Rev. Cathy C. Hoop
Grace and Peace to You!
My story? I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up…but my vocation found me. For 18 years I had the amazing job of working as the director of children’s ministries at a progressive, open and affirming PC(USA) church in Nashville, TN. I was blessed with strong mentors in my pastor colleagues, and consider those years to have been an apprenticeship for becoming a minister.
At age 50, having graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School, I sought my first call, which brought me to Tuscaloosa and University Presbyterian Church. By my second year, we were beginning to explore the possibility of building a relationship with Covenant Presbyterian, and on January 8, Grace Presbyterian was chartered, and a new faith community was born.
I am blessed to serve this wonderfully diverse–and growing–community.
In addition to serving as head of staff, I serve on the boards of the Peoples’ Loan Program (micro, no-interest loans), Five Horizons, and the Presbyterian Publishing Foundation. For the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, I serve on the Commission for Preparation for Ministry, which allows me to be a part of the future church as we nurture candidates in the ordination process. I also volunteer with our Presbytery’s Living River summer camp program.
My husband, Lou, and I have three young adult sons, and two grandchildren. When not at work, you can find me walking in the woods, crafting, painting furniture, knitting, reading, or watching British television. Whatever I’m doing, my Old English Bulldog, Lily, is probably right by my side.
Come and visit us at Grace; ALL are welcome here!
Contact Rev. Cathy Hoop at [email protected].
Dr. Leslie Poss
Director of Music & Worship Arts and Christian Formation
“How sad for the soul that will not sing and dies with all its music trapped inside.” Fall 1989, while attending a choral conducting workshop at Samford University I heard this quote and it gave me the nudge needed to quit my full-time church music job in Greensboro, AL, move to Tuscaloosa to enroll at The Univ. of AL to begin and ultimately earn a Doctorate in Choral Conducting. Since 1993 I’ve lived in Tuscaloosa, AL and have directed music for a variety of church and local arts organizations including: First United Methodist Church, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Prentice Concert Chorale, and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. In January of 2017, I became Director of Music & Worship Arts and Christian Formation at Grace Presbyterian Church.
Music has always been a clearly defined part of my life; Christian Formation is a new stepping stone along my path of ministry. Incorporating the arts and engaging our human senses in worship and in Christian Formation is how I seek to live out my call at Grace Presbyterian Church. As a new congregation we are on the ground floor, crafting ministries for all ages. We are exploring new ways, techniques, times and places to offer small group discussion, Bible study, discipleship training, and peace and justice action events that help us grow in our understanding of God and God’s Good News for ALL People and that help us put into action living out the Good News to our local, regional, and international communities.
From Annie, A Little Night Music, Hairspray, and Fiddler on the Roof…for thirteen seasons Leslie has served as Theatre Tuscaloosa’s resident music director, where her efforts garnered her the 2013 Theatre Artist of the Year honors from the Tuscaloosa Arts Council.
Originally from Georgia, Leslie is the daughter of Chick and Elmira Poss; the fourth of five children. Family influences include: Tennessee Ernie Ford and The Gospel Jubilee, high school marching band, newspaper funnies, and a “spirit of contentment” with what she has. She is married to Sherry Kimbro and they have Sally, a yellow lab and Smudge, a black and white kitten.
Organist and Handbell Director
John is originally from Washington state. He has been the organist and handbell director for Grace Presbyterian since August 2018. He is also a piano technician with Allegro Piano Service of Tuscaloosa. Before moving to Tuscaloosa John studied Music Theory and Composition at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Virtual-Interim Office Administrator
April Trussell-Smith returns as our interim office administrator, this time working remotely. Contact April at [email protected].
Bookkeeper and Office Assistant
Barbara is originally from Beaver Falls, PA. She moved to Tuscaloosa about 2 years ago to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She is enjoying working at Grace and very much appreciates everyone who helps make her job such a great experience.
Contact Barbara at [email protected].