Our Staff

Pastor Mark Bitner

Lead Pastor

Mark was born and raised in the great state of Minnesota, don't ya know. He attended North Central University in downtown Minneapolis, studying youth ministries. While in college Mark worked as a 6th grade pastor at Lord of Life Church for one year. After that he spent four years as a high school pastor at Horizons Community Church, interning part of the time and working on staff. Mark felt called to full-time ministry and warm weather, and in July of 2006 he moved to Leesburg, Florida to serve as a full-time Youth Pastor. Mark started here at FUMC in March of 2009 as the Director of Student Ministries. In November of 2018 Mark moved into the Assitant Pastor role. It was at North Central University that Mark met his beautiful wife Mae. They got married in July of 2005. Together they have two daughters, Isabel who was born in December of 2007, and Isla who was born in February of 2012. Mark enjoys all sorts of sports and everything that goes with them. He plays golf, football, basketball, raquetball and anything else with a ball. He is also a huge fan of his Minnesota sports teams, Florida sports teams, and a fan of the only university in Florida worth watching...The Gators. 

Terry Medlin

Visitation Pastor

Terry is the most senior member of this tremendous staff of Christian servants. An "overeducated and underpaid old guy" by his own admission, who continues to seek biblical literacy and ministerial effectiveness as he shares the love of Christ and grow toward Christian perfection and service. Eager to serve the needs of the congregation in the role of Bible teacher and visitation pastor, in which he hopes act as a catalyst for senior activities and life group creation and leadership. He enjoys working with Pastor Mark and enjoys a wonderful family and the blessing of a faith partner in his wife Carol.

Lucy Hudson

Youth Director

Lucy was born and raised in Jacksonville Florida, go jags, with her parents and her 2 brothers. Lucy felt the call to go into youth ministry when she was in high school. She went to college at Florida Southern College where she majored in Communications and minored in Religion. During her summer in college, Lucy worked as a hiking staff at Wilderness Trail, a backpacking ministry in Virginia, and has hiked over 450 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Lucy graduated college in May of 2021 and started her awesome job here as the youth director within same month. Lucy spends her free time hanging out with friends and loves the mountains, ice-cream, the Braves, and the lion king.

Jessica Smotherman

Christian Education Director

Jessica and her husband Bob have two boys, Michael (23) and Bobby (12) and moved down from SE Michigan to Florida to serve at First Church Deland. They are ready to enjoy the warm weather that Florida has to offer and the unique opportunities that this community has for families. Jessica loves to craft, read, and spend time outside with her guys. Bob loves to fish and be near or on the water; whether its salty or not! Michael is currently serving in the US Army as a Cavalry Scout and when he is not working loves to play the guitar, hike, and explore. Bobby is homeschooled and loves to hang out with the youth group, play video games, participate in gymnastics, and would love to be a dolphin trainer someday. 

Ed Henderson

Contemporary Worship Director

Ed has been in Central Florida since he was 3. Attended Winter Park High School and UCF for college. Works in the printing industry as well as our contemporary worship director. Has been a worship leader in the community since 2017
He love sports, especially basketball and vacations in West Virginia mountains.

Jesse Guthrie

Media Technical Director

Jesse was born North Carolina and was raised in the Methodist Church. He moved to Deland in the late 90’s and has resided in Central Florida ever since. In 2004, Jesse started his career as a sound engineer and musician for a variety of church ministries. In addition to working in audio and video production for two decades, Jesse has an associate of science degree in sound design and a bachelor's' degree in supervision and management. He started here at First Church back in early 2020 right before the pandemic; and currently enjoys his role alongside his wife Kandace and their five kids. In his spare time, he is a recording musician and guitarist in a number of bands. Music has always been his passion and always will be. His goals at First Church have always been to bring quality and accessibility to enhance worship online and in-person.

Joyce DeLoach

Traditional Worship Director

Joyce has a degree in Marketing from Stetson University but has been involved in music all her life.  Her main accomplishment is as an accompanist, something she really enjoys.  She has played and/or directed choirs in many of the area churches, spending 19 years at Glenwood Presbyterian Church, several years at Trinity United Methodist Church and most recently and currently at First Church DeLand (Global Methodist).  

Sharon Bissinger


Sharon Bissinger moved from near Detroit, MI to FL in Oct of 1989. Married Pete Bissinger in 1997.  She and her husband have 3 children (Wendy-NC) (Kristi-MI) and (David-MI) and 8 grandchildren. Four are in college (high school and elementary education, pilot training, and unknown (but he’s having the time of his life being in the drumline at Michigan State University) and the youngest is in middle school. She greatly enjoys visiting family and traveling to her grandchildren's band, color guard and soccer  competitions. "So proud of them all!" She enjoys reading and flowers and plants, but unfortunately, "my thumb is NOT green!" But her main hobby is church music. "I feel truly blessed to be the organist at First Church and working with our amazing choir and directors, Joyce and Jack!"

Barb Garich

Administrative Assistant

Barb was raised in Pennsylvania and has lived in Illinois, Texas, and Ohio before relocating to DeLand. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Psychology and has worked in  hospitals and schools in a variety of roles. Barb was active in her previous churches and also volunteered as an Usher Captain for the Cincinnati Open Tennis Tournament for 25 years. Barb and her husband, Matt, have two grown sons, Jonathan and Ryan.

Kathy Smith

Financial Administrator

Kathy grew up in Miami, FL.  She has lived in various places, but settled in DeLand, FL in 1997.  She graduated with a business degree from the University of N. Carolina (Wilmington).  Kathy and her husband, Kevin, have two grown daughters who are married.  Kathy has worked at our church preschool for 7 years and as our financial administrator for the last 4 years. 

Jade Gilman-Smith

Communications Director

Jade is a native Floridian, attending this church since childhood. She moved to ND. with her husband Shane when he was in the Air Force. They married in 2018, before returning to their home in FL. Where they live with their two rambunctious dogs- Bruce (an 80lb golden mix who loves sticks) and Jackson (a 12lb mini australian shepherd who tries to heard the family together in the yard).

Shane Smith

Facilities Manager

Shane grew up in the area, attending Deland High School before enlisting in the Air Force. After working as a crew chief on B-52s in Minot, North Dakota he returned to Florida  with his wife Jade, also a local from the Deland area. They now live in Deland surrounded by family and friends.

Will Cobb


Willian is originally from Indiana,  moved to FL in 2004.  He is happy to have worked at the church for a few years now. Hobbies include reading, paddle boarding and tabletop games.

Donna Then

Preschool Director

Donna was born in the state of New Jersey, but has lived in Florida for the past 35 years.  She has a husband Ron, and son Thor.  She has been a teacher at the preschool for over 15 years and has stepped into the director's role.

Tina Aten

Assistant Preschool Director

Tina Aten is the Lead VPK Teacher and Assistant Director at First Church, bringing over two decades of dedicated service to the Preschool. A certified Child Development Associate (CDA), Tina's passion for nurturing young minds is evident in her longstanding commitment to early childhood education. Beyond her professional endeavors, Tina finds joy in her role as a wife to her husband, Mitch, of 27 years, and as a mother to her daughter, Sydney, a student at the University of North Florida. In her leisure time, Tina indulges her creative spirit through photography, capturing life's beautiful moments.

Kelly Huddleston

Childcare Coordinator 

Kelly still needs to write this...