wade Starling- Financial Administrator
Hi. My name is Wade Starling, and I’m the Financial Administrator here at Northbrook. I feel extremely blessed to have ended up in this position at this stage of my life. The United Methodist Church has been a part of my life since I was a child, when my Mom would take my brother and I to Sunday School and Worship at Foundry UMC in Virginia Beach every Sunday morning. My Youth group–or MYF as we called it back then–was extremely impactful to me, as I was very fortunate to have some fantastic leaders. During my college years I wasn’t as diligent about attending church as I should have been, but the foundation that was built in those early years always remained. Shortly after my wife, Susan, and I moved to Roswell in 1991 we visited Northbrook, and it’s been our church home ever since. And it’s meant the same thing to my children, Will and Beth, that Foundry meant to me. To be able to serve as a Staff member now, after almost 40 years in the business world, is a true blessing. Please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of service to you at any time.
Phone: 770-998-2000, Ext. 226
Jerome Young- Facility Manager
Hi. My name is Jerome Young. I am the Facility Manager here at Northbrook. I am a native of New Orleans Louisiana. My wife Patricia and I moved to Georgia after hurricane Katrina in 2005. What seemed to be a catastrophe, eventually landed me at Northbrook UMC. It is an honor to be a part of this great ministry.
Phone: 770-998-2000 ext. 239
Carlos Ortiz- Modern Worship Leader
My name is Carlos Ortiz and I love being a part of the Northbrook family and community. I was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, but spent most of my childhood growing up in Hartford, Connecticut and Tallahassee, Florida. I graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Education. I started playing music in early high school and have played for churches ever since! I recently got married to my awesome wife, Mackenzie, and I love it that she gets to participate in leading worship with me here at Northbrook on a regular basis. We also love our young adult small group and have such great friends at this church (Come join us on Monday nights at 6:30!). When I’m not at work, I spend time playing and writing music, golfing with friends, drinking coffee while reading a good book, and watching sports.
Phone: 770-998-2000, Ext. 221
Brian McLeod – Minister of Music and Worship
Brian is a Georgia native, born and raised in Cartersville. A graduate of Shorter College, he has served in a number of churches as music director and organist throughout the north Georgia area.
He and his wife Susan have four grown children and three grandchildren. As outside interests Brian enjoys his musical projects, directing a community chorus, playing in a jazz band and accompanying local area school choruses.
Phone: 770-998-2000, Ext. 242
Debbie Nysewander – Office Administrator
I feel honored to be the Office Administrator here at Northbrook United Methodist! I moved quite a bit as a child being born in St. Louis, MO; moved to Overland Park, KS, and then my schooling years were in Norwalk, CT and Acton, MA. No, my father was not in the military. He worked for Mobil Oil and was transferred almost every five years. During my senior year of high school, we moved from MA to Dayton, OH (much to my chagrin). My degree is in Executive Secretarial from Bowling Green State University. In 1983 I moved down to Atlanta where I met my husband at Roswell United Methodist after being brought up Presbyterian. We have two grown children; Jonathan and Heather. The youngest members of my family are two white German Shepherds named Kate & Leopold. My main hobby is baking/cooking and am very comfortable in the kitchen.
Phone: 770-998-2000, ext. 225