Shepherd Ministry

Independent Presbyterian Church

It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.

The words of this old Irish proverb ring true for those who have depended upon family and friends in a time of need or have delighted in community in a time of celebration. We need people with whom we can share our joys and our concerns. We need people in times of transition. We need people who miss us when we are absent from the whole body. The Shepherd Ministry is here to provide the loving shelter of each other we know as the church.

Shepherd Ministry Teams

Below are descriptions for all of the Shepherd Ministry teams. If you know someone who needs our care or if you would like to serve on one of the ministry teams, please contact Rev. Brian Lays at 205.933.3706 or

Funeral Ushers

The members of this team are trained to serve as ushers for funerals or memorial services held in either the IPC sanctuary or chapel. They are emailed when a service is scheduled, and volunteer as they are able.

Team Captain: John Feagin

Grief Anniversary Cards

This team writes and sends cards to those who are recently bereaved, or who are experiencing the anniversary of a significant loss in their lives. The church provides cards and postage, as well as templates for writing thoughtful, sincere notes to those who are experiencing grief.

Team Captain: Caroline Thomas

Home Communion

This team delivers communion to members who are unable to attend worship. This may be for someone at home, in a nursing home or in the hospital. Teams of at least two people make each visit. An ordained officer of the church must be present when communion is served. The other member of the communion team does not have to be ordained. Consistent, monthly commitment is preferred.

Team Captain: Beth Adams

IPC Carpenters

This team uses the skills of their hands to assist members who have home maintenance needs. Team members will receive an email identifying a need in the congregation and can respond with willingness to help repair the problem if they possess the necessary ability and knowledge. Tasks range from light bulb replacement to repairs on tables and chairs to plumbing and more.

Team Captain: Bill Reeves

Intercessory Prayer Group

The group meets every Tuesday at 11:00 am in the chapel to pray for our members, their families and their friends. When prayers are completed for the day, the group send cards to members and friends in special or difficult circumstances. Anyone is welcome to come and to pray with this group. No invitation is necessary. Just come.

Team Captain: Alice Christenson

Just Checking In

A ministry of making phone calls, this team calls members who are in a time of need to see how they are doing and remind them of the church's concern for them. At the suggestion and discretion of the pastor, names, telephone numbers and circumstances are provided only as appropriate.

Team Captain: Edith Quarles, 205-305-4333

Knitting Ministry

This group meets to knit prayer shawls for members of the congregation who have been sick or suffered the loss of a loved one. The gift of a shawl conveys not only the power of prayer, but also the love we have for one another. The group also delivers the shawls, as team members are able. 

Team Captain: Mary Tom Stubbs

Love Thy Neighbor

This team provides a frozen meal to members convalescing from a hospital stay or to those who have had a death in the immediate family. Their ministry extends also to those who may be temporarily homebound without family support, and to those members who may be under significant stress caring for a loved one. This team is comprised of cooks who prepare the meals and drivers who deliver them.

Team Captain: Beth Hillhouse

New Mothers Support

This team of young mothers reachers out to the mothers of new children to offer support and encouragement. Support may include gift baskets, friendly calls to check in, or other help as necessary.

Team Captain: Anne Knox Averitt

New Members Outreach

This group makes a point of greeting visitors or unfamiliar people on Sunday morning and making them feel welcome without making them feel conspicuous. Team members also reach out to new members to make sure they feel comfortable and are able to integrate themselves into the life and ministry of IPC.

Team Captain: TBA

Pastoral Visitation

This team makes appointments and visits those who are homebound, lonely, hospitalized, etc.. This team is especially involved with visiting IPC members at Kirkwood by the River. Visits may be made alone or in pairs, and team members are trained in basic pastoral care skills. Some visits may occur only once, while others may develop into an ongoing, regular companionship. All visits are made at the suggestion and discretion of the pastors.

Team Captain: Deby Wright


Rev. Brian Lays

Connie Logan
Executive Assistant, Congregational Care

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