Meet the Staff
Dr. Scott Weimer, Senior Pastor
Reverend Dr. D. Scott Weimer
Named one of Georgia Trend magazine’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” in 2006, Dr. Scott Weimer is currently the senior pastor of North Avenue Presbyterian Church, located in the growing midtown section of Atlanta. Coming from previous pastoral calls at First Church in Bradenton, Florida and Clairmont Presbyterian in Atlanta, Scott continues his commitment to ministry in his eighteenth year of leadership at North Avenue, a church established more than a century ago.
Within the past few years, Scott has traveled to South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Israel, and various parts of Europe. In 2007, he led trips to Thailand, Myanmar, and Honduras. In 2006, he visited North Avenue Presbyterian’s sister church in Mexico City and participated in a dedication ceremony at Presbyterian University in Kenya. During the summer of 2005, after being named one of three Georgia pastors to receive the prestigious Pastoral Sabbatical Grant from the Lilly Foundation, Scott traveled to South Korea, China, and France. For his focus on mission around the world and in Atlanta, Scott was honored with the James H. Costen Award for Religion, given by the Interdenominational Theological Center in April 2007.
Scott is a former moderator of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Foundation. His community service includes service as a board member and former executive board member of The Westminster Schools in Atlanta and founding board member of StreetGRACE, an organization dedicated to ending domestic sex trafficking of minors.
Scott and his wife Cynthia (a graduate of Duke University) celebrated 36 years of marriage in December 2015 and enjoy spending quiet time together in the midst of their otherwise busy lives. An avid reader and runner, Scott also enjoys watching college basketball (go Jayhawks!). A native of Clay Center, Kansas, Scott completed his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas. In 1978, he moved to Chicago to receive his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Divinity School; later he earned his Master of Theology with specialization in History of Doctrine from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. In 1991, he received his Doctorate of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.
Scott and Cynthia live in Mableton, Georgia. They have three children – daughter Christen Weimer, a graduate of Barnard College-Columbia University; son James, a graduate of the University of Georgia; and their late son Justin.
E-mail Scott at email@example.com | Ext. 210
Rev. Frank M. Eldridge, Associate Pastor for Congregational Care
Frank is a life-long member at North Avenue, and grandson of charter members. Following a law career that included serving as Chief Judge in the Court of Appeals of Georgia, Frank decided to go to seminary where has already earned both a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology. A life-long student, Frank is continuing his education. We’re not exactly sure how to address him, especially if he obtains a Doctorate of Ministry, but we think it’ll be something like The Honorable Rev. Dr. Frank Eldridge, Esquire.
Rev. Megan Johnson, Women’s Pastor
Megan grew up in Durham, North Carolina, attended Durham Academy, and was graduated from Salem Academy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She attended Furman University, majoring in Religious Studies. Megan completed a Master of Theological Studies degree at Candler School of Theology at Emory University following which she taught religious studies at The Webb School of Knoxville. Upon marriage to her husband, whom she met while visiting Jerusalem, Israel, Megan moved to Washington, D.C. There, she served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Leadership, a Christ-centered leadership program for young graduates interested in learning to apply their love and commitment for Jesus Christ to their secular professions and civic endeavors. While in DC, Megan completed her Master of Divinity degree at Wesley Seminary in D.C. She was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church/USA and accepted a call as Associate Pastor at Clairmont Presbyterian Church in Decatur, GA where she served on staff for seven years.
Megan is married to Eric Johnson, Associate General Counsel for the worldwide relief organization CARE. They have three sons, Scott, Phinehas, and Leif.
Dr. Samuel Mwaniki, Theologian in Residence Dr. Samuel Mwaniki, Theologian in Residence
Rev. Dr. Samuel Mwaniki was born in Kenya has served in many different capacities in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa as a pastor, presbytery clerk, presbytery moderator, Secretary General of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and as a chaplain to both schools and hospitals. While serving as the Secretary General, Dr. Mwaniki became aware of the pastoral needs of the ministers and church officers who continuously looked to him for pastoral help. He then initiated the advancement of pastoral care and counseling center at the Pastoral Institute at Kikuyu, Kenya, which now is a SPE training center for pastors who feel called to hospital and school chaplaincy.
