Rev. Dr. Nancy Birdsong
Pastor/Head of Staff
Nancy came to Southminster as Pastor / Head of Staff in October of 2017.
Nancy previously served as the Pastor/Head of Staff at The Presbyterian Church at Bound Brook, NJ. She is passionate about mission and has led congregations and communities in numerous new mission endeavors—locally, nationally and globally.
Nancy grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and has been a part of the Presbyterian Church since she was baptized as an infant. Her childhood included spending part of every summer at a Presbyterian camp, where she particularly enjoyed the mudslides, whitewater canoeing, and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Nancy is an artist whose works have been displayed in professional galleries and exhibits. While the demands of ministry in recent years have limited her time for painting, she still finds it to be nurturing to her spirit. She also enjoys music, poetry, drama and “anything creative.” Her favorite vacation destination is anywhere that lets her swim in the ocean, walk along the shore, and smell the salt air.
Rev. Stan Gockel
Rev. Stan Gockel was born in Dayton and raised in Beavercreek. After graduating from Beavercreek High School, he attended Miami University and Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies. He then attended Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, and Northern Seminary, Chicago, where he finished his M.Div. in 1979. He did post-graduate study in the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education in Chicago while serving as an intern at Albany Park United Methodist Church.
Stan was ordained at Spinning Road Baptist Church in Riverside on World Communion Sunday, October 5, 1980. He served American Baptist congregations in Indianapolis, Buffalo, NY, and Bluffton, Indiana. In 1999, Stan became the chaplain at Mt. Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe, part of what was then known as Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services (now Ohio Living). That was the beginning of Stan’s journey into the Presbyterian Church, USA. Invitations to preach in various churches of the Presbytery of Miami Valley led to three years as Stated Supply Pastor at Seven Mile Presbyterian Church. Since then Stan has served as interim or stated supply pastor of Bellbrook Presbyterian Church, the First Presbyterian Church of Portland, Indiana, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Springfield and the Presbyterian Church of Wilmington. Stan considers himself a “Baptiterian,” drawing on the best of both the Free Church and Reformed traditions.
Stan is married to Libby Stanton, who retired after 18 years teaching fourth and fifth grade Gifted and Talented students at Bellcreek Intermediate School in Bellbrook. Stan and Libby are blessed with two daughters, Davy and Hannah. Davy is married to Ryan Darnton and they live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are the parents of Harrison, 8, Nora, 4, and Lachlan, 2. Davy works as a Pilates/fitness instructor and Ryan is a Marine Habitat Specialist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hannah also lives in Ann Arbor, is employed at RoosRoast Coffee (www.roosroast.com) doing digital marketing and web design, and is working on her master’s degree in the School of Information at the University of Michigan (or That School Up North, as we Buckeyes fans like to say).
In his free time Stan enjoys cooking, movies, singing, sports, especially the Bengals and Reds, and traveling. He is excited to be serving at Southminster.