Meet the Staff

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Scanlan-Holmes

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Scanlan-Holmes

Lead Pastor

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Scanlan-Holmes is the lead pastor and spiritual leader for The Garden Community Church and is excited to lead The Garden into the future. Prior to pastoring at The Garden, Carolyn had been the Lead Pastor at Avon Christian Church.

Although there’s no such thing as a typical week at The Garden, Carolyn is passionately steadfast about her pastoral role and serving the community. Along with overseeing operations, regular staff meetings, and preparing for Sunday’s services, she also spends several hours per week mentoring in Wayne Township and facilitating community outreach programs.

Carolyn serves on The Garden’s Leadership, Outreach, and Human Resources teams. She is also a member of the Executive Committee at the Christian Theological Seminary.

Graduating with a Masters of Divinity from the Christian Theological Seminary in 1997, Carolyn was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1998. In 2005, she graduated with a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Her faith is driven by music of all types so The Garden’s progressive spiritual approach and blending of the sacred and secular truly fills her soul. Read more


Spencer James

Spencer James

Director of Operations

Spencer is a graduate of Vincennes University with a degree in Broadcasting. He brings nearly a decade of marketing/communication experience and many other skills, including media production to The Garden. Formerly, Spencer worked for a local affirming church, began a real estate business after working many years in multi-family property management, and has worked for a few television stations and media outlets over the years.

Spencer’s love for media production and serving the church began as a United Methodist youth in Elkhart, Indiana. When he wasn’t playing the piano and pretending he was a radio DJ, he could be found helping a local church with media production.

After high school, his passion for the church quickly waned as Spencer tried to balance his sexuality with the only doctrine he knew. Praise God, ten years later, he discovered a more generous theology that allowed him to reconcile his spirituality, nurture a loving relationship with God, and once again use his Spiritual gifts in the church.

In the Fall of 2018, Spencer married his long-time partner of 16 years under a tree in their backyard — with their friend, Pastor Carolyn, officiating the ceremony. Spencer’s husband is an educator by week and a professional musician by the weekend. Together they enjoy local music and dining, craft beers, and the company of family and friends.

Rhonda Baker

Rhonda Baker

Creative Music Director

Rhonda Baker joined the staff of The Garden in April of 2016. As Creative Music Director, Rhonda coordinates the musicians that produce the musical elements used in The Garden’s programs. Rhonda’s creative spirit helps to inspire the unique worship style of The Garden.

Rhonda enjoys sharing the spirit of God with a message of love and compassion through the music she writes and sings — especially with The Good Earth Band at The Garden.

Rhonda earned a Masters degree and is working toward her Doctorate in Music Education at Indiana University with minors in Jazz Vocal Performance and Ethnomusicology.

Additionally, Rhonda is a professional musician who has performed with Indiana legends Jimmy Ryser, Henry Lee Summer, and Carl Storie and is currently the bandleader for Groove Essential.

As an accomplished songwriter, Rhonda has five CDs of original music to her credit. The latest releases were co-written with her husband Greg for their horn band Soulshine and also their acoustic duo, Rhonda and Greg.