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Reverend Merriam “Merri” Alexander

Interim Pastor

Merri Alexander joined the ministry team at Northminster in late February as our interim pastor. She comes to NPC from Montreat Conference Center where she served as the senior director for strategic partner development.  Merri oversaw business development for the conference center as she worked with organizations, institutions, and sister denominations to build institutional partnerships for Montreat. Prior to joining Montreat, Merri served as director of communications for St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, NC, staff associate for Laity and Ecology for Savannah Presbytery, Brunswick, GA, associate statewide director of the Georgia Interfaith Climate Change Initiative of the National Council of Churches, and on the national steering committee for Presbyterians for Earth Care. Merri will serve as Northminster’s interim pastor into 2017.


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Nathan Crabtree

Music Director

Nathan graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Music Education in 1993. In August 2000 (the same year he joined the NPC staff) he completed the Master of Music Education degree with emphasis in choral conducting. Nathan has three children: Clare, Tess, and Samantha.

Nathan’s church music experience spans from significant involvement as a child and youth to leadership roles in other local and regional churches. In addition to serving NPC, Nathan teaches music at Catawba Elementary School and is active in theatre. Nathan is Level II Orff certified and has a particular interest in global music and world drumming.


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Jackie Putnam

Director of Christian Education and Youth

Jackie began serving as the Director of Christian Education at NPC in April 2014. Jackie received her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Gardner-Webb University in 2011. She is currently working on her Master of Divinity degree at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Charlotte campus and is pursuing ordination in the PC(USA). Jackie is passionate about learning, nature, and community. She and her husband Jeremy live in Newton with their dog, Gunner.


Patty Williams

Secretary

Patty joined NPC in September 2010. She retired from the City of Hickory after a 30+ year career as the City Clerk. Patty grew up in Greensboro and graduated from Grimsley High School and then Lenoir-Rhyne College. She and Jim, a Hickory native, have been married for 45 years and have three grown children–Andi, a veterinarian; Kelly, a teacher and PhD candidate in American religious history, and Zack, a tennis professional; and a grandson, Tyler. Patty and Jim have two dogs and three grand-dogs.


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Mary Ann Crozier

Director of the Child Development Center

Mary Ann grew up in North Augusta, SC and is a Clemson University graduate with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She started her teaching career in Greenville, SC in the PreK clssroom of a local public elementary school. Afterward, she went on to teach art and music to three and four year olds at Gymboree Play and K4 in Charlotte, NC. Mary Ann married a fellow Clemson Tiger and has two children, Luke and Abby. In addition to directing the preschool, Mary Ann is the lead teacher in our 3s and 4s classroom.


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Ruth Sperring

Organist

Ruth has helped lead worship from the organ since 1982. Her training comes from a lifetime of piano and organ lessons culminating in organ and vocal study at Campbell College. She studied organ with Susan Horton. While at Campbell she was also a member of the Touring Choir and Chamber Choir. In addition to playing the organ at Northminster, Ruth sings in the choir and plays in the Handbell choir which she started. She has been a resident of Hickory since 1976, has two adult children, 5 grandchildren, and 3 cats.


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Sheila Young

Financial Secretary

Sheila Young arrived in Hickory at the age of three and grew up in the Hickory City School system. Several years later, Sheila graduated Appalachian State University with a BS in Business Administration and a major in Accounting. In 1996, she started her career as Controller at the Presbytery of Western NC. After 10 years of service with the Presbytery, she resigned to spend more time with her two children. She has a daughter named Cecilia and a son named Patrick. Her husband, Tracy, works as a Process Technician at Commscope in Claremont. They reside in Valdese, NC where Sheila also works for the Waldensian Presbyterian Church on Wednesdays. Sheila works at NPC on Mondays and will be available between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

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