TIFTON – Tifton First United Methodist Church did not have to look far for its new Director of Children’s Ministry. Tiffany Alexion, a veteran employee of the Tifton First Pre-School Program, was recently hired to take the reins of the Children’s program and she is quickly making her presence felt.
Since taking the helm, Tiffany has revamped the Wednesday afternoon Children’s program to include games, a Bible study and a mission’s moment. She also recently organized Tifton First’s first Chili/Soup Cook-Off and Pumpkin Decorating Contest. The event saw nearly 100 people participate and raised almost $600 for Operation Christmas Child.
She is assisting with organizing the Tifton First Fall Festival, which will take place later this month. And there are plans in the works for special guests and activities for the children during the Christmas season.
“Tiffany has jumped in quickly with the staff and has done what she has needed to do to become a part of the team,” said Tifton First Senior Pastor Chip Grantham.
“Tiffany’s organizational skills have bolstered the confidence of the volunteers,” he continued, “people are always more comfortable when they know what is expected of them.”
Originally from Littleton, Colorado, Tiffany moved to South Georgia with her husband George shortly after the birth of their first son, Brock. With a degree in Recreation and Leisure from the University of North Colorado, Tiffany spent many years honing her organizational skills working for a branch of Colorado tourism called Visit Denver, working primarily on event and meeting planning.
Tiffany admitted that moving from Colorado to South Georgia took a little getting used to.
“I didn’t understand the accent and they didn’t understand me,” Tiffany admitted.
“One of my favorite stories is going to the Dairy Queen and ordering a hot fudge sundae and a Heath Blizzard. The server repeated “that’s one hot fudge sundae and a shrimp basket.”
From then on, I told George that he was going to have to order for me.”
“Another time I went to a restaurant and ordered a salad. The waitress asked if I wanted ‘maters’ with my salad. I said I wasn’t sure. I asked, what are maters? She said, you know ‘to-maters.”
Since those early days as a transplanted South Georgian, Tiffany has acclimated well to her new surroundings as she pursued a new career working with children. When Brock entered the TFUMC Pre-K program, Tiffany joined the teaching staff and worked there for nine years before making the transition to Tifton First’s Director of Children’s Ministry.
“I grew up in a non-denominational church, and I have always been involved with children,” Tiffany said. “When I was 14, I went on a missions trip with a family to be their babysitter – I spent two months in Morocco and Casa Blanca.”
Tiffany has taken that early interest, along with experience of working at the Pre-School, and has developed a long list of goals for children and family programming at Tifton First.
“One of my goals is to develop inter-generational ministry,” said Tiffany. “We want to get buy-in from everybody and create family events that include everyone from infants to grandparents.”
Other plans include focusing on family missions projects and seasonal events at Christmas, Easter and during the summer. Tiffany has a plan to celebrate newborns and recognize birthdays.
“We want to instill in the children that they are loved by God and by the congregation.” said Tiffany.
It is the same love that has embraced Tiffany and her family (which has since seen the addition of sons Ty and Rhett) has felt since moving to Tifton.
“I love how community-oriented Tifton is – always looking out for each other’s interest,” Tiffany said.
This interest was experienced in a major way as the Alexions were forced to deal with a serious health scare.
“Three days after my 40th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Tiffany shared. But after four months of chemotherapy, seven surgeries and subsequent radiation treatments, she is winning the war.
“I have been in remission for two years. I want people to know that they can come to me if they are facing a similar battle.”
“With Tiffany’s work-ethic and creativity, she is raising the bar,” said Chip. “She has been phenomenal.”