Pastoral Staff
Rev. Tully Hunter, Senior Pastor/Head of Staff photo

Rev. Tully Hunter, Senior Pastor/Head of Staff

As we approach a new chapter in our ministry, we look forward to following God's call to Tinkling Spring. We look forward to our family becoming a part of the Tinkling Spring family. I look forward to working with colleagues in the Shenandoah Presbytery. Most of all, knowing the joy and excitement which we have experienced thus far, we look forward to all the strange and wonderful places God will continue to lead us in ministry.

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I am the son of a sharecropper, an historian, anthropologist, former business owner, doctoral candidate, published author, average musican, avid reader, dog and cat owner, hiker, camper, happy father of two and husband of one.  Often mistaken for "the most interesting man in the world," I grew up on a small West Texas farm, obtained undergraduate degrees from Texas Tech University, graduate degrees from Clemson University and Columbia Theological Seminary, and am a doctoral candidate at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.   I describe myself as a "good ol' farm boy that got lucky!"

My spiritual journey began very early in life.   A the age of six I made a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized, almost drowned, at the First Missionary Baptist Church of Morton, Texas.  Faith and often the lack thereof have guided my life at every turn.  Years of part  time youth ministry, both volunteer and professional, lead to a sense of call to the vocation of ministry.  After seminary a brief stint in a children's hospital as a chaplain sharpened God's call in my life.  As a result, I have spent the last twenty years embarrassing churches by being known as their pastor.

I have a deep love for our crazy denomination and, because of our Reformed tradition, an even deeper love for Scripture.   I swing from begin somewhat of a mystic to a determined pragmatist concerning God's Word.   I always seek to approach Scripture in study and in sermons with a good sense of humor, practical wisdom borne of life experiences, a love for history, pop-culture, and a commitment to serving God by serving others.   My favorite sayings are, "We must never be so spiritually minded that we are of no earthly good!" and "Do something for Jesus now even if it's wrong!"

In 1990, through the grace of God and under unusally comical circumstances, I met Ann who, in 1991, agreed, for reasons which still escape me, to marry me.  For twenty years I have given thanks to God daily that I "out punted my coverage,"  We are parents of two wonderfully unique children.  Alex is entering the sixth grade and is a devoted Boy Scout.  Emma is entering the fourth grade and desires to be the world's first singing-dancing-dentist-artist.   Our greatest joy is spending time together as a family, camping, traveling, enjoying a few private moments, and just having a good time.

Administrative Staff
Karen Williams, Administrative Assistant photo

Karen Williams, Administrative Assistant

My family moved from Rockland County, New York to Stuarts Draft in 2001. I have been married to my husband, Andy for 20 years. We are active members of The Good Shepherd Church at Folly Mills in Staunton.

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I graduated from Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York with certificates in Early Childhood Development, Office Management and Office Technologies; graduated from Marymount University at Fordham in Tarrytown, New York with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Biology and Chemistry.

I enjoy cooking, camping, walking in the rain, and taking motorcycle rides with my husband. I treasure spending time with my family and partaking in family traditions passed down from generation to generation.

I’m blessed to be a part of the incredible staff at TSPC.  It is my hope to serve this congregation with the best of my talents and abilities.  I look forward to sharing life’s journey with you.

Christian Education Staff
Harriet Thompson, Director of Christian Education photo

Harriet Thompson, Director of Christian Education

I have served as the Director of Christian Education since May 1, 2002. God has blessed me with the opportunity to serve the very family of faith that has nurtured me since I was a little girl. This congregation lives out the baptismal covenant to love, encourage and support one another, to share the good news of the Gospel, and to help others know and follow Christ.

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My family moved from Richmond to Stuarts Draft in the fall of 1970.  My mother’s family came to Tinkling Spring when she was a teenager so naturally she brought her family to the red brick church by the tinkling spring.   

Throughout the years I have discovered that God is a God of surprises.  While working  at a local grocery store I met my husband, Greg, and quickly discovered that he not only worked with my mother, but he was the very same person she had been trying to introduce me to for five years!  We were married at Tinkling Spring in 1988 and were blessed with two incredible children:  a daughter, Morgan, and a son, Devon.  Both children were baptized in the same sanctuary where Greg and I had shared our wedding vows.   

More surprises were in store as God led me into active service in this congregation through the weekday preschool as a teacher’s aid and a teacher, and then as a Sunday School teacher, mid-week ministry director, Vacation Bible School director, Deacon and Elder.  In 2002 I was called into fulltime Christian Education ministry and truly love every moment of this journey. 

I greatly enjoy the time Greg and I have with our young adult children and our grandson, Juan Michael, particularly the rare times when we’re all gathered around the table together.  When I’m not in the office you will find me playing with my grandson or looking for a new recipe to prepare.   

I look forward to a continued partnership in ministry with this family of faith, and hope you will join us in worshipping God at the red brick church by the tinkling spring.  I pray you to will discover the love and grace of Jesus Christ through this faithful family. 

