Saturday, November 28, 2015
Meet the Leadership Team Minimize

Along with our Senior Servant, the Rev. Sonnye Dixon (right) Hobson is blessed with other clergy and a team of laypeople in our community who extend our prayer and leadership work in the name of Jesus Christ. Hobson's ministry is based on the Jesus model of ministry with—and theological exploration in concert with—people who are marginalized by society.
We are inspired by the works of our Savior and by the ministry of the founder of United Methodism, John Wesley, who sought to renew a distached and elitist institutional church by engaging in ministries with poor, asserting personal responsibility for living one's faith, and urging community-based support and accountability for all.
Hobson also believes in true partnership between clergy and laypersons. We believe that lay people, too, are called by God to use their talents and resources to teach, lead, pray, and advocate in Jesus' name. So we invite persons of all ages to lend those gifts in the work of the church in God's world..
Contact members of our leadership team by calling the church office at 615.228.7334, or emailing
Fred A. Allen, a native of Nashville is executive director of the national United Methodist Church initiative, "Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century," which focuses resources, prayer, leadership and disciple-making strategies to undergird historically African-American communities of faith.
An ordained United Methodist elder and member of the New York Annual Conference, he has more than 30 years experience as a senior pastor, administrator and church agency executive. He formerly worked for United Methodist international agencies in New York and  Washington, D.C.
Dr. Allen earned degrees from Tennessee State University, Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., and Drew University School of Theology in Madison, N.J.

Dr. Allen is married to Christine, a Metro Nashville Public School teacher, and is the father of four children: Sharonda, LaChelle, DeAndra, and Justin.


The Rev. Janet Wolf is an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church with a 40-year history of advocacy for people who are poor and pushed to the margins of society. She came to Hobson as senior pastor in the 1990s to continue a process of transforming it from a dying, former all-white church into a more relevant, interracial, inter-class fellowship. Under Janet's leadership, Hobson developed ground-breaking ministries with youth and suport for people struggling with addiction. She continues to be a supporter of Hobson's work.

After a stint in administration and teaching at American Baptist College, Janet joined the national staff of the Children's Defense Fund, which advocates for laws and social policies and practices that support children and teens and their families, in particular the poorest and most vulnerable families.

Janet is developing and perfecting a process of Christian theological study with and by people who are in prison because, as she says, "Jesus preached and taught from the margins."


An ordained United Methodist elder from the North Georgia Annual Conference, Herbert Marbury is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

A native of Atlanta, Dr. Marbury is known as a rising star in the field of church history, social justice and the legacy of our Christian faith.

A powerful preacher, Dr. Marbury has degrees from Emory University and the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, and from Vanderbilt. He is up to tenure at Vandy and is considered Hobson's "theologian-in-residence," undergirding our community's commitment to justice for all, particularly those who live in poverty and how are marginalized in society because of ethnicity/race, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic circumstance, or status.

Hobson Laity in Ministry

Laypersons in Leadership

  • Lay Leader—Pam Hicks
  • Children/Youth Activities—Sonja Dixon
  • Finance and Administration—Jim Milliken
  • Staff-Parish (Personnel)—Brad Wright
  • Nurture & Membership Care—Gaines Mann
  • Trustees & Public Relations—Garlinda Burton
  • Music Ministry—Brittany Stephens
  • Transportation—Ron Taylor
  • Room in the Inn—Johnny Brewster
  • LGBTQ Advocacy—Gaines Mann

    To volunteer or for more information, email us!

Bill Barnes is a Nashville institution. Nearly 50 years ago, he was founding pastor of Edgehill United Methodist Church, an intentionally interracial, interclass inner-city, reconciling church, still-active Edgehill community.
Barnes is known as an advocate for people who are poor and marginalized and as a prophetic leader in racial justice issues and a champion of the rights of homosexual, bisexual and transgendered people.
In 2007, Barnes published TO LOVE A CITY, which chronicles his ministry at Edgehill Church (proceeds for the sale of the book support a the O.N.E/Barnes Scholarship program for low-income youth).  He was a founding member of Tying Nashville Together, a consortium of churches, synagogues and other civic groups working to improve social services, schools and housing for poor and working-class Nashvillians.
For Barnes, a graduate of Yale Divinity School (he was named "Alumnus of the Year in 2012) biblical vocation means immersion in both systematic theology and the Metro Nashville budget. He finds strategies for fair housing in the Book of Amos, a roadmap to moral politics in teachings of Jesus.

n an interview with journalist Ray Waddle, Barnes advised other young pastor/prophets to draw strength from Christ's example. "Soak up the (biblical) story over and over ... because repetition is a safeguard against the corrosive power of shrill voices in our society dismissing Jesus priorities as sentimental and irrelevant in the real world. Rowing upstream requires constant effort."
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