The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta has elected the Rev. Thomas Evans as its new executive presbyter, effective Feb. 1, 2010.

Evans is currently executive for Sheppards and Lapsley Presbytery, based in Birmingham, Ala.  He has served churches in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Magnolia, Ark. and Buffalo, N.Y.  He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and holds both Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary.

“We are excited about Dr. Evans coming as he leads this great presbytery into the future in the coming years,” says Elder Charles F. Easley, Sr. chair of the search committee.  “We give thanks to God for the past 12 years the Rev. Edwin W. Albright, Jr. served executive presbyter and wish him well in his retirement,” according to Elder S. Mark Roberson, Moderator of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.

The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta consists of 106 churches, representing approximately 46,000 members in 20 north central Georgia counties. It is the largest in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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The Rev. Diane Tennis, a key figure in the life of women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), died Dec. 12 after a battle with cancer. She was 76.

Tennis earned her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in European intellectual history from the University of Rochester. She was ordained in 1959.

A native of Minnesota, Tennis came to Atlanta in 1973 to work on the staff of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. A champion for women’s advocacy, she served as the associate for Women Employed by the Church. She also was key in organizing records of women seminary students and working for benefits for women in ministry and missionaries’ wives.

“Diane was for us … really strong, intelligent, forthright,” said the Rev. Caroline Leach, who worked with Tennis in Atlanta and is associate pastor of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga., where Tennis attended. “She just provided, in this little 5’2” body, friendship, humor, and she was just fierce.”

Tennis is survived by son Mark H. Tennis of Duluth, Ga.; son and daughter-in-law Scott and Leslie Tennis of Baltimore, MD; and four grandchildren: Katie Elizabeth, Samantha Marie, Kerianne Nicole and Wesley Eugene.

A memorial service, followed by a reception, will be held at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church on Dec. 22. Donations can be made to the church.  — by Bethany Furkin

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The Rev. Nancy Young has been named coordinator for Racial Ethnic and Women’s Leadership Development /Racial Ethnic Schools and Colleges, effective Jan. 25, 2010. As coordinator, she will help set vision, manage ministries and supervise staff in the Women’s and Racial Ethnic Leadership Development offices of the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women ministry area of the General Assembly Mission Council.

A PC(USA) minister, Young has been serving since 2004 as associate pastor of worship, liturgy and music at Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Midland, Mich., where her responsibilities included preaching, teaching, outreach, spiritual development, and supervising a staff of six. She was previously associate pastor at Bertha E. R. Strosacker Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland.

Young is an M.Div. graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and received a D. Min in preaching from McCormick Theological Seminary. She has been active in the Presbytery of Lake Huron for the past 15 years and, since 2007, has served as the chair of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry.

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A memorial service celebrating his life of the Rev. Francis White Pritchard was held Nov. 8 at  was White Sands of La Jolla (Calif.) memorial chapel. Pritchard, 97, served pastorates in Texas, Tennessee and Iowa and traveled the world on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). From 1969 to 1977 he served as the former UPCUSA’s personnel consultant in Asia and Africa under the Commission on Ecumenical Missions and Relations of the denomination.

A native of Indiana, Pritchard graduated from DePauw University in that state and then earned three advanced degrees from Boston University and also studied at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Pritchard’s pastoral ministry was marked by community service, engagement in social justice issues, global mission commitments and understanding the importance of ecumenical alliances. Over the course of his career he preached in churches in Ethiopia, Thailand, Germany, Malawi, Egypt, Zimbabwe Pakistan, Israel, Afghanistan, Mexico, Russia South Korea, France, India and Iran.  

Pritchard is survived by daughters from his first marriage to Lorine Pritchard — Lucy Frost, Ruth Dawson, and Elaine Bandermann; by his second marriage to Elsie Wilbanks Pritchard — sons Tom and Dana Wilbanks and daughter Beth Wilbanks Robb; and by the his third wife, Jean Marshall Pritchard, her children — Donald Marshall, James Marshall, Stephen Marshall, Jeff Marshall, Sue Rush, Kathy Feroglia, and Jane Holtz; 25 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial gifts may be made to McGilvary College of Divinity, Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand (send checks to United Board, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 1221, New York, N.Y. 10115.

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John Nduna has been appointed as general secretary of the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, one of the largest humanitarian relief and development networks in the world. The alliance, which will have 160 member organizations — including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — will formally be established on Jan. 1, 2010, bringing together the existing ACT International and ACT Development alliances.

Nduna, a Zambian who started his career in banking, has been the director of ACT International since 2006. He has also served as director of Church Ecumenical Action in Sudan. His humanitarian field experience includes working with  refugees  through the Lutheran World Federation  Department for World Service (LWF/DWS) in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania. Mr. Nduna graduated from the University of Zambia in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. 

The Interim Governing Board of ACT Alliance also appointed Ms. Jill Hawkey as the new deputy general gecretary. She is currently the director of ACT Development. Ms. Hawkey has a Master’s degree in development studies and was the director of Christian World Service in New Zealand for ten years.

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The Rev. Willis McGill, 97, died Dec. 3, 2009, at Shenango (Penn.) Presbyterian Senior Care. The Cleveland native grew up in Cairo, where his father was on the faculty of the Evangelical Seminary. When Willis was 14. his father drowned trying to rescue people taken by a strong undertow in the Mediterranean Sea.

McGill graduate from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. After marrying the former Anne McAuley in 1937, he returned to Egypt, also as a Presbyterian missionary and seminary teacher. During World War II he also served there with  the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942.

McGill’s missionary career in Egypt spanned more than 40 years. In retirement he served on the museum committee for cultural artifacts at Westminster College, where he was a major donor and researcher of Roman and ancient Egyptian artifacts.

He is survived by three sons, Dr. Willis A. McGill II  and wife Robin; Jon Gibson "Gib" McGill and wife Merrianne; and Gene Macolm "Kim" McGill and his wife Kathy Offutt McGill. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife and two sisters, Evelyn McGill and Lois McGill Sturgeon. A memorial service was held Dec. 7 in New Wilmington, Penn.