Meet Our New Interim Pastor: The Rev. Dr. Joel L. Alvis Jr.

Dear Congregation

I have great news for the entire Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church family!

After interviewing many candidates and prayerfully considering the decision, the Interim Pastor Nominating Committee brought forward a recommendation to Session to call the  Rev. Dr. Joel L. Alvis, Jr. as our Interim Head of Staff.  Session unanimously and joyfully approved this recommendation on January 28. Joel has gladly accepted the position and will begin work on March 12, 2018.

As Interim Head of Staff, Joel will minister to us and help walk our church through the search and call process for our new permanent Pastor/Head of Staff. Joel will remain with PHPC until our new Pastor arrives.

I could try to describe who he is to you.  But, it is better for Joel tell you for himself. Enclosed is the letter he has written to the PHPC community. This letter will be the first of many opportunities we will have to know Joel and witness the work of God through his ministry with us.

This is a great step in our transition to new leadership and a day for rejoicing.

David Ashley,
Clerk of Session, Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church


I am looking forward to sharing the next season of your life and ministry with you. Here are “The Facts” about my life and ministry:

I am a child of God blessed to be a husband, father, grandfather, teacher and pastor.

I am the husband of Vicki – we have shared a common life together since 1978 and are best friends. I am the father of Jody and Mark who have enriched my life in many ways. Mark is married to Emily and they are wonderful parents of Avery.

I am a teacher in the church and academy and have instructed classes and groups from confirmation to seminary. I am an author using words on the page to describe history and systems in the church, the Bible and the world.

I am a pastor who shepherds individuals and congregations through transitional moments in life.

These are the “facts.” But facts develop meaning in relationship. I look forward to developing a relationship with you over the next few months as we journey through this time of interim ministry together. There are two aspects of this work as Interim Pastor.

First, it will be temporary. The project is to work through this time to call your next Installed Pastor. As such I will consult and advise the leadership on assessing where you have been and addressing where you seek to go while identifying the ways to get there.

But that is not all, for I am also a “Pastor.” As a pastor, I will preach regularly, share the sacraments of baptism and communion, visit those who are sick or homebound, and with the Session exercise and develop the life of the congregation. This “Pastor” business is a privilege that I do not take lightly. I look forward to getting to learn more about you as we jointly begin this journey through the interim time.

Thank you for the privilege to join in this season of your life and ministry. I look forward to beginning with you the week of March 12.

Peace. Grace. Hope. In Christ,
The Rev. Joel L. Alvis, Jr.


Choir Cabaret, 2-4

Get ready to boogie!
The Chancel Choir presents their annual Choir Cabaret
Sunday, March 4 from 6-7:30 pm.

This year’s theme:

Refreshments will be provided
Invite your neighbors and friends!
(Even if you’re mama don’t dance and your daddy don’t rock n’ roll.)

TheoEd Talks, 2/25

The next TheoEd Talks event is February 25, at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta with Dr. Lauren Winner, Dr. Paul Wallace and Shane Claiborne.


Get your tickets now at:…

Once you purchase a ticket, please contact Jody Andrade at to let her know you’re going. Visit for more information.

Learn & Lunch, 2/17


Internationally renowned Old Testament scholar and author Dr. Walter Brueggemann will engage in lively discussion with friend and former colleague  Dr. George Stroup on Saturday, February 17 at 10am at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Rev. Jody Andrade describes Dr. Brueggemann as both brilliant and engaging. Join Jody in attending this free event and then continue the discussion with our PHPC group over lunch at a nearby restaurant.  There are many Trinity churches—this Trinity is located at 3003 Howell Mill Rd in Atlanta. RSVP to Jody:

Lent 2018: Journey with Jesus


Lent is an important time of reflection, in which we as Christians consider Christ’s sufferings and rethink how we are called to take up our own crosses. Some of us give up things like chocolate or Facebook or Netflix as a sort of fasting and others try to integrate something new into their lives, like mission work, exercising and praying. It’s a good season to take a “Journey with Jesus” and rethink how we live and to let some things go, or may even develop some new holy habits.

In that spirit, we encourage you to consider attending a Lenten Small Group. Choose one in the area where you live to have fellowship and learn together, using the study:

“The Ridiculous Journey: Following A Nobody From Nowhere”

Check out one of several options in the image above, under “Connect & Reflect,” and then RSVP to the Church Office, 770-497-0233.

We also invite you to become involved in the life of the congregation during the Lenten season by checking out the opportunities listed above in the image, under “Fellowship & Serve.” 

Maybe you’re already participating in Chancel Choir, so consider also serving dinner at Clifton Sanctuary Ministries as a way of putting sung beliefs into action. Or if you’re feeling the need to develop more meaningful relationships, the Men’s Breakfast or the Book Club would be the perfect fit. There’s so many ways to develop meaningful faith experiences as we go on a journey with Jesus.

Women’s Breakfast, 2/3


All women are invited for fellowship and breakfast at 9 am on Saturday, February 3 in the Fellowship Hall. Our special guests will be some of our High School and Middle School Youth (already at the church preparing for Youth Sunday on Feb. 4) whom we’ll have the opportunity to break bread with and get to know better. Don’t miss out on a chance to interact with some amazing women and young people, and bring a friend! RSVP with Becky Zinn at If you’d like to help cook and set-up for breakfast, please contact Kathleen Webb at

Membership & Fellowship Souper Lunch, 1/28

The Membership & Fellowship Committee invites you to Souper Lunch on Sunday, January 28, following the 11 am worship service in Fellowship Hall. Some of the church members will provide a variety of tasty soups. The Committee will provide drinks, bread and PB&J fixins for the kids.  You can contribute by bringing a box of crackers or a dessert!

We will also use this time together to honor and say “thank you” to those who quietly serve among us as ushers, bulletin stuffers, fellowship table hosts, counters, greeters, child care providers, worship bag preparers and buddies, IT support, lay visitors, at-home communion servers, kitchen angels…some of the amazing people who work behind the scenes.