Elder John Thorpe was baptized at Westminster on the day the sanctuary opened in 1939. In this video, he shares his memories of the church in the past, present and hopes for the future.
Becky Wright has been a member since 1944. She became a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church as a result of the gas shortage during the war.
Martha Bess DeWitt, who served as Westminster’s director of Christian Education for nearly 25 years, shares her remembrances of our church during her tenure. In her retirement, Martha Bess divides her time between Virginia and New Hampshire. She provided her comments via Zoom.
Rev. Dr. Trace Haythorn, former Associate Pastor of Adult Education at Westminster, provides his remembrances of being on staff from 1998 – 2003.
Elder Terry Rappuhn remembers the Great Flood of 2010, and the genesis of Westminster Home Connection.
Elders Jennie Renwick and Hartley Hall on their experiences at Westminster.
Donna Corbett has been a member of Westminster Choir for almost 50 years (since 1974). She shares the history of the choir, tells interesting stories and explains why the choir is an essential part of our worship experience.
Since 1997, Westminster has been building Habitat for Humanity homes to provide safe housing for Nashville families. In this video, Carson Salyer and John Bailey talk about how our church started working with Habitat and the impact our work and prayers and dollars have had – on the families, the community — and our own lives.
Frank Wade and Beth O’Shea have been lifelong members of Westminster, growing up in the church, raising their children here and providing leadership to the congregation. In this video, Beth and Frank share their experiences at Westminster over the years. At the end of the video, they share a fun remembrance!
Westminster has always strived to meet the needs of its congregation and community. In this video, Tom and Jane McDow share the story of how the Westminster School (now Currey Ingram Academy) was started when parents of a child whose learning differences weren’t being met asked the Session to provide space for a school to help children like theirs be educated.
Father Charles Strobel, who founded Room in the Inn, passed away last week. Westminster was one of the four initial congregations that signed up to host homeless guests during the cold months, starting in 1987. Now there are nearly 200 congregations of all denominations who participate in Room in the Inn in Nashville. Below, Chad Folk talks about how Westminster got involved with Father Strobel at the beginning of Room in the Inn and our continuing support for this ministry…
Westminster member, Rudy Kalis, says that he spent 45 years in broadcasting to prepare him for his work in prison ministry, and in doing so, he has found his life’s purpose. Watch Rudy’s testimony about his experiences working with prisoners, some of them on death row.
Upon his return from sabbatical, Donovan shared the work of our Visioning Committee during last Sunday’s all church meeting. In the video below, the committee’s co-chairs Howard Lamar and Terry Rappuhn talk about the visioning process and the “God-sized dreams” we have established to guide Westminster’s next ten years.
Carson Salyer served Westminster as Associate Pastor for Congregational Care for more than 20 years and he and Janet continue to be highly involved in the life of our church. In this video, Carson describes his call to Westminster, his work with Reverend K. C. Ptomey and other staff, and his involvement in community missions such as Habitat, Living Waters and Westminster Home Connection. Finally, Rev. Janet Salyer ends the video with a thank you note to our congregation.
Ann Hartzog Hall was a former member and wife of Westminster former minister Reverend Dr. Hartley Hall. Her son Hartley interviewed her about her years and memories while their family lived in Nashville.
For someone who says he didn’t want to get involved at Westminster, Elder Jim Hartman has played a significant role in the life of our church.
Elders Bill and Kelly Christie, whose families live in Canada, talk about finding a church family at Westminster in this video.
Living Waters for the World is a global mission of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) who seeks to “provide clean, safe water to those in the world who desperately need it and to support the volunteers and communities with whom we have relationships.” Beth Felch, along with Doug Leins and Dennis Williams, describe in this video Westminster’s work with this organization to provide clean, safe water to communities in Peru as well as to individuals in need in Middle Tennessee.
When people ask elders Ken and Catherine Garrison how long they have attended Westminster, they never quite know how to answer that question. While they have been members of our church for seven years, they have had strong ties to Westminster since Catherine was a child.
Elder Jim Barr grew up attending Westminster but as an adult, he attended other Presbyterian churches in town. Finally in 2019, he found his way back to our church. In this video, Jim talks about his memories of the staff and members of Westminster.
Westminster has been blessed with a strong children’s ministry, and in the first video, Executive Director of Family Ministries Sophie Maness talks about involving parents in their children’s faith journeys and the unique challenges of providing support during the COVID-19 pandemic and Covenant School shooting.
Sophie and The Westminster School for Young Children (WSYC) Director Logan Lyman talk about how WSYC was established by member Mrs. Wilfred Fisher as Westminster Kindergarten in 1946. As the needs of the community changed over time, Westminster Kindergarten and the Toddlers and Twos program merged to become the Westminster School for Young Children (WSYC) in 2010. WSYC serves nearly 300 children today, employs over 40 teachers and administrators, and is still an outreach mission of our church.
Our senior pastor Rev. Dr. Donovan Drake has recorded the video below, reflecting his thoughts on Westminster’s 150th Anniversary.
Director of Music Ministries Dr. John Semingson has led Westminster’s extensive and renowned music program for more than 20 years and talks about the many aspects that make our music program so special.
Elders Cathey Fuqua and Linda Koon joined Westminster about the same time and raised their families in the church. They share fond memories of church life over the past 50 years.
Westminster children Gray Springer and Charlotte Munson interviewed their elders to learn about the history of Westminster from the perspectives of Roberta Rogers and Carol Ann Graham. Roberta, who is also Gray’s grandmother, has been involved in Westminster’s music program for many years, helping with the children’s choir. Carol Ann Graham had a long affiliation as a teacher in the Westminster School for Young Children (formerly Westminster Kindergarten).
Elder Sallie Bailey, her daughters and elders Shelby Bailey and Fran Linley, and granddaughter Kate Linley discuss the role of women at Westminster based on their experience through the years.
Members of the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) and elders Frank Wade, Clisby Hall, Mary Hande and Tom McDow share their experience serving on the PNC Committee which called Rev. Dr. Donovan Drake to be our senior pastor in 2010.
The history of Westminster Benevolence Dr. James Hudnut-Beumler, the Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Vanderbilt University and former dean of the Divinity School, shares the history of Presbyterian giving. How Westminster Supports The Community Elder Denise Linn discusses how Westminster’s Benevolence Committee determines our support for community organizations with previous Benevolence Committee chairs and elders Dr. David Thombs, Walker Choppin and Scott Portis.
Reverend Dr. Guy Griffith has used the Disciple Bible Study program not only to strengthen the biblical literacy of our congregation, but also to create small, close knit communities in a large church. Elders Ned Munson, Sharon Warfield and Melinda Coles talk with Guy about their experiences in the Disciple Bible Study program at Westminster.
Elders Tom Wylly, Howard Lamar and Jeff Haynes reminisce about the congregation’s response to a God-sized project, contributing $18 million in 2015 to make significant facility improvements at Westminster.
In this video, Elder Ralph Wheeler shares the deep ties Westminster and members of our congregation have with The Outreach Foundation. This organization was established to help Presbyterian churches support global ministries and our church and individual members have provided not only financial support but hands-on volunteer support for these foreign ministries.
In this video, Associate Director of Youth T.J. Piccolo describes how Westminster nurtures the faith of our youth. In addition, Margie Quinn left a parting message about her time as Director of Youth at Westminster.
Congregation member Dan Cook provides a testimonial of gratitude for the church during his recent illness.
Member Ed Branding shares his journey to and love of Westminster.
Wilson, Mac and Jay Hardcastle Remember Growing Up at Westminster