Leadership & Staff
The Reverand Carrie Evans
Pastor Evans was approved by SPC’s Pastor Nominating Committee at the July 23, 2023 Congregational Meeting, and began her ministry with Southport Presbyterian Church in September 2023.
A graduate of James Madison University with a double major in speech pathology and audiology and a minor in sign language, she was licensed sign language interpreter. She is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, and has served churches in Charlotte, NC, and Warrenton and Front Royal in VA.
Pastor Evans is the daughter of a doctor and teacher who she said instilled in her the importance of education, work ethic and love of neighbors. Reflecting on her calling to the ministry she explains, “I didn’t feel “called” in a dramatic manner. It came slowly and clearly, a familiar voice nudging me forward.”
Married for twenty-three years and now divorced, Pastor Evans says she understands part of the struggle, joys and heartache of relationships, family, and life. “My first and greatest calling was, and remains to be a mother,” she said. “I am blessed with two amazing children – Jacob, who is attending law school and Isabelle, a college student at James Madison University.
Carrie’s first ministry call was in Charlotte, NC where she served as associate pastor for youth and family ministries at Central Steele Creek Presbyterian. Returning to Virginia due to her husband’s job transfer, Carrie served for almost 12 years as associate pastor at Warrenton Presbyterian Church. “It was at Warrenton Presbyterian that I found my love for mission – having visited Haiti a dozen times, I found my heart in serving the least, lost and forgotten,” she said.
Following her call at Warrenton, she left the her ministerial call briefly and served as a non-profit executive director for a local organization in Stafford, VA. She says it was there where she saw the reality of those living in abject poverty just around the corner, which has defined her ministry ever since.
Rev. Evans felt called back to ministry in 2018 and served as head of staff at Front Royal Presbyterian in Virginia. “Front Royal’s poverty level is well above 19 percent,” she said. “The church was blessed with a large endowment, and true to my belief in transparency and openness, I reminded them that with the gifts God gave them, they must change the community in which they live. During my five years there, I made dents in the landscape of food insecurities, equal access to education, housing inequality, and social justice issues while engaging the congregation in the community as a Matthew 25 church.”
As to her call to Southport Presbyterian Church, she said, “I submitted my Personal Information Form (PIF) with no true expectation of moving, yet in the true faith of the Reformed tradition that allows God to call beyond my own personal interests, Southport Presbyterian’s Mission Information Form (MIF) spoke to me in ways that I felt connected to a church that needed vision for mission, energy for members, and leadership to move where God is calling,” she said.
“I feel called to empower congregations to listen for God’s calling – even seemingly impossible tasks – to break down the barriers that divide us and serve cooperatively across denominations and cultural divides to be the ‘Body of Christ’ in the world today.”
The Reverend Joanna Hipp
Joanna was called to Southport Presbyterian in 2019. She is a graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now University) and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. After graduating from Louisville Seminary, Joanna spent a year as an intern with the World Communion of Reformed Churches in Hannover, Germany. In addition to her congregational work, she has been involved in leadership roles at Montreat conferences, served as media relations chair of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, and continues to serve at local and national levels of the PC(USA). Joanna is also a trained coach.
The superior quality of music is an inspirational aspect of worship at Southport Presbyterian Church. Our Director of Music, Laurie Russ, brings broad experience as a music professional and educator. She has served as a music director and pianist in area churches and schools, a piano instructor, accompanist, and independent piano teacher.
Laurie studied music at Meredith College and at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and she is a licensed Kindermusik Educator.
Interim Office Administrator
- Bonnie Slocum moved to Boiling Spring Lakes in February 2022 from Forked River, NJ where she lived most of her life. Bonnie is married to Richard and has two children, Kyle & Autumn. She has been a member of Forked River Presbyterian Church for 25 years, is an ordained elder & deacon and she joined SPC by letter of transfer from her congregation. Bonnie was employed by Forked River Presbyterian Church as Director of Family Ministries for 10 years. In this role, she coordinated all Christian Education Ministries, including Sunday School, VBS, and adult education. Prior to being employed by the church Bonnie participated in many committees, sang in the choir, and also rang bells. After working for the church, Bonnie spent 10 years in real estate with Century 21 and volunteered in many capacities for the activities in which her children were involved as well as for the school system.
Prior to moving to Southport in 2017, with his wife, Christy, Ray was a lifelong resident of southern MD. A graduate of Campbell University with a degree in Accounting, he worked in the mortgage industry for 31 years. Welcoming the change of pace that Southport has to offer, Ray enjoys using his accounting background in support of the church.
John and his wife Nancy joined Southport Presbyterian in 2018. Earlier he served as an elder and finance chair at Christ Presbyterian Church in Carlsbad, CA. John’s professional career included more than three decades as a marketing executive at several major information technology firms.