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staff team

Marcia Mount Shoop

Pastor/Head of Staff

Marcia began her call to ministry at Grace Covenant on July 1, 2016. She has been in ministry all over the country, at every level of the PC(USA) and in academic and community contexts. She is the author of several books, including Let the Bones Dance and Touchdowns for Jesus. Marcia and her husband, John, have a podcast called "Going Deep: Sports in the 21st Century." And they have two children, Sidney and Mary Elizabeth. Marcia loves horses, dogs, and pretty much all animals, being outside, poetry, and hearing and sharing good stories. (Marcia can be reached at

Samantha Gonzalez-Block

Associate Pastor

Samantha joined the Grace Covenant family in 2015. Raised in Montclair, New Jersey, she is a graduate of Barnard College and Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Samantha has served as a middle school teacher and as a women’s rights advocate in Valparaiso, Chile and at the United Nations in New York. Samantha enjoys working with young people and using Latin dance as a medium to bring people together. (Samantha can be reached at

Heather Gast

Children and Family Ministry & Hospitality

Heather joined the Grace Covenant staff team in 2009. She has a bachelor of science in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. Heather enjoys being able to work with the children and families at GCPC as well as welcoming new members into our church. (Heather can be reached at

Jeff Jones

Director of Music Ministry

Jeff joined Grace Covenant in 2014. Prior to his arrival in Asheville Jeff served the Presbyterian Church of Danville (Kentucky) for 18 years and was on the faculty of Centre College teaching in the music department and assisting the religious life office with campus worship. Additionally he served churches in Georgia and Connecticut. Jeff holds a Bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University and graduate degrees from Mercer University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. (Jeff can be reached at

Sherrie Meehan

Operations Administrator

Sherrie Meehan joins us as Operations Administrator. She is a native of Duluth, Minnesota and an alumna of Warren Wilson College. Sherrie has served as Church Administrator for Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church, Swannanoa, NC, and Grandin Court Baptist Church, Roanoake, VA. She has also worked for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Sherrie's leisure time is spent gardening, bicycling, canoeing with husband, Pat, and getting together with friends to sing, play music, and share potluck. (Sherrie can be reached at

Anna Louise Murchison

Communications Administrator

Anna Louise Murchison joins us as the Communications Administrator. She grew up predominantly in Virginia but has been trotting the globe since a young age, spending time in New Zealand, Kenya, and Nicaragua. She has worked as a PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer in Miami, in several positions at Columbia Theological Seminary and as an office coordinator in the holistic health field. She now resides happily in Black Mountain with her daughter, Kaia. (Anna Louise can be reached at

Natalie Weaver

Stewardship & Financial Administrator

Natalie Weaver joins us at the Stewardship & Finance Administrator. She worked in multifamily property management for many years before returning to school to complete her degree in Accounting, her true passion. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of North Texas, Natalie began working with several small businesses as their bookkeeper and operations manager while her husband, Ben, started his own handyman business. After a successful start up year, they decided to pursue their dream of living in the mountains. They moved from her hometown of Denton, Texas, to Alexander/Weaverville in the summer of 2016. Happy in her new North Carolina home, she enjoys hiking, rafting, live music, yoga, and soaking up mountain sunsets on her back porch. (Natalie Weaver can be reached at

Paul VanAntwerp

Church Sexton

Paul VanAntwerp joined Grace Covenant as our Sexton on November 1, 2016. He is a recent arrival to Asheville from Duluth, Minnesota with his partner Kathy and two children, Eliot and Josephine. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. When he is not found bouncing around our building, he is most likely wandering in the woods. He and his family love swimming below all the amazing waterfalls in this region, and will continue to do so until their bodies are no longer accustomed to swimming in Lake Superior. (Paul can be reached at

Mary Rugh

Childcare Worker - Infant Room

I came to Grace Covenant in 1996 when we moved here from Florida. In my off time I enjoy walking my dog, gardening at GCPC and running an occasional 5k. You can visit me in the nursery where I will be with the youngest of our church family.

Maria (Mapi) Mendoza Worley

Childcare Worker - Toddler Room

I am originally from Peru. I have lived in US for the past 8 years. I enjoy working with children of all ages at GCPC and the Center. I have one daughter who is 5 years old. I love the beach, the mountains, and love playing with the children in the park. I live in Asheville with my family. I want to thank all the families for giving me the opportunity and confidence for taking care of their lovely angels.

Juanita Schneider

Childcare Worker - Preschool Room

For sixteen years, I have been working with the precious three to five year old children here at GCPC. I also enjoy being a substitute teacher for all the classes in the Children’s Center. I am a member of a church Friendship Circle and enjoy our book club and luncheons. In my free time, I like to take walks with my sweet poodle, Brie.

Kay Cole

Childcare Worker - One-On-One Assistant/Substitute

I am an Associate with the Exceptional Children's department at Evergreen Community Charter School. I live in Leicester on a family farm with my husband Anthony, and two kids, Eli and Anna.

Heather Tate

Childcare Worker - One-On-One Assistant/Substitute

I am currently beginning my 17th year at Evergreen Community Charter School. Most of those years I have been a Kindergarten teacher but I have worked with various ages of children in a variety of settings. I have been blessed with two amazing daughters, a wonderful husband, four pets, and an occasional foster pet or two.

Susan Piland

Childcare Worker - One-On-One Assistant/Substitute

I have lived in Asheville 20 years and have taught elementary school twice that long! My two grown children live in Charlotte and Los Angeles. I love traveling and working with children.

Anna Thomas

Childcare Worker - Substitute

I have been with GCPC for more than 10 years. I am also a Head Start teacher and have my own skincare business. My husband, Pete, and I have a 7-year old daughter named AJ.

Lydia Crystal

Childcare Worker - Substitute

I am an Associate Kindergarten teacher at Evergreen Community Charter School and a graduate student at UNC-Charlotte online. I love living in the mountains, reading, and training my dog, Tobie!

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