Rev. Esther Rodriguez joined Spring of Life in July 2018. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and has lived in the state of Florida since she was in third grade. She graduated high school in Lake Placid and received a B.A. in Religion from Florida Southern College. She received her Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary’s Orlando campus in 2011. After seminary she was on staff at Killearn UMC in Tallahassee, where she was the Director of the Shadetree Group, a missional ministry serving underserved persons in Gadsden County, as well as serving as a preaching pastor at Killearn UMC.
She’s passionate about Christian contemplative practices, church, missions, worship, advocacy, serving and empowering the marginalized of society and reaching those who’ve left the church or have been hurt by the church, among other things. She has two pets, Kora (dog) and Zooey (cat), is a Gryffindor and bilingual. Her call to ministry is founded and propelled by her experience of God’s grace. To read more about Pastor Esther, click here.
A Central Florida native, Rev. Iván Gonzalez joined the Spring of Life team in 2017. Rev. Gonzalez is a licensed mental health counselor with experience working in substance abuse, couples therapy and with young adults. Pastor Iván holds a bachelors in Psychology, a masters degree in Counseling from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School at Duke University.
For fun, Pastor Iván enjoys group fitness, reading and singing karaoke as loudly as possible. Pastor Iván and his wife, Christina, have a 2-year-old son named Mateo.
Brittany Hawthorne joined the Spring of Life Staff as director of Music Ministry in 2013.
Prior to that, she worked as a music therapist, music educator, and session vocalist in the NYC area. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Miami. Brittany and her husband, Ash, have a daughter, Eloise (born 2014), and a son, Kit (born 2017).
Andrea has been serving The United Methodist Church since 2010. She received her bachelor and Master degree from Emory University. Andrea is beyond grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Family Ministry Director and she is looking forward to partnering with all of you and the work God is doing at Spring of Life.
Tay joined us on July 15, taking up the reigns as our new bookkeeper. Tay was born in Venezuela and has lived in Orlando with her husband and 2 daughters since 2016. She has her bachelor’s degree in accounting and is excited to apply her industry experience on the job with the Spring of Life family.
Denise comes to us from the Christian Service Center of Central Florida, where she served as the Love Pantry coordinator. She has industry experience as a marketing coordinator, a senior business analyst and as an account manager. She has faithfully served Spring of Life in a variety of roles within our Vacation Bible School and Early Learning Center ministries.
Andrea serves Spring of Life as both the Nursery Coordinator and a Lead Teacher at the ELC. She received her CDA last school year. Andrea was born on the beautiful island of St.Thomas, U.S.V.I. She has 4 nephews and 2 nieces. Andrea has worked in child care since attending Bethune Cookman University. She also worked at the YMCA of Central Florida as a site coordinator and a co teacher for four years. She is thankful for God's blessing to work with our little minds.
Margo Cook is our ELC director. Her and her husband have lived in Orlando for 24 years. The Cooks have two children, Emily (19) and Clay (16). Margo has more than 20 years experience in the education field.
In addition to her Bachelors degree in Science Education from Florida State University, she has her National CDA certification and her Florida Director's credential. In her spare time Margo likes to ride her horses and compete along side her daughter in Obstacle challenges, watching her son play soccer, going to the beach, and camping.
Rev. Mary Downey is the CEO of the Community Hope Center in Kissimmee. She volunteers her time at Spring of Life where she serves in her role as an ordained deacon through being part of the preaching team and sitting on several administrative committees.