About Us | Meet Our Staff
Director of Student Ministry
Suzanne was born and grew up in Atlanta, where she was an active Youth Group Member of St. John UMC. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelors of Social Work. Suzanne has served on several church staffs, including St. James UMC in Athens and Tucker First UMC. She joined Buford First in 1989, and joined the staff in 1991.
Suzanne has served in several different roles at Buford First, but loves being the Youth Pastor! She is married to Randy Clegg, who helps her in her ministry in many ways. She and Randy have 3 wonderful children: Katie, Emily, and William. Suzanne enjoys camping and takes the youth on a camping trip every year. She also loves Charles Dickens novels and hopes to visit England one day.
Some of her favorite Bible Verses come from Jeremiah 29: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Debra grew up in Galesburg, Kansas and was raised in the Christian Church. The oldest of four girls, she began taking music lessons in the third grade and serving in the music ministry at her local church. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Debra decided to pursue an instrumental music ministry. She received a Bachelor of Music Ministry from Ozark Christian College with a major on the clarinet and minor on the piano and bassoon.
Debra has been playing the piano, adding instrumentation, and assisting in the Music Ministry at Buford First since August of 2009. She also teaches private piano and woodwind lessons and serves as a director at New School of Music. Many of her favorite verses come from Psalm 150 and Colossians 3:16-17. Besides music, Debra enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing with kids, family games, watching movies, animals, nature, and baking.
Director of Music and the Arts
Sarah Lawing holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and undergraduate degrees in performance and education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has studied clarinet, piano, voice, and conducting and is excited to be in ministry through music and worship at Buford First.
Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Sarah and her husband Matthew live in Athens with their daughter Collette. Her favorite hymn text is “When in our music God is glorified and adoration leaves no room for pride, it is as though the whole creation cried Alleluia!” Soli Deo Gloria!
Director of Preschool
Leandre serves as Director of the BFUMC Preschool. Prior to being Director, Leandre started as a teacher with Buford First in 2006 and then moved into the role of Assistant Director in 2007. She has personally led all of the Preschool’s fundraising activities, has all her state certifications, and has been an integral part of the Buford First Preschool team.
Leandre moved to Atlanta in 2004 with her husband Ben and two children Alexis and Zachery. Leandre’s interest in early childhood development comes from a genuine love for children and with two teenagers rapidly growing up at home she personally enjoys the opportunity to work with Buford First Preschool’s little ones.
Director of Children & Family Ministry
Susan graduated from North Georgia College with her B.S. in Psychology and spent the next 13 years assisting with the daily needs of adults and children with special needs. During this time, she became a Training & Compliance Officer where it was her responsibility to develop the policies and procedures that ensured appropriate programming for clients and the continuing education of the staff to ensure that the facility met all state and federal regulations.
When Susan’s daughter was born, she and her husband Mike decided that staying at home was the best option for their family. A few years later, she began working in the Nursery at Buford First where she managed the administrative operations and also helped to care for the children that are now a major part of our Children’s Ministry. She was later appointed Director of Children & Family Ministry where she serves today.
Susan is involved in many facets of the church and serves on several church committees. She is also an active member of the UMW and the Carol Scott Women’s Circle. She and her husband Mike have one daughter, Audree. Her favorite verse is Philippians 4:13 which reads “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
(includes Church Board members, Lay leaders, and members of all church committees and work areas)