New Pastors - New Possibilities
We are so excited to welcome Dr. Kenny Ott and Rev. Kelly Beckley. Below you will find a welcome letter from both of them. There is a lot of info below so keep scrolling down!
Kenny is appointed as the new Lead Pastor, and his email is . Kelly is appointed as our new Executive Pastor, and her email is .
Canton First UMC takes another huge step, and we are so excited that Kenny and Kelly are a part of it!
Dr. Kenny Ott
Greetings and thank you for checking out our website!
Even though I have only been at Canton FUMC for a short time, I am already in love with this church and this community. I am also excited about what God is going to do in us, with us and through us.
I was born on July 3, 1960 in Gadsden, AL to Kenneth Vernon Ott and Judie Minshew Ott. The greatest stabilizing force and spiritual influence in my life was my maternal grandmother and I have no doubt that it was her daily intercessory prayer which led to my eventual acceptance of the Gospel. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at thirteen years of age while attending a revival at my Granny’s church. My call to pastoral ministry came the next year while working with Rev John Andrews to earn the Boy Scouts’ God and Country award. Unfortunately, at that time there was not anyone in my life to help me interpret or nurture that call.
After high school I entered the U.S. Air Force and during the next ten years served in Colorado, Germany, Florida, England and North Carolina. I also earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Management and learned the value of a focused and disciplined life. In 1988 I began a fourteen-year career with Delta Airlines working in the Technical Operations and Training Divisions.
In 1991 I met my wife Cathi whom God used to call me back to Himself and the Church of my youth. Through Cathi I experienced a new kind of love and began to grow again spiritually. Together we have sought to better understand our roles as children of God, husband and wife, father and mother, friend and companion. In October 1994, during my Walk to Emmaus retreat I found a burning desire for Christ, to help others know Him and to encourage them in their spiritual growth. Then in the summer of 1999 while listening to a sermon by Rev. Gene Golden, I again felt the call to pastoral ministry and spent the next two years preparing to leave the corporate world and seek ordination.
I was first appointed as a United Methodist Pastor in December 2001 as the Associate Pastor of Hope Church in Dallas, GA. Two years later I was appointed as a Student Pastor at New Hope UMC in Locust Grove and completed my Masters of Divinity studies at Candler School of Theology. In 2006 Cathi and I were appointed to the New Georgia Community in south Paulding County to start a new United Methodist Church. This was the most intense and gratifying times of my ministry to that point. Five years after founding Fellowship Church I was appointed to Dalton FUMC to lead the contemporary worship, missions, and outreach ministries. While in Dalton I was fortunate to be accepted to Doctor of Ministry program at the Beeson Center for Biblical Preaching and Church Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary. In the last year of my doctoral program I was reappointed (not the most convenient timing, right) to Trinity UMC in Rome where I have served as Senior Pastor for three years before coming here to Canton.
Cathi and I have a son, Cortner Quinn, and daughter, AnnDee Quinn Neal who is married to Joey. We also have two grand (best ever) daughters, Emma and Avery, who we have taken camping a couple of times a year since they were born. Beside camping, we enjoy cycling, kayaking, boating, white water rafting, hiking, and good food. My dream car is a ’67 Shelby GT 500 Mustang.
Whew! That is enough for now. Maybe I could buy you a cup of coffee and hear about your life.
Rev. Kelly Beckley
Professional Ministry Experience
Rev. Kelly Beckley served in various ministry positions at Creekside UMC from December of 2005 until June of 2018 when she was appointed to Canton First. She has a Master of Divinity from The Candler School of Theology and was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection in 2016. Kelly serves as a chaplain for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department (she is the first female to assume this role). She also serves as a Community Spiritual Director on the North Georgia Walk to Emmaus Board.
Greetings Canton First UMC,
I am honored that you have taken the time to get to know me and Canton First! This is a fabulous church and we hope that you will feel a sense of purpose and belonging here.
Here’s a little bit about me. My husband, Mike, and I have been married for 32 wonderful years and we have 3 “children.” Jaclyn, our oldest daughter, is engaged to be married to Jonathan Balchus in October of this year. Both of them are UGA grads. Shane is a senior at Reinhardt University and enjoys playing the guitar and spending time outdoors. Jill, our youngest, is a freshman at UGA. Go DAWGS!! Mike and I met at UGA and are both graduates so our blood runs red….and black! I realize I may have just lost a few of you with that one!)
My undergraduate degree is in Interior Design and I worked in the commercial and residential design business until 2005 when I received the call to full-time vocational ministry. I received a Master of Divinity from Candler at Emory University and was appointed to Creekside UMC in 2013 (I was on staff there beginning in 2005). Mike is a Business teacher at South Forsyth High School and coached wrestling for 25 years. He was a 2 time state champion in High School and wrestled for UGA back in the day when it was still a varsity sport there.
In our free time, we enjoy camping, traveling, mission work, cooking, tennis, cheering on the Dawgs and anything that involves the beach!
I love Christ’s church and have a deep desire to help people find purpose and joy in being a follower of Jesus. God is clearly working in the life of the Church and I look forward to all He will accomplish as we partner together to strengthen and further His Kingdom here at CFUMC.
Please let me know if you have ideas of how we might best continue the good work that is being done here. You have my promise that I will do all in my power to shepherd and care for you and to help lead us into a great future. I look forward to building relationships with each and every one of you and to helping you live out your call to serve God and your neighbor.
In the meantime…. “I will thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6