In 2007, Dr. Mwaniki joined North Avenue as Theologian in Residence, working with international students. His aim is to make international students feel accepted, loved, and feel at home. Also, he tries to assist in settling students from culture shock through pastoral care and invitations to join into the life of NAPC. Rev. Dr. Samuel Mwaniki was born in Kenya has served in many different capacities in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa as a pastor, presbytery clerk, presbytery moderator, Secretary General of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and as a chaplain to both schools and hospitals. While serving as the Secretary General, Dr. Mwaniki became aware of the pastoral needs of the ministers and church officers who continuously looked to him for pastoral help. He then initiated the advancement of pastoral care and counseling center at the Pastoral Institute at Kikuyu, Kenya, which now is a SPE training center for pastors who feel called to hospital and school chaplaincy. In 2007, Dr. Mwaniki joined North Avenue as Theologian in Residence, working with international students. His aim is to make international students feel accepted, loved, and feel at home. Also, he tries to assist in settling students from culture shock through pastoral care and invitations to join into the life of NAPC.
Matt Seadore, Director of Missions & Outreach
Matt leads NAPC in living out mission in the heart of the city and around the world. He believes that healthy ministry flows from mutuality that tears down the walls between the privileged and the materially poor. He encourages those on the fringes to find their voice and use it to strengthen God’s kingdom. He leads a weekly men’s community bible study that values mutuality in listening and learning, is a Peacemaker trained conflict coach, and facilitates Faith and Finance classes that help those who are materially poor understand money management skills. Matt also served on the executive leadership team for the 2014 A.C.M.I. national conference.
Matt comes to the Atlanta area after having served for twelve years at a large church in the central valley of California. There, Matt served in the role of associate pastor where he led local and global mercy and justice ministries. During that time, he developed strong global partnerships with both churches and non-governmental organizations in East Africa. He also helped the church partner with local non-profits to effectively befriend and serve both the homeless and foster communities within his city. Matt also has experience on the mission field growing up as an m.k. (missionary kid) and serving as a young adult in South America.
Matt is currently studying to receive a master’s degree in global leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is married to Lorna and has two girls Jaida (11) and Brooklin (8). In his free time, Matt enjoys drinking ethically sourced coffee, reads voraciously, and cheers on the Nebraska Cornhusker football team.
Roxie Chess, Director of Children & Family Ministries
Roxie is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota with B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Family Studies. She also holds a master’s degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, Minnesota with an additional Parent Educator license. She taught kindergarten in the Minneapolis school system for five years, serving an at-risk population before transitioning to professional ministry, serving in our denomination’s largest suburban congregation . Roxie delights in sharing the love, grace, and hope we have in Jesus to children of all ages and their families.
Jessica Dart, Director of Youth Ministry
Jessica Dart is from St. Simons Island, GA. She graduated from Georgian Institute of Technology, with a B.S. in Applied Psychology. She then attended Emmanuel School of Religion, and graduated with a M.A.R. (Master of Arts in Religion). She served for five years as the minister to youth at St. Simons First Baptist church before coming to North Avenue in August of 2007. She says, “Youth are the coolest members of a church! They are real, ready to try new things, easily adaptable, and full of energy and joy! They bless me in a million little ways and challenge me to continue growing in Christ. Youth rock!! “
Melinda Clark, Music & the Arts Director, Organist
Melinda Clark is originally from Augusta, Georgia. She has studied music throughout her life including majoring in music at the University of Georgia as well as studying choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College and orchestral conducting with Gunther Schuller. She has been a practicing Director of Music and Organist for churches of many denominations. She is also a composer, including several commissioned works, a choral and orchestral conductor, a choral, piano, and organ teacher, and recording artist (Serenity: A Collection of Favorite Hymns). She loves putting music and people together in a participatory way and to see the spontaneous joy that comes from those who learn and listen.
Kim Goldsmith, Coordinator for Hospitality and Outreach.
Kim came to North Avenue when her family came to the city in 1984. She has a passion for the North Ave family and a love for all people. If you come to visit us, she looks forward to meeting you and helping you to find your place among us. Kim and her husband Glenn have three children, Will, Peter, and Jonathan, and they live in Decatur. She has taught middle school English, worked in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Emory University, and, most recently, taught English to adult refugee women in the Clarkston area through a family literacy program.
Josh Schicker, Worship Leader in Mission
Josh is a native of Michigan where he attended Hope College and received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a minor in History. An accomplished song-writer, Josh has released several albums of original music and has been included in compilations benefiting causes such as youth homelessness and clean water issues. He has enjoyed serving as leader/organizer for short-term missions both domestic and international and desires to continue connecting our worship with service. Josh offers leadership in worship at the 9 a.m. contemporary service and 5:45 p.m. evening service.
Jeni Hinojosa, Director of Communications
Jeni Hinojosa is passionate about uniting communities by uncovering and then communicating commonalities. Her background in anthropological studies at the University of South Florida has led to strong problem-solving research skills and a unique world view. Along with her artistic abilities, and years working as a corporate ethnographer, Jeni put her skills to use as the Marketing Manager of one of the most historic hospitals in Tampa Bay, Florida Hospital of North Pinellas, during a re-branding project which took place in the middle of a traditional Greek community.
