Meet the 2022-2023 MCLN Fellows

November 15, 2022

The Mark Craig Leadership Network Fellows program has brought in a new class of four interns for the 2022-2023 year. This program develops clergy leaders and equips them to powerfully lead in the church upon completion. Under the direction of Dr. John Fiedler, Fellows develop preaching skills as well as learn the ins and outs of pastoral care, church administration, worship logistics, and help make their mark in their respective areas of HPUMC.


Allison Foster: MCLN Fellow, Outreach

Allison Annette Foster (Allison) comes to the internship in answer to a calling that has long guided her toward the ministry. She grew up at HPUMC, singing in the choir, enjoying church retreats at Lake Sharon, and was active in the youth program. Her professional career in global development took her first to live in California and then in Washington, D.C., where she worked with the World Health Organization, then with USAID partners promoting health, education, and economic development in over 25 countries and the United States. Even while away, Allison kept her membership at HPUMC and continued to engage with her home church, while also contributing to the Methodist Church in her local community as a choir member, bell choir member, liturgist, and educator. Two years ago, Allison returned to Dallas with her husband and is pursuing a master's at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. You may see Allison at HPUMC events or Sunday services. Her favorite activities are sharing meals with family and friends, reading, writing, and hiking in the mountains. Allison invites you to introduce yourself, as she looks forward to developing lasting relationships with the church family.

Reverend Tripp Gulledge: MCLN Fellow, Outreach & Cox Chapel

Rev. Tripp Gulledge is beginning his second year as a fellow with the Mark Craig Leadership Network. Tripp is a third-year Master of Divinity student at Perkins. He is the son of Rob and Angie Gulledge and the eldest of their three children and calls Mobile, Alabama his hometown. He is a member of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, where he was commissioned as a provisional elder in 2022. In addition to his ordination goals, Tripp plans to pursue doctoral work in church history. He hopes this will allow him to provide the highest quality scholarship to the church and to serve future ministers through formal theological education. As a fellow in the MCLN, Tripp has worked with the Outreach Ministry and Cox Chapel. Tripp’s role with Outreach is to coordinate HPUMC’s education-related Outreach partnerships. In Cox Chapel, Tripp coordinates the weekly worship and provides pastoral oversight to additional activities.

Tongula Steddum: MCLN Fellow, Racial Justice

A Texas native, Tongula Steddum attended Abilene Christian University on a track scholarship, where she earned All-American honors. She transferred to Missouri Southern State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science and became the university's first Women's National Champion, earning back-to-back titles (1994, ’95) in the Triple-Jump. After college, Tongula relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, where she embarked on a career in Logistics Planning and Supply Chain Management for UPS. She then returned to Texas, taking her talents to Shell Oil Company and finding herself at home in worship at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston. In 2010, she became a full-time caregiver to her terminally ill mother until her death in 2017. She joined the athletics coaching staff at St. John's School in 2018, assisting the Head Coach in leading the Upper School Boy's Track team to the SPC Championship title for two years. Tongula now resides in Dallas with her husband, Chris, and their son, Colby. She is pursuing a Master of Divinity from SMU's Perkins School of Theology.

Bethany Warne: MCLN Fellow, Uptown Church

Bethany Warne is an intern at HPUMC’s newest campus, Uptown Church. She grew up near Wichita, Kansas, where she received her call to become a missionary at the age of seven. In 2017, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to earn a degree in Intercultural Studies from Trevecca Nazarene University. The best part of her degree was a summer internship she spent in Suva Reka, Kosovo working with a church plant and teaching remedial math and Albanian. These days, she is in her second semester at Perkins earning a Master of Divinity. Her favorite thing to do is curl up with a hot cup of tea and daydream. She also loves long barefoot walks and reading fiction.