Where do you see God’s love dwell at Second Presbyterian? We will be looking for your answers. As we look to 2023, you will be invited to consider the kind of house we want to “build” for God through the ministry of this church. We ask you to pray about how you might support the work of God here. On November 20, 2022, we will be dedicating those estimated gifts which will be used to fund our 2023 annual budget.
Jody Welker started serving as Interim Pastor in January of 2022. He recently retired as the Sr. Pastor of the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian in Cary, NC. He has also served other churches in North Carolina and Tennessee. He and his wife, Sharon, have retired to Black Mountain, NC. Jody is a graduate of Auburn University and holds the Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Jody grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and was raised in a family active at Riverside Presbyterian church. Jody and Sharon have two adult children. Joe is attending Harvard Divinity School. Anna is in the hospitality industry in Baltimore.
Alisa came to Little Rock in 2018 to lead our Pastoral Care, Fellowship and Heritage ministries. She previously served congregations in Austin, Texas, Western Colorado and Chicago.
Alisa completed a Master of Divinity with Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary after a career in technology entrepreneurship. She is an ICF-trained leadership coach.
Alisa is married to Larry Secrest, who grew up in Fort Smith. She has three sons. Her oldest Will is married and living in Texas. Middle son Ellis now lives in Michigan. Youngest son Bennett is pursuing college in Little Rock. At one time, her sons were all percussionists and the house rocked with rhythm.
Lindy began as Associate Pastor for 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 and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. Before joining the staff at Second Pres, Lindy worked in the Office of Religious Life at Presbyterian College and as Interim Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Little Rock.
In her role as Associate Pastor, Lindy works with our church’s outreach and social justice ministries, and she enjoys helping people become more involved in both church life and community service.
Lindy is married to Dr. Robert (Bobby) Williamson, who teaches at Hendrix College, and they have two young children. She loves walking trails, rocking chairs, and visiting national parks and historic sites.
Dr. 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.
Dr. 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, have twins Brock and Blythe, born in April 2010.
Fondly 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.
Adam 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 Wildwood Park for the Arts. Adam joined the staff in August 2008.
The Reverend Marie Mainard O’Connell was born in Springdale, Arkansas and raised in Carrollton, Texas. After meeting her future husband, James O’Connell, in a high school theatre production, she graduated and returned to Arkansas as a student at Hendrix College. She later received a Master’s Degree in College Administration from the University of Central Arkansas. After serving as Program Coordinator for the Office of Student Engagement at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, and the birth of their first child, Katie. Marie answered the call to ministry and attended New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She graduated with a senior project in Human Trafficking, and highest honors in preaching and academics. While in seminary, she completed an internship as a hospital chaplain.
After seminary, with another child, Kevin, in tow, Marie and James returned to central Arkansas where James began teaching Theatre and Technical Theatre at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock and Marie became the Interim Director for Youth at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church. After a short stint at Westover Hills, Marie accepted her first call as the head pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. After their third child, Jon, was born, Marie took a break from full time pastoral work to become the Site Coordinator for the Little Rock Young Adult Volunteer program of the PC(USA). After a year with this program, she resumed full-time ministry at Second Presbyterian Church as the Transitional Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care, and later served as Pastor of Park Hill Presbyterian Church in North Little Rock.
In her spare time Marie enjoys reading, writing, walks outdoors, volunteering and spending time with her family.
Maggie Kirchner is our Interim Director of Youth Ministries. During the school year, she teaches 7th and 8th grade English at eStem Downtown Junior High School. She recently finished her 9th year in the classroom, and in the past few years, she has really enjoyed planning ways to make sure technology is a beneficial piece of the classroom community. Before becoming a teacher, she spent several summers as a camp counselor, and finds a lot of joy in spending the summer months outdoors, focusing on new adventures.
Outside of the classroom, she enjoys walking and hiking, hanging out with her sweet doodle, Bartlet, reading lots of YA novels and maintaining a streak of wins on Wordle.
