Grace and Peace to You!
My name is Cathy Hoop and on August 13, 2013, I arrived in Tuscaloosa to begin serving this dynamic community of faith, University Presbyterian Church. You might call me a “second career” pastor, and that would be true, though I have served the church for 18 years as a director of children’s ministries at Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. During those years I also wrote church school curriculum for children for Abingdon Press, We Believe, Feasting on the Word, and for The Thoughtful Christian (adult curriculum), as well as serving as a national and regional workshop leader for innovative designs for children’s ministries. Through those years, I was blessed to serve alongside progressive and visionary colleagues. I am so grateful to have found UPC, and look forward to the years we will share, “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.”
B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1983
M.Div., Vanderbilt Divinity School, 2012
Leslie S. Poss, Director of Music
Personal Ministry Statement: To work with laity, pastors, and musicians to create and present worship that is God-centered, relevant to the 21st century, and connects with ancient and modern hymns and liturgies. To encourage and train all ages to maximize their spiritual gifts in music and the arts to the glory of God.
An Alabama resident since 1984, Leslie Poss has filled multiple volunteer, part-time, and full-time church music posts including: Greensboro Baptist Church; Greensboro, AL and First United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church, Tuscaloosa, AL and, since January 2013, University Presbyterian Church.
Leslie earned a Master’s in Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama. As Prentice Concert Chorale’s musical director and conductor Leslie has prepared choruses for Dave Brubeck and the Brubeck Trio, for the Alabama Symphony and Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestras, and the world premiere performance of composer Adolphus Hailstorks’ Dream. Child, Hope for the 2011 MLK, Jr. Realizing the Dream celebration. May 2013 she guest conducted the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s performance of J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass.
From Annie, The Music Man, Gypsy, A Little Night Music, Bye Bye Birdie…for eleven seasons Leslie has served as Theatre Tuscaloosa’s resident music director, where her efforts garnered her the 2013 Theatre Artist of the Year honors from the Tuscaloosa Arts Council.
Originally from Georgia, Leslie is the daughter of Chick and Elmira Poss; the fourth of five children. Family influences include: Tennessee Ernie Ford and The Gospel Jubilee, high school marching band, newspaper funnies, and a “spirit of contentment” with what I have. “At the age of 49, I became a runner with the goal of running a 5k before my 50th birthday. Five years later I have now finished multiple 5k’s and 10k’s, two half-marathons, and one full marathon. These days, while I still run, you are more likely to find me at Sokol Park or the Arboretum walking Sally, my yellow Labrador.