• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
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    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
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    Administrative Assistant
  • James Parker
    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
    Youth/Children
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
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    Director, Community Development
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    Director, Facilities/Finance
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Article Archive


VBS: Who’s the Hero of Your Story?
VBS: Who’s the Hero of Your Story?

In the movie Superman Returns, Superman is having a conversation with Lois Lane and it goes like this:

Superman: “Listen; what do you hear?” Lois Lane: “Nothing.” Superman: “I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.”

Wow. Superman had no clue how… [more] April 30, 2019 | Angela Sierk

Q&A with Derrick Harris
Q&A with Derrick Harris

The Southwood Session has called Derrick to be an assistant pastor for shepherding and young families. This means Derrick’s responsibilities on the pastoral team will include leading the staff and session in general congregational shepherding as well as overseeing the children’s ministry with a focus on engaging the parents of these children.

[more] October 1, 2017 | James Parker and Derrick Harris
Spirit of VBS
Spirit of VBS

I’ll be honest—I don’t remember that much about Vacation Bible School as a kid.  I remember learning the words to “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog” (not really very theologically sound), and I remember learning the Apostles Creed one year—and watching Dean Harris (names have been changed to protect the innocent) crawl out onto the roof of… [more] May 1, 2017 | Amy Gandy

What Does Love Mean To You?
What Does Love Mean To You?

We asked our kids what love meant to them. Here are a few of their responses:

“We love each other as much as we love God. We spend time together.”
—Mia Welch

“It means family.  I give them hugs and kisses and I’m kind to them.”
—Walker Welch

“Love… [more] February 1, 2017 | Southwood Kids

Meet Angela Sierk
Meet Angela Sierk

For many of us, Angela is a familiar face in Children’s Ministry helping with our Kindergarten – 1st grade class, but it wasn’t until July 27 of this year that Southwood member Angela Sierk actually joined the staff, part-time, as Assistant Director of Children’s Ministry. This newly created position coincides with combining Elementary, Preschool… [more] September 14, 2016 | Southwood Staff

Spiritual Transformation
Spiritual Transformation

Ministry to children and their families is not about programs, or childcare or babysitting. It’s about a transformation of lives from the inside out. We as a church cannot be the only ones who take on this role of the spiritual transformation of children, instead it primarily belongs in the hands of parents. The church provides Christian Education… [more] September 1, 2016 | Niña Banta

VBS Volunteers
VBS Volunteers

What It Means To Serve

Michael Moultrie
I love being part of VBS because it’s a wonderful experience to lead these kids, knowing that I was once in their shoes. Screaming, dancing, and going crazy all while praising Jesus in an awesome environment for the children is a blast. Last year, serving as a crew leader… [more] May 1, 2016 | Southwood Members

One-on-One
One-on-One

One-on-One: Take-aways from the Communicants Class

This spring we integrated parent & child time into our communicants class. What a blessing it is to watch parents and children dive into discussion of topics they just learned! As the church, it is a gift to come alongside parents who are the spiritual nurturers of their… [more] April 1, 2016 | Southwood Kids and Members

What Does Easter Mean To You?
What Does Easter Mean To You?

We asked our kids what Easter meant to them. Here are a few of their responses:

Easter is about God dying on the cross and why He did it and eggs and bunnies.
—Brynna Turney

When we hunt for those eggs like we did last time. And God.
—Joe Clark

Resurrection.
—Clara… [more] March 1, 2016 | Southwood Kids

Celebrating with Nancy McCreight
Celebrating with Nancy McCreight

Celebrating 22 Years with Nancy McCreight!

Over 22 years Nancy McCreight has served the families and children of Southwood Presbyterian Church. She has seen this church through new buildings, staff changes, joyous times and hard times. Through it all she has seen God’s hand move, provide and care for His bride, the church.… [more] January 1, 2016 | Nancy McCreight

Christmas Family Traditions
Christmas Family Traditions

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year; somehow mom and dad made sure we knew it.  The season began after thanksgiving with the ceremonious decorating of the Christmas tree.  We used the same 5’ tree every year, the same passed down ornaments we made in grade school, the same wooden stars that mom bought in a flower shop in… [more] December 1, 2015 | Nicole Lucas and Barbie Sumner (sisters)

Harvest HeyDay
Harvest HeyDay

Harvest HeyDay 2015
Sunday, October 25th • 3-6pm

Harvest HeyDay is bigger and better this year with the NEW addition of our Midway Carnival Games. It’s also an opportunity to invite and share with your friends how we as a church love enjoying time with one another. Come laugh, serve, eat, and play! Not only… [more] October 1, 2015 | Niña Banta

