Dual personalities met both ends of the spiritual spectrum


Rev. Hoyt Byrum leads the Suntree United Methodist Church congregation in a laying-on-of-hands blessing for departing co-senior pastors John and Terri Hill on June 14.

Photo by Linda Wiggins

Together, they were the yin and yang of church “co-senior pastors,” they dubbed themselves so as not to have one rank higher than the other. Rev. Terri Hill was the warm one, centered on feelings, whose messages at the pulpit these past 12 years at Suntree United Methodist Church always had a practical life application. 

Husband Rev. John Hill’s messages were often more like a lesson in religious history, much more attractive to analytic, left-brain thinkers no more interested in a lingering hug after the service than he was.

“It was perfect having them both because depending on your personality, one would resonate the best for you,” said Mike Renfro, a close friend of the Hills and one of the SUMC lay and clergy leaders to speak at the Hills’ June 14 send-off celebration at the church.

Rev. Rob Tucker

Terri Hill will be the senior pastor at Key West United Methodist Church, where the family owns a cottage and traveled to frequently through the years. John Hill will teach college-level world religions.

Sunday, July 5 marks the start of a new leadership era with a noon reception open to the public. Senior pastor is Rev. Annette Stiles Pendergrass, with Rev. Rob Tucker as associate pastor.

Pendergrass served as the district superintendent of the East Central District since July 2013, and as district superintendent of the North Central District before that. Her last pastoral post was senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Ormond Beach, senior pastor at United Methodist churches in Jacksonville and Miami Springs and associate pastor at St. Luke’s in Orlando.

Rev. Annette Pendergrass with her family

Tucker earned his bachelor’s degree in Religion & Philosophy from Florida Southern College and in May received his master’s degree in Divinity from Duke University, serving as student pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Durham.

Pendergrass has been married to her husband, Scott, for 30 years and they have three children, Kyle 24, Jacob 23 and Daniel 17. Tucker recently became engaged to fiancee Molly Shoulta, also a student at Duke Divinity School.

SUMC is at 7400 N. Wickham Rd. For more information, call 321-242-2585. VV