Dr. Tara Gay is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Presently, she serves at Big Beaver UMC in Troy, Mi as the senior pastor. She preaches the word of God each Sunday and teaches about the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Pastor Gay believes in making disciples for the transformation of the world.


She is the Vice President of Sacred Sisters, the chairperson of Michigan Conference Nominations Committee and the Chairperson of Black Clergy for the Michigan Conference. Pastor Gay has taught at Indiana Wesleyan Seminary, Ecumenical Theological Seminary and Payne Theological Seminary. She specializes in spiritual formation and leadership. Dr. Gay has led workshops and seminars that have challenged both clergy and laypersons to be more effective in missions and ministry. During her years in seminary, she served in the United States Air Force as a Chaplain Candidate for Lowry Aire Force Base in Colorado and Scott Air Force Bases in Illinois respectively.


Over the years, Dr. Gay has attended General and Jurisdictional Conferences as a delegate. She was a member of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women for 8 years. Also, she chaired the Conference Board of Church and Society. She is also a trained Life Coach.


Her spiritual practices include prayer, meditation, and worship which helps to strengthen her faith in God. In addition, she has led several prayer workshops and consistently does personal devotions and prayer time with colleagues on a weekly basis. She is a faithful servant of God, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ for over 37 years.


Dr. Gay is married to Bryon Gay. She has four children: Christopher, Luke, Zane and Jake. She also has six grandchildren. 

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Suzanne Bianchi serves as our Director of Contemporary Worship Music as well as our Organist. She has served as the Organist of Big Beaver United Methodist Church since 1992. She is a graduate of Wayne State University, with degrees in Organ Performance and Church Music. Suzanne provides musical leadership from the organ at our traditional Sunday morning Worship service and accompanies the Chancel Choir. Suzanne is also our Director of Contemporary Music, directing the Living Water Worship Team, and the Grace Like Rain group for our contemporary worship service, as well as the bands/ensembles that perform for other contemporary worship experiences. Along with our Pastor and Director of Music, Suzanne works to craft worship experiences that encourage an encounter with God.

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Choir Director

Carl Vanidour

Carl Vanidour serves as our Choir Director.  He is a graduate of Macomb Community College with a degree in General Studies and an emphasis on General Music.  Carl spent 3 years travelling the country with Re-Creation, where he performed for hospitalized veterans and worshiped with many congregations throughout the country.  

Carl lives in Macomb Township with his wife and 2 children. 



Becky graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education as well as a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She spent many years teaching Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. She also was a Teacher Mentor, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Principal and Principal. She lives in Troy with her husband and 2 daughters and they have been members of BBUMC for 14 years.

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Cindy has served as our Office Administrator since 2017, and has been an Office Administrator in other area churches during her career. Cindy enjoys serving the church community, utilizing her skills in customer service and administration. 

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Jackie attended Western Michigan University and Oakland Community College and had taken classes focusing on psychology and counseling. She spent most of her youth years attending youth group at BBUMC. Jackie loves painting, reading, working with kids, and finding new ways to connect with the world around her. She currently lives in Oakland Township. 

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