New Faces, New Fun
New Faces, New Fun

The laughter of children greets you as you walk down the Nursery and Children’s halls. What a joy to hear their voices singing and lifting praises to the Lord! Southwood’s Children’s Ministry continues to grow by leaps and bounds alongside the volunteer leaders who run it. Sunday mornings would not happen without their leadership, dedication,… [more] September 1, 2015 | Niña Banta

Back to Sunday School
Back to Sunday School

More often than not, going back to school means children encountering new faces, new places and experiencing new ideas. For some, this can be an intimidating and scary process… but not here. Our goal in children’s ministry is to bring glory to God by developing relationships with kids where they learn love and Biblical truths in exciting… [more] August 1, 2015 | Niña Banta

VBS and Climb 2015
VBS and Climb 2015

Pack your trunks for VBS this Summer!
We are headed to Thailand!

Southwood’s Children’s Ministry is excited to bring you a whole new VBS this summer! This year we are mission focused and expanding our children’s world view.  Children will have an opportunity to experience the culture of Thailand through… [more] May 1, 2015 | Niña Banta

Review of Unwrapping the Greatest Gift
Review of Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

“In the beginning—that is where this story begins. Which is far better than a story that begins with any old ‘once upon a time.’ This story is better than the greatest fairy tale you’ve ever heard—because this story is all true. And this story is our story—your story.” Ann Voskamp, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.

As Christians… [more] December 3, 2014 | Sarah Niemitz

Kids Listening Guide
Kids Listening Guide

Worshipping as a family can be where some of the sweetest memories are made. It’s those memories that leave a lasting impression on a child. They may not remember the sermon title or a specific offertory song, but they’ll remember the experience of worship.  They might remember snuggling up next to you in a pew, a hymn that’s… [more] November 1, 2014 | Niña Banta

Comprehensive Curriculum
Comprehensive Curriculum

Children’s minds are sponges. They retain more information in their formative years than in any other. Thus, building a foundation of Biblical truths upon which the building blocks of faith are placed as children grow is of utmost importance.  That is why hours are spent in organizing and developing impactful curriculum for our covenant children.… [more] October 1, 2014 | Nina Banta

My Summer at Southwood
My Summer at Southwood

by Kalie Deaton Youth Intern
When I left Asheville in May, I had no idea what to expect from Huntsville except that it was a giant leap out of my comfort zone, hot, and full of people who say “Roll Tide.” I now realize that I really underestimated how hot it would be and just how often people cheer for their favorite… [more] August 4, 2014 | Kalie Deaton & Katie Patterson

What Does the Volunteer Say?
What Does the Volunteer Say?

Hayden Mayer says….
I remember going to VBS at Southwood every year while growing up. It’s changed a lot over the years but I’ve always loved going. Now it’s really cool to serve as a youth crew leader and is a fun way to give back to my church.  VBS is just fun! Everything about it is fun! I like helping other kids enjoy something… [more] May 15, 2014 | Niña Banta

Follow the Leader: Lessons in Children’s Ministry
Follow the Leader: Lessons in Children’s Ministry

Last month I found myself sitting playing plastic game horns with one of our Southwood children, Lyla.  Nothing special you might think, but how the events followed amazed me.  I began to play the horn like a trumpet with a long steady breath at a consistent pitch, while she intently watched me.  I played, she played.  I played… [more] December 23, 2013 | Niña Banta

Family Advent Activity
Family Advent Activity

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism and busyness of this time of year that we forget to take the time to share in the joy of the Advent season with our families.  Its a wonderful time to create a new family tradition, one that can allow you to pause and ponder the mystery of our coming Messiah. 

A Jesse Tree is… [more] December 1, 2013 | niña Banta

Children’s Ministry: Fall Changes
Children’s Ministry: Fall Changes

After much observation, discussion and listening to our congregation, the Children’s Ministry Committee is excited to announce some changes to how our children’s classes are organized.  We will continue to provide age-appropriate teaching in more natural pairings that coincide with developmental stages and our educational system. All of… [more] August 1, 2013 | Niña Banta

Summer of Serving
Summer of Serving

Imagine children entering a camp setting greeted warmly by camp counselors.  High energy buzzing through the air.  Children sitting in the laps of youth and adult leaders, while listening to an interactive Bible story. Youth leaders raising a new camp flag every day and leading camp songs around a campfire.  Youth camp counselors circling… [more] August 1, 2013 | Niña Banta

The Other 361 Days
The Other 361 Days

The four days of Vacation Bible School might be the coolest week ever, but they are probably the least important four days of the year for our children.  Why, you might ask?! It’s a “larger than life” production that takes hours of preparation, numerous volunteers, lots of donations from congregation members as well as financial support. … [more] June 1, 2013 | Niña Banta

What do you love about serving in Children’s Ministry?
What do you love about serving in Children’s Ministry?


