Co-Pastor: Rev. Dr. Tom Bryson
Tom grew up in the Mississippi Delta in the small town of Leland (home of Kermit the Frog) and spent many hours in the Presbyterian Church, at presbytery camps and Montreat. He graduated with a degree in Finance from Mississippi State before attending Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Tom worked in Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Starkville, MS after college and at St. Luke's Presbyterian in Dunwoody, GA, while in seminary. After graduating from seminary, Tom served as minister of First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, MS, from 2007-2018. In 2015, Tom earned his Doctorate of Ministry (emphasis in Church Growth and Revitalization) from McCormick Theological Seminary. After receiving a call to serve as minister of Southminster, Tom began work in Birmingham in April 2018.
Tom's family includes his wife, Ashley, and sons, Michael and Henry. The family enjoys cheering for their Mississippi Bulldogs, fishing and spending time with extended family.
Co-Pastor: Rev. Leanne Pearce Reed
Leanne Pearce Reed grew up in Birmingham and earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. After serving as a Presbyterian mission volunteer in Central America, she earned an M.Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary. She was ordained to a call as a mission co-worker and served as pastor of Montevallo Presbyterian Church and Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. Leanne is currently completing her M.Ed. in Counseling at the University of Montevallo with a concentration in couples and family counseling.
Leanne lives in Homewood with her husband Mark and teenage sons, Thomas and Adam. She enjoys reading, cooking, travel, and trail running.
Program Director: Robert Newman
Robert is our newest staff member, beginning in March 2019. He grew up in Birmingham, where he played baseball, golf and tennis and is an avid sports fan, especially of the University of Alabama and the Atlanta Braves. Before coming to Southminster, he was the Leader of Youth and Media Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, MO. He has also served on the Planning Team for UKIRK and as youth advisor and an intern at First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa. Robert is passionate about youth ministry and enjoys helping youth realize that they are not only the church of tomorrow, but also the church of today!
Director of Music: Dr. Larry E. Hardin
Larry has served as Director of Music Ministries at Southminster since 1998. As such, he is responsible for the entire music program – conducting the Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir (seasonal) and overseeing the Children’s and Youth Choir. A lifelong resident of the Birmingham area, Larry has served area churches since 1975.
Larry holds both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education degrees from Samford University and the Doctor of Education in Music Education from the University of Alabama.
A professional music educator since 1977, Larry’s experience includes teaching Kindergarten through twelfth grade general and choral music in the Jefferson County Public Schools; and over fifteen years higher education experience, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Jefferson State Community College and Jacksonville State University.
In addition, he has held adjunct positions at the University of Montevallo, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and recently retired as adjunct professor of music education at Samford University. He is a member of the Alabama Music Educators Association, the Alabama Vocal Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Alabama Choral Directors Association, the American Choral Directors Association, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and Phi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society.
Larry has been married to the former Gail Woods of Birmingham since 1974. They currently reside in Alabaster with their Grand dog, Chloe.
Organist: David Renaker
David has been organist at Southminster since 1990. He earned a bachelor's degree in Church Music, Organ Performance from Auburn University. Prior to moving to Birmingham, David was organist at Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama from 1980 to 1990.
David recently retired as senior vice president at Alabama Central Credit Union.
Pianist: Ty Thornton
Ty holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy and Master of Arts degree in piano performance from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, as well as a Master of Music degree in historical musicology and a Certificate in Early Music from the Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he also pursued doctoral studies in musicology. He has served on the music faculties of Pensacola Christian College, the University of Alabama, and the Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts at Birmingham-Southern College and operated a private piano and voice studio for over 35 years. He has worked as Organist at Cokesbury Methodist Church in Pensacola, Florida, Music Director and Organist at First Methodist Church in Reform, Alabama, and as Director of Music and Organist at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Most recently, Mr. Thornton held the position of Organist at Shades Valley Presbyterian Church in Birmingham from 2006 until Shades Valley’s merger with Southminster Presbyterian in 2022. In addition, he has also served as Musical Director for productions at Birmingham Festival Theatre, Terrific New Theatre, the Drama department of Canterbury United Methodist Church, and Dane Peterson’s Theatre, as accompanist for the Opera and Musical Theatre Departments of Birmingham-Southern College, the music department of the University of West Florida, and Opera Birmingham, and as the Principal Accompanist and staff arranger for ten seasons with the Magic City Choral Society.
Financial Administrator: Lana Lash
Lana was born and raised in Birmingham and lived a short time in Oxford, AL before returning back to her hometown. In 1995, she started work as the church secretary at Shades Valley Presbyterian and is now the financial secretary at Southminster. While in Oxford, she worked as the personnel assistant at Werner Manufacturing.
She and her husband, Marty reside near the Hwy. 280 corridor and enjoy time at a small farm they own in Cullman. They have four grown children who live and work within a short drive to Birmingham.
Church Administrator: Betsy Murphy
Betsy has been at Southminster since 1997. She grew up in and lived in Birmingham most of her life, but lived for a brief time in Alpharetta, Georgia. Betsy had worked for Central (now Compass) Bank, a heating and air conditioning company and an Episcopal church before becoming blessed enough to find her way to Southminster.
Betsy has been married since 1982. They have one son, Russell, who lives in Birmingham and is logistics manager at SETS Trucking. Betsy and Bill reside in Chelsea with two dogs, wild Otis and sweet Keeley, and one crazy cat, Meme.
Director of Music and Arts: Kyle Henderson