Say hello to the leadership team at Burks United Methodist Church

Meet our leadership

Say hello to the leadership team at Burks UMC. Do you have questions for the staff at Burks? Contact us by clicking here.

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. Dr. Tony is passionate about worship, about sharing Gods love, and about 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

(423) 536-8840

Rev. Beth Sullivan - Associate Pastor

Beth is a Hixson, TN native and an Elder in the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. Beth has an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She attended Candler School of Theology and received her Masters of Divinity in 2012. She is excited to be a part of the ministry at Burks UMC and is looking forward to see how Burks can grown in faith together.

Contact Rev. Beth

(423) 834-7120


Casandra Karl - Director of Youth Ministry

Casandra is the Director of Youth Ministry at Burks UMC. Casandra brings her background in historic antiquities into her depth of understanding of the Bible and her playfulness as a mother of 3 into her lively and engaging youth ministry. Casandra holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Casandra is active and engaged with the youth of our church and community, and is a full time ministry staff member at Burks UMC. 

Contact Casandra:



Jessica Brackett - Director of Childrens Ministry

Jessica is the Director of Children’s Ministry here at Burks UMC, and she brings energy and joy into our children’s ministry: JAM: Jesus and Me, including weekday and Sunday programming as well as special events here at Burks UMC. Jessica also volunteers with our newest ministry, a rebirth of Young At Heart, a Ministry to Seniors. Jessica holds a BS in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. You can find Jessica by the happy chatter of children and folks of any age around her! And certainly by the crafts and fun all about

Contact Jessica:


Matt Kelly - Director of Music Ministry

Matt represents all things musical at Burks UMC. He directs the Chancel Choir, leads the Burks Praise Band, supports the accessory music ministries such as Burks Handbells, and contributes to events such as music for special occasions including VBS and Children’s Chapel for Burks CDC. Matt holds a Bachelor of Music in Church Music with an emphasis in instrumental music from Lee University, and teaches trumpet lessons as well as music lessons here at Burks. 

Contact Matt:


Rachel Collins - Media Coordinator

If it is technologically based at Burks UMC, you will most likely find Rachel somewhere near by. Rachel oversees media services such as sound, projection, and media marketing for Burks UMC. Rachel brings 5 years of experience in media ministry services, and keeps our electronics humming. She is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and is pursuing her Masters of Divinity at Emory University. 

Contact: Rachel

Bindy Lewis - Office Manager

When you come through the door you will be greeted warmly and assisted by Bindy. Always active and moving through tasks such as Helping Hands and Food Vouchers, paper publications, reservations, and being friendly! Bindy has a bachelor's degree in communications, which she puts to good use intersecting with those who have a need. Bindy enjoys hiking, riding bikes, knitting and cooking for her family. She is married to Jim and they have a family of three teenagers! Come to visit Bindy in the front office at Burks Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30.

Contact Bindy:


Laura Wilson - Child Development Coordinator

Laura is the Director of the Child Development Center and the Pre-Kindergarten Program at Burks! Laura also oversees the Nursery Care at Burks for Sundays and special events. Some of Laura’s favorite things are playing with her cats and crafting.

Contact Laura:



Brena Tosconi - Business Manager

Birth name Brena L GiOtis (No Middle Name just the letter) 

I was born and raised deep in the heart of Texas, if you hear me talking about “Home” I am talking about Texas. I moved to Tennessee in 2010 with Marriott Corporation a wonderful company that provided me with a job and also a place to meet my Husband Jamie Toscani. We have 2 boys Lexas and Jericho and we live near Soddy Daisy. Prior to this I worked for First Tennessee Bank for 6 1/2 years and have been in and out of banking and finance since 2006. There is lots more I would love to tell you about myself so feel free to stop by my office and have a chat with me, I would love to get to know you too. 

Contact Brena Toscani

(423) 842-4219