When was the last time you spray painted your hair green to help spread Jesus’ love? Well, this is just one of many ways to make lessons fun and exciting as I teach 3rd to 6th graders.  From learning about missionaries like St. Patrick… [more] April 1, 2013 | David Rigby, Heather Morris, Scott Thomas, Paul Huggins, Kim Watkins, Ken & Stephanie Newberry

Picture This
Picture This

A child’s artwork or drawing is simple, real and authentic. Is there anything that gladdens your heart or brings a smile to your face like a child’s drawing—especially one that has been made just for you? My heart is happily wrapped in delight anytime I see a drawing a child has created, especially if it is a child I know and love. The simple… [more] March 1, 2013 | Nancy McCreight

Summer with Southwood Kids!
Summer with Southwood Kids!

Some of my fondest memories growing up come from summer time as a child.  Growing up on the East coast of South Florida has it’s summer advantages.  There were many an evening we would picnic at the beach and play frisbee as the sun went down.  Inviting friends was often a part of such outings.  Whether at the beach, on the… [more] May 1, 2012 | Ken Stuart

Hey Day
Hey Day

Once in a land to the South which was good
Sat a town on a hill, in the midst of a Wood
With grass and the sounds of “honk honk” and “moo moo”
And a loud loud alarm that would go “woo woo woo.”
Where through most of the year they’d sit still as if ice
Except for some jokes when they’d laugh once or twice.[more] October 1, 2011 | Josh and Leah Treen

Sundays in Student Ministries
Sundays in Student Ministries

Student Ministries believes experiencing and expressing grace is the best way of advancing Christ’s Kingdom in the lives of students. Sunday mornings are essential in expressing grace through Kingdom environments.


Southwood Kids! (PreK-6th grade)

With all that is changing, much stays the same. As Southwod partners with… [more] September 1, 2011 | Various

expressing grace in student ministries
expressing grace in student ministries

I am on a ministry high. I just went to eat ice cream with a student and we talked about her summer, her fight with her boyfriend and how hard it is to trust God when life hurts. This is one of those moments when only these words seem to fit my mood: praise Jesus from whom all blessings flow. Every student I’ve spent time with is a massive sinner… [more] August 1, 2011 | Winnie Winford

VBS 2011
VBS 2011

Spring is in the air: short-sleeve shirts and bright sunny skies, longer days as creation blooms. For many, it is a time to look forward to the hot break of Summer. For the few, it is a time to prepare for a different kind of school. Vacation Bible School. Just the thought of it makes my heart race a little faster and my adrenaline pump. If there… [more] May 1, 2011 | Leah Treen

meet Niña Banta
meet Niña Banta

“Wait a minute … I thought Niña was already on Southwood’s staff.” Such a statement is certainly understandable given her extensive involvement in corporate worship and Children’s Ministry. But it wasn’t until April 18th of this year that Southwood member Niña Banta actually joined the staff as Director of Creative Arts. This newly… [more] May 1, 2011 | Various

Glimpses of Worship Among our Children
Glimpses of Worship Among our Children

From the gummies to the grammies, God’s people are called forth to render the joyous praise due his name! Corporate worship is what we are talking about here in particular and it’s expression among our children on Sundays. God created us for worship and not only in the “here and now,” but for all eternity. As parents, we have the opportunity… [more] March 1, 2011 | Ken Stuart

the beauty
the beauty

You can’t ask someone to write for Branches on the topic of “The Beauty” without being again attacked by my adversary with the question, “Who are you to write about the glory of a woman?” I ask myself this question an awful lot, especially given that I am a broken man but living in the midst of a home swimming in estrogen! That is the exact… [more] February 1, 2011 | Brock Warner

more blessed to give
more blessed to give

What is Operation Christmas Child? This ministry of Samaritan’s Purse (led by Franklin Graham) partners with churches all over the US to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  How is this done?  —with shoe box… [more] November 1, 2010 | Ken Stuart

