West End Presbyterian Welcomes New Educator

Elizabeth Nix, Director of Christian Education at West End Presbyterian Church. Contributed.


Elizabeth Nix was just 12 when she began to feel the call to educational ministry. It was a calling that would eventually bring her to serve as the new director of Christian education at West End Presbyterian Church.

Her early sense of call was sparked by a long-ago conversation with her mother concerning her childhood church’s struggles to hire a youth director.

“I remember talking with my mom about why no one wanted that job, because it would be awesome. And I began thinking about how I would like to do that kind of thing.”

She found encouragement and support from her family and church family, which both nurtured her interest and leadership skills as she discerned.

“I was captain of our relay for life team for several years. I earned a scholarship for youth church leadership from Presbyterian College, my church paid for me to participate in Project Burning Bush, a program for high schoolers discerning calls to ministry by Union Presbyterian Seminary.

“Everything just fell into place as I followed the senses of call.”

Nix brings with her a religion degree from Presbyterian College and a master of divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. She also has years of experience serving in churches, starting with her first job as a summer intern for children’s and youth ministry at First Presbyterian in Clinton, South Carolina to her most recent position as director of Christian education at John’s Island Presbyterian Church, also in South Carolina.

For Nix, her call has always been about spiritual growth.

“Every time I engaged in or led educational ministry, I lit up inside. It’s truly where my passion lives and where who I am connects most of my ministry,” she said. “There has never really been a time when educational ministry wasn’t a part of my call; I’ve known it’s what I love from the beginning.”

The South Carolina native already feels welcomed and loved by the community of WEPC as they start to get to know each other. “I’m very excited to just jump in and walk alongside members as we figure out what faith formation should look like for West End.”

Ministry for Nix is a team effort. Her responsibilities will include working closely with the Christian Education Committee to plan and implement programs for children and youth and their families and to integrate education in all aspects of congregational life including mission and worship.

Nix will also lend her experience to help grow the adult education program and to help adults feel more connected and to value in their own faith formation.

“I do love that I get to work with adults as well because it lets me do intergenerational ministry which is a huge passion of mine. Intergenerational ministry can truly be what makes a church and its ministry sustainable,” says Nix. “If all generations are engaged and mutually invested in being church together, that’s incredible, and so much closer to the body of Christ than when divided by age and grade.”

With solid programs already in place, Nix looks forward to brainstorming and dreaming about the future with the existing team of volunteers. Nix will also contribute her gifts and skills to the worship life of the church.

The church’s interim pastor, the Reverend T. Wes Moore, is grateful to have a new colleague.

“I am so excited to work with Elizabeth Nix. The Lord has called her for such a time as this in the life of West End Presbyterian Church and where all of humanity finds itself in this peculiar moment in history.”

All congregations have faced challenges during the course of the pandemic, but Nix sees opportunity.

“We don’t really have a whole lot of ‘normals’ anymore with education. But that can be a good thing. Because now we can ask ‘what will meet our needs in this time and place?’ Form follows function,” she says, “and so we can embrace changes that truly match our needs.”

There is one thing that has stayed the same, Nix says. “Our needs haven’t changed. Children still need to feel loved and that they belong and that they matter, and that the adults around them see them and hear them. And hopefully by doing that we show them that God hears and loves them too. We have new challenges to face in doing that, but those needs are still the same.” 

Nix and her husband, Tom, a native of the United Kingdom, are settling into everyday life in the Sandhills and getting to know its places and people. Nix says that is the thing she loves most about ministry: the people and the chance to “walk together in faith.” 

Those interested in more information about ministry at WEPC are encouraged by Nix to check out the church website at www.westendpres.church.

Contact Maggie Beamguard at maggie@thepilot.com.