Staff

TRANSITIONAL PASTOR

JOSEPH WELKER, JR.

Jody retired in June, 2021, having served for 17 years as Sr. Pastor at the Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian in Cary, NC. Prior to that Jody served for 13 years as Sr. Pastor of First Presbyterian in Newton, NC. He has also served churches in Red Springs, NC and Bristol, TN. Jody is a graduate of Auburn University and has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. He was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and was baptized and nurtured at Riverside Presbyterian Church as part of an active church family.

Jody is married to Sharon who recently retired as the Dean of Math, Science and Engineering at the Wake Tech Community College. She has been active in the life of the church. They have two adult children; Anna who is in the hospitality industry in Baltimore and Joe who is a student at Harvard Divinity School.

Jody has been a commissioner to the General Assembly two times. He has served in several Presbytery committees including the Committee on Ministry and Personnel.

He has continuing education experience in the area of Church Administration and staffing. He has received interim Pastor training. In the life of the church, Jody has special interest in community and international missions. He has led mission trips to Zambia, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala. His last church developed a partnership with a Mayan village in Guatemala that led to transformational relationships and friendships. Jody also has great interest in Interfaith relationships and friendships among Muslims and Jews. He has led trips to the Holy Land and spent part of a sabbatical at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He has spent time at Iona in Scotland and is fed and nurtured by a variety of spiritual approaches from traditional, to contemplative to contemporary.

For fun, Sharon and Jody enjoy walking, going to the theater, sporting events and good meals with friends. They met at Auburn and so are big Auburn Tiger fans. Jody also enjoys playing golf.

ASSOCIATE PASTOR

ALISA SECREST

Alisa began as Associate Pastor for Congregational Nurture in August 2018. She grew up in the church and assumed leadership positions beginning in her teenage years. She was heavily involved at Peachtree Presbyterian in Atlanta, GA and later Westlake Hills Presbyterian and University Presbyterian in Austin, TX. Alisa graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL and worked in the IT and communications industry after college. She followed God’s call to full-time ministry about 15 years ago and graduated from Austin Seminary. She served as chaplain for various Austin hospitals and served as pastor of a church in western Colorado. For the last five years, she has been Associate Pastor for Congregational Care, Member Engagement, and Outreach at First Presbyterian in Deerfield, IL, a suburb on Chicago’s north side. Alisa is a big proponent of Stephen Ministry and revived it for the Deerfield church. She is married to Larry Secrest, a native of Fort Smith, who has led several technology commercialization efforts and formerly taught at the University of Texas. Alisa has three sons: Will (a graduate of the University of North Texas in Psychology), Ellis (a student at Valparaiso University in Indiana), and Bennett (a senior at Little Rock Central High).

ASSOCIATE PASTOR

LINDY VOGADOPhoto Lindy Vogado

Lindy began as Associate Pastor of Belonging and Outreach in July 2013. Born and raised in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Lindy has an appreciation for good food, warm hospitality, and the music of Dolly Parton. Lindy attended Presbyterian College in South Carolina, where she double majored in English and history, and she earned her Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School for Christian Education in Richmond, VA.

In her role as associate pastor, Lindy works with the Outreach and Belonging Ministries and she enjoys helping people become more involved in both church life and community service.

Before joining the staff at Second, Lindy worked in the Office of Religious Life at Presbyterian College and as Interim Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Little Rock.

Lindy is married to Dr. Robert (Bobby) Williamson, who teaches at Hendrix College and serves as parish associate at Second. She loves walking trails, rocking chairs, and visiting national parks and historic sites.

CHURCH EDUCATOR

JEANNIE FORD ANDREWS

Photo Jeannie Ford AndrewsJeannie was born in Montgomery, Alabama, graduated from Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham and from Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama with bachelor’s degrees in Christian Education and Religion/Philosophy. She graduated from Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia in 1983 with a master’s degree in Christian Education and received Church Educator Certification in May 2000. Prior to joining the staff in 1992, Jeannie has served as Director of Christian Education at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia and First Presbyterian Church in Fr. Smith, Arkansas. Jeannie serves the Presbytery of Arkansas as an Educator Certification Advisor and as a member of the Presbytery Resource Center Advisory Council. She also serves on the cabinet of the South Central Association of Presbyterian Educators.

Jeannie is married to Collins Andrews, who is retired from Acxiom Corporation and now works as a business consultant. Collins and Jeannie have three adult sons—Collins Andrews IV, who lives in Fayetteville with his wife, Boriana, and two daughters; Spencer Andrews and his wife, Jennifer who live in Little Rock; and Daniel Ford who also lives in Little Rock. Collins and Jeannie enjoy spending time with their granddaughters, Arkansas Razorback sports, and relaxing at nearby Lake Hamilton.

DIRECTOR OF FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN MINISTRY

DANIA EDWARDS

Dania was raised in the Presbyterian church in northeastern Pennsylvania. She and her family joined Second Presbyterian when they moved here from Denver, Colorado in 2017. She studied Marketing at the University of Pittsburgh and has an MBA from the University of Scranton. Prior to having kids, Dania had a career in Medical Sales. After serving two years on the Families with Young Children Ministry, she took on the role as Director in 2018. Dania enjoys getting to know families and helping them find their place at Second Presbyterian, believing that a church family is an important part of spiritual growth. She lives with her husband, Eric and their two young daughters, Sophie and Eleanor. In her free time you can find her traveling, cooking, gardening, or spending time outdoors.