Moving Forward
Moving Forward

There’s definitely a buzz in the church office these days, with the staff sharing the excitement of the rest of the congregation about the arrival of a new senior pastor. Adding to this excitement is the fact that by God’s grace Southwood has weathered a lengthy transition period and even moved forward in many areas for the sake of the… [more] August 1, 2010 | Will Spink

the view from over here
the view from over here

One Director’s highlights on this year’s VBS journey
Southwood’s VBS was June 14-17, 2010. It has been two weeks since the vast voyage ended….has Southwood recovered? Here are some highlights from this year:

•This was my fourth year to Direct and/or Co-direct VBS at Southwood. This year Mary Ivy Cost… [more] July 1, 2010 | Leah Treen

Pastor’s Note
Pastor’s Note

A Visible Demonstration of the Gospel
“You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” These words from James 2:18 are a shot between the eyes that help remind us all that faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead (verse 17). Those are strong words… [more] April 2, 2010 | Ken Stuart

Jr. High Edge
Jr. High Edge

June 26-June 30
Come to the Edge, the greatest Jr High summer camp ever! Get ready for your minds to be blown at the best week of your summer. We will travel to Lookout Mountain on the campus of Covenant College in Chattanooga, TN. There will be great teaching from the word of God, worship music, fun skits and games, and great fellowship!… [more] March 18, 2010 | Kim Delchamps

Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child

Take a box. Fill it. Bring it back. Deadline November 15th
Serving through giving and the power of a simple gift; that is what Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Project is all about. If you are not familiar with it, this is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, a ministry organization led by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Samaritan’s… [more] November 1, 2009 | Ken Stuart

Pastor’s Note
Pastor’s Note

How big is your world? No, I’m not talking about the global statistical markers of population (6,790,062,216 July 2009 est.) or space (510.072 million sq. km). I’m talking about how our engagement with the world lines up with the church’s marching orders from Jesus found in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples… [more] October 1, 2009 | Ken Stuart

Harvest HeyDay
Harvest HeyDay

Sunday, October 25th from 3:00-5:30
Though Southwood is a relatively young church, several great traditions have already been established in our church’s short history. One of the greatest of these traditions is the annual fall festival, now known as Harvest HeyDay. What is Harvest HeyDay you ask? Take all of the good things that… [more] October 1, 2009 | Laura Burger

Ordination, Hardly Ordinary
Ordination, Hardly Ordinary

Ken Stuart is almost as excited about his ordination as he is St. Patrick’s Day! September 6 will celebrate the culmination of long hours of study, tests, and oral examinations in preparation to be ordained into gospel ministry as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), our denomination. His ordination service will be… [more] September 1, 2009 | Nanette Respess

the many faces of bill harritt
the many faces of bill harritt

Bill Harritt is widely known across the church as Director of Junior High Ministry. Bill began his tenure at Southwood in May 2005 and quickly found his place among our seventh and eighth graders. Bill is leaving Southwood and moving to St. Louis, MO mid-August to begin his studies towards a Masters of Divinity at Covenant Theological Seminary. Bill’s… [more] August 1, 2009 | Leah Treen

 
Our PreK & Kindergarteners Impacting Others Abroad

What can PreK and Kindergarteners do to impact those in other countries for Christ?  Buy them baby chicks of course!  And that is exactly what our Kids Worship PreK and K kids did this December.  Through Samaritan’s Purse, our children were able to purchase baby chicks for a family in a poverty stricken country for egg production… [more] January 2, 2009 | Ken Stuart

Operation Christmas Child Hits New High With Southwood!
Operation Christmas Child Hits New High With Southwood!

For years, Southwood has participated in Samaritan’s Purses’ Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Project but 2008 marked an all time high for Southwood’s involvement!  It is an easy thing to fill a shoe box (or shoe box size plastic container) with goodies such as hard candy, a flash light, socks, coloring book, small toys,… [more] January 2, 2009 | Ken Stuart

Teaching the Wee Ones
Teaching the Wee Ones

Do you remember the first time you experienced the Word of God? Picture eight one or two year olds gathered around a table, legs trying to reach the floor but not making it, listening with rapt or divided attention, hearing about God. The Word is planted early in our little ones’ hearts on Sundays. From the time they enter the nursery, our… [more] September 1, 2008 | Nanette Respess

 
The Power Behind Powerlab

Why would two women who have children (and one on the way), husbands, and home projects volunteer to commit several months of time to plan Vacation Bible School (VBS)? Many people will remember the long, humorous emails from Leah Treen or the detailed opportunities to serve from Michelle Sullins during last fall’s Southwood 300. Leah (LT) and Michelle… [more] June 1, 2008 | Nanette Respess

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