Covenant’s staff is here to serve God by serving you. Learn more about the group below (we’re a friendly bunch!) and find out how to get in touch. Then, come visit the office and really get to know us. If you’re looking for an opportunity to join the crew, be sure to visit the jobs page.
Thomas Daniel, senior pastor, was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga., and graduated from Davidson College. He taught English in Japan for two years, where he met his wife Beth, who is from Wales in the United Kingdom.
Post-Japan, Thomas attended Columbia Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2003 and a Doctor of Ministry in 2011. While in seminary, Thomas worked for three years as the Director of College Ministry at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Upon graduation, he served as Associate Pastor for Evangelism for that same congregation before later serving as co-pastor and head of staff at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, Ill.
Before beginning at Covenant, Thomas was the organizing co-pastor of Kairos Church, a new church plant that quickly grew from seven people to more than 300 attendees. Thomas and Beth have two daughters, Miriam Grace and Hannah Joy.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3006
Jill Williams, associate pastor for congregational care and missions, spent her childhood in Florida where she was baptized as an infant and was taught simple truths about God by her parents and grandparents. Jill made a public profession of faith as a teenager during confirmation in a Methodist church. Jill’s college years were pivotal for her faith, as the reality of God’s presence in her life and in the world were revealed to her through the surprising avenue of sorority. She graduated from Auburn University in Alabama in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. She left Auburn with lifelong Christian friendships and a love for Auburn football.
Jill’s worked as a systems analyst for Champion Paper. She left her first career in 1992 to follow God’s unexpected call to serve in Huntsville, Ala., leading youth and family ministries. After a decade of full-time youth ministry, Jill said goodbye to her Huntsville “family” to attend Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. She graduated with her master of divinity degree in 2006, then served on the staff at Bel Air Presbyterian in Los Angeles for three years in the area of caring ministries. In August 2007 Jill arrived at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Jill enjoys eating out, is a habitual tea drinker, loves to go on walks, enjoys most outdoor activities, greatly values friendship and family, and takes pleasure in new experiences and travel. She is passionate about things she knows are important to God’s heart, like people. Leading and serving others is something that energizes her. Jill values people of all ages and loves the diversity of people in our world. Her heart’s desire is to follow Christ faithfully and obediently wherever He leads, and to share God’s love and grace with the people around her.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3058
Beth McMullen Daniel, parish associate for older adults, was born and raised in the coalmining valleys of South Wales. She received a Bachelor of Science from the European Business Management School at the University of Wales, Swansea. Following graduation, she intended to live and teach in Japan for a year before pursuing her MBA in Wales – but God had a different plan! She met her husband, Thomas, in Japan where they lived for two years before moving to Atlanta, Ga. There she earned her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Beth has served the church as a director of Christian education, an associate pastor for discipleship, and a co-founder and co-pastor of a new church development. Beth has led many retreats, courses, and classes—particularly for women’s groups. She has taught both Greek and Hebrew for graduates at Columbia Seminary and for laypersons at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga. Beth is a mother to two daughters: 8-year-old Hannah Joy and 10-year-old daughter Miriam Grace. She loves Welsh rugby, drinks too much British tea, knows the lyrics (and the dance moves) to most 80’s songs.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3011
Jonathon (Jon) Lee Wasson, associate pastor for discipleship, joined Covenant in July 2015. Jon holds two master’s degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary: a Master’s of Divinity and a Master’s in Christian Education. Prior to attending Princeton, Jon served as middle school director at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas. In addition to working with the youth there, Jon designed and implemented Highland Park’s small group youth network. During that time, Jon was also a writer and contributor at Sparkhouse Publishing Company, where he was instrumental in designing and creating content for three discipleship curricula.
While at Princeton, Jon served as intern of hospitality and outreach at Kingston United Methodist Church. There, he developed a community outreach program with a local non-profit that assisted the elderly.
Jon is married to Abby, and they have a son, Thomas. Both Jon and Abby love live music, which makes Austin a great place to live. However, Jon also likes to snowboard, which may necessitate some travel. He is a fan of “The Wire,” “The West Wing,” and “Breaking Bad.” Jon grew up in Washington state. He will be ordained in October
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3047
Whitney Bell, Associate Director for Student Ministries, started working at Covenant at the beginning of 2012, and she has her hand in everything. She helps plan Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, leader meetings and trips; she also helps communicate with the church, the parents and the student groups. Before her tenure here she worked as a nanny for twins. (She stayed until they hit the terrible twos!) Whitney also worked at Westlake Hills Presbyterian.
Whitney graduated from Texas Tech in Lubbock, the town she proudly calls home. She has been married to Andrew, who grew up at Covenant, since 2007. The two are proud new owners of a home in Allandale. Whitney loves Barton Springs, walking around Town Lake, eating tacos, and going to Target!
email@example.com, (512) 334-3008
Tom Brown, director of music ministry, has more than 40 years experience in church music and has been with Covenant since 1997. To our church, he brought with him a multi-denominational perspective, holding positions in the Presbyterian, United Methodist, Baptist and Christian (Disciples of Christ) churches. Tom is well known for his versatility, often delighting the congregation with various and surprising genres on Sunday morning, including jazz, folk and gospel services.
Before devoting himself to full-time church music, Tom conducted choirs for 15 years in university and public schools. He was on the choral music faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), where he directed choirs, taught conducting and voice, and founded the USM Jazz Singers. He has also directed numerous musical theater shows. As a pianist, Tom enjoys many styles of music and says that he is most himself when accompanying congregational singing.
Tom holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois and an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. For fun he plays piano and gardens with his wife, Ann, a speech/language pathologist. Tom and Ann have two grown sons, and three grandchildren.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3012
Stacey became the director in August 2011, after working as the assistant to the music director for five years. Stacey started directing the first grade choir in 2005. Before working at Covenant, Stacey was a middle school band director and later worked in human resources. After she had her first child, she took some time off, until her parents – Covenant members – told her about the opening with Tom Brown in 2005.
Stacy is married to James. They have three kids, Cody, Hayley and Ryan.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3033
Duane Dube, director of administration and COO, was new to Covenant in 2013.
Duane spent eight years in a similar position at Redeemer Lutheran Church and School. His biggest challenge as a newcomer to the denomination is learning the structure of the Presbyterian Church.
Duane’s experience is vast. He has worked in his family’s office supply business, as an auditor and accountant, in insurance sales and in marketing at Dell. “I’ve had a lot of different jobs, but they all have had a financial focus and lots of interaction with people,” Duane said. “I love business. I love people and I love to serve the Lord.”
Duane is a graduate of Texas State University and received his master’s in business administration from St. Edward’s University. He and his wife, Traci, are members at Redeemer, where he has worshiped since he was a child. He attended school there as well. His son, Matthew, attends Redeemer School.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3049
Ashley Ellison, interim director of children’s ministry, is no stranger to Covenant. Before taking on the interim role, Ashley served as the Children’s Ministry’s Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator. She has been a Covenant member since 2006.
A licensed clinical social worker, Ashley has had her own private practice and has been a program director at several addiction and mental health facilities in Austin. Ashley is married to Andrew, and the couple has two kids: Sara Jane and Seth, and two dogs. When not at work, Ashley enjoys hanging out with the family, walking the dogs, antique shopping and binge watching various television series.
Christy Milam, director of Covenant Preschool and Child’s Day Out, has worked on the Covenant children’s ministries staff since 2002. Director of Covenant’s Preschool and Child’s Day Out since 2008, she has also worked as a caregiver and early childhood program/nursery coordinator. Her current position fits her well. “I love working with preschool-age children and their parents, and coordinating all the details, programs and activities of the best half-day program in Austin!”
Christy grew up in San Antonio and graduated from the University of Texas. Later, she attended graduate school at Texas State University studying curriculum and instruction, and classroom management. She acquired her National Director’s Credential through the National Institute of Childcare Management in 2010. When Christy’s not working, you can find her running, camping, cooking, directing amateur theatre and spending time with her husband, Whitney, and two sons.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3016
Derek Nafe, Creative Arts Producer, has been involved with contemporary worship services for almost two decades. He has served in multiple roles that include technical director and worship leader, and brings various levels of education and experience to the creative arts ministry. Originally, Derek’s role at Covenant was to help produce the contemporary service, but that has expanded to include multiple areas of support throughout many ministries.
