Staff

Rev. Dr. Daniel Smoak

Rev. Dr. Daniel Smoak

Pastor
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Daniel grew up on a cotton farm in Orangeburg, SC. Being baptized, confirmed, and ordained at First Presbyterian, Orangeburg, he will tell you that he has been aware of God’s love for him in Jesus Christ every day of his life. He learned the faith from his family and ministry from influential teachers at Presbyterian College (BA), Princeton Seminary (MDiv), and Erskine Seminary (DMin). He’s served churches in Thomasville, Georgia and York, SC before coming to Westminster.

Daniel is married to Amy, and he calls her “my favorite person in the whole world.” They are the parents of Andrew, Lauren, and Matthew. They love family time: learning, hanging out together, and visiting friends and family.

Daniel loves the Lord, the church, and being a pastor. He’s passionate about worship, teaching, and caring for others.

Rev. Lissa Long

Associate Pastor
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Lissa spent most of her time growing up in Athens, Ga (Go Dawgs!) where she was encouraged in her faith by her family and church, Central Presbyterian. Lissa attended Presbyterian College, graduating in ’98 with a degree in Christian Education/Religion and a minor in Special Education completing her senior paper on the importance of camp and conference ministry. Lissa found God calling her to work in York, SC at First Presbyterian Church (D.C.E.) and then to Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church (Director for Youth and Family Ministries). When she felt the tug to hospice ministry in 2005 it came as a shock, but was a wonderful 11 year journey as a hospice chaplain. Lissa was called to be ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament and attended Erskine Seminary receiving her MDiv in 2012 and later ordained in 2013 as the Associate Pastor for Palmetto Presbyterian Church. Since Palmetto, Lissa enjoyed offering pulpit supply to colleagues on mission trips and taking vacation. She also had the opportunity to serve as Transitional Director for Christian Education with First (Scots) Presbyterian Church for several years.

Lissa is married to Grahame, Chief Curator at the Charleston Museum. They have two fabulous children, Macie and Sumner. You can find them riding bikes, working on a home project, or visiting with neighbors.

Robin Zemp

Mr. Robin Zemp

Director of Music/Organist
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Robin directs the Sanctuary and Handbell Choirs, serves as church organist, and oversees the music ministry at Westminster. He has over 40 years of experience in church music ministry and has been at Westminster since 2002. He is also on the faculty of the College of Charleston Department of Music.

He has been honored by the South Carolina Music Teachers Association as recipient of its Distinguished Service Award and was named an MTNA Fellow in 2011 by the Music Teachers National Association in recognition of outstanding service to the music teaching profession.

In his spare time, Robin enjoys gardening and playing with his basset hound Cotton.

Janie Bruce

Mrs. Janie Bruce

Director of Children and Youth Ministries
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Janie Bruce is a native of North Alabama but has called Charleston home for 10 years now.  She is married to lifelong Westminster member, Charles Bruce.  Together they are proud parents of daughter, Spencer.  Janie is a member and ordained Deacon at Westminster.  Janie has been serving as Director of Youth & Children’s Ministries since January of 2011.

When she is not working, Janie enjoys traveling, playing at the beach, and spending time with family.

Nita Rushton

Mrs. Nita Rushton

Office Administrator
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Nita began her journey as the Office Administrator at Westminster in June 2012. She and her husband, Tony, along with their two children have been members of Westminster for over 30 years. Nita serves as a Notary Public.

Nita enjoys spending time with friends and family in Charleston and travels often to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Mrs. Tommye Owen

Bookkeeper
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Tommye joined the Westminster staff in December. She has previous experience as an accountant, business owner, project controller, and financial analyst.

“I can’t remember a time that I didn’t feel that I belonged to God. Many things in my life have come and gone, ebbed and flowed, but I’ve always known God loved me. I’ve been a member of Westminster since
982. I’ve served on the Session, taught Sunday school, been a youth leader, and am currently serving on the Diaconate. I am humbled and honored that God has opened this opportunity for me to serve Him and Westminster in a new capacity. I will faithfully pray for guidance to fulfill these duties and show honor and gratitude to God. The thing I love most about Westminster is the same thing that drew me initially… The warm, welcoming people that make Westminster a family. My prayer is that we as a church will always seek new ways to share God’s blessings in our local community and our world. One Bible verse that I seem to call on most frequently, many times as a mantra, is Philippians 4:13. ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’”

Mrs. Meg Dorsel

Communications Coordinator
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Meg has previously been the Director of Marketing for Kickin’ Chicken and Mellow Mushroom. She and husband Chris are Westminster members and have 2 children, Kennedy (10) and Watson (1).

“I’ve been a follower of Jesus for as long as I can remember. My aunt was a Presbyterian Minister and my mom taught Sunday School. Growing up in a Christian home, I can never remember a time where Christ wasn’t a part of my life. One of my favorite quotes is “God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it in the nest” (Anonymous). Although we may have all been saved by grace, we still have to work for virtue. One thing about Westminster we really love is that we are a cozy, familiar congregation. My prayer for Westminster is that we can always provide a cloud of witnesses for our youth and help them love and grow in their faith.” Meg and husband Chris are Westminster members and have 2 children, Kennedy (10) and Watson (1).

Alicia Crosby

Mrs. Alicia Crosby

Preschool Director
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Alicia is from Charleston and comes from a long line of Irish Catholics. She has been with Westminster Preschool for twenty years. Alicia began her Westminster career as a substitute teacher and a parent in 1998 and then began Assistant Director for a short time before being hired as the Director.

She has been married for 31 years to Kevin Crosby and they have two children Baxley and Jessie. Alicia also has three grandchildren; Callie, Harper and Kevin James (KJ). In her “Spare” time she likes to play with her grandchildren, hike and read.

Mrs. Kerry Gillner

Preschool Assistant Director
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Kerry is originally from a town outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She has lived in SC since 1994. She started her journey with Westminster in 2004 as a parent, then as a substitute teacher. She was hired in 2011 as a 4 year old teacher which she did for four years, then she taught Enrichment for three years, and has been Assistant Director since 2018.

Kerry has been married to her husband Kevin since 1994 and they have 2 boys Nathan and Brandon. When she is not working she enjoys keeping busy with her family and their boys activities. She also likes spending time with friends, bike riding and relaxing at the beach.

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