Prior to her work at the hospital, Jeni served as the Lead Social Media Strategist at EMSI Public Relations, where her expertise was highlighted in Forbes, among other industry publication. While there she executed digital PR campaigns for a diverse clientele including Hollywood producers, doctors, lawyers, and faith-based authors.
The Naples, FL native believes her most important job is that of wife and mother. Jeni and her husband of 7 years, Alex, enjoy every moment raising their four-year-old daughter Abigail and two-year-old son, Arthur. An avid animal rights activist, her family has rescued three cats and one dog as members of their family.
Email Jeni at firstname.lastname@example.org | Ext. 215
Andrea Henry, Assistant to the Senior Pastor
Andrea was born and raised in Miami, Florida and moved to Atlanta in 2007 for revitalization. She is blessed that here she has not only received an infusion of energy, but also one of “loving kindness from this wondrous congregation and remarkable co-workers. More often than you know, you have been God’s messengers.”
Email Andrea at email@example.com | Ext. 201
Kay Carlson, Staff Associate for Equipping Ministries
Kay has been with North Avenue since 2006, having previously served for 16 years at Clairmont Presbyterian in Decatur, GA. She works alongside Matt Seadore, NAPC’s Director of Missions & Outreach. Kay, and her husband, Kevin, share their home with three very large and active dogs, Karli, Tyson, and Yoji. They both enjoy traveling, spending time with their children, and spoiling their grandson, Jordan.
Email Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org | Ext. 213
Bridgett Stewart, Administrative Assistant, Receptionist
Bridgett is an amazing young woman who has already authored a book. Bridgett is originally from Preston, Georgia and has lived in Atlanta for seven years. When you call North Avenue, her voice is likely the one you’ll hear!
Email Bridgett at email@example.com | Ext. 223
Roger Young, Executive Director of Finance and Operations
Roger has served as our Business Administrator since July 2004. He holds an undergraduate degree in management, a M.B.A. in finance, and is a Certified Church Administrator (CCA) through the National Association of Church Business Administration.
Email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org | Ext. 222
Gene Wooldridge, Facilities Manager
Gene is the man that gets everything done behind the scenes at North Avenue. From repairing, rewiring, or restoring things around the church campus to making sure the temperature is just right and that you can get through the gate in the parking deck, Gene is a jack of all trades. Gene has faithfully been serving North Avenue for more than 20 years!
Email Gene at email@example.com | Ext. 224
Chef Richard Slade, Food Services Director
Chef Richard prepares the delicious food we enjoy every Sunday and for many other church gatherings. He loves to cook, and we love to eat what he makes for us! Chef Richard is always looking out for those he loves, and is always ready to share the most recent picture of his precious grand-babies.
Email Chef Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org | Ext. 241
Lisa Ellinger, Assistant to the Director of Music & The Arts
Lisa was born into a musical family and began studying violin at a young age. The daughter of Atlanta Symphony violinists Juan and Carol Ramirez, Lisa attended the Paideia School and was raised in an enriched musical environment as her parents opened their home to such musical giants as Henyrk Szeryng, Gunther Schuller, Karel Husa, Frank Glazer, Joseph Silverstein and Irene Gubrud. The performances of these masters with the Atlanta Virtuosi remain some of the most vivid of her formative years. Lisa’s passion for music is now expressed in her management skills in music and in her dedication to community service. Along with her father, she helped found the award-winning Buckhead Youth Orchestra (BYO) and has served as its general manager for the last 13 years, overseeing general operations and planning all international tours. Lisa is married with two young daughters, ages seven and five.
Email Lisa at mailto:email@example.com| Ext. 209
Want to join the team? See employment opportunities here.
- Who Should I Contact?
BAPTISMS Andrea Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 201)
DEATH IN THE FAMILY Rev. Frank Eldridge (email@example.com or ext. 247)
MEMBERSHIP Kay Carlson (firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 213)
SUBMITTING OR UPDATING YOUR CONTACT INFO Kay Carlson (email@example.com or ext. 213)
WEDDING ARRANGEMENTS Andrea Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 201)
PASTORAL CONCERNS Rev. Frank Eldridge (email@example.com or ext. 247)
The New Testament regularly speaks of church leaders, commonly called elders, overseers, or shepherds. In addition, deacons were appointed in the early church to meet various needs in the local church. The Presbyterian church believes that the people of God are chosen for service as well as for salvation. Our form of government stresses strong, active, representational leadership, based on Biblical precedents. At North Avenue, we have 27 elders and 28 deacons, chosen by the people and ordained to be officially set apart for leadership and service. Officers serve three year terms. God working through them facilitates our life together as a community of believers brought together to further the church’s mission in the world.
