- About DPC
- Children & Youth
The Rev. Dr. Todd Speed has served Decatur Presbyterian Church since August, 2007 and has been an integral part of the Decatur community ever since. Dr. Speed formerly served First Presbyterian in York, SC, from 1997-2007 and Fourth Presbyterian in Greenville, SC, from 1993-1997. A former Certified Public Accountant, Dr. Speed graduated from from Rhodes College in 1987 with a degree in Economics and Business Administration and worked for several years for an international accounting firm in Atlanta.
Dr. Speed responded to a compelling call to parish ministry and graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1993 with a Masters of Divinity degree. In 2007, Dr. Speed completed a Doctor of Ministry degree, again at Columbia, with an emphasis on nurturing effective lay leadership. As a part of his personal calling and service, Dr. Speed regularly serves on local non-profit or education-related boards, has led or co-led over 20 mission trips in various cultural contexts, and has participated in learning seminars on five continents.
Married to Melanie Doxey Speed for 27 years, Todd cherishes family time with his wife and four sons: Hall, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, John and Mac, twin college seniors, who attend Presbyterian College and Davidson College, respectively, and Luke, a freshman at Mississippi State University. When not at home or at church, Todd just might be found watching or playing soccer, participating in an early morning Boot Camp, or enjoying dinner with friends.
phone: 404.378.1777 x. 225
Rev. Alexandra Rodgers was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She grew up in a large Presbyterian church where she and her family were very involved. Alex has a degree in interdisciplinary studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and a master of divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas.
She has served as a hospital chaplain at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie, Louisiana. Prior to her call to DPC, she served for three years as solo pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Parsons, Kansas. Alex is married to Keenan whom she met while completing her seminary internship in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. In their spare time, Alex and Keenan enjoy exploring Atlanta’s parks and restaurants, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
In ministry, Alex has a passion for pastoral care and building relationships inside and outside of the church. She believes that God is present at all times and especially in the mess of life. Alex is interested knowing peoples’ stories and seeing what God is doing in the lives of those around her. She believes that God’s grace meets each of us where we are and that none of us is ever far from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
phone: 404-378-1777 x. 227
Jamie and her husband, Ryan Bonfiglio, moved to Atlanta in 2009 from Princeton Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. Jamie was ordained in 2010 while serving as a Resident Chaplain at Wesley Woods Geriatric Facility. She served as an Associate Pastor at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church in Alpharetta, Georgia for four years.
Jamie comes to us from Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta, where she coordinated a grant-funded program for newly ordained ministers. Ryan and Jamie have a two-year-old son named Leo.
phone: 404.378.1777 x. 230
Allysen Schaaf graduated from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian Education. Prior to that she received a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
During her time as a seminary student, Allysen served as a seminary intern for Youth and College Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Richmond, VA. Allysen loves using her creativity, compassion and excitement for youth to find innovative ways to provide pastoral care, education and fellowship for youth and their families.
Allysen also enjoys cooking, playing guitar, running, playing soccer, volleyball and ultimate frisbee and cheering on all the Tar Heel sports teams at the top of her lungs!
phone: 404.378.1777 x. 257
Lori leads the Children’s Cricket, Carol, Chapel and Covenant Choirs, teaches music classes for our preschool (DPCC) and directs the music for our annual Bible & Music Camp.
phone: 404.378.1777 x-228
Matt has served as Organist and Choirmaster of Decatur Presbyterian Church since 1997. Prior to this appointment, he held similar positions in Philadelphia, Birmingham and Canton, Ohio. A native of Alabama, Matt received his undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University and holds graduate degrees from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He studied piano with Ronald and Ann Surace, Santiago Rodriguez and Steven DeGroote; and organ with James Farleigh, Joan Lippincott, and Jean Langlais.
While in graduate school, Matt was selected to give a solo organ recital broadcast on WQXR–New York Times Classical Radio Station’s “Young Artists Showcase”, which was met with critical acclaim. Matt has been presented in recital in the United States, Austria, France, Switzerland and Holland.
phone: 404.378.1777 x-229
Ellen McClure has served as Director of Decatur Presbyterian Children’s Community since 1986. The Children’s Community is the church’s weekday preschool program for children from 9 months old through kindergarten for 5-year-olds.
Before coming to Decatur Presbyterian, Ellen taught 3-year-olds at Druid Hills Methodist Preschool, and 1st, 3rd, and 4thgrades at Toney Elementary and Meadowview Elementary in DeKalb County. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1976 and graduate degree in 1980 in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. Ellen loves spending time with her family–-sons and daughter-in-law Jack, Kayla, and Andy, and her new grandson Everett.
phone: 404-378-1770 x. 233
Keenan began serving as the Website & Social Media Supervisor at DPC in June 2016, after moving to Decatur in March of that year. In this role, he maintains the church’s outward facing presence online. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback related to the church website or social media presence, he invites you to contact him!
