* Rev. Heyward (Will) was born into a family of faith. His dad was a Presbyterian minister in North Carolina and his mother was active in the church as a Sunday school teacher and choir member. Will moved to Florida when he was two years old and grew up during the Apollo Space Program. He recalls watching the rocket launches on television and then running outside, looking east and watching the bright light of the rockets disappear over the horizon. "Everyone wanted to be astronauts," he remembers.
* The spirit of exploration was also nurtured by his experience in the church, which started a Youth Club (now Logos) in 1970 when he was in the third grade. Further, the church started an informal worship service that emphasized drama and the arts. Will sang hymns from the Avery and Marsh songbook and participated in youth choirs such that he loooked forward to worship as much as he did the Youth Club.
* Will's home church was a pioneer in making their facility physically accessible to people of all abilities and in making programs accessible to people of all ages. He grew up basking in the hospitality of the Church of Jesus Christ.
* During college, Will was a camp counselor for five summers at Cedarkirk, the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center in the area. At Cedarkirk, he learned to articulate his faith in Christ. He also began to learn how to extend the hospitality of Christ that he received as a child to others. Will also received his call to ministry during this time.
* After college, he attended Union Theological Seminary in Richmond than then the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. Graduating with a Master's in Divinity and Master's in Christian Education, Will met Lori at PSCE and they married a few months after graduation.
Will served two years at the Denbigh Presbyterian Church in Newport News, VA as an associate paster, and then had the opportunity to return to Cedarkirk where he served as a camp director for three years.
In 1993, Will accepted the call to be the pastor of the Smyrna Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro, VA.
After 19 years of service, Will felt the call to expand his ministry by coming to the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church.
Will and Lori have two children; son Daniel, 21 is a rising senior at UNC, and daughter, Jennifer, 18 is entering her freshman year also t UNC.
Lori is a recreation therapist at Western State Hospital in Staunton, VA and was raised in nearby Banner Elk, NC.
Lori and Will love to hike. He enjoys woodworking and plays the guitar.
Will hasn't exactly given up on his childhood dream to become an astronaut, but remains content to live all of life as a journey of exploration.
Dr. Thomas has a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance, Masters in Choral Conducting, and Bachelors in Music Education. He has many years of experience in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, having held positions at churches, colleges, and universities in Texas, New York, and Florida, notably including Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
More about Dr. Thomas:
- He has previously served as the music director of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Vero Beach, FL; Caneadea United Methodist Church in Caneadea, NY; and the Cumberland Presbyterian in Jefferson, TX.
- Along with his wife, Kathy, he served in the music ministry of Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he conducted the choir and led services in the absence of the music director there. He also frequently appeared on “The Coral Ridge Hour” television program.
- He also served as the artistic director of the Shreveport Chambersingers, and conducted the Florida Atlantic University Men’s Chorus and the Houghton College Mӓnnerchor.
- He has served on the faculties of East Texas Baptist University, and Houghton College, where he was the Director of Opera and Musical Theater. He was adjunct faculty at Florida Atlantic University and Broward College.
- He has sung with opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and in Europe, and has a repertoire of over fifty roles.
- His wife, Kathy, is adjunct faculty at Texarkana College. His son Jimmy, age 9, and Abigail, age 5, will make the move with their mom all the way from Texas after school is out. (And he can’t wait!)
When you open the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church Web Page, www.mjpc.org, your browser will be at the Home page. From here, you can navigate to a variety of pages (links) filled with information and pictures about the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church pastor, members, activities, and so forth. Before starting, however, here are a few things to note regarding the Home page:
* The scrolling Web Crawler at the top right of the page contains important NEW information that is updated frequently. The crawler messages change continuously and can be read as they move across the page.
* Text located on any page that becomes highlighted when you mouse over it, is an active link and will automatically take you to that item.
* At any time you want to return Home, left-click the MJPC Mountain logo at the top of each page visited.
To navigate the menu selections shown in the header bar of the Home page:
* Place your cursor over the selected category; a drop down menu will appear.
* Left-click a sub-menu selection from the drop down menu and you will be taken to that page.
* On each sub-menu page, you will also note that the menu selections from the category are displayed on the left.
* Left click any of the other menu selections to navigate to that sub-menu, or choose ALL which will display the information for the category on a single page which you can read by scrolling down the page.
* To return Home from a sub-menu, select Home at the far right of the header bar, or left-click the MJPC Mountain logo at the top of the page.
To navigate any of the sub-menus:
* For many of the menus there are links to other web pages, or a information document (in a PDF format). Most web pages will open in another browser, but upon closing the link you will be returned to your starting point. Documents also open in a new window and can be read, or printed for your use. When closing the document, you will be returned to your starting point.
* The Contact Us button on the header bar opens a page for users to provide MJPC with questions, comments or information that you want us to receive or provide a response to; simply follow the instructions on the page and left-click Confirm your message to send it to us.
* If present, an e-mail [title] can be found on some of the sub-menu selections. Left click the e-mail address to communicate with the individual or committee indicated via your own e-mail server. If an e-mail page is not immediately opened, copy and paste the e-mail address to your e-mail server.
PLEASE NOTE: If at any time you encounter a page that does not properly open, or are directed to a site that appears broken or contains content not appropriate for the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church web site, open the Contact Us link and send a message to advise the Web Manager of your concern.
Enjoy browsing the MJPC Web Page.
Click "Download" to open/print a copy of these instructions.