Pastor Search

Ministry Information Form (MIF)

Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC)

These Morningside members were nominated and selected by vote of the congregation as our Pastor Nominating Committee after presentation by the Officer Nominating Committee:

Click the Pastoral Transition Process image to enlarge.

Tom Daniel


Tom and Lynn, his spouse, have been engaged and active members of Morningside Presbyterian Church since 2008. They were initially impressed by the warm and friendly nature of the congregation, favorably and positively inspired by the strong presence of Morningside Presbyterian Church in the larger community and humbled by the extraordinary commitment of the ministers and congregation to sharing God’s love with all. These characteristics remain as the cornerstones of Tom’s still growing connection to Morningside Presbyterian Church. Tom is reminded each time he enters the Morningside of the strength he receives by his participation.

Tom has previously served as an Elder and also chaired and served as a member of the Commitment Committee. He was a member of the executive committee of the Together We Build Capital Campaign. Tom is currently serving as a Deacon. Other activities include the Officer Nominating Committee, two search committees for the Children’s Director and volunteering at Vacation Bible School. Tom is a member of the Faith Development Sunday School.

Tom retired in 2015 after a forty-year career with the State of Georgia. Tom’s last thirty-two years were with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. As the senior vice chancellor for external affairs he served in a variety of leadership and executive capacities in the areas of government relations, media relations, economic development, business development, legal affairs, human resources and facilities.

Tom and Lynn cherish their visits with Sophia and Brenna (their granddaughters) and their parents (son Corbet and daughter-in-law Patricia) in Virginia several times a year.

Beth Farnsworth


Beth is a lifelong Presbyterian and grew up attending Lake Hills Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN. After stints in Nashville and New York City, Beth’s career as a CPA with Ernst & Young brought her back to Atlanta in late 2014.

Beth found Morningside shortly thereafter and was attracted to the abundant welcomes she received when she visited, the intergenerational composition of the congregation and the neighborhood setting of the church. After several visits, she got up the courage to attend one of the congregational lunches downstairs (where she knew no one!) after someone invited her to attend. She still remembers every single person she talked to at lunch and knew then she had found her church home. Beth initially got plugged into the Handbell Choir which is a great way for non-singers to contribute to the beautiful music tradition at Morningside. Beth is currently a member of the Session (Class of 2020) and leads the Strategic Planning Committee. Beth is passionate about the future of Morningside as we journey together and she is grateful for the community within this church family.

Beth and her husband Michael were married at Morningside in October and she is enjoying being a newlywed!


Hillery McNeill


Hillery and husband John joined Morningside about 25 years ago. Their children, Jack (now 28) and Annie (now 26), came as toddlers and grew up in the church. Both children sang in the children’s choir and were active in Sunday School - though sometimes it was just the two of them on Sunday mornings. Morningside was a smaller community in those days.

Hillery is a multi-term Morningside Elder having served on Session under three pastors. She has previously chaired annual Stewardship campaigns and has co-chaired both the Morningside Time of Promise and Standing and Serving for Generations Capital Campaigns. She has been involved with Missions and Children’s Ministry serving as Director of Children’s Ministries and overseeing the initial formation of the Morningside Presbyterian Preschool (MPP). Currently she enjoys participating in the Women’s Round Table and with LGBT and Friends.

Hillery says, “We were drawn to Morningside immediately upon visiting. The open and welcoming faith community gave us a tremendous sense of family. That church family played a significant part in helping to raise our children, and has helped me especially, grow in faith and commitment.”


Suzanne Macpherson


Suzanne and husband, Tyler Ryan, have three daughters; Sophie (15), Vanessa (13) and Bridget (8). They have lived in the Virginia Highland area for the past 14 years and their girls attend local Atlanta Public Schools. She has been involved in or chaired fundraising auctions for Cliff Valley School, MPP, Our House/Genesis Shelter and Springdale Park Elementary School. From 1989-2002, she was a project manager for lottery system installation and banking product development. In 2002, Suzanne moved into the non-profit sector and was a volunteer manager for the Red Cross. Suzanne has been a stay-at-home mom since 2004. In 2011, the family joined the congregation of Morningside Presbyterian Church. Their youngest daughter, Bridget, attended Morningside Presbyterian Preschool for 4 years and during that time Suzanne served on the Preschool Board for three years, including a one year term as Preschool Board chair. Suzanne was a Morningside Children’s Ministry committee member for two years and is currently serving her second year of a three-year term as an Elder assigned to the Commitment Committee. Suzanne says Morningside has been a constant for her family during the last 7 years. They knew from the first Christmas Eve service they attended, when daughter Bridget was turning one, they felt they had found their church home. Suzanne says, “The commitment of the church members in welcoming everyone who crosses the threshold has always been what makes Morningside Presbyterian Church stand out to me.”


Emily O’Brien

Emily joined Morningside in 2011 after moving back to the area from NYC with her husband, Eric, and then-infant son, Ellis. Ellis and his subsequent siblings, Belle and Chap, have all attended MPP for preschool, were baptized at MPC and have grown up participating in Sunday School, Shrove Pancake suppers, VBS and Christmas Pageants. Emily is already dreading attending her final MPP Preschool Graduation in May of 2020. Emily has served on the MPC Commitment Committee since 2016, the 2016 VBS Committee and is an ongoing volunteer in the children’s Sunday School classes.

In addition to her role as a Morningside mom, Emily serves as brand director for Southern Company where she helps communicate how the company is building the future of energy using experience, storytelling, sports and advertising.

In her spare time she continues her lifelong endeavor of learning to play golf (well) and cheers on her South Carolina Gamecocks and Northwestern Wildcats whenever she can.


Jeff Peters


Jeff joined the congregation of Morningside Presbyterian in 2007. Since that time he has served the church membership on the Board of Deacons and as an Elder on the Morningside Session. Currently Jeff is the director of the MPC's Handbell Choir and is also a member of the Chancel Choir. In 2014, Jeff directed the first Morningside Sings Gala, an inter-generational production of stage and film music, which has become an annual tradition and raises funds for our church's music and mission programs. Additionally, over the past three years, he has been actively involved in strategic planning and implementation for Morningside as part of the Strategic Planning Committee. Jeff values the many friends, of all ages, that he is privileged to see each week during Sunday Worship, music rehearsals and group gatherings. Jeff resides in Buckhead with his husband, Michael, and their two labs.


Alex Watts


Alex has spent the last 15 years of his professional career working in the Private Banking space at various large financial institutions, including his current employer Merrill Lynch, Private Banking & Investment Group.

An Atlanta native, Alex is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic activities. He currently Co-Chairs the Emory Entrepreneur Network (EEN), an Emory alumni affinity group that recognizes notable business leaders. Alex also serves as a Legacy Advisor to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Foundation, and as Co-Chair for the Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) Corporate Sponsorship Committee.

Alex is a former Session member (2014-2017) and Chair of the Finance Committee at Morningside Presbyterian Church. Alex is currently the MPC Board representative for Intown Collaborative Ministries (ICM), a non-profit with the goal of preventing and reversing homelessness and hunger in Intown Atlanta.

Alex graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Emory University in 2004, and later earned an M.B.A. in Finance from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in 2008.

Alex lives in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta with his wife, Katye, and daughter, Finley.