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

Luke Harkema, Associate Pastor

He, Him, His
Luke is a jovial, tenderhearted pastor with experience working in camp ministry, university residence life, and a variety of congregational contexts. He relishes opportunities for both play and contemplation as he journeys through life with those whom God loves. Luke was born and raised in Grand Rapids Michigan and has also lived in Alabama and New Jersey. In his spare time Luke enjoys reading comics, discovering new bands, and trying out new restaurants. (Luke can be reached at

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

She, Her, Ella
Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks serves as The Director of Formation for Children 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, and grown children, Natalily & Isaiah. (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. (Ray can be reached at

Kyle Baumbach - Technology and Media Coordinator

He, Him, His
Originally from Winston Salem, NC, Kyle graduated from UNCA in May 2022 with a degree in Mass Communication and minor in New Media with a focus in videography and editing. Since graduating he has worked in several positions doing live audio tech, video and livestream work at various places around Asheville. His true passion is music, art and creation. Outside of work you might find him performing in a music group with his closest friends or pursuing all sorts of solo music and art ventures! (Kyle can be reached at

Anna Louise Murchison, Engagement & Communications Coordinator

She, Her, Hers
Anna Louise 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. Anna Louise enjoys the healing arts, music, and being outside in these wonderful hills. 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. (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

Olivia Goldstein, Administrative Assistant

She, Her, Hers
Olivia is originally from New Jersey but has lived in Asheville for nearly a decade. She is currently a full time student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mass communication & Spanish at UNCA. Her passion in life is the fiber arts and she spends most of her free time sewing, weaving and natural dyeing. (Olivia 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.

  • 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

    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.

  • Audrey Farrington

    Childcare Staff

    I’m Audrey! I’m a Teacher, Wife, part time saxophone player and full time cat mom:) my hobbies include bird watching, hiking, climbing, and baking! I am passionate about quality childcare and fostering todays youth into tomorrows leaders.