Courtney Knox


Courtney Knox joined the staff at First United Methodist Church in June 2015 as the Director of Methodist Learning Center. Courtney has her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and holds her Director’s credentials for the state. For the past two years she has taught third grade in Gulf and Bay District Schools, and was Rookie Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year.  She is excited about the opportunity God has put in her path and is looking forward to what the future holds for Methodist Learning Center. Courtney and her husband, Chris, live in Port St Joe, Florida. She enjoys relaxing on the beach, shopping, and spending time with her nephew, Tripp.

Vanesa Ryan

Preschool Teacher

Vanesa is a licensed paraprofessional and medical assistant. She was born and raised in Georgia. After graduating high school, she worked in the medical field for 16 years. Vanesa moved to Florida in 1997 and married her husband, Charlie Ryan, on Jekyll Island in 1999. Vanesa and Charlie have one daughter, Ava Ryan, age 11. When Ava started elementary school Vanesa began volunteering daily at PSJES. She soon realized her love for children and decided to become a substitute in 2011. Vanesa is an essential part of MLC, as she greets our children each morning when they come into school.

Lisa Canfield

After School Leader

Lisa is the afterschool leader for school-aged students. She has taught all ages of students for the past 10 years. Her teaching began when she started with a program called “Teach for America” in 2001. Lisa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1997. She is excited about a fulfilled and educational after-school adventure.

Kara Rish

Music Teacher

Kara Rish leads our music education program.  She teaches basic music theory including rhythm and harmony.  She was the Director of the Dothan Preparatory Choir and brings classical music training to our classroom.  The children have so much fun learning new songs with her!

Ashley Shoaf

Financial Secretary

Ashley Shoaf serves as Financial Manager of First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe.  She earned her Masters and Bachelors degree in accounting from the Florida State University. She is a Certified Public Accountant with many years of experience in managing finance. She is able to answer questions about financial statements and set up automatic tuition payments. 

Dr. Geoffrey Lentz

Senior Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Geoffrey D. Lentz serves as Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe.  He earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of West Florida, a Master of Divinity from Duke University, and a Doctorate of Ministry from Drew University.  He serves as the spiritual leader of the church and learning center.  He along with the Methodist Learning Center Board provide accountability and supervision to the Methodist Learning Center.

Krystal Terry

Children’s Minister (Sprouts and Truth walkers)

Krystal Terry serves as the Children’s Minister at First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Flagler College.  She previously served as a popular first grade teacher at St. Joe Elementary School.  Under her direction our ministry to children has grown in size and vitality.  She lead chapel each week for our student and helps them grow in their faith.