Meet our leadership
The Rev. Dr. Tony Collins - Senior Pastor
Our Senior Pastor is an ordained Elder in the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was appointed to Burks UMC in 2016. Dr. Collins completed his undergraduate work at Georgia State University, his MDiv from Candler School of Theology of Emory University, and his DMin from Columbia Theological Seminary with honors in Sociology of Worship. Dr. Tony is a caring presence in our congregation and holds 2 CPE certifications in Pastoral Care. He is passionate about worship, sharing Gods love, and working with you in mission.
He leads both worship and pastoral administration at Burks UMC so you can interact with Dr. Tony all around the campus and community.
Contact Dr. Collins:
Rev. Leslie Daniels - Associate Pastor & Director of Student Ministries
Rev. Leslie Daniels is a Pastor with 18 years of experience as a Pastor, serving both in the North Georgia and the Holston Conferences. Her original call to ministry was working in cross-cultural ministries, and later in life, to the Pastorate. She attended Texas Woman’s University for a BS in Nursing, then Fuller Seminary for a MA in Cross-cultural studies, and finally Asbury Seminary for her MDiv.
Leslie’s passions in ministry include missions/outreach, preaching, and helping others grow in their faith/discipleship. Her husband, Bob, is self-employed, and plays guitar. They have 3 daughters: Shanna (married with 2 children), Annabelle (attending SMU), and Kaylee who is 15, is home-schooled and attends Hilger Higher Learning in Chattanooga.
Leslie’s hobbies include gardening, reading, caring for her chickens, and riding bikes with Kaylee.
Contact Pastor Leslie:
Jessica Brackett - Director of Childrens Ministry
Jessica is the Director of Children’s Ministry, and Coordinator of our Nursery and Young at Heart programs, all of which she brings much energy and joy! Children's Ministry at Burks is called JAM: Jesus and Me, and includes weekday and Sunday programming as well as special events. She holds a BS in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. You can find Jessica nearby the happy chatter of children and folks of any age (and certainly wherever there are crafts and fun!)
Bindy Lewis - Office Manager
When you come through the door you will be warmly greeted and assisted by Bindy. Always active and moving through tasks such as community assistance, publications, reservations, social media and being friendly! Bindy has a Bachelor's degree in Communications with minors in English and Sociology from the University of Iowa, which she puts to good use intersecting with those who have a variety of needs. Bindy enjoys singing, hiking, riding bikes, knitting and cooking. She is married to Jim and they have three children; James, Martin and Audrey. They also have three retired racing Greyhounds and three cats. Come visit Bindy in the front office at Burks!
Laura Wilson - Child Development Coordinator
If you have children ages 5 and under, you need to see Laura Wilson! She is the Director of the Child Development Center (CDC) at Burks. She has been the Director since 2011 and before that was a Pre-K teacher for almost six years. Laura has an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Chattanooga State. She also has her Child Development Certificate from the Council for Professional Recognition Association, TN Early Program Administrator Credential from Tennessee State, and is certified from the Reggio Inspired Classrooms at UTK as well the National Association of the Education of Young Children. Laura has lived in Middle Valley her whole life and married her childhood sweetheart, Robert, at Burks! She and Robert have two sons, Robert and Nickolas, as well as several cat fur babies.
Brena Tosconi - Business Manager
Birth name: Brena L GiOtis (No middle name, just the letter!)
Brena was born and raised deep in the heart of Texas. If you hear her talking about “home,” she is talking about Texas! She moved to Tennessee in 2010 with Marriott Corporation, which provided her with a job and the place she met her husband, Jamie Toscani. They have 2 boys, Lexas and Jericho, and live in Soddy Daisy. Prior to Burks, she worked for First Horizon Bank for 6 1/2 years and was in and out of banking and finance since 2006. There is a lot more she would love to tell you about herself so feel free to stop by her office to have a chat. She would love to get to know you.