Meet the Staff

Scott Sutherland 
Senior Minister

Scott Sutherland is the Senior Minister of Forum. As Senior Minister, Scott is the primary preaching/teaching minister on the staff - he sets the tone, the vision, and is to set the pace for the ministry. Scott has served in ministry since 1985 and that service has taken him all over the world leading, teaching, and helping to equip other church leaders in ministry. He's written for various church magazines and newspapers. In his down time you might find him on a tennis court, golfing, playing chess, kicking a soccer ball with some of his kids, or reading. His wife, Melody, and their five children strive to live for God daily. Both Scott and Melody are graduates of Johnson University with B.A.'s, a B.S., and M.A.s. Melody currently teaches grade 8 at Jefferson Junior High school. As a family, they strive to integrate faith and living for God daily.

Bradley Williams
Executive Minister

Bradley is the associate pastor and also the church administrator. He tends to the business side of the church body while managing the daily operational elements. He oversees the discipleship ministry, graphic and video arts department, church finance, in addition to being a member of the preaching team. Bradley's overall goal is to teach and live the way of Jesus, by the proclamation of His word through faith, fellowship and service. His passion to edify and encourage the church of Jesus Christ drives his desire to preach and make disciples. Bradley is married to his wife and best friend Kate and they have two sons. He enjoys spending time with his family, music, playing guitar, chess, reading, and all things technological.


Tyler Hensley 
High School Minister

Tyler loves investing in the lives of high school students and seeing God bring change into their lives. Tyler believes that high school students are a core part of the church and can do amazing things for the kingdom. Tyler teaches Sunday school, plays basketball with the high school students on Sunday nights, and organizes Wednesday night events for the students. Tyler graduated from Johnson University with a degree in Preaching/Youth Ministry. Tyler also played collegiate soccer during his time at Johnson. Tyler enjoys going to concerts, running, cycling, throwing a Frisbee, playing sports, and eating Andy’s Frozen Custard. 



Jody Riley 
Middle School Minister

Jody loves energy. He loves being around energy, and what better place to be for energy than in junior high youth. The 6th-8th grade students hold a special love in Jody's heart, because their faith shows us all what our faith should be like, seeking God with the heart of a child. Jody teaches Sunday school, runs Pulse night on Sunday night, and helps with the Tuesday night men's basketball group. He has been at Forum since 2005. He has degrees from Western Kentucky University and Virginia Tech as well as graduate experience at Mizzou and Central Christian College of the Bible. He has an incredible wife Kara and the two most beautiful little girls in the whole world (Ruthie and Ayla). Jody is unbelievably blessed with his family and with the charge of being here at Forum with these awesome youth.



Jessie Spellman

Children's Minister

Jessie is a "take each day as it comes" kind of gal and has enjoyed the variety of paths God has taken her down thus far. She grew up in a small rural congregation in Illinois where her father was the minister and she quickly learned from the examples of the people around her that serving the church with your gifts is both a joy and a blessing. Jessie moved to Columbia with her parents in 1990 and quickly became active serving in Forum's children's ministry in a variety of capacities. Forum is where she met her husband Steven, a rare lifetime Columbia resident. They are parents of four children: Isaiah, Huston, Avery, and Lillie. Jessie graduated from the University of Missouri with a major in Elementary Education. She directs our Nursery, Preschool, and K-2nd grade children's areas. She absolutely loves the creative process of coming up with new ways to help parents become the spiritual leaders of their family.

Rochelle Gerdts

Children's Minister

Kids are Rochelle’s favorite people.  She loves building relationships with them and helping them build their relationships with Jesus. Rochelle's experience in ministry, as well as her previous role as a counselor and case manager, have fueled her passion to strengthen and encourage families to grow in their faith together. She has a wonderful family her own: a husband Eric and two daughters, Hallie and Norah.   

Tyler Morris 
Worship Minister/Creative Director

Tyler loves to see people come to know Jesus.  He is very passionate about worshiping God and seeing others doing the same.  He graduated from Central Christian College of the Bible in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science degree in General Ministry. Tyler’s passion for serving and worshiping Jesus drives his desire to help focus people’s hearts toward God.  Tyler loves being married to his wife Katelyn and being Daddy to his two sons, Liam and Eamon and daughter, Millie. He enjoys family time, music, sound and tech, mountain biking, and meeting new people. 



Tarry Koutz 
Worship Minister/Choirs and Productions

Tarry, who joined the Forum staff in September of 2009, has taught Worship Leading at Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB) for nearly 40 years and has directed many worship productions. He served previously as Worship Minister on the Forum staff from 1971 to 1997 and then with the Blue Ridge Christian Church until 2005. Tarry is a vocal teacher, elementary school music teacher, guitar instructor and avid learner. He has earned degrees from two Michigan schools, Alma College (BA) and Central Michigan University (MM), an done from the University of Missouri (PhD). His wife, Poppy, is an accomplished keyboardist and teaches Private Piano at CCCB. Tarry and Poppy have two children and three grandchildren who affectionately call him Papa. Tarry enjoys spending time with his family and directing the local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Julie Crockett 
Women's Ministry / The Reach Project

Julie loves bringing people together! She considers it such a blessing to be able to support others in their journey to a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Julie organizes women’s study groups, social events, and various other venues that encourage women to better know God, His Word, and His people.   She graduated from the University of Missouri with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education and taught in the Columbia Public Schools.  She has been married to her husband, Tim, for 16 years and they have 3 beautiful children, Emery, Carson, and Boone.



Melanie Abernathy 
Financial Secretary

Melanie is the financial secretary at Forum. That means she pays the bills and keep all the accounts in balance. She married Jim Abernathy in 1996, moved to Columbia and has been at the church ever since. She and Jim have four grown sons and two grandchildren. Melanie loves camping, family reunions, and fishing with her husband.


Carolyn Howell
Office Assistant

Carolyn, her husband, and two children became members of Forum in 1990. Her husband, Dan, is an elder of the church. They also lead a Life Group at their home. She attends the Sunday a.m. Life Group that Dan co-leads. Carolyn also is a facilitator for the Tuesday evening women's Bible study. Her interests include her three grandsons and one granddaughter, traveling, eating out, and occasionally working in the yard.


Melinda Roe 
Administrative Assistant 

Melinda is the secretary for the ministers on staff. She prepares the weekly bulletins, announcements, newsletters and so much more. She is in a Life Group and attends the Maranatha Class taught by Ted Mountjoy. Melinda is the mom of one grown son, Britton. She loves eating out with friends, going to movies, and reading.


Marlowe Schlegel 
Administrative Assistant

After a career with the USDA, Marlowe was called to volunteer his time and skills to help the ministry at Forum. God is using his life and work experiences to assist and support the leadership team. Staff members affectionately refer to him as the "Do Guy" which fits as he just does things. With focus on volunteer operations, his time and energy is spent on facilities’ upkeep and on the outreach side of church activities. Marlowe and his wife Judy have two children plus one "adopted" son. They enjoy time with their grandsons and watching them grow. Marlowe enjoys flower gardening, ebaying, and following the MU Tigers, Cubs, Bears and Carl Edwards.