INTERIM DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S MINISTRY

GRANT WRIGHT

Grant grew up in New Jersey, London, and Wyoming. He studied at Middlebury College in Vermont and Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia, and is in the ordination process of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has worked in children’s ministry in several roles in different churches as a Sunday School teacher, youth leader, camp counselor, VBS director, Wednesday Night Bible teacher, and most recently as Interim Director of Children’s Ministry at Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. He loves teaching kids to explore their faith, discover the Bible, and learn about God’s beautiful creation. Grant can often be found exploring nature at Ferncliff with his girlfriend, Jocelyn, or working on writing his Children’s Bible with a cup of tea and his cat, Tiny Tiger.

DIRECTOR OF MUSIC AND THE ARTS

BEVAN KEATING

Photo Bevan KeatingDr. Bevan Keating is our Director of Music and oversees all aspects of Second’s dynamic Music Ministry. Dr. Keating conducts the Second Presbyterian Adult Choir, Chamber Ensemble, Youth Choir, and various guest instrumental ensembles. The SPC Adult Choir offers music to our congregation ranging from beloved spirituals to engaging choral masterworks, and tours internationally. Recent tours include the British Isles, Canada, Germany, France and Hungary.

Bevan Keating is also the founding director of Praeclara, a professional performance company supported by Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock and building on Second Presbyterian’s long tradition of contributions to the arts. Praeclara unifies Second Presbyterian’s diverse range of offerings under a single umbrella and elevates them still further, strengthening our artistic ties with the community.

Originally from Canada, he earned bachelor of education and bachelor of music degrees from the University of Western Ontario. He went on to earn a master’s degree and then a doctorate in Conducting from The Ohio State University. Dr. Keating is also the Executive Director of Wildwood Park for the Arts. He and his wife Kira, who is also very gifted musically, and twins Brock and Blythe, born in April 2010, live in the historical Governor’s Mansion District of Little Rock.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC AND THE ARTS

MARY IBIS

Photo of Mary IbisFondly known as “Miss Mary” by children and adults alike, Mary has served as Associate Director of Music since August of 2001. She directs the Children’s choirs and oversees the children’s bell program, directs the 6-12th grade youth bell choir, the Day Ringers, and the advanced adult ringing ensemble, Exultation Ringers. In the summer she leads a choir camp, (M.A.D) for children grades 1-5, instrument camps, (Orff) for children grades PreK-5, and directs the Summer Ringers handbell choir. Miss Mary also leads music in Sunday Church School for preschool age-5th grade and the music for the summer Vacation Bible School program.

Mary’s education includes a B.M.E., Bachelor of Music Education, from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. There, she specialized in music for K-8. She has also attended multiple clinics on the Orff process, Kodaly, and studies offered through Chorister’s Guild and P.A.M. (Presbyterian Association of Musicians) music conferences. Mary is the host for the Central Arkansas Orff Chapter, and hosts events for the Arkansas chapter of the AGEHR Handbell Musicians of America. She is a faithful conferee at the Worship and Music Conference in Montreat, NC each summer. She is also honored to be serving on the faculty at the Mo-Ranch/PAM Worship and Music Conference this summer as the children’s choir clinician.

Mary enjoys reading, cooking, and painting. Mary and her husband, Ismail, enjoy playing with their sons, Dawson and Eren.

ORGANIST

ADAM SAVACOOL

Photo Adam SavacoolAdam Savacool studied organ with Russell Hodges at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. As a student, he was the first prize recipient in the organ division of the Biennial Student/Collegiate Auditions of the National Federation of Music Clubs. A church musician for over 30 years, Adam currently serves as the organist of Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. Recently he has accompanied the church’s Adult Choir on tours of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Canada. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteer work for the Central Arkansas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs. Adam joined the staff in August 2008.

CHURCH BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR

AILEEN MOORE

Photo Brian PerryAileen became a member of Second Presbyterian in 1983 and joined our staff in January 2013. She has been active at Second Presbyterian as an ordained elder and deacon, assistant clerk of the Session, moderator of the Stewardship, Outreach and Worship ministries, moderator of the Nominating and Music Director Search Committees, Sunday morning office participant, bus driver and volleyball participant. Aileen previously worked as an Accounts Receivable Manager at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Accounting Manager for Nuvell Financial Services and Regions Corporation and auditor with Ernst & Young.

Aileen is a graduate of Duke University (MBA) and Centre College of Kentucky (BS). In 2018, Aileen earned the designation as a Certified Church Administrator (CCA) through Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA and The Church Network. She is the daughter of Park and Betty Jean Moore. Her extended Little Rock family include sister Janie Rash, niece Lucy Vitela and nephew Michael Vitela.

