Staff


Rev. Dr. E Chris Curvin

Senior Pastor

A native of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, Dr. Curvin, or “Chris” as he is called by his church members, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in Psychology and Sociology. His graduate and post-graduate studies were completed through Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.

Before his call to Northwood he served churches in Edinburgh, Scotland, Alabama and then two churches in Florida - the First Presbyterian Church of St. Petersburg and Church of the Palms in Sarasota. While at Church of the Palms he developed two contemporary worship services and served as the Steering Pastor of the new church development in Lakewood Ranch now known as the Peace Presbyterian Church. He has participated in and/or led mission /study trips in the US and to Russia, Jamaica, Mexico, Honduras and the Holy Land.
 
He has served as a member of numerous committees and councils of the Presbyterian Church (USA) such as the Presbytery Council of Tampa Bay Presbytery and the Council of Peace River Presbytery, as well as, the Council of the Synod of Living Waters. While serving as a pastor in Scotland he also served as a (PCUSA) delegate to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Congregational Union of Scotland (CUS).

Chris has served as the Senior Pastor of Northwood Presbyterian Church since November 1, 2005 and will celebrate 10 years of ministry at Northwood on November 1, 2015. He was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament on June 15, 1986.

He is married to Joyce Kenfield, an artist and visual designer and they have been married for over 20 years. They have two sons, Will, a student at Florida State University, and Ben, a student at Tarpon Springs High School. His interests are his family, walking, reading, sports and fishing, (but fishing only in calm waters!)

His beliefs are centered upon the teachings of Holy Scripture, as they are understood in the Reformed tradition. He believes the Bible contains the voice and revelation of God to us and that these teachings give us a guide for developing our faith and living our lives.

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Rev. Dr. Paul Means

Associate Pastor

A native Oklahoman, Paul grew up living on Tulsa time. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. After graduation, he worked in the field of accounting, and then after earning an Associate Degree in Business Computer Programming from Tulsa Community College, he worked eleven years as a programmer analyst in Dallas, Texas.

On January 1, 1995, after church, an elder encouraged Paul to consider whether God might be calling him to become a Minister of Word and Sacrament. Nine months later, he and his family moved to Austin, Texas where he began his Master of Divinity studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. After graduating from APTS, he was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in July, 1998. Prior to his call to Northwood, he served churches in Mississippi and Tennessee. While serving these churches, he continued his theological education, receiving a Doctor of Ministry degree with a focus on Christian spirituality from Fuller Theological Seminary. During this time and while at Northwood, he has been involved in mission/study trips in the US and to Honduras, Mexico, Kenya and the Holy Land.

Paul has served as the Associate Pastor for Mission and Pastoral Care of Northwood Presbyterian Church since February, 2009. During July, 2015, he had the opportunity to go on a sabbatical centered around the theme, “Celebrating God in the Beauty, Majesty and Wildness of God’s Creation.” This amazing sabbatical experience included travel, photography and hiking in Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

He is married to Pam, a social worker. They have been married for over 25 years and are thankful for their two young adult sons. Interests and activities which bring joy and nourish his faith and refresh his spirit are time with family, photography, exercise, reading and movies.
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Stephanie Carson

Director of Music

Stephanie received a BA in vocal performance from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA with a minor in piano. After a year working towards a Masters in Church Music at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, she went on the road with her band as lead vocalist playing in clubs, casinos, parks and fairs, including many corporate engagements. As God was preparing her for her current job as Director of Music at Northwood, she feels equally comfortable with both classical and pop music which serves both traditional and contemporary services.

Stephanie also received certification in the pre-K Musikgarten curriculum and studied conducting at USF in the masters program. She became part-time children’s music director in 1996 and full time Director of Music in 2000. She currently directs the Chancel Choir, Voices In Praise contemporary service band, 2 adult handbell groups (intermediate and advanced), 3 children's choirs and the children’s handbell/Orff ensemble. (Youth choir and bells are directed by Tom Huffman). She has two grown children and lives in Clearwater.




 

Tom Huffman

Associate Director of Music/Organist

Thomas D. Huffman currently serves as Organist and Associate Director of Music. He came to Northwood in April 2010 as interim organist and began the permanent position in August 2011. In addition to playing the organ, he leads the youth choral and handbell choirs and works with the pastors in worship planning.