Derek graduated from McLennan Community College in Waco. He moved to Austin in 1993 and spent 15 years managing multiple teams in the corporate environment before feeling God’s call to vocational ministry. He loves supporting the teams and ministries at Covenant, and became a member in 2012. Derek has been married to Rhonda for more than 20 years. The couple has two children, Evan and Rebekah.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3010
Stephanie Schultz, director of communications, has been working at Covenant since 2011, but before that volunteered at the church a lot. She still helps run Upward Basketball, a pastime enjoyed by her entire family. They’ve been members since 2005.
Prior to her work at Covenant, Stephanie worked in high tech marketing and PR, and as a journalist. She graduated from the University of North Dakota (where she grew up) and the University of Maryland (where she says she got politics out of her system). She and her husband, Andy, have two kids and one terrible dog. When she’s not at work, you’ll likely to find her walking dogs, watching or volunteering at a kid event or at the gym.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3092
Kathryn Sedberry, associate director of discipleship, started this brand new job in August 2016. She supports Covenant Groups, adult classes, curriculum development and events like Midweek Connect and other special activities.
Though new to this position, Kathryn has been a Covenant member since 1996 (Her husband John grew up in this church) and served as children’s choir director for several years. She worked at Casner Christian Academy for eight years, teaching the three-year-old class, physical education, music and Spanish. She also developed grassroots tennis programs throughout Texas working for the United States Tennis Association.
Kathryn’s favorite things to do are to watch her boys, Will and Henry, play sports, and enjoy the outdoors and her family. She also loves to run, read, cook, do yoga and pretty much any form of exercise. Kathryn is from Shreveport, La.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3071
Billy and his wife Jess come back to Austin from St. Louis, where they spent one year after serving Operation Mobilization in Bosnia-Herzegovina. For five years overseas, the couple worked with the people of a small Bosnian town, with an unemployment rate close to 80 percent. They also pioneered a youth ministry at a small church near the Croatian border. The couple has also done mission work in the Czech Republic and Romania.
When not at work, Billy likes to have family fun (“dance parties are a regular occurrence”) with Jess and kids, Anabell and Augie. He likes to run, read, discover new music and see live music.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3097
Jerry is a native Texan, born in Tahoka (near Lubbock). He spent his teen years in Nashville, Tenn., and his parents and two sisters (and families) still live there. He graduated from the University of Evansville in Indiana, where two significant events happened: “That’s where I met God in a whole new way and also picked up the guitar for the first time. I’ve been doing ministry in one way or another ever since.” Jerry returned to Texas in 2006, and in 2010 he married Megan. The couple has two “awesome” kids. They sing together in the Matchmaker Band, a Motown cover band.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3039
Kay Austin, assistant for congregational care and missions, prayed for a job just like the one she has when she was hired at Covenant in December 2007. “I have the honor of working alongside Pastor Jill, our deacons and our mission team – groups that include many of our wonderful servant members.”
Before coming to Covenant, Kay worked for many years as a legal assistant for several law firms. She is married to Covenant deacon Mike Austin; the couple has three children and one awesome grandchild. Kay and Mike “love” the 8:15 a.m. worship service. That’s where you’ll find them on Sunday mornings.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3030
Jackly Black, Program and Childcare Coordinator for Children’s Ministry, is busy at Covenant. On staff since 2006, she started as a Covenant nursery caregiver when her oldest child was two. She feels fortunate because she has fun at work and loves being part of the children’s ministry team.
Originally from Mt Sterling, Ky., Jaclyn graduated from the University of Texas and received her master’s in economic development and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston. She and her husband, John, have four kids, two girls and two boys.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3020
Maureen Crawley, administrative assistant to the senior pastor, is “at home” at Covenant. A member since 1996 and on staff for the past nine years, she loves her job and is excited to welcome all to the church. “I hope this feels like home to others as much as it did to me when I first arrived here.”
Maureen – the fourth of five kids – grew up an “Air Force brat,” moving all over Europe and the East Coast. She and her husband, Rob, have two wonderful kids, Brian and Sarah, and a sweet dog named Angel. Maureen loves everything about Texas, and she hopes to stay here forever! She likes to spend time with her family, read and has recently become a self-proclaimed “beading addict.”
email@example.com, (512) 334-3057
Melanie Dixon, administrative assistant to the music director, has been singing in church choirs her whole life. In fact, she even writes songs. A few of her pieces have been performed, but nothing’s been published … yet!
