Meet Our Chaplains

Available by calling 803-256-5300

Jimmy Montgomery Columbia Medical Center Certified ChaplainJimmy Montgomery is originally from Williamsburg County, Kingstree, SC. He wanted to become a chaplain to help provide God’s love and grace to the infirmed, discerning God’s spirit to those in need of comfort. For him, it is most important for a chaplain to listen without presenting oneself as having all answers. People need a compassionate listener… not someone who thinks he/she has all the answers. His favorite question to ask a person in need of support is “What is your greatest love?” It is the most direct route to what the person values in life at the moment. Jimmy holds a Doctor of Ministry degree.

Bet you didn’t know… Jimmy’s favorite movie is Barber Shop, and he recommends the book King Among the Theologians by Noel L. Erskine. He cheers on the Carolina Panthers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and his favorite trip took him to Kenya, Burundi and Zimbabwe Africa. If you ever get an invite to his house for a morning meal, take it -- he makes a divine bacon, egg and grits breakfast!

Donna Solesbee Columbia Medical Center Chaplain for webOriginally from Muncie, IN, “home of the Ball jar,” Donna enjoys South Carolina, where she can be close to both beach and mountains. She was introduced to hospital chaplaincy when she volunteered in Morehead, KY, and later was a Chaplain in three trauma hospitals in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, as well as in a Chicago Housing Authority building. After a break from religious life, she helped her mother for 11 months before her mother died after a long struggle with cancer. Losing her father at age 54 and her mother at age 62, Donna and her family learned to enjoy each day and appreciate each other. “I felt called then to continue hospital Chaplaincy,” she says, and she returned to school to complete her degrees and prepare for certification. Donna feels the most important thing for a chaplain to do is to be truly present with people to see where they are at that given moment. Donna was certified with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in 2003 and certified with the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2008.

Bet you didn’t know that… Donna enjoys fishing, participating in Autocross with her husband, and calls Fatima, Portugal her favorite trip.

Ruth Jandeska Columbia Medical Center Health ChaplainRuth Jandeska was born and raised in Colombia. She came into the United States with hopes of completing her Ph.D. in biology and returning to Colombia to continue to do research and teach. However, in the course of her studies, she discerned a call to ministry, specifically chaplaincy. She has a MA in Pastoral Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a Doctorate in Education and Leadership from Creighton University in Omaha. She previously served as a staff chaplain in different health systems and has been in a leadership capacity for several years. When Ruth is not at work, she loves spending time in the solitude and silence of nature, surrounded by trees or bodies of water, and listening to the voice of God.

Bet you didn’t know that… Ruth’s two most memorable trips from her bucket list are Paris and Galapagos Island.