Jon Van Deventer
I’m the oldest son of a Presbyterian minister, and an elementary school teacher. I have one brother and two sisters. My very earliest memories include the wonderful, loving “blue haired saints” of the congregations dad served. So many of them raised me in our faith, and said time and again “One day, you’re going to be a minister, just like your dad.” After graduating from Presbyterian College I returned home to Charleston to become a residential carpenter. After Hurricane Hugo I was deeply moved by the faith and compassion of many of the Lowcountry folks I met. Their stories and their grace gave life and breath and energy to my faith, and increasingly called upon me to take stock, to find a way to live deeply into it. As a result of this sort of “spiritual reawakening,” at the age of 33, I went to Union Theological Seminary as a second career student, and learned that I loved ministry for and with the people of God. I’ve served as associate pastor for a large congregation, and as pastor for a middle sized, and a very small congregation. In my years of ministry, I’ve helped two congregations through major transitions, and I have loved the privilege of being in the midst of God’s people as they have embraced new possibilities. I love to study Scripture. I love to preach and lead worship. I love to teach. I love to just be with folks in living rooms, hospital rooms, and coffee shops. Most of all, I love to relate to the people of God as we “stand under” the Word, to grow in our faith and discipleship together.
I feel drawn to Limestone Presbyterian Church because I love small South Carolina towns and congregations that love and care for each other and their communities. I had the good fortune to visit with your Pastor Nominating Committee for several hours on multiple occasions, and our conversations together have been warm, energizing, wide ranging; filled with curiosity and joy and laughter and hope. I felt humbled and amazed by how a conversation scheduled for two hours became a four and a half hour conversation together. It seemed to me that we shared much in common, in our love for our Lord and our desire to be of service and delight to Him. I believe thatwe are spiritually and theologically complementary to each other. I believe we have a great deal to offer each other in the years to come as we share in mission and ministry together. I believe in the One God who was God before creation, is God active and engaged in creation here and now, and will be God beyond the end of creation, from everlasting to everlasting. God has made Himself known to creation as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God needs nothing and no one. Yet, God the Father, Son, and Spirit so delight to share love that God brought all of creation into being to love and be loved. Because God loves, God maintains the universe and all that is in it. In the ultimate expression of that creating and sustaining love, God the Son came to share true humanity with us – to live for us, die for us, and rise from death for us to defeat our sin and our death. The Word of God reveals to us that we are beloved and cherished by God, and somehow we stubbornly persist in trying to take God’s place for ourselves, as the center and focus of the love that we owe to God, our Creator. It was through the human abuse of God’s gift of love and freedom that sin entered into creation. Sin is powerful. God is more powerful by far.
We are restored, redeemed, and released from bondage to sin and death through adoption into the life, death and resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ, whose Spirit binds us to Him and to one another as the family of God, the Church. The family of God is a work in progress. We are fragile and broken, and often very cracked and messy, but it pleases God enormously to entrust the treasure of His Good News to us clay vessels. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and our reason for being. Although we are far from sinless and far from perfect, by the loving grace of God we are called to proclaim and demonstrate God’s love for His creatures and creation.
Director of Music
Sharon Thompson grew up in theColumbus, North Carolina area.
She earned a B.A. Degree in music education from Limestone College and a M.M. in Vocal Performance from theUniversity of South Carolina in Columbia.
Her music teaching career has included a variety of schools, including Landrum High School, Ewing Middle School, Husavik (Iceland) Elementary School and currently Corinth and Draytonville Elementary Schools. In addition, she has also taught music classes for Columbia College, USC and Limestone College as an adjunct instructor.
She has served as music director in numerous churches throughout the United States and Iceland. In recent years she has served in the music ministry of Grassy Pond Baptist Church, Limestone Presbyterian Church and Buford Street United Methodist Church.
She has performed as a soloist in the United States, as well as in England, Austria, Germany, Iceland, and Korea.
She has served as an adjudicator for a variety of vocal competitions in the Carolinas. In 2009 she was presented the Yale DistinguishedMusic Educator Award sponsored by the Yale University School of Music.
Sharon and her husband David have two adult children, Jeanna and Will.
Will and his wife, Amanda are the proud parents of Maci.
Jeanna and her husband, Nathanwelcomed their daughter Abigail on July 27, 2014.
Sharon and David enjoy traveling, antiques and restoring their 1903 home here in Gaffney.
Rita has a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in Music Education fromWinthrop College, now Winthrop University.
She retired from teaching in the Cherokee County School District after 31 years.
Rita became organist at Limestone Presbyterian Church on Sept. 7, 1987, and has been here ever since. She began working with the Children’s Choir in 2006.
In addition to her duties here at Limestone, Rita stays busy with her family, enjoys reading, doing crossword puzzles, and working and playing on the computer.
Traci Dill is a 2007 graduate of Limestone College and received her Master’s degree in education, theatre, and literacy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2016. In addition to working with children and youth at LPC, Traci teaches Theatre Arts and Speech/Debate at Florence Chapel Middle School in Duncan, SC. Traci lives in Gaffney with her husband,Jordan, her son, Liam, and their dogs Daffy and Minnie. She truly loves being a part of the Limestone Presbyterian Family! Traci began working with LPC on January 5, 2015.
Youth and Young Adult Director
Will Gibbons graduated from Winthrop University in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education. Prior to coming to Limestone Presbyterian, he served as the interim youth director at Buford Street United Methodist Church. He joined the staff of Limestone Presbyterian in June of 2016 and is also a member of the LPC choir and handbell choir. He is also a Middle School Science, Math, and Computer teacher at The Village School of Gaffney. Will feels truly blessed to have two work environments where he is able to spread the love of Christ freely with young people. Will lives in Gaffney, SC.
Administrative Assistant / Nursery Attendant
Jordan Dill is a Gaffney native, husband to Traci Dill and father to Liam Dill. Jordan was hired in July of 2015 as Administrative Assistant for Limestone Presbyterian Church and was officially made Nursery attendant after volunteering for several months.