Meet Our Staff

Rev. Elder Dr. Candace Shultis

Senior Pastor

Candace grew up in Kingston, NY and Pittsfield, MA. She earned her baccalaureate degree from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), B.B.A., in 1973, her master’s and her doctorate at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, M.Div., 1980 and D. Min., 2004. From November, 1973 through August, 1976, she served as a disbursing officer in the United States Marine Corps. She first attended the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC in 1979. Candace served as the Associate Pastor of MCC Washington from 1983 until 1995 when she was elected Pastor.

Candace was called and elected to be the Pastor at King of Peace MCC in December, 2007. Candace has a passion for preaching and very much enjoys working with the terrific staff and congregation of King of Peace! She and her partner of 24 years, Barbara, also enjoy the company of their three dachshunds: Wendy, Mr. Redd and Sparky.

Rev. Brad Rice

Associate Pastor for Congregational Life
E-mail Rev. Brad Rice

From his accent, you can tell that Brad was born and raised in Athens, GA where his family still lives. He grew up in the Southern Baptist church there where his grandfather was minister. He received a B.S.Ed. at the University of Georgia and an M.A. in College Student Development from Appalachian State University. After working at the University of Arizona, he found his calling in professional ministry and moved to California, attended Claremont School of Theology and interned at MCCLA, where he was ordained in April 2010. He then moved to Chattanooga, TN, and served as pastor of The Rock MCC. In June 2012, he joined Orlando’s Joy MCC as a Program Minister and when he attended 2012 St. Pete Pride, he fell in love with our city.

Outside church, Brad enjoys drinking coffee in local coffee shops, reading (Histories, mysteries, and God and spirituality are his favorite topics.), Britcoms, and movies (especially Gone with the Wind). He’s an avid college football fan, and cheers for the UGA Bulldogs. He feels that MCC saved his life numerous times, and loves it when people are empowered to feel a radically inclusive and hospitable message of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Dr. Suzie Chamness

Assistant Pastor for Congregational Care
E-mail Rev. Dr. Suzie Chamness

Suzie grew up in a small southern Indiana town and at 18 moved to Evansville to attend the University of Southern Indiana, where, in 1972, she earned her Bachelor degree in Business Education. In 2006, she received her MDiv from Florida Center for Theological Studies, and then a Doctorate from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Georgia in 2011.

Suzie served as Interim Pastor at Spirit of Life MCC, New Port Richey from August 2007 through April 2009. She was installed as Senior Pastor in May 2009 and served that congregation until February 2011.

She also has lived in Illinois, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, but now is settled in St. Petersburg with her mother Helen, a cat named Garbo, and a dog Snooky.

Joel Ogburn

Director of Music

I’m grateful to serve the church that saved my life.  

Born and raised in north Florida, into a spiritually guided and musically talented family, where I began sharing my music gifts.  At the age of 16, I had the privilege of sharing God’s good news of unconditional love across this great nation. After spending 10-years on the road full-time, recording 5 albums,  I found my calling to be in local church.   

My passion is simple, lifting up the name of Jesus through powerful Praise and Worship. Psalms;100 challenges  us to SHOUT to the Lord, all the earth and to WORSHIP God with a joyful song — praising God each step of the way. 

I am blessed to be in the journey with my husband, Ryan, beautiful daughter Abbey and three furry kids Annabelle, Ashton and Asia.