Kathy Britts, Early Childhood Learning Center Director photo

Kathy Britts, Early Childhood Learning Center Director

I am a lifelong resident of Afton. I have enjoyed serving in public education for over thirteen years and five years as a Parent Teacher Association officer. During the thirteen years, I especially enjoyed the four years spent as the lead teacher for the Monticello Area Community Action Agency Head Start Program at Tye River Elementary School.

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I live with my husband Jimmy and two children, Jonathan and Katie.  I am an active member of Rodes United Methodist Church in Afton where I enjoy serving the Lord as the Vacation Bible school director and Superintendent of Sunday school.  I am also a member of the church choir and the United Methodist women's Organization.  I am an active Boy Scout Chairperson for Troop 375, as well as a Girl Scout leader.

My hobbies include knitting, crocheting, cross stitching, painting, gardening and music  Up until a knee surgery sidelined me, I enjoyed participating in a Zumba class at least three days a week.  My hope is to return to class soon.

I have my associate degree in Business Management from Piedmont Virginia Community College.  My undergraduate degree is in History and Early Elementary Education from Mary Baldwin College. Recently I received the award of Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Avere.  

 

I am excited to serve as the director and the four year old teacher at Tinkling Spring's Early Childhood Learning Center. 

 

 

Music Staff
Cristen Mitchell, Interim Music Coordinator photo

Cristen Mitchell, Interim Music Coordinator

I feel so blessed to be working here in the music ministry at TSPC. My husband, Brandon Mitchell, and I moved to Harrisonburg in August of 2014 so that I could begin a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at James Madison University. I plan to graduate in May 2016.

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I was called to music ministry five years ago and I want to continue on that path after I graduate.  I have a heart for many different Christian genres and I feel that my calling is three fold:  Being a teacher of music for God, unifying God's people by using a variety of Christian music, and paving the road for excellent music pedagogy within Christian music ministry.

I have worked within several different denominations as a music director, but this is my first time working at a Presbyterian church.  My grandfather still ministers as a Baptist pastor, and my husband's grandfather is a retired Church of God minister.  I am also currently the music director for Voices of Youth, a summer program for youth that involves mission and touring as a choir to share about our mission work.  This program is through the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.  At this point in my life I feel that God is leding me to have many experiences with all types of His people, and believe me, there are a lot of types!  But, they are all good!

Brandon and I live in Harrisonburg with our dog, Roscoe, and our cat, Serena.  Brandon is originally from Bridgewater, and now works as a Car Salesman at Bob Wade Subaru in Harrisonburg.  He loves to play video games, and is an excellent percussionist.  I am originally from Draper, VA.  I love to be outdoors in the warm weather of Spring and Summer and take my dog for walks or running, and I can't wait to go to the pool or the beach.

 

 

John Slechta, Organist photo

John Slechta, Organist

While it's rewarding to be able to accompany Sunday worship services and lead the congregation in hymn singing and as the church organist, I've been blessed also to share in some of the most significant events in the lives of our church families: the happiness of weddings, the sadness of funerals, or the contemplative peace of a memorial service that celebrates a life well lived.

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I've been a member at Tinkling Spring since 1990, and the organist since 1994.  Before retirement I spent 31 years as an Electronic Engineer with the Army Electronics Command in New Jersey, developing battlefield radios and clandestine communications.   Most of the time it was a lot of  fun .

But I also love music, and had piano and organ lessons in my long-ago youth.  Although I never had the virtuoso talent that would have allowed making a living from music, I've always been a church organist.   I also built two organs for churches in New Jersey, plus the one in my home (for practicing, which I never do enough of).  Most recently, I rebuilt the organ here at Tinkling Spring for the new sanctuary.

I married the love of my life, Joyce, in 1971.  We raised four children who gradually provided us with ten grandchildren.  My youngest daughter, Emilie Friedland, and her husband, Larry, are active members at Tinkling Spring too.  Joyce succumbed to cancer in 2006, but it was during those dark days and since, that I have experienced the love of my family and our church family so strongly and realized that when you have love, you have what matters most in life.  (See John 4:7-12)

Kemper McCauley, Accompanist photo

Kemper McCauley, Accompanist

Wanting to make beautiful music like my older sister, I began piano lessons at age 9. At age 10, I started playing for the church alongside her. At age 12, I started training to play the organ and within the year was playing that as my sister continued on the piano.

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 My life in music ministry has continued since that time in one way or another.  In January 2012 I joined the staff of TSPC to assist with the contemporary service and accompany the chancel choir at the traditional service.  What I appreciate about TSPC is the beauty of both styles of service.  Personally, I find contemporary music more worshipful but am also uplifted by choral selections.  I have been blessed with four beautiful children, Aaron, Jacob, Allison & Julia.  Aside from my time with family and at TSPC, I can be found at Augusta Health.  I have been a Registered Nurse since 2000 and currently am the director of nursing for the skilled nursing, rehabilitation and joint replacement units.



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