Reverend John Michael KRech, Pastor
The Reverend John Michael Krech began serving as pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Bartlett, Tennessee, on September 9, 2012. Mike was born and raised in Memphis. He is a graduate of Rhodes College and Memphis Theological Seminary. Mike’s previous pastorates include serving as pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Somerville, Tennessee; co-pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Bartlett, Tennessee, and pastor of Raleigh Presbyterian Church, Memphis; Brookhaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee; Hillview Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky, and Morning Sun Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cordova, Tennessee.
Mike and his wife Patsy have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Mike’s great satisfactions in ministry come from the traditional role of a pastor in the Presbyterian tradition – preaching, leading worship, teaching, pastoral care, and witness and involvement in the community. Mike loves the great hymns of the church and believes strongly in the power of our historic Presbyterian worship in Word and Sacrament to bring believers into God’s presence with reverence and awe. Week by week Mike finds it a privilege and a challenge to bring the truth of Scripture to bear on the lives we live in the present time. Presbyterians have long valued education, and Mike believes that a growing faith is always in conversation with the arts and sciences. He loves teaching and learning together as well as putting what we learn to practice for the good of the community. Mike has served the Presbytery of the Mid South as moderator of the presbytery, chair of the Committee on Ministry, chair of Presbytery council, and commissioner to the 2003 General Assembly of the PCUSA in Denver, Colorado.
As much as Mike believes in and loves the church, he also loves “sabbath rest,” that is, activities which renew the mind, body and spirit. Among Mike’s interests are baseball, tennis, travel, trivia, table games, and astronomy. Mike has journeyed to see six total eclipses of the sun.
Charlotte Eaheart Hicks, Director of Music
Charlotte Eaheart Hicks began serving as the Director of Music at Raleigh Presbyterian Church in February of 1985 and continues in that position at Grace Presbyterian which was created by the merger of the Raleigh and Bartlett Presbyterian Churches. She is retired from teaching general music, chorus, and art at Brighton Elementary School in Brighton, Tennessee. Charlotte maintains a private voice studio, has conducted joint church choirs and held workshops in repertoire and technique for the small to intermediate church choir.
It is no wonder that Charlotte found her way to the choir loft in a Presbyterian Church. Her parents were lifelong Presbyterians. Her mother, a daughter of the manse, was active in many areas of church work throughout her life. Her father, unparalleled as a musician, was a flutist, university music professor, a church musician, the first Associate Conductor of the Memphis Symphony, and the founding conductor of Opera Memphis. Obviously, the church and music have always been at the center of her life.
A graduate of White Station High School in Memphis, Charlotte received her Bachelor of Music in Choral Sacred Music and Voice as well as her Master's Degree in Music Education from the University of Memphis. Charlotte is a Certified Church Musician (CCM) by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians.
Charlotte's family is still filled with music. Her husband, Don plays the drums. He is also involved in Christian radio and building Internet communities. Their boys, Daniel and David, are outstanding singers, brass players, and handbell ringers.
Bob Vawter, Director of
Instrumental Music and Technical Services
Bob Vawter’s history with Grace Presbyterian began in 1983 where he served as the Choir Director for Curry Memorial Presbyterian, the church that would go on to become Bartlett Presbyterian and then Grace Presbyterian. Bob conducts our handbell choir which provides beautiful music in our services about once a month.
Bob is a graduate of University of Tennessee at Martin where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education, and then his Master of Music degree in Music Education from East Texas State University. Before retiring, he served as Director of Bands for several high schools in Tennessee. Bob plays trombone, euphonium, and tuba.
In 1999, Bob taught Computer Science at Collierville High School and has served as the Technical Services Director for Grade Presbyterian since 2003.