Staff

The Reverend Norma E. Johnson

Co-Interim Pastor

Pastor Norma E. Johnson was ordained in 1987. After receiving her M. Div. from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY, she completed post-graduate courses at Philadelphia and Gettysburg Lutheran Seminaries. She served as pastor at two congregations, St. John’s Lutheran in upstate (Penn Yan,) New York and Hope Lutheran in Port St. Lucie in south Florida. She retired from Hope Lutheran in 1999 and then served as a hospice chaplain at Hospice of the Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce, FL for several years. Before her ordination, she served three years as the protestant chaplain on the campus of Corning Community College.
Pastor Norma has served on many teams for the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the ELCA. She has served as interim pastor to eight congregations over the years which she has enjoyed.
In 2015, Pastor Norma returned to Tennessee to serve as part-time care provider for her daughter-in-law who suffers from a rare, chronic and debilitating illness.
Pastor Norma’s strengths are preaching and administration. She seeks to preach in a manner that makes one think about the text and how it applies to our everyday living. In administration, she seeks to enable congregations to develop and pursue mission, ministry and methods for doing ministry in efficient and fruitful way. She states, “I enjoy working with people and helping them to spread the Good News, in words as well as in ways, hopefully filled with wisdom.”

The Reverend Larry K. Richardson

Co-Interim Pastor

Pastor Larry K. Richardson was born in Portland, ME but grew up on a ranch in Watford City, ND. He attended college at St. John’s University in Collegeville and graduated in 1967 with a B.A. in English and a minor in political science. In 1978, he was certified in Clinical Pastoral Education through Metropolitan Medical Center in Minneapolis. He received his M. Div. from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN in 1982.
He and his wife of 43 years, Susan Sterbonic, have four grown daughters and three granddaughters. His interests include hiking, reading, family and people.
Pastor Larry’s early work experience includes restaurant work and business equipment and furniture sales. He was a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1974. He served as Chaplain of Minnesota Correctional Institution for Women in the maximum security unit. He has served as pastor at Tipolis-Ebenezer Lutheran Parish in Kandiyohi, MN, pastor developer at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Duluth GA and then as the called pastor for the same church. He served as pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville from 1994 to 2009 and at Faith Lutheran in Clay, AL from 2009 to 2015.

Joan McGinnis

Director of Music / Organist

Joan McGinnis has been the Director of Music at Messiah since January, 2006. A native of Powell, TN, Joan studied organ with member and former organist, John Brock, Professor of Music at the University of Tennessee where she received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education.

Kristin Kennedy

Administrative Assistant

Kristin has served as Messiah's Administrative Assistant since September, 1995. A dairy farmer and piano teacher/organist’s daughter, Kristin was raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. She is a cradle Lutheran who always wanted to work in the church—which isn’t surprising since her family lived across the street from her home congregation where her mother was the organist.

Mary Sophia Hawks, RN, BSN, FCN

Parish Nurse

Mary Sophia Hawks has been the Parish (Faith Community) Nurse at Messiah since January 2012. A native of Knoxville and child of Messiah, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Augustana College, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Her continuing education includes Advanced Pediatric Assessment, NICHE Geriatric Resource Nurse Course, Foundations of Faith Community Nursing, and multiple continuing education credits.

Mary Sophia serves with visitation of hospitalized and shut-in members, education, Messenger articles, walking with members through changes in living settings, and attending MD appointments. Grief support, caregiver support and health fairs are also part of her ministry.

Doug Mason

Volunteer Accountant