Staff Team

Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor/Head of Staff

She, Her, Hers
Marcia began her call to ministry at Grace Covenant on July 1, 2016. She has been in ministry all over the country, at every level of the PC(USA) and in academic and community contexts. She is the author of several books, including Let the Bones Dance andTouchdowns for Jesus. Marcia and her husband, John, have a podcast called “Going Deep: Sports in the 21st Century.” And they have two children, Sidney and Mary Elizabeth. Marcia loves horses, dogs, and pretty much all animals, being outside, poetry, and hearing and sharing good stories. (Marcia can be reached at

Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks, Director of Formation for Children, Youth, and Their Families

She, Her, Ella
Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks serves as The Director of Formation for Children,Youth and Their Families at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. Amy Kim loves creating space for folks to interact with the Holy through art and opportunities for disruption. Amy Kim is a Co-Director of the board of More Light Presbyterians, leads workshops and conferences nationally for the PCUSA and has been published in ministry periodicals about Spiritual Formation and disrupting Racism. Her life is shared with her amazing spouse, Justin, children, Natalily & Isaiah along with Bella and Obed the poodles. (Amy Kim can be reached at

Ray Landis, Director of Music Ministries

He, Him, His
Ray recently moved to Asheville from St. Louis, MO, where he served in music ministry for the past 25 years. Growing up in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Ray completed his undergraduate studies at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. He received a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Having a passion for music education, Ray completed certification in the Orff-Schulwerk approach and was a founding member of the Sunshine Cultural Arts Center for youth and families in East St. Louis, IL.

Ray’s approach to music ministry is informed by interaction with different cultures and a strong sense of social justice. He enjoys music-making with all ages and ability levels, and seeks to nurture the creative gifts in all of us. Ray and his wife, Dawna, enjoy hiking, fishing and kayaking. They have five adult children by birth and adoption. They feel immensely blessed to be part of the GCPC faith community. (Ray can be reached at

Micah Hayes - Director of Technology and Media Ministries

He, Him, His
Micah is a native of Asheville NC, who joined the GCPC staff in 2021. Using his technical training from the U.S. Army in Broadcasting, he has been working in Audio/Video production for over 8 years. Some of his passions are fitness and prison reform activism, but his favorite thing to do is spend quality time with his son Micah Jr.  Also a student at UNCA, Micah is studying Mass Communication to further his goal of being a life-long learner. (Micah can be reached at

Anna Louise Murchison, Engagement & Communications Coordinator

She, Her, Hers
Anna Louise is the Engagement & Communications Coordinator. She grew up predominantly in Virginia but has been trotting the globe since a young age, spending time in New Zealand, Kenya, and Nicaragua. She has worked as a PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer in Miami, in several positions at Columbia Theological Seminary and as an office coordinator in the holistic health field. She now resides happily in Black Mountain with her daughter, Kaia. (Anna Louise can be reached at

Brett Pinkston, Stewardship & Financial Administrator

He, Him, His
Brett is a lifelong resident of Western North Carolina, and resides in Haywood County. He joins the GCPC Staff Team as the new Stewardship and Financial Administrator. Brett graduated from AB-Tech and UNCA, and has extensive experience in both corporate and nonprofit office and financial management, program development, event planning, and tenant management. Taking great pride in his beautiful surroundings here in the mountains, Brett is a constant learner, and loves trying new things in new places. When not outside hiking, or his ultimate favorite, standup paddle-boarding, you will find Brett with a good book in his hand. Right beside him in all of life’s adventures, are his partner of 12 years, David, and their super cute beagle Olivia. (Brett can be reached at

Cliff Schlegemilch, Property Manager

He, Him, His
Clifford Schlegelmilch was owner and operator of Schlegelmilch Enterprises, a general contractor. He was also a law enforcement officer and firefighter with City of Beaufort in SC. He retired in 2006 and moved to Leicester. He was the supervisor of maintenance at Ridgecrest Conference Center for 8 years. He then was a Spa Engineer at Omni Grove Park Inn. He is married to Sheryl Schlegelmilch and they have been married for 41 years. They have two grown children, Mark and Maria, who they adopted from Guatemala as infants. He is looking forward to joining the family at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. (Cliff can be reached at

Allison Kiehl, Garden Manager

She, Her, Hers
Allison grew up as a water child in Virginia Beach, VA. She has a varied background that includes a degree in International Business and Spanish, traveling to Central America and Europe, and organic farming in California, Hawaii and Asheville. Prior to joining GCPC, she had a career in land conservation working as a land steward of preserved wildlands and family farms. Allison loves connecting to nature and connecting people through growing food. She loves just about any activity that is outdoors. She also loves to help train shelter dogs, building things out of wood, and watching college basketball and women’s soccer. She is so grateful for all that she has and that she gets to share her life with her wife Sarah Carter and their very spoiled and skeptical super mutt Kona! (Allison can be reached at

Katie Claxton, Administrative Assistant to the Pastor/Head of Staff

She, Her, Hers
Originally from New Jersey, Katie has lived in Asheville for the past 8 years. Previously, Katie worked as an Education Director and a Special Education teacher with students with emotional and behavioral needs. Katie enjoys reading, creating art, trying new recipes with her husband and snuggling her rescue dog, Gatsby. (Katie can be reached at

Ashley Rae Stevenson, Administrative Assistant

She, Her, Hers
Ashley Rae moved to the Asheville region in 2018. She is originally from Michigan but traveled around the United States a fair amount in her young womanhood. She has a long background in human services, health and wellness; and has earned degrees in counseling, psychology and art. She worked as a yoga teacher and massage therapist for many years, and now owns her second small business in wellness consulting and healing arts. Ashley Rae is currently studying to become certified as a trauma-informed embodiment coach and looks forward to using these skills to further help others, while enriching herself as well. She loves music, making art, dancing, her cats and being in nature. (Ashley Rae can be reached at


Childcare Workers

  • Maria (Mapi) Pilar Mendoza-Worley

    Childcare Staff

    My name is Maria Pilar Mendoza-Worley. I was born in Peru, country famous for its ruins of Machu Picchu. I have lived in the United States since 2006. I became an American Citizen in 2018. I currently work full time at Children's Center at Gracelyn and wonderful GCPC. I discovered working with little people is an awesome experience, because each one is like surprise box. I'm going to continue studying Early Childhood Education to better guide the mental and physical development of these little ones.

  • Elizabeth Fangman

    Childcare Staff

    Elizabeth Fangman is originally from the Charlotte area and now in Asheville as a student at UNC.  She is majoring in biology. In her free time she loves to go outside and sit in the sun or hike! She also loves to read and dance.

  • Marilena Stephens

    Childcare Staff

    Marilena Stephens, originally from Atlanta and has lived in Asheville for 9 years. Graduated from Boston College. Marilena is a strong Animal Care advocate, particularly primates and horses. Marilena loves adventure, travel, books and film. She is looking forward to being a part of the Grace Covenant Community!

  • Sapphire De'Bellott

    Childcare Staff Substitute

    Hi my name is Sapphire De’Bellott I am a young, energetic, and charismatic professional woman who believes, in order to empower people; one must be educated. In May 2017 I received my Associates in Arts from AB-Tech community College. I am currently a senior at Western Carolina University pursuing my Bachelors in Psychology and a Minor in Criminal Justice. I have over eight years of experience in intergenerational circles learning from my peers and elders. These relationships enhanced my ability to build sustainable partnerships. Additionally, I have over eight years of youth engagement and advocacy. My childcare background and education has qualified me as a childcare specialist. My passion is to create an engaging and brave space for children to be themselves.