Rev. Dr. Steve Goyer
912-638-2220 ext. 103
Steve and his wife Anita have two grown daughters (Meghan and Amanda) and two grandchildren. Following graduation from the University of North Carolina, Steve attended Union Seminary in Virginia where he earned a doctoral degree in Ministry Theology with an emphasis on preaching and church administration. He specializes in spiritual and grief counseling, compassion coaching, and family counseling. Steve wrote, “God is ineffable, transcendent, and way beyond our pay grade to understand. Spiritual growth comes from practicing gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning, and forgiveness.”
Steve most recently served as the interim pastor at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to serving Independent Presbyterian Church Birmingham, Steve was the Senior Pastor at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 14 years and the Senior Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia for 15 years.
Pastor Laurie Bentley
Parish Associate for Visitation
Office Days: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
912-638-2220 ext. 120
A native of Augusta, Laurie graduated from Agnes Scott College (about a mile from the Presbyterian Seminary in Decatur, GA) and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (in Columbia, SC) and was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She served congregations in Thunderbolt and Savannah, GA; Roseville, MN; Reading and Gouglersville, PA; Dothan, AL; St. Simons Island (interim at Lord of Life Lutheran); and Brunswick (St. James Lutheran, until her retirement in 2017). She also served one-year chaplaincies at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and at Hospice Savannah.
Laurie is the proud mother of Sarah (in FL) and Christopher (in WI), and grandmother to four very special grandchildren – Nash, Grayson, River, and Lilly. Her ministry and life experience have given her a heart for people in transition and grief. She believes that God’s best work shows through when we are absolutely not in control (though we’d like to be!). “God loves to surprise us with options we can’t see. Some of my best thinking and praying happens when I’m not trying to figure it out … when I’m walking on the beach … or reading … or singing … or enjoying lunch with a friend. The answers we seek can’t be hurried. They come in their own time.”
Director of Christian Education and Children's Ministry
912-638-2220 ext. 108
Frieda Warner has spent the past 25+ years working with generations of children at St. Simons Presbyterian. As Director of Christian Education and Children's Ministry, Frieda oversees all educational programming for the church with a special focus on nursery and elementary age children. Her self described "happy spirit" allows her to meet children and young people where they are, and engage them through creative, age-appropriate learning.
Director of Music Ministry
912-638-2220 ext. 109
Rhonda began as the full-time Director of Music Ministry at St. Simons Presbyterian in 2008. Rhonda has a passion for working with all those in our church and community who desire to glorify God through song and music. In addition to leading the overall music ministry of the church, Rhonda's work extends into the broader Golden Isles community where she holds leadership positions in several organizations promoting music and the arts for all ages.
Director of Congregational Life
912-638-2220 ext. 107
Nat Scott came to St. Simons Presbyterian Church in 2005. As Director of Congregational Life, Nat seeks to foster ministries of care, fellowship, and fun across all ages of the church. He has a particular focus in leading the "Try Something New" ministry for older adults. In addition to being a professional potter by training, Nat enjoys being out in God's creation biking, kayaking, sailing, hiking, and live music festivals.
Director of Finance & Administration
912-638-2220 ext. 102
After many years spent at home raising three children, Jeannine came to St. Simons Presbyterian in 2015 as our full-time Church Administrator. In addition to managing the church's finances, Jeannine works to ensure that all ministry areas of the congregation are adequately equipped to fulfill their mission. When asked what her favorite thing is about working at SSPC, Jeannine says, "Watching how the members of St. Simons Presbyterian show the love of God not only by their generous financial gifts, but also by stepping out in the community with open arms, ready and willing to assist those in need."
BRIDGE Mission Program Director
912-638-2220 ext. 118
Madelynne Risi helped to launch and grow the BRIDGE Summer Mission Program at St. Simons Presbyterian Church beginning in 2016. A lifelong member of St. Simons Presbyterian, Madelynne is passionate about helping to connect people of all ages with opportunities to serve and learn about God's work in the world. In her free-time you can find Madelynne wrangling her kids -- Charleston and Draper Evans -- or hanging out with her husband, Scott.
Director of Communications
912-638-2220 ext. 105
Ada is the conveyor of information for all things SSPC as the Director of Communications. Ada holds a degree in Marketing and a minor in Philosophy from Georgia State University. Before joining the church staff in September 2018, Ada and her husband Graham worked together as owners of CJ’s Pizza in the Village. When Ada is not redesigning the church website, perfecting the bulletin, or designing ads for church events, she enjoys being mom to three awesome boys, tackling small home improvement projects, and hosting friends for dinner.
Director of Youth
Eliza considers one of her biggest blessings as being a member of SSPC her entire life! Her baptism, confirmation and even her marriage have all been at SSPC. As she grew up in the church, her favorite memories are camps, mission trips and building relationships with the other members. Although she has been an intern and worked part-time in various ministries of the church, she is thrilled to now be on staff and share her faith and love for Jesus with the
youth. Eliza enjoys gardening, baking/cooking and spending time with her husband, Luke, and her family (she is the daughter of CE/Children's Ministry Director, Frieda Warner).
912-638-2220 ext. 101
Donna Purdy has been a member of the Saint Simons community since 2013. She joined the Saint Simons Presbyterian Staff in 2022, after dedicating years to staying at home to raise her two daughters. As the Administrative Assistant, Donna is eager to greet guests and church members either in person or over the phone. In her spare time, Donna enjoys adventures with her family, loving on her dogs, cooking and baking, and being present in God's beautiful creation.
Director of Preschool
912-638-2220 ext. 130
Ashley graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2011 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She's have taught at the preschool for the past ten years, but her roots are much deeper. Ashley and her husband both attended Presbyterian Preschool as children. They now have three children; 2 have graduated from SSPC preschool and are now in elementary school, and their youngest is currently attending the church preschool. As a member of St. Simons Presbyterian Church, Ashley loves seeing our preschool families join our congregation.
After growing up on St. Simons, Amy Bishop and her family returned to the island to begin serving at St. Simons Presbyterian as the church organist in 2008. Amy lives on St. Simons with her granddaughters, Ami and Mackenzie.
After serving as the director for a five-octave bell choir in Jacksonville, FL, Suzanne Morrison began leading the handbell choir at St. Simons Presbyterian in 2004 . As a member of both the church and staff, Suzanne has dedicated herself to working in the area of music and worship to help create immersive, God-filled worship at SSPC.