Melanie comes to Covenant via Louisiana. She has an undergraduate degree in engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from Louisiana State University. She worked in healthcare consulting and administration for 10 years. Melanie has two daughters and was PTA president at Canyon Ridge Middle School for two years.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3034
Jennifer English, receptionist and scheduling coordinator, started at Covenant in the spring of 2015. Jennifer is the first point of contact with Covenant members and visitors to the office. She also holds the keys to all the events scheduled on campus. Learning the software system for locking and heating/cooling system is a tricky part of the job.
Jennifer has previous experience in office management and customer service positions. In her free time she likes to read. In fact, she reads so much (260 books last year!) that publishers send her books to review.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3045
Darleen Kleinhenz, associate director of administration, is an Ohio native who has been in Austin since 2006. She started working at Covenant shortly after she arrived in Texas. Darleen enjoys the variety and fast-paced flow of her position. “Every day is a new challenge and different from the day before. My favorite part of my job is working with our wonderful members.”
Darleen has one daughter and four grandchildren.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3027
Mary Helen Mitchell, memorial service coordinator, has been with Covenant since 1996, and she likes everything about it. She said that while the faces at Covenant have changed over the years, she enjoys supporting the office as much as the pastor. She is flexible and readily adjusts to new pastors. “The changes that I experience are based on whatever that particular pastor wants and needs done,” she said. “Parts of it always stay the same, though. I love helping to make worship happen, and we’ll always have deaths and baptisms.”
Mary Helen came to Covenant from Nashville, where she worked in a similar capacity at First Presbyterian Nashville for seven years. Before that, she worked in a Presbyterian church in Houston.
Mary Helen is married to Tom Mitchell, formerly an associate pastor at Covenant, and spends lots of time with her grandkids who live in Austin and as much time as she can with the two who live in Houston. It’s harder to see Tom’s daughter, who lives in Maryland.
Noël Kalmus, desktop publisher and webmaster, joined the Covenant staff in 2017. She has a BFA in painting and shows her art in galleries around Austin. Noël is a self taught graphic and web designer, and also lends her photographic eye to Covenant’s Cornerstone publication.
Noël grew up in Abilene, Texas and moved to Austin in 2009. She commutes to Covenant on her bicycle. She also enjoys lifting weights, gardening, and lounging at home with her cat, Tikwid, and hound dog, Weetzie Bat.
Amy Skaggs, visitor and new member coordinator, started working at Covenant in September 2014. She is the contact for visitors. She works to help them feel comfortable and welcome. Amy also connects our new members with the people, classes and missions that will enhance their lives at Covenant. Amy has loved being a part of the Covenant community for many years and is eager to pass this feeling on by welcoming visitors and helping new members integrate into our church family.
Amy graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and received her master’s degree in educational psychology at Baylor University . She has been married to Jack Skaggs since 2001. They have three children: Samuel, Jane Ann and Charlotte. Amy loves spending time with her family and friends, and also enjoys baking, playing tennis and trips back to her hometown of Seguin, Texas.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3081
Emily Taylor, assistant director of Covenant Preschool and Child’s Day Out, is a Covenant member who also spends part of her weekend with kids as the Sunday school shepherd for second and third-grade girls. “I love my job, co-workers and the cool kiddos who go to school here,” Emily said.
Prior to starting her job at Covenant in 2010, Emily was the social catering manager at the Driskill, one of two people to handle all the hotel’s wedding and Christmas parties. She also managed corporate and social sales catering at a hotel in Bozeman Montana. “Organizing logistics and fun for large groups of people is apparently my jam because I use it every day at the preschool!” she said.
Originally from Louiville, Ky., Emily moved to Fort Worth to attend TCU. She and husband Peyton have two “fab” daughters, Avery and Paige. Emily loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, explore Austin’s restaurant scene and play outside. She also likes to read and do jigsaw puzzles.
firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 334-3051
Maria Tostado, staff accountant, has been working at Covenant since 2007, and boy, is she good with numbers! In fact, Maria originally was hired as a temporary employee. We think she’s setting some records for duration at a workplace after starting as a temp!
Maria grew up with nine siblings, so she’s really good at sharing! She attends the Church of Christ, is married and has one son.
email@example.com, (512) 334-3001