The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) consists of the Book of Confessions, which you may view here, (historical statements of what we as a church believe) and the Book of Order, which you may view here, (form of government, directory for worship, and rules of discipline).
Elected and ordained members of the congregation are chosen to teach the truth and lead the long-term vision and direction of the church. Together with the ordained pastors, Elders form the church’s governing body, which is called the Session. Elders offer spiritual guidance and work closely with the staff and pastors to set goals and guide the church into the future. They assist during worship services in prayer, baptisms and communion, the sacraments of the church. Elders are stationed at the doors of the church after each worship service to greet, answer questions, and provide prayer and support. The qualifications for an Elder (sometimes translated bishop or overseer) are found in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
Elected and ordained members of the congregation chosen to lead and manage the day-to-day needs of the church and surrounding community. Deacons form a separate board within the church under the authority of the Session. They are responsible for caring for those in need, showing acts of mercy, and collecting and managing monies coming into the church. They are present on Sundays, stationed at entrances to provide welcome and assistance. The office of Deacon was originally established in Acts 6:1-6 and the qualifications for a Deacon are found in I Timothy 3:8-13.
- Ministry Teams
- Adult Discipleship: Committed to transformative faith development through establishing and growing an ever-increasing number of small groups at North Avenue; engaging in spiritual formation; continuing to promote and improve the adult Sunday School program; increasing teacher recruitment and training; developing new curricula; and incorporating hands-on mission experience with prayer, Bible study, and fellowship.
- Children and Family: Through multi-dimensional programs and special events, inspires and nurtures children from infancy through fifth grade to become Disciples of Christ with a passion for serving and loving Him; supports their families in developing Christ-centered homes, rich in faith and glorifying God.
- College and Young Adult: Aims to reach out with the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ to college students and young adults who live in the vicinity of NAPC; strategizes discipleship, worship, fellowship and mission opportunities for this unique and vital population.
- Communication: Oversees all internal communication within the church and external publicity to the community, including the weekly newsletter North AveNews, website, outdoor banners and signage.
- Congregational Care: Visits homebound members; conducts Neighbor Net to get members living in the same areas together socially; conducts Keep In Touch to telephone members who have not been attending to learn if they are sick or homebound, or have relocated or joined another church.
- Evangelism and Neighborhood Outreach: Seeks to spread the good news of Jesus Christ by helping to build the congregation from within and connect in unique ways to the broader community of Atlanta; conducts New Member Classes to orient and “plug in” new members.
- Financial Resources: Provides oversight of the church’s financial operations. The team meets on a monthly basis to review the income and expenditures for the prior month. The team is responsible for the approval of the ministry and mission budgets prior to their presentation to the Session.
- Hospitality: As ushers, ambassadors and greeters, the team extends a loving welcome in the name and spirit of Christ to all who come through our doors and ensures that visitors and members continue to feel embraced and valued. Responsibilities may be regularly scheduled or occasional.
- Human Resources: Provides oversight in all matters as they relate to the church’s staff. These matters would include compensation, benefits, the calling and dismissal of non-pastoral staff, maintenance of the employee handbook, and the development and modification of personnel policies.
- Leadership Development: Educates, engages and encourages servant leadership with particular emphasis on elders and deacons.
- Missions: Makes Jesus known through mission partnerships and outreach in the areas of Compassion, Campus Outreach, Gospel Proclamation, Family Support and Human Trafficking. Also helps members of the church connect their passions for helping others with appropriate serving opportunities.
- Music and The Arts: Coordinates and plans special events, approves the ministry budget, oversees the use of special designated funds and provides support to the Director of Music and the music ministry staff members. Ministry groups include the Chancel Choir, Contemporary Worship Team, Orchestra NAPC, Handbell Choir and choirs for children and youth.
- Nominating: A representative group of active elders, deacons and members, the team prayerfully discerns nominations for new officer classes each year.
- Presbyterian Opportunities and Issues: Encourages elder attendance at Presbytery meetings and involvement with the higher courts of the PCUSA; also monitors the activities of the PCUSA and brings concerns to the attention of the Session.
- Property Resources: Provides oversight of the physical assets of the church. The team provides direction to the ongoing care and maintenance of the church campus. The team meets of a monthly basis.
- Worship: Oversees the Worship Services held at NAPC on Sundays at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 7:00 p.m. and any other special services held throughout the year.
- Youth: Prays, plans and prepares for lessons, activities, and retreats for youth in grades six through twelve.
Ministry teams are led by church officers, but anyone is welcome to join teams. If you are interested in contributing to any of these ministries, please contact Andrea Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org.