Mr. Huffman holds both the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Music degrees from West Virginia University and is the Past Dean of the Clearwater Chapter of the American Guild of Organists where he also serves as the chair of the Scholarship Committee. He had previously served the First United Methodist Church of Dunedin for over 25 years. He and his wife, Cindy, have three grown children and live in Dunedin.
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Vanessa Celotto

Director of Youth and Family Ministries

Vanessa grew up as an Army "brat" and spent her life hopping from place to place with no real roots until she landed in Los Angeles in 2008. It was in California that she found her way to Jesus and became rooted in the Word. In the midst of a successful career in the fashion industry, Vanessa’s curiosity about Jesus led her to attend the Religion program at Liberty University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Ministries with a focus on Youth Ministry.

In the summer of 2017, Vanessa left California and moved to Florida to be closer to her parents who retired in Tampa. It is here that Vanessa was called to Northwood Presbyterian Church where she is overflowing with joy to share the Good News with the youth and families of Northwood as well as with the unchurched in Clearwater. Vanessa loves Northwood and looks forward to years of watching the church’s youth grow in their faith.




 

Justine Davis

Director of Children's Ministries

Justine Davis grew up at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater. While there, she was actively involved in choir, bells, puppet ministry and Youth Group. She attended College at SPC and realized that there was a career working with children which has always been her passion. She has worked with children for 17 years. She started working in Childcare centers while going to college. She attended UCF and USF to study Early Childhood Education and took the CDA state certification class and received her Director Credentials in Early Childhood Development. She worked in a preschool for 5 years and was the Assistant Director for 2 of those years.

It’s been a great experience to help children learn about Jesus and watch them grow in their faith. She was the Preschool Coordinator at Harborside Christian Church for 3 years, and has been the Director of Children’s Ministry at Northwood for 3 years now! It’s a wonderful family here at Northwood and working with the children is one of the best rewards, a blessing to be able to call this her job.

Working in a Christian environment has been a blessing to Justine and her family.
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Emily Cantin

Director of Communications

Emily joined the Northwood staff in the fall of 2018 as the Director of Communications. She feels blessed to be able to serve with such a caring and supportive community.

She graduated in May of 2002 from the University of Tampa where she received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education. She taught elementary music for a few years before starting a family. She is the wife to Steve, a very supportive and loving husband and the mother of three children. They are all active in music, sports, and in the life of Northwood. Emily enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, and walking the causeway.

In joining the Church in 2015, Emily has kept herself busy around Northwood. She is in the Chancel Choir, Jubilation Handbell Choir and sings with Voices in Praise.  Northwood is her home and the people here are her family. She feels so thankful to be surrounded by such loving and God centered people where she can build on her love and faith in Christ.
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Chris Hurst

Business Administrator

Chris joined our staff as Business Administrator in September, 2008. She has been a member of Northwood along with her husband Allen since April 1992. Their now-adult children were raised in this church. Chris is an Elder and the former Chair of both the Human Resources Committee and what is now known as the Stewardship/Property/Finance Ministry Team. She has also been the Sunday School Coordinator and a Sunday School teacher. She was born and raised in Missouri (hence her "Show-me" nature) but has also lived in Oklahoma and Mississippi where she earned her M.B.A.
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Linda O'Leary

Bookkeeper

Linda joined the Northwood Staff in November 2008. Among other duties, she is responsible for the weekly offering count, maintenance of pledge records, accounts payable, payroll, and the church’s financial records. Linda received a B.S. in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Valparaiso University. She has worked as an accountant for other businesses and has volunteered in many roles over the years.

Linda, her husband Mike, and their children, Kevin, Mark, David, and Kathleen have been members of NPC since 1995. She is currently a member of the Celebration Ringers and has been involved with many areas of church life over the years. Linda enjoys her job at the church and the interaction with the staff and members.
 
 
 
 


 

Mark Johnston

Technology Team Leader

Mark Johnston has 15 years ministry experience overseeing creative arts teams, including Technical Arts teams. He also has professional experience operating sound for live and recorded music and has 14 years experience in video production. Mark has a Masters Degree in Music from Illinois State University and currently teaches private music lessons through his business "Clearwater Music Lessons, Inc." In his spare time Mark enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids.