Meet the General Assembly reporting staff

June 18, 2016

Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons greets General Assembly news staff.

Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons greets General Assembly news staff. —Danny Bolin

Portland

A talented group of volunteers and staff are in place to report on the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Their work will be featured online in General Assembly News, and on Facebook (spiritofga) and Twitter (presbyga). Here they are, listed alphabetically.

Danny Bolin and his wife, April, are full-time photographers who operate a studio in Tell City, Indiana. He has a strong photojournalism background and works all over the country for various events. Bolin has been covering General Assembly meetings since the early 1990s.

John A. Bolt is a lifelong Presbyterian who enjoys words and the Word. Called by God to communicate in secular and spiritual worlds, Bolt has served at all levels of the denomination. He said he is a firm believer in the power and necessity of education to make the world better. He is the director of University Relations/News at West Virginia University.

Gregg Brekke is current editor of Presbyterian News Service and the former news director at the United Church of Christ. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, he has written on ecumenical, interfaith, and international aid/development topics for more than a decade and is an award-winning photojournalist and video documentarian.

Beau Brown is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Olney, Illinois (home of the white squirrels). He and his wife, Amber, recently adopted twins, Asher and Avery. Two of his favorite things are good theology and great hip-hop.

Aric Clark is a writer, a speaker, and a Presbyterian minister. He is the coauthor of Never Pray Again: Lift Your Head, Unfold Your Hands, and Get to Work, a book that challenges readers to embrace a concrete, other-centered spirituality. He is also the creator of LectionARIC, a YouTube channel for hermeneutical vlogs.

Mike Ferguson is a ruling elder at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Billings, Montana. This is his sixth General Assembly volunteering in the communication center. His day job is as a reporter for the Billings Gazette, where his beat is city government. He is married to the Reverend Susan Barnes, pastor at St. Andrew.

John Filiatreau worked for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, for twenty years as a reporter, as an investigative reporter, as an editor, and as a columnist, and was editor-in-chief of Louisville Magazine for three years. From 2000 to 2008 he was a writer and editor for the Presbyterian News Service.

Erin Cox-Holmes is executive presbyter for the Presbytery of Donegal and is a regular contributor to the Presbyterian News Service. She has worked in the General Assembly Communications Center as a reporter for numerous years.

Jerry Van Marter retired in December 2014 after twenty-six-plus years with Presbyterian News Service. He is currently stated clerk for the Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky. This is his fortieth General Assembly.

Rachel Van Marter has been to sixteen General Assemblies with her parents, Eva Stimson and Jerry Van Marter. This year (her seventeenth General Assembly) she’ll be working on the social media team. Van Marter lives and works as an actor in Chicago.

Bob Sloan is a commissioned ruling elder for the Presbytery of New Harmony. He serves as pastor of Society Hill Presbyterian Church and Patrick Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. Sloan has worked in the field of newspaper journalism for more than twenty-five years. He has also served as a correspondent for the Presbyterian News Service and Presbyterians Today.

Eva Stimson, a Presbyterian preacher’s kid, grew up in the Southeast and now works as a freelance editor, writer, and artist in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is a ruling elder and member of Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church. She served on the staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for more than thirty years, including fifteen years as editor of Presbyterians Today.

Michael Whitman lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and, besides being a photographer, works in congregational transformation and resourcing at a firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is an avid cyclist, hiker, homebrewer, and Atlanta Braves fan. Whitman enjoys sports and outdoor adventure photography, as well as covering topics of religion and spirituality.

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