The Rev. Melanie Lemburg has been ordained a priest in the Episcopal church since 2004. She graduated with an M.Div from General Theological Seminary, has served multiple congregations in the Diocese of Mississippi, and she was called as St. Thomas's rector in August 2017. Melanie is married to David, who is also an Episcopal priest and is the mom of two. She enjoys reading, running, playing pickleball, and cooking delicious vegan food.
Rev. Colette Hammesfahr earned her MDiv from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in May of 2023 and was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in August of 2023. St. Thomas is her first Call. She and her husband, Kurt, have four grown children. She enjoys camping, kayaking, and relaxes doing jigsaw puzzles and coloring.
Amy Jo Washabaugh comes to St. Thomas with a wealth of experience as she served as Human Services Director for the City of Broadview Heights, OH for 14 years. Amy Jo and her husband Greg have been married for 28 years, and they have adult children. She enjoys kayaking, cooking, and walking on the beach.
Minister of Music
Tripp Hardee is the Minister of Music and Organist at St. Thomas. Tripp is a native of Baxley, Georgia. He received his formal training in piano beginning during his childhood. He has studied piano and organ, along with undergraduate studies in education and music at South Georgia State College and Brewton Parker College. Tripp has previously served as the pianist at Graham United Methodist Church and St. Thomas Aquanis Episcopal Church, as well as Director of Music/Organist at First United Methodist Church of Baxley. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists - Savannah Chapter. He also works full time as a licensed funeral director and embalmer at Baker McCullough Funeral Home, Hodgson Memorial Chapel.
EYC Youth Group Coordinator
Matt Rice has been working with youth for over 10 years and has been working with the youth at St. Thomas since 2018. As EYC Youth Group Coordinator, Matt is responsible for executing and planning Sunday afternoon programs for 6th through 12th graders. When not working full time as a Registered Respiratory Care Practitioner at Memorial Health University Medical Center, Matt loves kayaking around Isle of Hope as well as playing a few holes of golf. He is a graduate from Armstrong Atlantic State University with a bachelors in Molecular Biology as well as Georgia Southern University with a degree in Respiratory Therapy.
Dianne Jones comes to St. Thomas with over 25 years experience as a preschool and Pre-K teacher. Her experience includes working for SCCPSS, Maggie's Morning School and Calvary Day School, as well as, an exercise instructor at the YMCA. She is from Florida and has one son. Her hobbies include working out, planting flowers and cooking.
Olivia Kate is finishing up her Business and Communications degree from The University of North Georgia in the fall. Olivia Kate brings a wealth of technological experience, and she will be assisting us over the summer with maintaining many of our current communication platforms (like our emails and social media) and also helping us develop some new social media platforms.
Olivia Kate enjoys spending time on the water and hanging out with friends.