Folks at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta will tell you that basketball had nothing to do with the search committee’s decision two years ago to call the Rev. Pam Driesell as their pastor, though they admit that Trinity does have a disproportionately large number of ACC basketball fans in its congregation.
|The Rev. Pam Driesell|
“My father was absolutely passionate about his vocation," Driesell remembers, using this family trait to explain her own passion for “sharing the good news about God's love for people.”
“There are a lot of parallels between pastoring and coaching,” she goes on to say. “As a pastor, I try to help people discover the fullness of their lives. I help them discover their gifts and how to use them for the common good and that's, in essence, the role of a coach."
Before coming to Trinity in 2010, Driesell led the organization of a new church in Oconee County, Ga., a fast growing county adjacent to Athens-Clarke County with a mix of long-time rural residents and many newer members of the University of Georgia faculty and administration community. Using seed money for her salary and the purchase of land, she began to work with small gatherings in her living room and led the congregation to a successful chartering with 115 members after two years in the field. Oconee now thrives as a vibrant new congregation of over 500 members.
She serves as an advisory council member of the Princeton Institute for Youth Ministry, having earned her M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she was awarded the James T. Galloway Prize in Expository Preaching. She holds a master of liberal studies degree from Hollins University and a bachelor of science with honors from James Madison University.
As is the tradition at Montreat during the summer months, each Sunday the Conference Center hosts the gathered community of conferees, summer visitors, cottagers, people from the local community and the Montreat family for a worship service that focuses on the spoken word as well as worship through music and the arts.
Liturgist Dr. Mel Bringle, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and chair of the Humanities Division at Brevard College, incorporates scripture and other sacred writings from a variety of Christian traditions as well as using as part of worship examples of hymns to be included in the new Presbyterian hymnal due out next year. Eric Wall, Conference Center Musician and fulltime Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church Asheville leads the Montreat summer volunteer choir in a variety of anthems, calls to worship, and inspirational music in a variety of genres.
The Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones, Director of Arts Ministry at Montreat and her volunteer staff underscore scriptural themes and stories from the Bible in visual form as part of the whole worship experience.
The 2012 Summer Worship Task Force, with Pete Peery as chair, includes Bill Straughan, Ann Hudspeth, Jerone Herring, Heath Rada, Bill Scheu, and Merri Alexander. They welcome comments about the summer worship experience and suggestion for future preachers. Please direct such correspondence to Merri Alexander, Vice President, The Center for Faith and Life.
Worship on Aug 5 begins at 10:30 am in Anderson Auditorium, with childcare available at the Updike Center on Texas Road for children six months through kindergarten.