DIRECTOR OF PLANNED GIVING

MALINDA KIRCHNER

Photo Malinda KirchnerMalinda has been a member of Second Presbyterian for 32 years. She began her work in this newly-created position in November, 2007. In her years at Second Church, she has served on two search committees, held several leadership roles on the youth network team, and has helped with confirmation, stewardship, and Sunday school. She is a member of Presbyterian Women, Second Readers Book Club and a Bible study group at the church. Malinda is married to Larry, an architect, and they are the proud parents to two adult sons, Bolton and John. Malinda earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Arkansas, College of Business Administration. Prior to joining the church staff, she worked at Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, Attorneys at Law as a paralegal in securities law.

She enjoys swimming, yoga and biking for fitness and playing bridge, reading, travel and knitting for relaxation. She is also a lover of dogs.

DIRECTOR OF NEW MEMBER RECRUITMENT AND ASSIMILATION

CATHERINE ALLSBURY

CatherineCatherine Allsbury is our Director of New Member Recruitment and Assimilation. Catherine is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin (B.S. in English) and Columbia Theological Seminary (MDiv, M.A., and Doctorate of Ministry). She has experience in churches in Florida and Arkansas as Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Transitional Pastor. She also has extensive work experience in the information technology field. She also has twenty years of experience with Second Presbyterian Church. Catherine will be working with the Belonging Ministry: greeting visitors and inviting them into participation in the life of Second Presbyterian Church; helping new members to find their place in this large congregation. She joined the staff in May, 2016.

PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

PAIGE MAJORS

BlakePaige has been a member of Second Church since 1994. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of two daughters, Mary Carol and Meredith. She is originally from Ruston, Louisiana, and graduated from Louisiana Tech University. Before becoming the Preschool Director in August, 2002, she was a teacher there for seven years. She is an Elder, is involved with handbells, teaches Sunday School and serves on the Children’s Ministry.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE

TRACY MAY

Photo Tracy MayTracy has attended Second for many years. She is mother to a son and two daughters: Skyler, Cassie, and Gracie. She has been involved through the years in the FAME program, Spy Kids, VBS, and was a Sunday School teacher. Tracy is a member of PCUSA Administrative Personnel Association. She joined our church staff in 2012. Prior to that she was the Administrative Assistant at Grace Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. She is support staff resource for the Belonging and Outreach Ministries, Personnel and Church records.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE

SHARON HOWARD

sharonSharon rejoined the church staff in 2014 after serving from 2005-2012. Originally from Greenwood, Mississippi, Sharon moved to Arkansas in 1992 with two young children and immediately found a home at Second Presbyterian Church. She taught Sunday School on children and youth levels, including confirmation. Sharon was a youth advisor, has been on mission trips, and served as a confirmation mentor. As an ordained deacon, Sharon served on Youth Ministry and the Belonging Ministry.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE

CARRIE JOHNSON

Carrie has been a member of Second Presbyterian Church for 20 years. Raised in northern Ohio, she and her husband, Michael, moved to the Little Rock area in June, 2000. They have three children: Maggie, Nora and Cade. Maggie lives in Dallas and is a youth director in a PCUSA congregation. As an ordained elder, Carrie has served on the Session, Children’s Ministry and Belonging Ministry. She has taught Sunday school at every level, including Confirmation. Carrie enjoys all kinds of music; she has played in the Second Presbyterian Flute Ensemble and has rung bells for the Exultation Ringers and Praeclara. Carrie’s background is in Teaching English as Second Language education where she has worked as both an instructor and administrator. Carrie joined the staff in September, 2019.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE/CHILDCARE COORDINATOR

KARIN HOWZE

IMG_8427Karin joined our staff in April of 2012. Before that, Karin was in banking for 12 years. She is married to Guy Howze and they have 6 children, 4 of whom live at home. Karin brings a friendly, outgoing personality and top-notch organizational skills to the position of Administrative Associate and Childcare Coordinator and enjoys working with all of the parents and members of Second Presbyterian Church.

FOOD SERVICE MANAGER

BRENDA MAJORS

Brenda became a member of Second Presbyterian Church in February 1976 and joined the staff in December 2019. She has catered special events, dinner parties and business functions in Little Rock and beyond for almost 20 years. In addition, she served on the Junior League Riverfest Committee responsible for food vendors and services from 1993-2015. Brenda’s father is Gerald Johnson and she has two daughters, a granddaughter and a grandson.

FACILITIES MANAGER

DAVID BEACH, JR.

Photo David BeachDavid joined our staff August 1, 1994. He has several years’ experience in custodial services, as well as construction work. In June 2011, he was named as Facilities Manager with oversight of buildings, grounds and church vehicles. David and his wife, Kristen, Principal at Arnold Drive Elementary School in the Pulaski County Special School District, have two adult children, Grant and Elizabeth. David enjoys camping and kayaking with his family and hunting during the fall.

SEXTON

GUY HOWZE

Photo Guy HowzeGuy joined our staff in the spring of 1997. He has children, Haley, Heather and Gardner. In August 2003 he married Karin and gained three more children – Jake, Jody, and Josh. Karin is Second’s Childcare Coordinator. Guy’s favorite pastimes are golf and hunting, especially for deer.