Grace Presbyterian Church 113 Hargrove Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 - PO Box 1234, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403 205-758-1193

Pastor and Staff

A pastor search has begun..


Grace and Peace to You!

A Search for Grace Presbyterian's next minister began January 2023. 

What is next for Grace?  Here is a message from Susan Benke, the clerk of the Grace Session for 2023. Susan does the record keeping, take notes and some administrative duties for the Session although she is not serving as a member of the Session: "I want to say a few words about the Process we are now entering in this time between installed pastors.  If you are new to being a Presbyterian, there is a phrase that has long been associated with our form of government – decently and in order.  The Commission on Ministry of our Presbytery has appointed a liaison, Charles Nash who is a member of Brown Memorial, to assist us with an orderly transition from our time with Cathy Hoop to calling a new pastor.  This will take time. Probably longer than we all want it to. Many steps and much work are required both to do the work to find a new pastor that our Pastor Nominating Committee and our congregation believe is the best teaching elder for this congregation at this time.  Please communicate your thoughts, questions and concerns to the active elders serving on Session. Their names are listed on the Grace website. The Session will meet this coming week to start the conversation about what is next other than to choose the PNC – the committee to search for a new pastor -- and what best serves the needs of this congregation in the interim. Please pray for all who are doing the work that we and they make this transition grace filled one."

Regular spoken and written updates will be provided in the weeks and months ahead.  In the meantime, please pray for the one who is to shepherd the Grace Presbyterian congregation.  AND, worship and all regular activities continue.

All worship, Christian formation, congregational care, and Mission, Peace, and Justice activities will continue as usual.  Come and visit us at Grace; ALL are welcome here!


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 twenty 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.

John Milas

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.

Nikki Shelby

Office Administrator

Nikki is from Tuscaloosa and is retired from DCH where she worked for 30 years as a Respiratory Therapist. she just recently help to close Hargrove Memorial United Methodist Church where she was secretary for the last 5 years. Nikki is married to Craig and their blended family consist of 2 sons, 2 daughters in law, and 4 grandsons. But Nikki's heart belongs to Harley, her teacup poodle. Nikki loves to read and crochet and sings Alto in the Prentice Concert Chorale. Contact Nikki at [email protected]

Barbara Burroughs 

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]

Jeralend Washington

Jeralend Washington

Jeralend is from Tuscaloosa.  She has a teenage son and daughter at Paul Bryant High School.  She enjoys reading.