The Rev. Shannon Karafanda has been selected to serve as executive pastor at Peachtree City United Methodist Church. Karafanda’s first Sunday is June 25.
Karafanda is ordained in the United Methodist Church within the Order of Deacons. She grew up in Morrow and went to college at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 1995, She received a bachelor of science in management with a focus in information systems and French. She worked as a systems analyst for Price Waterhouse and Equitable Real Estate before pursuing her call to ministry in 1999.
Karafanda graduated from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2005 with her master of divinity degree. She has served in ministry at Brooks UMC, Turin UMC, Lighthouse UMC, Sacred Tapestry, The Church at the Well, Hopewell UMC and Cornerstone UMC.
Currently she is working on her doctor of ministry in transformational leadership from Boston University. This degree is a professional doctoral degree to enrich religious leaders in traditional and non-traditional settings, to deepen their understanding of and commitment to ministry, and to refine its practice. Her dissertation will be submitted this fall and will focus on laity leadership development and empowerment with a growth mind-set.
Karafanda’s book, The Synergy Shift (Room 272 Press, August 2012) highlights many of the life lessons about the transition of senior pastors she learned at one church following the sudden and unexpected death of the lead pastor one week before the launch of a new church.
During this time Karafanda filled in the gap of leadership as the congregation mourned but continued on with the mission. The Synergy Shift is a touching and humorous look at her perspective on the craziness of clergy life, the fragility of every life, and the hope of new life.
She was inducted into the Morehouse Board of Preachers in 2016 and honored at Smith Chapel UMC’s Pastoral Celebration in 2017. She serves as chair of the Order of Deacons for the North Georgia Annual Conference, as well as member of the executive committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry and assists with congregational development training.
Karafanda lives with her husband and three children in Peachtree City.