Grant (Mr. Grant as the kids call him) studied at Middlebury College in Vermont and at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia where he received a Masters of Divinity. Grant is a candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and feels most alive when talking about ancient languages or the history of the Bible. Grant can often be found exploring nature with his wife, Jocelyn, or working on writing his Children’s Bible with a cup of tea and his cat, Oreo.
Aileen 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, and volleyball participant. Aileen previously worked as an Accounts Receivable Manager at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Accounting Manager at 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.
Malinda has been a member of Second Presbyterian for over 40 years. She began her work in this newly-created position in November, 2007. She is a board member of the Arkansas Charitable Gift Council and a member of the PCUSA Larger Presbyterian Church Stewardship Group. She enjoys working with church members to plan a gift to continue the ministries of the Church after their lifetimes. In her years at Second Church, she is an ordained deacon, has served on two search committees, held leadership roles on the youth network team, has been a confirmation mentor for four confirmands, and worked on stewardship teams. She is a member of Presbyterian Women and Bible study groups at the church.
Malinda is married to Larry, an architect, and they are the proud parents to two adult sons. 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, cooking, and traveling for fun. She is also a dog lover.
Catherine’s duties include welcoming visitors, helping visitors and new members get engaged in the life of our congregation. She has experience in churches in Arkansas and Florida as Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Transitional Pastor. She also has extensive work experience in the information technology field. She has been associated with our congregation since 1996. Catherine is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin (B.S. in English) and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div, M.A., and Doctorate of Ministry.)
Tracy has attended Second for many years. 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. Tracy has two children, Gracie May attends the U of A in Fayetteville and Cassie and husband Hunter Fatheree and grandson Rivers and Easton who live in Texas. Tracy is also grandmother to Bella Grace May. She is support staff resource for the Belonging and Outreach Ministries, Personnel and Membership, Heritage , Nominating and the Session and Diaconate.
Sharon joined the staff in 2005, and is administrative support for Pastoral Care, Fellowship, Youth, Young Adults, and Families with Young Children Ministries. She’s taught Sunday School on children and youth levels, including confirmation. Sharon served as 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. Sharon’s family includes her son & daughter, Justin Tippit and Marigayden Tippit. Sharon enjoys playing with her dog Bo, is a sports fan, enjoys gardening, exercise, and spending time with family.
Karin joined our staff as Child Care Coordinator in April of 2012. In November of 2014 she became an Administrative Associate. Karin is support staff for Contributions, Property Ministry and Environmental Stewardship. Before that, Karin was in banking for 12 years. She is married to Guy Howze and they have 6 children and several grandchildren. Karin brings a friendly, outgoing personality and top-notch organizational skills to the position of Administrative Associate and Childcare Coordinator and looks forward to working with all of the members and parents of Second Presbyterian Church.
David has served on staff since August 1, 1994. In June 2011, he was named as Facilities Manager with oversight of buildings, grounds and church vehicles. David and his wife, Kristen, have two adult children, Grant (Casey) and Elizabeth (Justin). The joy of his life is spending time with his three grandchildren. David enjoys camping and kayaking with his family and hunting during the fall.
Guy Howze joined our staff in the Spring of 1997. He is married to Karin Howze and they have 6 children and several grandchildren. Guy enjoys serving the members and staff of Second Presbyterian. On his free time, Guy is an avid deer hunter and loves being outdoors.
Carrie, her husband, Michael, and their three children have been members of Second Presbyterian Church since June 2000. It’s truly been their Second Home. Maggie, the oldest of the Johnson “kids,” is a student at Columbia Theological Seminary. Nora is ready to graduate from The University of Arkansas. Cade will finish at Catholic High School for Boys and will head to college in the fall. 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 in several ensembles at Second. Carrie’s background is in Teaching English as Second Language education where she has worked as both an instructor and administrator. Carrie joined the SPC staff in September, 2019. She really enjoys being involved in all areas of Second Presbyterian Church life and its ministries.
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.
Paige 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.