Ministry Team

Pastor & Staff

Nate Lehman


Nate is a military brat, that calls Valdosta his home. He graduated from Valdosta State University with a B.S. in Psychology and received his Masters In Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Nate is Married to Erica who is a teacher and has three children, a daughter Talyn, and two sons Waylon and Cannon. Nate has served in pastoral ministry for over 16 years and has also had many years of experience as a youth director. His heart is in family discipleship and connecting people to the body of Christ.

Gene Houston

Music Director

Gene graduated from Seminole County High School in 1975.  He holds degrees in music from Chipola College, Florida State University and a Masters degree from Troy University.  He completed additional work in Spanish at Valdosta University. He was selected Star Teacher and Citizen of the Year during teaching career.    
Gene’s choirs have performed at numerous events including All-State Chorus, Literary competitions and even on the stage of Carnegie Hall.  Gene serves as  Director of Music Activities at Friendship United Methodist Church where he plays organ, piano, and hand bells as well as directs choirs, cantatas and drama.  He has a love for people and most of all wants to serve Christ through music.

Maria Wallace

Simple Worship Director / Music Ministries

Maria has taught Spanish at Seminole County High School for over 10 years, where she currently works. She is also  a licensed Master Cosmetologist, and enjoys hairstyling when she is not teaching. Despite changes in careers, Maria has consistently played piano and been involved in music. She has been a church pianist, played and sang on worship teams and worship bands for decades. As well as church positions, she has been active in music for community events, school literary competitions, and wherever opportunities arise. She enjoys playing a variety of musical styles- from traditional hymns to contemporary worship- as she serves God and others  through the gift of music.

Maribeth Burke

Music Ministries Assistant

For the past 15 years, Maribeth Kelley Burke has taught in the Decatur County and Seminole County school systems. She is currently the choral and drama director for Seminole Middle High School. She has served on various music education committees, as well as, served in several churches as a music minister, music assistant, handbell choir director, praise-dance choreographer, and children’s music coordinator in the tri-state area. She looks forward to creating music and praise opportunities for all ages.

Ruby Holt

Church Administrator

Ruby has been with Friendship for 16 years, first as finance secretary and now as church administrator. She is married to Jimmy Holt and they have 2 daughters, Amanda and Ashley, and five beautiful grandchildren.  Originally from Byron, GA, she lives in Colquitt in the home  where Jimmy was born and raised. When not sitting with their grands they are camping and fishing as much as they can.  Ruby and Jimmy attend Colquitt Freewill Baptist Church but truly enjoy the many services and activities of Friendship UMC.  Even though Jimmy is retired, Ruby says she has no plans to retire as Jimmy now does most of the cooking and looking after the home.

Kyla Smith 

Administrative Assistant

Kyla is the hub of our information and communication at the church. 

Jim Sammons

Worship Technology Coordinator

The brains behind our worship technology without his abilities we would be lost. If there is a technical project Jim will find the solution. 

Rose Smith 

Nursery Worker

Mrs. Rose has raised babies in the Friendship nursery for over a decade. She is amazing with every little one that comes through the door! 

Amanda Seabrooks-Hale

Nursery Worker

Mrs. Amanda does not stop moving you will always find her doing something in the nursery. She is a blessing to our parents. You will also see her serving at our Friendship Store!