Our Staff

  • Erik Mays

    Senior Pastor

    Rev. Mays became Pastor of Villa Rica First UMC at the Garden in June of 2017. Prior to arriving in Villa Rica, he served as Pastor of Senoia UMC from 2013 - 2017,  Associate Pastor of Marietta First UMC from 2011-2013, Minister to Youth of Belin Memorial UMC in Murrells Inlet, SC from 2009-2011, and Youth Minister of Covington First UMC from 2006-2009. In June of 2013 Rev. Mays was ordained an elder in full connection in the North Georgia Conference.


    Rev. Mays is a lifelong United Methodist having grown up in the Due West UMC in West Cobb. Following high school he received two undergraduate degrees; one from Reinhardt College in Liberal Arts, and a second one from LaGrange College in Religion and Philosophy. In 2009 he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Rev. Mays considers his passions in ministry to be helping connect people to their own ministries within the life of the local church/community, and revitalizing the local church for faithful and fruitful transformation through Jesus Christ. Rev. Mays has served on over 20 short term mission trips; some in the U.S. and some in places such as Mexico (when he met his wife), Poland, Venezuela, Peru, and Guatemala.


    Rev. Mays has served on the LaGrange District Strategic Growth Team and the LaGrange District Committee on Ordained Ministry (dcom). In addition, he has served as a candidacy mentor for those discerning a call into ministry. In May of 2015 Rev. Mays completed the Royce and Jane Reynolds Program in Church Leadership with the Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC and the Center for Creative Leadership. 


    Rev. Mays has been married to Lindsey since June of 2007. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in Tyrone. Erik and Lindsey have two daughters, Addie Grace and Avery, and a dog named Ellie. In their free time they enjoy warm hugs, being outdoors, wearing tutus and disagree about college football (Roll Tide!)

  • Assistant to the  Pastor/children's Ministry Director

    Amanda Miller

    I am the Children's Ministry Director at VRFUMC. My greatest passion is to teach, teaching God's word is just an incredible bonus I get to do on a daily basis. I begin working for our Children's Morning Out program in 2011. I became our Children's Ministry Director in 2014. I have my associates degree in early childhood education with a specilization in children with exceptionalities. I am abundantly blessed with two beautiful children Kaytlynn, 8 and Wyatt, 5. I take great pride in teaching children to know God's love and showing them how to be God's hands and feet. I lead everyday with, "Children will not remember you for the material things you provide, but for the feeling that you cherished them."


    Erin Backus

    Erin came onto our staff in August of 2014. As an educator, she came well prepared to work and love on our students. She has a degree in early childhood education from the University of West Georgia. She has been teaching for 10 years, 8 in a second grade classroom and 2 in our VRFUMC CMO/Preschool. She is the mother of 3 beautiful children and has the pleasure of serving in ministry with her husband, Jason. She looks forward to growing our student ministries here at VRFUMC while spreading the love of Jesus to your children. students.villarica@gmail.com


    Jason Backus

    I am servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am currently a Finacial Advisor with Norton Financial located in downtown Villa Rica. I received a Masters in Math Education and a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from the University of West Georgia. I am a middle child of three sons and a father of two young boys name Joshua and Jacob and one beautiful girl named Ellisyn. I am also a husband to my wonderful wife Erin Backus (who is practically perfect in every way). I am excited about the future of the Youth Ministry here at Villa Rica First United Methodist Church as I serve as the Youth Minister. 


  • Worship leaders

    We are so excited to lead worship at VRFUMC!  We both have a passion for serving God and good music, so this has been such a huge blessing to us. We have been playing music together with various groups for almost 14 years, and we couldn't be happier to finally have a church to call our home.  Matt graduated from Point University in 2006 with a B. A. in Biblical Studies. In 2013, he graduated from UWG with a M. Ed. in Special Education. He has been teaching in Haralson County for almost 10 years.  Alison graduated from UWG in 2005 with a B. S. in Early Childhood Education. She received her M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education in 2016. She has been teaching for 13 years.  We have been married for 8 years. We have two daughters: Elise and Cate. 

  • CMO Director

    I am excited to join the VRFUMC CMO/Preschool as Director. I have 20-years of teaching experience, in which 10 years are in Pre-K and Kindergarten. The other 10 years I taught First, Second, and Fourth grades. Both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees were earned at the University of West Georgia. Along with my husband Phil, our family stays busy with three teenage boys who each wrestle for their schools here in Villa Rica.  I look forward to working with the staff, students, and families in the CMO/Preschool program.

  • ADMINISTRATIVE Coordinator

    Stephanie Tullis

    Stephanie earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Law and Legal Assistance from Morris Brown College. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Cultivating You, Inc., a youth literacy nonprofit organization. An avid reader, Stephanie can be found blogging about books, education, and more on her blog Say Whaaat.   

  • financial secretary

    Jane Massey

    Hello, it is an honor and my great pleasure to serve the Lord and this church as the financial secretary. I met my husband, Ken, when I moved to Georgia from Michigan 20+ years ago. We are blessed with 5 children who have doubly blessed us with 9 grandsons and 3 granddaughters. Ken & I moved to the “retirement” home of our future in 1998 when we bought the 63 acre cattle and hay farm in Bowdon, GA. I haven’t “retired” yet – instead of retirement, I enjoy my service to this church, driving the tractor during hay season on the farm and visiting with the family whenever possible. 


    Rick Quinton

    My name is Donell Ricardo Quinton – “Rick”. Besides my musical activities, I enjoy a good story. Whether it is in a book, a movie, or a video game, I enjoy well-told stories. I especially enjoy learning the obscure stories in the Bible as they make for good aces-in-the-hole for Bible Trivia. The extended english vocabulary interests me as well, not just because it's a giant mixing pot of different languages, but also because the best written stories are often the ones that use words in unique or unheard-of ways. Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, and Biking are all things that I profess to enjoy, but probably should do more often. I'm a tech junkie, I like building PCs, as they remind me of my LEGO building days, and researching and being able to utilize the various gadgets that have become commonplace in today's society. Biotechnology, the way the technology interacts and intersects with nature intrigues me and in general, I just like to know things. 

  • George Eidson

    Adult Choir Director

  • Sami Glission

    Director of Worship Arts