Pastors & Staff

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  • Rev. Laura Smith Conrad


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    Laura joined with the good people of Fort Hill Church in June of 2009 as their 11th Installed Pastor.  She serves as the lead pastor with a wonderful staff and congregation.  Laura’s primary roles include weekly worship and preaching, leading the staff and Session, and coaching and equipping the ministries of this church to be fruitful and healthy.  It is a privilege to serve among God’s people here and especially to be a part of the lives of its members.  Laura attended Presbyterian College and Columbia Theological Seminary.  She is blessed to share her life with her husband, Chuck, and children, Avery and Hallie.

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  • Rev. Mary Morrison

    Associate Pastor, Discipleship

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    Mary is a life-long Presbyterian and what she likes most about being Presbyterian is that we are “thinking Christians.”  She comes to Fort Hill with experience in both the local church and presbytery ministry with an emphasis in education and vocation.  Mary enjoys studying the Scriptures and teaching them.  Most of all she enjoys hearing the stories of the people of God, connecting them to one another in the life of the church, calling forth each members’ gifts in service, and celebrating life’s events as the body of Christ.  Her primary responsibilities include working with the Board of Deacons, developing and implementing a vision for adult education, as well as coordinating pastoral care, congregational care, and fellowship ministries.  Mary holds masters degrees in Christian education and divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary.  She is married to her best friend Mark and together they are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Hannah and Sarah.

  • Jacob Kennedy
  • Jacob Kennedy

    Associate, Youth & Mission Ministries

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    Jacob joined the Fort Hill community in May of 2021 to be the new Associate for Youth and Mission. Jacob comes to Clemson after completing his Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. While in seminary, he served a congregation in New York City and worked as a Hospital Chaplain in New Brunswick. Having graduated from Presbyterian College, he is very familiar with the Upstate and is excited to be returning to the area. Jacob loves to teach and share the stories of God with all people. Jacob’s passion is working with youth and helping them live out Christ’s love in the world. In his spare time, Jacob loves to cheer passionately for his favorite sports teams. If he is not doing that, you might find him reading, singing, or going to live concerts.

  • Preston Shealy
  • Preston Shealy

    Interim Associate Pastor for University Ministry

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    A native of Camdem, South Carolina, and a 1982 graduate of Clemson, Preston recently retired to Clemson after thirty-five years of ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA. Preston was active in the Presbyterian Student Association while a student at Clemson and an Affiliate Member of Fort Hill Church. Preston served churches in Illinois, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Ohio. He is married to Debbie (an elder and a physical therapist) who is active at Fort Hill Presbyterian Church where she is in the Bell Choir and on the Fellowship Ministry Team. Preston and Debbie enjoy hiking in the area parks and travelling (often with a travel trailer) throughout the United States and Canada with a special emphasis on our beautiful National Parks. For relaxation, Preston has officiated soccer for forty years. Preston and Debbie have two children: Paige recently was transferred from Phoenix to Atlanta and Matthew lives in Cleveland.

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  • James T. Richardson

    Pastor Emeritus

    Jim Richardson was honorably retired in 2007 after 27 years of service as pastor.  At the request of our congregation, the title of Pastor Emeritus has been conferred to him at the Presbytery Meeting of Foothills Presbytery on November 6, 2011.  Conferring the title of Pastor Emeritus is an expression of affection and gratitude by our congregation and of the desire to continue the association in an honorary relationship, but with no pastoral authority or duty.

  • Bonham

    Judy Bonham


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    Judy has been the organist and bell choir director at Fort Hill Presbyterian Church since 2005.  Previous positions include children’s choir director at Fort Hill and organist/choir director at Walhalla Presbyterian Church.  She received a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance from Indiana University and recently retired from twenty-seven years of public school music teaching in Oconee County.  She lives in Seneca and has one son, Mark.  In her spare time, Judy likes to work with glass jewelry and also plays the hammered dulcimer.

  • MacKay

    Margaret MacKay

    Director of Music

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    Margaret has served as Director of Music since 2010. Her duties include directing the Chancel Choir, beginning a music ministry for youth, helping to develop a music program for the 8:30 service, and continuing to grow the overall music program of children, chimes, and handbells. She has served in church work for 45+ years as an organist and choral director in the upstate.

    Margaret and her husband, Raymond, have 5 grown children and finally have grandchildren now and it is GRAND!! They are thankful to be part of the Fort Hill family. “Music is an integral part of our lives and the ministry of the church, allowing us all as choirs and congregations to raise our voices in praise and glory to our God.”

  • Houck

    Lori Houck


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    Lori joined the staff at Fort Hill as Administrator in April of 2009. Her primary responsibilities are the day-to-day financial operations, office/facility management, and supervision of the Administrative Assistant and Facilities Caretaker. Her previous work experience included office management, accounting and human resources positions in church, non-profit, and corporate environments. Lori lives in Seneca and has two grown children, Sean and Sarah. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, reading and spending time with family and friends.

  • Bryant

    Morgan Bryant

    Administrative Assistant Intern

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    Morgan joined Fort Hill Church as church Administrative Assistant Intern in August 2021.

  • Thrailkill

    Scott Thrailkill

    Facilities Caretaker

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  • Wilson

    Katie Wilson

    Children’s Ministry Coordinator

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    Katie joined the staff of Fort Hill in July 2018. Katie taught middle school for six years during which time she also served as a teacher in our 3-6 year old Sunday school class. She first felt God calling her to this position during her years on the Children’s Ministry Team. Katie enjoys teaching children of all ages and is passionate about sharing Christ’s love with them. Guiding children in their faith formation and leading them to continuing Christ’s work are Katie’s highest priorities at Fort Hill. Her primary responsibilities include: developing and implementing a holistic children’s ministry in conjunction with the vision of the Discipleship Ministry and Fort Hill Church, teaching Chapel at Fort Hill Preschool, empowering and equipping volunteers to serve in Fort Hill’s children’s ministry, and coordinating children’s events, mission, learning, and worship opportunities with other Fort Hill ministries and staff. Katie has a Masters degree in Teaching as well as a Masters in Human Resource Development, both from Clemson University. She lives in Pendleton with her husband, Jason, children Shuler (7) and Maggie (1), and their dog Koozie.