Ron Watson was raised in Columbus, Georgia as a member of First Presbyterian Church. A twelfth generation Presbyterian, Ron knew from the age of 12 that he was destined for the ministry. Two weeks after graduation from the Citadel, he married his wife, Julia, herself, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston. The young couple moved to Richmond, Virginia, where Ron enrolled in what is now known as Union Presbyterian Seminary. During his internship in Sarasota, Florida, their first child, Davis III, was born. Ron then served solo pastorates in Laurel Hill, NC, and then Macon, GA, where their daughter Mary Ruth was born. Then the Watsons moved to coastal Georgia, serving pastorates as an associate at Skidaway Island, and then St. Simons Island. In late 1998, Ron would organize Frederica Presbyterian Church, also on St. Simons, and eight months later, graduate again from seminary, this time, from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA with the Doctor of Ministry degree. After 10 years of new church development, Ron accepted the call in 2008 to become Senior Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian in Palm Coast. On Sunday, July 14th, 2013, the church will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination.
He sat down in my office with those big blue eyes and asked me the above question. “Would you please prepare a brief description of your preparation for the ministry?” I laughed as he exited my office. The word “life” came to mind followed by a quick giggle as I remembered how hard headed I was and made every attempt to avoid my call. The call to ministry that is! I believe my call came as a child, but I had to grow up first and go through a “thing or two” as my grandmother use to say. As a kid I would attempt to keep the “peace” in the family. I would sit at the feet of the elders and listen a lot and wonder why grown-ups were so silly for the most part.
Then life happened, and I found myself becoming one of those silly adults. Then one day I walked into Columbia Theological Seminary, initially to pick up an application for my husband at the time and an incredible weight was lifted from my shoulders. The weight of elephants, I use to say as a child. I argued with God, and told God I was too busy raising children, plus I was certainly not intelligent enough…and what kind of person would go to seminary with four children at home, a dying mother, and a plethora of other excuses. But the weight of the elephants became lighter as I progressed and along the way people mentored and encourage my gifts.
But the real answer to the description of my preparation came when I stopped in life long enough to hear God’s voice say; “You Sheryl can do this and I need you.” At which I said to God, yeah right. So I informed God that I would make every attempt to be obedient, but if anything along the way becomes a hindrance, it’s on you God. So this woman, this mother of six, friend, mother in law, and grandmother simply put one foot in front of the other and listened to God’s prodding. I rely on God’s word, hard work, diligence, and many blessings. When I look back at my life, with all of its ups and downs, gains and losses, hardships and blessings, I thank God for the formal training….but I thank God for all of life’s experiences that have molded and shaped this woman into what she is today. But the most important reality is that Gods not done with me yet….and I wait, and listen for the next journey God and life would have me to do.
Rev. Donald Kirk Scott,
Minister of Visitation.
Don is a graduate of Drew University and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He has served churches in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey before moving to Palm Coast, FL. Don also serves as Chaplain at Florida Hospital Flagler where he visits patients in the Same Day Surgery Unit. Don visits Trinity members who are in local hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, assisted living homes or who are home recovering from illnesses. He also brings communion to our shut-ins on a monthly basis.
Don assists with Sunday services or funerals when the other pastors are on vacation. He is also the editor of the Trinity Times, manages our Facebook page, and manages the Columbarium.
Due to HIPPA laws, we are often not aware that members may be in local or other hospitals throughout the state. We ask that members of friends contact the Trinity office or their deacons to report those members who are in hospitals or other facilities and in need of visitation.
Brooke has been a part of Trinity Presbyterian Church her entire life. Her parents were charter members, she was baptized here, confirmed here, married here, and her children were both baptized here. Brooke and her husband, Trevor, have two children, Hailey and Garrett. Brooke graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School. In 2004 she graduated from The University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. As Trinity’s Youth Coordinator, Brooke is looking forward to sharing the Trinity Family with all of our youth, so they may become “life-long” members as well and will help to keep Trinity Presbyterian Church alive and energized!
Linda Hodges has served as Director of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church since August, 2007. During that time, she has conducted six performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Trinity Chancel Choir. In May, 2010, she took a group of singers from Trinity to sing the Vilvaldi Gloria in Carnegie Hall, New York City. Five years ago, the children’s choir participated with 200 other children in the Choristers’ Guild Choir Festival, held in Winter Park, Florida. For the past several years, she has taken children, youth and adults to Montreat to participate in the summer Worship and Music Conferences.
Before coming to Palm Coast, Linda lived in Jacksonville, where she spent 25 years as a church musician, working with children, youth and adults. One of her proudest accomplishments was the development of a 35-voice middle school/senior high choir. They were invited to sing up and down the East Coast from NYC to Key West. As a mission project of her former church, Linda taught music classes at an inner-city elementary school for 3 years. From that experience, she helped create and administer a grant-funded chorus (Jacksonville Urban Core Children’s Chorus). She also developed a chorus program at the Sanctuary on 8th Street, an organization that houses an after-school program for inner city children.
Linda has helped create and lead church Hymn Festivals and has served as a choral workshop leader for the Presbytery of St. Augustine. For a short time she played clarinet with the Jacksonville Symphony. She has sung with choral and instrumental notables, including Dave Brubeck, George Shearing, John Rutter and the London Symphony Orchestra.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys conducting the Community Chorus of Palm Coast.
Linda is the very proud mother of two sons! Michael lives in Jacksonville and is a nurse at Mayo Hospital and a tenor in the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus. Tim lives in Woodbridge, NJ and is a professional singer at the Trinity Wall Street Church, NYC. He also sings in a number of other professional choral groups around the country.
Trinity’s organist, Heasuk Che, has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in church music with a major in pipe organ. Her degrees are from Chongshin University in Seoul, Korea. She is an accomplished pianist and teacher. She and her husband, Paul, a minister, came to the United States in the mid-1990’s. Heasuk has served as a church organist at various locations throughout the States while serving as a pastor’s wife. She also found time to raise four children. Heasuk says she enjoys playing at Trinity, and playing music to glorify God.