Meet the St. Paul UMC Staff

Cassie Noland Rapko, Pastor

Rev. Cassie Rapko is the pastor-in-charge at St. Paul UMC. She is a transplant from the Midwest, having come to Atlanta to complete her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology. She comes to St. Paul from Mt. Zion UMC in Marietta, where she served as the Associate Pastor. Cassie was ordained as an elder in full connection in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2017. Cassie has a passion for making scripture relevant from the pulpit and applying it to everyday life. She is a runner and a lover of baseball, gardening, cooking, eating, and all things green. She married her husband, Chris, in 2012, adopted her dog Soozie in 2014, and had her daughter Jordan (aka #MiniRap) in 2019. 

Click here to email Pastor Cassie.

Rev. Lisa Gwock, Deacon

Rev. Lisa Gwock is an ordained Deacon in full connection in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.  In August 2018, Lisa and her husband, Eddie, along with their dog, Remy, relocated to Atlanta to be near their daughter, son-in-law, and their three grandchildren.  They also have a daughter who lives in New York.  Before relocating to Atlanta, Lisa served several United Methodist churches in the Nashville area, most recently as Pastor of Missions & Outreach at West End UMC.  Lisa currently serves as the Director of Operations for Women in Transition, an initiative which supports women who are transitioning back into society from the correctional system by engaging people of faith and community organizations in Metro Atlanta.  St. Paul is Lisa’s Secondary Appointment.  Lisa enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends and occasionally running and biking.

Click here to email Rev. Lisa Gwock

Jennifer Greene, Director of Music Ministries

A lifelong church musician, Jennifer Greene has served as music director, pianist, and organist in congregations from coast to coast, including Newport Presbyterian Church (Bellevue, WA), First Christian Church – Disciples of Christ (Tacoma, WA), First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church (Taunton, MA), and St. Thaddaeus’ Episcopal Church (Chattanooga, TN). Her musical roots source a wide variety of genres that include sacred and secular classical, traditional gospel, jazz, folk, and contemporary styles. She is a graduate of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA (MA, Music Therapy), the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (BA, Piano Performance), and Northside School of the Arts in Atlanta. In addition to church music ministry, Jennifer maintains an active piano studio teaching children, youth, and adult students in the Atlanta area. She is also a proud aunt, a doting cat mom, and a passionate recycler.

Click here to email Jennifer Greene

Emily McGinn, Director of Children and Youth Ministries

Emily McGinn is the Director of the Children’s and Youth ministry. She is from Tampa, FL and recently graduated from Florida State University. She is now going to Candler School of Theology to earn her Master of Divinity. She is really passionate about having fun and helping kids and youth connect with Jesus. She also loves a good sitcom, collecting bucket hats, and spending time with friends.  

Click here to email Emily McGinn

Ginny Pavey, Office Manager

Ginny is the gatekeeper of St. Paul information, as she answers the phones and greets visitors during the week. She prepares the bulletin for service, she sends out the church weekly e-mail to prepare us for service, and she prepares and makes the weekly deposits. She also makes sure church staff gets paid by submitting payroll! Before coming to St. Paul in 2007, Ginny was the Office Manager at Trinity UMC in Austell. In her free time, Ginny is a year-round Special Olympics Coach and Douglas County meals-on-wheels driver, and enjoys reading, gardening and cooking. She lives in Douglasville with her husband Terry, daughters Heather and Mary, and dogs Oliver and Benji.

Click Here to email Ginny Pavey.

Zxelema Howard, Nursery Manager

Zxelema cares for our babies and children up to age 3 years in the church’s nursery during service. She grew up in the church and has been coming to St. Paul for more than two decades. Outside of St. Paul Zxelema is a Licensed Massage Therapist at The Buckhead Massage Company and has been a Therapist there for over 8 years. Her other interest include simple things like taking walks, & spending an evening watching her favorite movies. Being a person that has decided to live a lifestyle without a car Zxelema says that being on public transportation has humbled her in ways that she could never imagine and she believes that this was God’s plan. Zxelema resides in South Atlanta with her daughter Kiwani.

Click here to email Zxelema Howard.

Larry Stokes, Organist

Larry has accompanied church services since 2003. Before coming to St. Paul, he was an interim/substitute organist, serving several congregations in the metro area. Larry studied organ under Sarah Hawbecker of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta. He works at Georgia Tech and is also an alumnus. While an undergraduate and graduate student at Tech, Larry was a member of the orchestra, symphonic band, chorale, and chamber choir. He also enjoys occasional freelance voice and keyboard work in the city and beyond, including a multiyear engagement as the artist in residence at the Chapel on Squirrel Island, Maine. When away from work, Larry enjoys travel, cooking, and horticulture. Larry lives in Decatur with his partner, John, and their dog and cat, Jackie and Milo. 

Click here to email Larry Stokes.