Pastors & Staff

Dr. Tom Robbins

Senior Pastor

Dr. Robbins came to the First Methodist Church of Temple in 2006.  After serving four years as an Army officer in an armored cavalry regiment, Dr. Robbins moved to Texas in 1989 to begin seminary.  He completed his Masters of Divinity at Brite Divinity School at TCU in 1993 and his Doctor of Ministry degree in Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology at SMU in 2013.  Prior to his appointment at FUMC Temple, that has Transitioned into First Methodist Church Temple, A Global Methodist Church.  Tom served churches in Waco, TX, Ovilla, TX and Haslet, TX.  Dr. Robbins is an ordained Elder in Full Connection with the Mid-Texas Conference of the Global Methodist Church.  Tom and his wife, Shannon, have two daughters: Lindsey and Caitlyn Su.  In his spare time, he enjoys reading and raising cattle.  Tom has horses so that his wife will stay married to him.

Rev. Kit Tomlinson

Associate/Youth Pastor

Pastor Kit  comes from west Texas and is an Elder in the Global Methodist Church.  He  has been at First Methodist Church since Jan 2020. After graduating with honors from Texas Tech University with a bachelors degree, he graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with an MA in Youth Ministry.  Kit has served in youth ministry since 1998.  He also holds a CF-OL1 and runs Broken Fitness, a fitness and outreach ministry of our church. His family consists of wife, Leslie, and two children.  He spends his free time with his dogs and workin' out.

Dr. Leslie Tomlinson

Associate Pastor

Pastor Leslie is a native Texan and has been a pastor since 2005. Leslie has served small town, college town, as well as big and small suburban Methodist churches in Texas. Leslie met and married Kit at Texas Tech University and followed him to the DFW area where she finished her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in Arlington. Following a few years serving in youth ministry in Austin, Kit and Leslie headed north to Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky where she earned her Master of Divinity in 2005. Leslie earned a Doctor of Ministry at United Theological Seminary. Her doctorate focused on Christian theology of the human body. Leslie is the Vice-chair of GMC  Mid-Tex Board of Ministry. Leslie and Kit are blessed with two children and two dogs. She enjoys our Broken Fitness workouts. Her newest hobby is grilling meat. Recipes welcome!

Melissa Piland

Office Manager

Melissa has been a member of First Methodist Temple since 1993 and has worked for the church since 1998.  Melissa graduated from Temple College.  She and her husband have two children.  Melissa enjoys her children, reading, and sparkling water. 

Kay Birkholz

Director of Adult, Women's, and Evangelism Ministries

Kay is currently Director of Adult, Women's, and Evangelism Ministries.   She has worked on staff of First Methodist Temple in different capacities since she and her husband became members in 1976.  Forty-three years ago Kay was one of the founders of our Preschool & Mother’s Day Out Program.  She was Director of Children and Family Ministries 1987-2004.  And she served as interim director of our Preschool & Mother’s Day Out Program for one year.

She graduated from Bangs High School and continued her education at Howard Payne University School of Business, Central Texas College, Temple College and SMU Perkins School of Theology.  

She and her husband, Howard, are the parents of three grown children and five grand boys.  Her greatest joys are spending time  sharing God’s love, family, travel, and enjoying old & new friends.

Shannon Robbins

Director of Children's Ministries/Website

Shannon Robbins has been a member of First Temple for 16 years. Shannon graduated from Tarleton State University and continued her education by receiving her Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Development.  She began her career in Teaching  as a Kindergarten teacher in Waco, and then went on to teach K-1 at Thornton Elementary  in Temple ISD.  Shannon also taught her last few years as a Pre-K teacher before retiring.  Pastor Tom and Shannon live on a farm with cows, horses, and lots of cow dogs (little and big).  Shannon loves to spend time outdoors riding horses, planting in the garden, sitting by the fire pit or petting baby calves. Shannon loves children and is super excited to be a part of this awesome Team.  

Tara Sutherland

Director of First Methodist Temple Preschool & Mother's Day Out
Church Media Support

Tara Sutherland became Director of the Preschool & MDO program in June 2018.  She graduated from Belton High School and continued her education at Texas Tech University.  She graduated with a degree in Human Development and Family studies. She has a teaching certificate in Early Childhood - 4th grade.  She taught 1st grade for ten years prior to being the director.  She also attended First Methodist Preschool/MDO as a child.  She lives in Salado with her husband Brian, son Conway, and dog Brewster.  In her spare time she enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and reading a good book.  

Pete Eimen

Finance Secretary

Pete Eimen grew up in eastern Iowa.  He has a BA in Accounting from Michigan State University and an MA in Accounting from the University of Iowa.  He spent most of his career as an internal auditor in the banking and healthcare industries.  Pete and his wife, Linda,  have lived in Temple and have been a part of First Methodist since 1987.  They have two daughters and four grandchildren.  He joined the staff of First Methodist in 2010.  He enjoys reading, following many sports, travel, and table baseball. 

Dr. Carl Bradley


Dr. Bradley has been the organist at First Methodist Temple since 2007 and has served as a church organist since he was 14 years of age.  After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree, he entered the field of education where he has been a teacher, public school administrator, and university administrator since 1961.  Dr. Bradley currently teaches child development and education classes at Temple College and is a supervisor for alternative certification through the Texas Education Agency.  His graduate degrees are from Texas A&M University/Commerce. He and his wife, Becky, frequently give organ and piano concerts throughout Texas.  Outside of music and teaching, Dr. Bradley enjoys cars, sports, and gardening.

Ellie Simpson

Front Desk Assistant

Ellie enjoys helping and serving others.  She retired from Baylor Scott & White Health after 37 years of service. She worked in the OB/GYN department for 34 years where she served as a customer service representative, secretary and supervisor.

Ellie and her husband, Drew, have been members of First Methodist for approximately 21 years where they have assisted with the sound system, and served as greeters and ushers.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with their two children and three grandchildren. Recently she learned how to make a quilt, knit a baby blanket and embroider a dress. She hopes to continue her knitting and sewing hobbies.

Sammy Marshall

Facilities Coordinator
Type your new text here.

Roger Dean


Richard Novak

Choir Director