Associate Pastor for Education and Youth Ministries and Acting Head of Staff: Ben Acton
Ben is a Birmingham native: grew up in Jefferson County, attended Southminster Day School, was a member of Shades Valley Presbyterian just a few miles from Southminster, and was nurtured in his faith life by the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley.
After receiving a BA in Religion and Philosophy at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, in 2001, Ben entered seminary at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Graduating Columbia in 2005 with a Masters of Divinity, he then served First Presbyterian Concord, NC, for 8 years as Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. In August 2013, God called Ben and his family to Southminster to serve as Associate Pastor for Education and Youth Ministries.
When he isn't trying to make the world a better place by empowering youth to speak and the church to listen, Ben enjoys spending time withhis wife, Rachel, their son, Nate, and Lucy, the wonder dog. He also enjoys running, cooking, reading comic books, watching Auburn football (War Eagle!), and drinking Diet Coke. Lots of Diet Coke.
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 is currently 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.
In addition to serving as organist at Southminster, he is senior vice president at Alabama Central Credit Union.
Church Administrator: Betsy Murphy
Director of Day School: Jeanie Covin
Sexton: Dereck Stewart