Dr. Gillespie (Dr. G., as children, young people, and friends sometimes call him) is the son of a Presbyterian minister and was raised in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, where his father served a number of churches. Richard attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN for three years, but transferred to the University of South Florida, graduating with a B.A. in sociology. Richard earned the M.Div. and the Th.D. ministerial degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA.
Restless as a seminary student, unsure of heading toward a life of pastoral ministry after being raised the son of a pastor, Richard took leave from the seminary and served two years as a volunteer in mission for the PCUS in Zaire (Congo), Africa. As a missionary, he supervised the construction of a public health center in Mbujimayi, a “village” of about 600,000 (today closer to 3 million) people in a diamond mining region of Congo. The project was heavily supported by Orange Presbytery in North Carolina and still operates today as an ecumenical ministry of the church, serving public health needs of approximately 40,000 families and children annually.
After returning from Congo and graduating from Columbia, Richard served five years as pastor of the Florence Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church, a family church in a textile community in Spartanburg County, SC. Returning to Columbia Seminary, Richard entered graduate studies in pastoral care and counseling. During those years, he served as a staff pastoral counselor at the Georgia Association for Pastoral Care, and at various times served as the Chaplain for Hospice at Grady Memorial Hospital, and as the organizing director of the Conyers Counseling Center in Conyers, GA.
In 1996 Richard was called to be the Executive Director of Peachtree Counseling Center at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, serving in this capacity for the next seven years, after which he returned to ministerial service as a congregational pastor.
From Peachtree, Richard went and served as the pastor of the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Hogansville, GA for five years. From there, he and his wife, Belva were called to Florence, AL where he served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church until his retirement in 2016. In the year following retirement, Richard was called as the Interim Pastor of the Diamondhead Community Church, Diamondhead, MS.
Richard was called to serve as Interim Pastor of First Presbyterian, Moultrie, in July, 2018.
Involved with music his entire life, Doug holds a bachelor's degree in Choral Music Education from Florida State University. His earliest church music leadership started in 1992 with the appointment as music director at Funston Baptist Church followed in 1997 to the same role at First Presbyterian Church in Valdosta, Georgia. He and his wife Laura, an avid singer, joined the First Presbyterian Church choir and congregation in 2001. Doug became music director in 2014.
Doug holds a master's degree in Higher Education from Troy State University and has finished his course work in Adult and Career Education at Valdosta State University.
Currently, he serves as a 9th grade Algebra teacher at C. A. Gray Junior High School in Moultrie.
Doug, wife Laura, and children Carl and Leila, invite you to come and join the First Presbyterian Church of Moultrie.
Tom has spent the past 35 years playing piano, conducting and directing Broadway tours throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. A native of Sparks, GA, Tom graduated magna cum laude with a B. Mus. degree in piano performance from Valdosta State College. Throughout his career, Tom has worked with some of the best-known directors, choreographers and conductors in the theater world. After a long career in theater, Tom is happy to be back home in South Georgia.
Penny Alligood graduated from Forest Park High School -- just south of Atlanta -- in 1993. After introductory positions at Jim Wood & Assoc. PR firm, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce and The Colonnade newspaper at Georgia College in Milledgeville, she moved to Athens and pursued a BA in English Literature.
The religion and philosophy courses were too tempting to resist, but Penny finally followed motherly advice and applied for and was offered a position at a statewide economic development magazine called Georgia Trend. So she was not, after all, destined for a career as a full time student. And she finally graduated from the University of Georgia summa cum laude in 1998.
Working her way up from Editorial Assistant, Penny spent the majority of her 23-year-career in publishing as Georgia Trend magazine’s Creative Director. That role afforded her the opportunity to meet businesspeople, politicians and rising stars throughout Georgia. Penny managed the magazine design and production process, as well as, the freelance photographers and designers. She finally left the magazine business behind in December 2019 and moved from Atlanta to Moultrie.
Penny’s family has deep roots in Colquitt County but this is her first opportunity to settle in Moultrie. With lots of family nearby and an ever-growing love for the community and the congregation of Moultrie First Presbyterian, Penny has found a new home in more ways than one.
Faye has lived in Moultrie most of her life. She graduated from Moultrie High School and received a Masters of Education from Valdosta State College. She taught school in the Colquitt County School system for 30 years. After retiring she taught half days at Cox Elementary School for 7 years. Faye is married to Brady Brock, retired school administrator. They have two sons, Matthew and Jason. Faye believes that God allowed her to get the job at First Presbyterian Church because she feels that she has found a place where she can use God's gifts to her. She says that this is not a job, but a pleasure, because of the love and warmth from the staff and the congregation. Her responsibilities here are to plan the WATCH menus, oversee the preparation of the meals, and supervise the kitchen staff, nursery staff, and the housekeeping staff.
Bonnie has many jobs at our church. She is the sexton, nursery worker, cook in the kitchen, and is a helper and friend to all our members. All the children know and love Bonnie. She is a very active member of the Union Missionary Baptist Church. Bonnie has worked at the Presbyterian Church for more than 30 years.
Nick is originally from St. Augustine, Florida and has spent the last ten years working with children and youth. He has a Master's Degree in Theology and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Catechesis and Evangelism. Nick is excited to join the team at First Presbyterian.