Staff News

September 17, 2022


about Our Staff

New Director Named at the Cornwell Center

Tripp Caldwell has been serving as the Acting Director while the Center began a formal process to determine a long-range strategic plan. We are still undergoing that formal process and estimate it will take the next 4-6 months to complete. While serving as Acting Director, we feel Tripp has shown the initiative, creativity, skills, and passion that we are seeking in a Director. Therefore, we are excited to announce that he has been named our next Director of the Cornwell Center. Congratulations to Tripp! We are excited for all that the future holds at Cornwell under his leadership.

We Celebrate Laura Geer's Sabbatical

We celebrate with our Director of Communications, Laura Geer, on her upcoming sabbatical this October. Fresh off her work spearheading the launch of our beautiful new website, Laura has served our church sacrificially in recent years and is overdue for some much-needed time away. We wish Laura all the best on this sacred time of rest and relaxation. In addition, we offer our gratitude to the Hunter Family for their generous endowment gift that makes sabbatical possible for all our full-time staff after every five years of service. During Laura’s absence, a virtual assistant will be providing contract support for Communications. If you have any questions regarding communications during October, please contact our Executive Minister, Rev. Carrie Veal, or the Senior Staff liaison for each ministry.

Introducing Dr. Caleb Hopkins, Artist-in-Residence 2022 

Each year, the Clara and Guy Carswell Endowment Fund affords MPBC the ability to invite Artists-in-Residence to our church who are recognized by their accomplishments in the arts, and who will spend several days in residence, giving performances, holding workshops and lectures for Myers Park Baptist Church and other interested groups in the area. 

We are excited to announce that we have invited Dr. Caleb Anthony Hopkins, Baritone and Conductor, to be our Artist-in-Residence this fall. Dr. Hopkins currently serves as visiting professor at Bucknell University where he conducts the choir and lyric theater, teaches applied voice lessons and choral methods. His previous academic posts include positions on the faculties of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Messiah University, and Anderson University. Caleb received a BA at Furman University, a Master of Music in conducting at the University of Georgia, and a Doctorate in conducting at the Eastman School of Music. 

Caleb is also the son of a Baptist minister and has been steeped in the church his entire life. He has served as Director of Music at several churches in SC, NC, GA, and NY. An armchair theologian, Caleb particularly enjoys engaging with texts on liberation theologies. His partner Susannah Stewart, who he met at Eastman, is a lyric soprano and may be joining him at MPBC sometime this fall. 

Dr. Caleb Hopkins’ first visit with us will be October 7-10. When in residence, Caleb will be a vocalist in worship and will be a guest conductor for rehearsals and performances with the choir. He will also offer vocal coachings and collaborate with our Interim Minister of Music, Fran Morrison, on the planning of music for worship. I hope you will join me in offering our warmest welcome to Caleb and giving gratitude to Clara and Guy Carswell and their family for the generous gift that made this residency possible. 

An Update on Charlotte Judge 

Our Associate Director of Music, Charlotte Judge, who has been on medical leave for most of the year, has made the difficult decision to take a permanent medical leave of absence from our staff in order to focus on her treatment, recovery, and healing.

Charlotte joined our staff team in 2016 and made an immediate and lasting impact on all of our music programs. Her work in overseeing and conducting our children’s and youth choirs was particularly superb. She also hosted a very successful Music, Art, and Drama summer camp for multiple years. Additionally, Charlotte graced us regularly with her beautiful voice as a soloist and served as a guest conductor for our chancel choir on several occasions. We have all grown to love her and her family. Charlotte has served our church faithfully over these past years and she will be dearly missed.

Our love and support for Charlotte and her family will continue to grow in the days and months ahead. With that in mind, we will be taking up a love offering as well as notes of gratitude for Charlotte. Please send the notes of gratitude and checks to the church office with “Charlotte Love Offering” in the memo line. These gifts are not tax deductible. We thank you for your generous gifts of love and support for Charlotte and her family.

Welcome Candace Williamson, Interim Children & Youth Music Coordinator

We are excited that the success Charlotte Judge built in the Children and Youth Music programs will continue with Candace Williamson. Candace and her family (Chris, Evie, and Piper) joined MPBC in the fall of 2019, and soon after Candace was engaged in our Children’s Wednesday night programming and adult choir. As a trained vocalist and music educator, Candace brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to our youth and children’s music programs. Please join us in welcoming her into her new role as Interim Children and Youth Music Coordinator. 

We Welcome Seth Pilz, Children & Youth Ministries Intern 

In the fall of 2019, Seth Pilz was on a journey of deconstructing and reconstructing his faith. He found MPBC to be a place where he could learn and experience faith in a new, robust and authentic way. He jumped right in, participating in worship, small groups, socials, and more.

Over the summer, Seth approached Revs. Carrie Veal and Tara Gibbs, asking if he could help in children and youth programming. With enthusiasm, they said, Yes!

He was so inspired by these ministries, that he applied for the Internship and was hired. We hope you will join us in welcoming Seth to the team.

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