1. Cathy Hoop is pastor of Grace Presbyterian in Tuscaloosa, AL. After serving for 18 years as Director of Children’s Ministries at Second Presbyterian in Nashville, Cathy received her M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School. Her first call was to be pastor of University Presbyterian in Tuscaloosa. She led University, a progressive congregation, and Covenant Presbyterian, a more conservative evangelical congregation, through a merger that was chartered in 2017 as Grace. Cathy is a freelance curriculum writer and serves on the boards of West Alabama Aids Outreach, UPerk (campus ministry coffee house), and Druid City Pride. She also loves her bulldog Lily.
2. Chuck Rush has been the Senior Minister at Christ Church in Summit, New Jersey since 1994. Before that, he taught Ethics at Rutgers University for eight years. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Chuck studied philosophy and politics as an undergraduate. He did Ph.D. at Princeton Seminary writing his dissertation on Reinhold Niebuhr and World War 2. During grad school, he served as an ER chaplain and a psychiatric chaplain. He continues to research the intersection between neurology, psychology, and spiritual well being with authors like Martin Seligman, Bessel Van Der Kolk, and Barbara Frederickson. Chuck inherited an all-white Wall Street congregation in the ’90s affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Church. The congregation has been on a slow evolution towards becoming a multicultural spiritual community for the past twenty years.
3. Charles Foster Johnson is a pastor, public education advocate, and founder of Pastors for Texas Children. He is founder and pastor of Bread, a faith community in Fort Worth, Texas. Throughout his forty-year pastoral ministry he has served churches in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. Rev. Johnson served on the faculty of McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, as Visiting Professor of Preaching. He has served as a pastoral mentor for students at Perkins School of Theology (SMU) and Brite Divinity School (TCU), where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. He is involved in civic and denominational life and was has been twice named “Baptist of the Year” by the Baptist Center for Ethics (in 2004 and 2018). He was inducted into Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers in 2008. He was named national “Outstanding Friend of Public Education” by the Horace Mann League in 2020.