Summer of Faith Preaching Series

Think we are taking the summer off? Think again. We invited noted local speakers to join us and speak on a selected theme. Speakers and themes change annually. Join us in the church sanctuary on Sundays at 11 A.M. This program occurs each summer when our church is on hiatus from its regular program for both children and adults. Here's this year's program brochure.


Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith

Congregational Life Staff, UUA Southern Region

Sunday, June 17

Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith joined the UUA Southern Region's Congregational Life Staff in August 2013. In that capacity, he is most often called upon to support congregations as they negotiate with ministers, enter into transition periods, and learn about Compassionate Communication and dynamics of institutional change. From July 2015 to December 2017, Carlton was deeply involved in establishing a long-term presence for the Movement for Black Lives within our UUA. Ordained in 1995, he has served congregations of various sizes in Metro New York, Greater Boston, Northern Virginia and Oakland, California. He lives in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Rev. Thomas A "Tom" Momberg

Retired Episcopal Priest

Sunday, June 24

Ordained in Chicago, Illinois, the Rev. Thomas A. "Tom" Momberg keeps celebrating the gift of more than thirty years as an Episcopal priest. While officially retired from full-time paid ministry, he now offers his gifts, skills, passion, and experience in several part-time endeavors, including Thistle and Bee Enterprises, a social justice ministry which helps survivors of human trafficking, and local juvenile justice reform in Shelby County. Before his refirement, Tom served as parish priest or as chaplain in seven states and completed residencies with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Center for Courage and Renewal. He loves music so expect a song from him when he preaches! Tom is blessed to be married to the Rev. Eyleen Farmer. They enjoy living together after a long, unintended season of distance marriage, as well as traveling and spending as much time as possible with six grandchildren.

Rev. Dorothy Sanders Wells

Rector, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Germantown

Sunday, July 1

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Rev. Dorothy Sanders Wells came to Memphis when she began her undergraduate studies at Rhodes College, and she has made Memphis her home since that time. She is a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. A practicing attorney in Memphis for nearly 18 years before her ordination as a priest, Dorothy loves the Memphis area and enjoys being involved in numerous community organizations. She and her husband, Herb, are the parents of two daughters, Alexis and Meredith. She enjoys reading, cooking and travel, and is frequently spotted around East Memphis walking or running with her adorable canine companion, Hollister.

Rev. Sandra Summers

Associate Pastor, Lindenwood Christian Church, Memphis

Sunday, July 8

The Rev. Sandra Summers currently serves Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis as an Associate Pastor. She is an alumnus of Andover Newton Theological School, Clemson University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Needless to say, Rev. Sandra loves learning! Her driving question is ministry is, "What does getting faith development right from the beginning look like?" To that end, Rev. Sandra's ministry is deeply rooted in faith formation and advocacy for the youngest in our communities.

Rev. Beth Lefever

Neshoba UU Church

Sunday, July 15

Rev. Beth Lefever was a sociology major at Indiana University South Bend and received a M.Div. degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She completed field work in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Muncie, Indiana. She served the Berrien UU Fellowship in St. Joseph, Michigan for four years as their halftime religious leader, and was doing poetry workshops for county jail inmates in her hometown of Elkhart, Indiana, before accepting the call to Neshoba UU Church. Beth has been with Neshoba UU Church for six years.

Andy Branham, Esquire

Attorney, Memphis

Sunday, July 22

Andy is an honors graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law and Rhodes College. Upon graduation from law school, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Robert M. McRae, United States District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. Andy is licensed to practice law in Tennessee. He is Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Attorney Well Being Committee, Member and Past Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Access to Justice Committee, Board Member and Past President of Memphis Area Legal Services, former Board Member of the Memphis Community Legal Center, Member and past Chair of the Memphis Bar Association Access to Justice Committee, is a Fellow with the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Foundation and the Tennessee Bar Foundation and a Master Member of the Leo Bearman Sr. Inns of Court. Andy works extensively with lawyers concerning balance of life issues and is a volunteer and Commissioner for the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program. He is a pretty good member of the Church of the River and married to Pam Branham who is a great member of the church. They have a cat named Jimmi and are dedicated Midtown Memphis residents.

Sara B. Dorrien-Christians (shown here with daughter, Ilsa)

Coordinator of Outreach Ministries at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Memphis

Sunday, July 29

Rev. Sara B. Dorrien-Christians serves as Coordinator of Outreach Ministries at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN. Before she and her husband, Will Christians, moved to Memphis in January 2017 (for Will to take a call as pastor of Shady Grove Presbyterian), she served as pastor to Pine Island Church in Kalamazoo, MI. Sara earned her college degree in Comparative Religion and Sociology from Western Michigan University before completing her Master of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. A believer in the church's calling to serve the community and wider world, Sara has engaged in outreach ministries from the local to the national level of her denomination. As a new Memphian, she is excited about the birth of MICAH. Aside from ministry, Sara enjoys running, singing, reading, and taking long walks with her dog, Dietrich.

Rev. Eric (Rick) Greenwood

Retired after 26 years as Rector of St. David's Church, Nashville

Sunday, August 5

The Rev. Eric S. Greenwood, Jr. ("Rick") is a native Memphian, having graduated from White Station High School. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University and a Master of Divinity from the General Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1973 and has served congregations across Tennessee and Virginia. He retired in 2014 after 26 years as rector of St. David's Church, Nashville. He and his wife, the former Sharon McCormack, have been married 46 years and have two sons and three grandchildren. Travel and spending time with the "grands" take up the lion's share of his time.

Dr. Lisa Jennings

Scholar, Scientist, Teacher, Entrepreneur, Memphis

Sunday, August 12

Lisa Jennings has been a member at First Unitarian for more than 30 years and served in various leadership roles including President of the Board and Chairperson of the Ministerial Search Committee. She is an entrepreneur and founder of two biotechnology companies, CirQuest Labs and Ariste Medical. As an academic, she has authored over 115 articles, several book chapters and reviews, and 150 abstracts. Lisa has been active in worship and liturgy over the years and taken seminary classes at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL. She is married to Past President and current Board member, David Jennings.