Our Staff


Pastor Stephen Bittick

Pastor Bittick is a native Mississippian born in Vicksburg. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS and a 2005 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. He served 4 years at Fannin United Methodist Church in Brandon, MS. He also planted Life Bridge Church in Southaven, MS 2009-2012. Prior to his call to pastoral ministry he was in real estate but his passion is now focused on seeing people come to know Christ and making Him known. Stephen has been married to Cassie Bittick since 1990. They have 3 beautiful daughters Stephanie, Maria, and Hanna Rose. Pastor Bittick has been serving Byhalia United Methodist Church since June 2012.  Contact via the church office or via email at pastor@byhaliaumc.org


Carole Rucker, Children's Pastor

Carole Rucker is a faithful member of Byhalia United Methodist Church.  Carole received her BCBC specializing in youth and children from Light University in 2008.  In 2014 Carole joined our Lay Ministry.  Because of her love of Jesus and all children she stepped up to become our Children's Ministry Coordinator in February 2015.  Carole has a son, daughter-in-law, and a grandson. Being a mother and grandmother provided excellent on-the-job training for Children's Ministry. You may leave a message for Carole at the church office or email her at children@byhaliaumc.org


Zach Wiggins, Youth Pastor

Zach and Samantha Wiggins joined our staff in March of 2018 with a heart for the youth of Byhalia.  Zach received his Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Christian Education with a focus in church administration from The Baptist College of Florida.  He and Sam relocated to north Mississippi to be near Sam’s parents after the birth of their son, Jon Silas.

“We not only were blessed with a great man of God who loves to teach others His Word,” Pastor Bittick says, “but we were doubly blessed to have Sam come alongside Zach in ministry.”  In addition to youth ministry and small group leadership, Zach loves music (playing drums and guitar) and college football!  Welcome aboard Zach and Sam!

To reach Zach, call the church office (662-838-2237) or youth@byhaliaumc.org.


Elaine Denley, Office Administrator

After 33 years with UPS and a short retirement, Elaine Denley felt led of God to give back to His Church by using her gifts and her life experiences through church administration. Elaine has lived in Hernando with her husband, Keath, for many years after raising two sons, Mickey and Jeremy, who are married with children of their own.

“I have found that one can be taught word processing, filing, scheduling, and the like,” comments Pastor Stephen, “but you can’t teach kindness.” Elaine has genuine love and kindness for others, which makes her a great church administrator.  She treats everyone who comes through the church doors with respect and care.  This obviously comes from a deep and abiding love and trust in Jesus Christ.  Come see for yourself!  Stop by the church office, call her (662-838-2237), or email her at secretary@byhaliaumc.org


Karen Charves, Custodian

Karen Charves is one hard worker.  In addition to serving lunches to hundreds of DeSoto County School children, Karen keeps our facilities in tip-top shape!  She is also the proud mom of 12 year old, Lauren.  Thank you for all you do, Karen!