Living Democracy

Methodist minister values her time in Collinsville

The Rev. Carol Gullatt, pastor at Collinsville First United Methodist Church in Collinsville, has “always felt a connection to ministry.”  Gullatt grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, where her father worked for the U.S. Army Missile Command and her mother as a music teacher. Her mother’s love of music led to her being named Carol.

Her parents were heavily involved in their church congregation. They purchased a house across the street from the church building so Gullatt and her siblings could grow up connected to the church as well. 

After graduating from high school, Gullatt made her way to Auburn University as a student. Her desire to help others led her to pursue a degree in medical technology in response to the AIDS Epidemic.  However, she decided that path was not for her. 

Gullatt made the change to an art major program to become an art teacher. She taught art in the Huntsville City School System for 18 years. It was here that she found her passion for leadership and serving as a guide for others.

While still teaching full-time, Gullatt took part in launching a new virtual school program in Huntsville. In addition to this, she was also taking seminary classes in her spare time. She later came to the decision to end her teaching career and enter seminary full-time to start her career in ministry.

She was nervous at first about the requirements of becoming a pastor in the United Methodist Church. Ministers in the UMC do not choose where they will serve and are appointed by other church leadership. Her first appointment was at a church in the Lowe Mill neighborhood of Huntsville. She loved the “artiness” of the community and “being a calming presence for them.”

Her second appointment was at the First United Methodist Church of Collinsville, her current church. In Collinsville since 2017, she now also serves as the senior pastor at Cedar Hill United Methodist Church in Leesburg.

While she did not know what to expect when moving from Huntsville to a small, rural town, Gullatt said that “it’s been a peaceful place for me to grow.” She added that she enjoys “being in a small town where I can know so much of the population.” This has benefited her work as it allows her to “learn about the gifts and stressors of the people here.”

While she would love to stay longer, Gullatt knows that it is likely she will be appointed to another church in the next few years. Her six-year tenure at First UMC is already longer than average. However, she will “always be connected to the community.” 

Gullatt continues to value her time in Collinsville and will always consider it an important place in her life. “The day I moved to Collinsville, I felt relieved and happy to be here in this beautiful place,” she said. “I have found a home in Collinsville, and I feel like I am embraced here.”

By Brin Allen
Last Updated: August 15, 2022