Keenan graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 with a degree in Advertising. He previously held a variety of communications and operations related roles for Phillips 66 Company while living in Oklahoma.
Keenan lives in Decatur with his wife, Rev. Alex Rodgers. He enjoys a good run, sharing time with friends and family, and playing music whenever the time allows.
R.G. (Roy Gaston) Evans III was raised Southern Baptist in Birmingham, Al. He graduated from Samford University there, where he majored in math, and where he also met his wife, Lynn.
After serving in the US Army, and a tour in Vietnam, R.G. joined his father in business. Together they built a successful Master Distribution Company, Evco. R.G. became president of the company which imported and sold hardware and tools to the industrial trade. After retirement, R.G. and Lynn lived for several years on Lake Tuscaloosa. They then moved to Atlanta to be close to children and grandchildren.
The search for excellence in church music led Lynn and R.G. to Decatur Presbyterian. At DPC, R.G. is responsible for minor repairs and maintenance of the physical plant, and for interfacing with contractors who take care of the major things.
Ellen began at Threshold Ministry as a volunteer in the spring of 2015. She felt motivated to volunteer after noticing more and more people in DeKalb County who seemed to be homeless. She appreciates how Threshold both extends hospitality and assists people to find help that they need. As coordinator, she is especially interested in helping Threshold strengthen its relationship with community organizations that offer assistance.
Ellen received an M.Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. in 1992. She has worked as a university chaplain and as a director of Christian education with children and youth. Ellen also has an M.A. degree from Gallaudet College. She has worked as a teacher of students who are deaf, assisted a man who grew up in an institution with his transition to independent living, and coordinated a respite care program for foster parents.
Ellen lives in Decatur with her husband, Jon Herman, a professor of religious studies at Georgia State, and her daughter, Carly, a student at DHS. Her other daughter, Molly, attends Elon University. A dog, two cats, and a few fish complete the family. Ellen enjoys bicycling, gardening, hiking, and reading. She also enjoys watching HGTV and the Food Network with her daughters.
Ann Beesley joined our staff in the spring of 2013. She is a graduate of Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, where she earned a Bachelor of Administration degree, with a Minor in Finance. Ann has worked in bookkeeping and payroll positions and as a tax examiner for the IRS.
phone: 404-378-1777 x-224
Denise has served DPC as Program & Ministerial Secretary since May of 2002. She maintains the membership database and serves as the secretary to the Session, the programs of the church, and the ministerial staff. She enjoys the staff and congregation and considers it a blessing to work at DPC.
phone: 404.378.1777 x-226
Kathy Morse maintains the church calendar and schedules the use of church facilities, including the retreat center. She oversees the work of volunteer receptionists and the custodial staff and coordinates maintenance and repairs for the buildings and grounds. Other duties include writing and layout of DecPress and DecPress Lite, the annual report, and other communications.
She staffs the Property Committee, Administration Council and Retreat Center Ministry Council. Kathy is a member of the congregation who enjoys singing with the Chancel Choir. She has served as elder and clerk of session, and on numerous committees and councils.
phone: 404.378.1777 x-222
Rev. Lucy Strong is currently serving as the Presbyterian Campus Minister for UKirk Agnes Scott and the Greater Decatur Area. Originally from Memphis, TN, Lucy attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. After college, she stayed in the Clinton area, working as a Family Teacher at Thornwell Home and School for Children. Lucy returned to to her alma mater to serve in the Office of Religious Life as the Director of Campus Ministry and Service.
Lucy graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary, where she received her Master of Divinity degree. An avid sports fan with a strong allegiance to the St. Louis Cardinals, Lucy is particularly happy when the Cardinals are playing baseball in October. She also enjoys reading and cooking, and dabbles in the world of knitting.
Keith is entering his third year at Columbia Theological Seminary, where he is pursuing two degrees: a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in Christian Education.
A 31-year-old native of Newport News, Virginia, Keith heard God’s call to ministry while working with the youth group at Bayside Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he served as a youth advisor for three years and interim co-director for six months. His favorite memories of working with the BPC youth include mission trips to Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Philadelphia, and New York.
Prior to entering seminary, Keith worked for seven years as the Director of Communications for the Norfolk Admirals, a professional ice hockey team. He graduated in 2005 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Keith’s hobbies include singing, playing ping pong and Frisbee, and watching sports. While his favorite teams are the Washington Capitals (NHL), Baltimore Orioles (MLB) and Washington Redskins (NFL), Keith is also open to learning to love Atlanta-area teams.
Sylvester Poole has served as the custodian for DPCC, our pre-school, for two decades, focusing on the Bradley Building and nursery section of Sycamore House. He also provides custodial services for the church, primarily vacuuming the sanctuary and lawn mowing and landscaping work on our property. Sylvester is usually on duty Sunday mornings making sure the buildings are open and welcoming for Sunday School and the worship service.