Our Staff


Rev. Ricky Howell, Jr.,

Ricky was born in Pennsylvania but raised in Florence, South Carolina. Having always dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, he graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2002 with a degree in Sequential Art.  During his time in college Ricky became heavily involved in a United Methodist campus ministry, eventually discerning a call to pastoral ministry. He graduated from Duke Divinity School in 2005 with a Masters of Divinity degree.  Ricky formally began service as a pastor in the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church that same year and was ordained as a Full Elder in 2009. Prior to coming to Beaufort, Ricky’s latest ministry appointment was as the Director of the Winthrop Wesley Foundation at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC where he served for 8 years.

Ricky and his wife, Shawn, were married in 2003 after meeting while they both were in seminary at Duke. They have 2 children, Ethan and Finley. The Howell family currently enjoys exploring their neighborhood on bikes, visiting their former vacation spot- Hunting Island, and visiting downtown Beaufort.


You can email Ricky at pastor@weumc.net

Rev. Tom Potenza
Pastor for Discipleship

Tom grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. After graduating from college, he taught high school for 4 years. Following a call to ministry he entered Garret Theological Seminary at Northwestern University where he earned his Master of Divinity degree. Later he received a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Seminary at the University of Chicago. As a clergy member of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church he pastored churches for 38 years in the Chicago area. Beginning as a Youth Pastor, Tom went on the serve as Associate and then Lead Pastor in several suburban churches.Tom believes that Christian discipleship means more than just talking about your faith, it also means living it. In addition to his calling to preach, teach and give pastoral leadership, Tom and his wife Kay are mission volunteers. They organized rebuilding trips after Hurricane Katrina and following flooding in Iowa and Illinois. They have been part of short-term construction projects and medical missions in Guatemala and for the past 10 years in Panama. Five years ago, Tom and his wife, Kay, moved to Port Royal following his retirement from full time ministry. They have three children: Jennifer and Jared who live in Illinois, and Meghan, who lives in Port Royal and is an active member here at  Waters Edge. They also have two grandchildren. Tom enjoys reading, photography, sailing and kayaking and has found the Low Country a great place for all these activities.

You can email Tom at tom@weumc.net

Rev. Penney Rahm
Pastor of Evangelism & Outreach

Born in Connecticut, Penney lived in 5 different states and attended 5 different elementary schools before her father retired from the Navy and the family settled in a small town in upstate New York. After graduating from SUNY at Binghamton and studying at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy near Boston, she worked as an investigator for the Federal Energy Administration for 4 years.

She was ordained in an American Baptist church in 1981, before moving to the UM church in 1989. In her 34 years of pastoral ministry in upstate NY and central PA, she had the opportunity to minister in jails, nursing homes, and a bar, sharing the love of Jesus with those who were alone, ignored and hurting. She is passionate about helping people, especially those outside the church, develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and discover the joy of following Jesus.  For her, faith is an adventure and a challenge to be lived each day.

She retired from full time ministry in 2015 and moved to Lady’s Island where she lives with her 3 cats: Sasha, Zippy and Chocolate. Penney enjoys reading, writing, singing, and sharing funny stories. She is currently working on her memoirs.

You can email Penney at penney@weumc.net

Amie DeMarco,
Administrative Assistant to Pastor Howell

Amie DeMarco is the mother of 5 wonderful children. She and her husband, Jeffrey, transplanted their family to Beaufort almost 7 years ago, from the New York/New Jersey area. Having been an Art History/Archaeology major, she is loving the art, architecture, history and culture of the Lowcountry. She has an avid appreciation of music, and getting lost in a good book. Most of all, she is just thankful for the Lord’s grace and mercy that he showers on all of us, and is trusting Him on this crazy journey of life that He captains.

You can email Amie at office@weumc.net

Nicole Klumb s

Nicole Klumb,
Director of Children Ministries

Beautiful Beaufort by the sea is where this local was born and raised. After 4 years at the University of South Carolina Beaufort she met her husband, Scott Klumb of New Jersey. Nicole and Scott have two very active and sweet little boys, Shane and Owen. This former teacher of early childhood now enjoys helping her own children learn about God’s amazing world. They enjoy boating, camping, going to the beach and just being with family and friends. The warm welcome and kindness of all the people Nicole and Scott met at Waters Edge back in 2016 made the desicion to grow in their faith at WE a simple one. They love being involved in this community of faith and Nicole is excited to continue helping other families and children do the same.

You can email Nicole at nicoleklumb2013@gmail.com

Brian Patrick,
Praise Band Coordinator

Brian was born and raised in Los Angeles. He has been in Beaufort since 2004 and has made it his home since retiring from the Marine Corps in 2011. He is an Occupational Safety and Health Specialist on Parris Island. 

Brian started attending Waters Edge, his first church, in 2012. He converted to Christianity shortly thereafter and joined the praise band to learn more about worship and scripture through a familiar setting. He is humbled, grateful, and at times perplexed, by the wonderful opportunity given to lead and support a congregation in worship.

You can email Brian at brian@weumc.net

Jose and Jaime Vergara s

Jose and Jaime Vergafa
Youth Ministry Coordinators

Jose and Jaime Vergara have been married for 18 years and have two daughters who are in middle and high school. They moved to Beaufort shortly after being married and have been involved in Waters Edge UMC since the beginning. They have both taught Sunday School at WE over the years and have enjoyed being a part of our children’s faith journey.

Now they are excited to take on the role as Youth Leaders at WE and continue to build a strong foundation for our youth at Waters Edge and this community. They are excited to have the opportunity to work with our youth and get them involved in service oriented projects in our community.

You can email Jose and Jamie at
j_vergara1@yahoo.com (Jose)
jdaileyvergara@gmail.com (Jaime)