Greetings Members of Memorial Presbyterian Church, Christian Friends:

On October 29, 2020, the congregation of Memorial Presbyterian Church elected and commissioned nine members to serve as its Pastor Nominating Committee. Juanita Craighead, Samuel Cunningham, Gayle Dixon, Cherith Foster, Venita Hood, Johnny Mills, Alexis Mitchell, Tyler Pass and I, State Alexander accepted the congregation’s call to engage in the prayerful process of collaboration, consideration and deliberation to seek, evaluate, identify and nominate a new pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Since that commissioning service, and following an orientation session by Charlotte Presbytery, and the appointment of Rev. Shavon Starling Lewis as our presbytery liaison, the Memorial Presbyterian Church (MPC) Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), has met weekly.  State Alexander was elected to serve as MPC-PNC chair and Alexis Mitchell as Vice Chair with the primary responsibility of guiding the forward movement of this orderly, but otherwise collaborative process.

There are many steps in this journey to be certain and confident that the MPC-PNC has been God-led in its call process. These steps are essential and an intentional faith walk emersed in prayerfully seeking and trusting God to reveal to us, the MPC-PNC, one who will emerge as the next pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church. Gayle Dixon is our spiritual leader and sets the tone in centering our hearts, minds and spirits each meeting on the work that is before us. We ask God to enable our gifts to discern who God is calling to our congregation. We pray with expectancy, for clarity of heart and mind that we seek God first, be open to God’s way-not ours and that we not tire in doing God’s will for the future of Memorial Presbyterian Church.

We ask that you walk with us and keep us in your prayers. Meanwhile, we will keep you informed of our forward movement. Alexis Mitchell and Cherith Foster have assumed responsibility for that task. Christ is with us even now. We expect to find the one who will help us live into hope of being a blessing in God’s world and to the people of God.

Be blessed,

State W. Alexander
Memorial Presbyterian Church
Pastor Nominating Committee

Memorial Presbyterian Church PNC Committee

If you are interested in the position of pastor at Memorial Presbyterian Church,

PNC Updates

03/05/21 — PNC Flow Chart Updated

04/15/21 — PNC Flow Chart Updated

05/10/21- PNC Flow Chart Updated

09/30/21 – PNC Flow Chart Updated

12/02/21 – PNC Flow Chart Updated


State Alexander is an Elder at Memorial Presbyterian Church (MPC) in Charlotte, N.C., where he has been a member for nearly four decades. A life-long Presbyterian, he is a member of the choir and the men’s ensemble. The son of Presbyterian minister who served as a consultant to historic Catawba Synod, State has had rich experiences in the life of the denomination. Both of his parents were active in church leadership and Christian Education. State has enjoyed a broad and extensive communications career and in higher education leadership. State and his wife, Carol, an outstanding educator in her own right and a deacon at MPC, have been married for 40 years. They have five children and five grandchildren.


I am Juanita Craghead. I have been a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church since 1977. I have three grown children, Michael, Angela and Anthony. I have one grandchild, Alexis.

I served on the Wonderland Daycare Board, taught VBS, chaired PE, served on the Usher Board and I am an ordained Elder.

I was married to the late Reverend Robert Craghead, who pastored churches in Waxhaw, NC.

Samuel L. Cunningham was born in Charlotte and attended Biddleville Presbyterian Church, one half of the merger that became Memorial Presbyterian Church and was very active in the children’s programs, while residing with his grandparents until 10 years old, when he joined his parents in the Bronx, NY. After receiving a BS in biology from JCSU, enlisting in the NJ Air National Guard, receiving a Masters in Social Work from Fordham U, transferring to The US Army as a Social Work Officer, and receiving a Ph.D. from National Catholic University, School of Social Services, he worked closely with the Army Chaplains, was active in the Army Protestant Chapels, and Air Force Chapels in the US and Europe. After retiring from the military, and returning to Charlotte, he resumed his childhood relationship with Memorial Presbyterian and he and his wife have been members since 2009. He now is serving as a ruling Elder, and Jean serves as a Deacon. Samuel is an active member of the Men’s Council, serving as the Recording Secretary. Samuel and Jean have two adult children and an adult granddaughter.


Gayle Dixon − Last of eight children born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. McCombs.  Married to Roy Dixon, Jr., will celebrate 50 years of marriage this coming March (2021).  I have one son, Roy Dixon, III., and one grandson, Rashawn Dixon.

Service to Memorial Presbyterian Church (past and present): Sunday School Teacher, choir member, PW Moderator, Worship Task Force, Nominating Committee, Angel Tree Coordinator, Prayer Team, Co-facilitator-Circle of Sisters, Deacon (teaching)

Service to community: Volunteer Chaplain-Novant Medical Center-Main, Prayer Vigil-Northwest Corridor, Retirees’ Fellowship

Author of an inspirational book entitled: “The Matchless Love of God, Ageless and Timeless as the Cedars of the Lord.”

“Fear not:  for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”     (Isa. 43: 1b)

Words of scripture that spoke to my heart and set me on a course of knowing who I was and whose I was.  The Word of God that put me on paths toward my ultimate destiny, which is to become one with God in fulfilling what He planned and purposed for my life.


Cherith Foster −Memorial Presbyterian Church is 52 years old in the merger of Biddleville Presbyterian Church, which my Great- Grandfather helped build, and Emmanuel Presbyterian Church and I’m 52 years old, born in its first 4 months and baptized here.  I’ve had the pleasure of being a baby, a youth, a young adult, and an adult in this Church, thus utilizing all programs through the years.  I’ve enjoyed several roles including Sunday School Teacher, Bible School Teacher, Secretary of Presbyterian Women, Member of the Church Symphony, and co-founder of our Liturgical Dance Group, Spirit of Movement.  Though I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a variety of denominations with family and friends, I, having spent my entire life here, have a rich history with Memorial.

Venita Hood joined Memorial Presbyterian Church in April of 1981 as an energetic 12-year-old. Her passion of helping others, led her to give her life to Christ at an early age. Ms. Hood has served in several capacities during her membership, including two terms on the Deacon board, where she is currently serving her third term. She has also served as an elementary, middle and high school Sunday school teacher, secretary on the Social Action committee for two years and now the PNC committee. Ms. Hood is the mother of a son and daughter, Javari and Amari, ages 10 and 11.

Johnny B Mills − Married (Shirley), retired US Postal Service.  A member of Memorial Presbyterian Church for over 30 years. Have serve as an Elder and Trustee. Other activities are Choir member, Men council, Bereavement team coordinator, and Hot Dog Friday a community out-reach program.

Alexis Mitchell − Two- time Emmy® Award winning journalist, Alexis M. Mitchell is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a graduate of Bennett College for Women, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications with a Sequence of Broadcast Production & Broadcast Journalism.

Alexis is the Senior Social Media and Community Manager for FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums). Before transitioning to the digital world, she comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience of over 20+ years in the radio and television industry. 

Alexis is a member of the MPC Technology committee, where she helps produce Sunday worship livestream and social media platforms and she’s a former member of the Rev. Edward B. Newberry Scholarship Fund.

Tyler Pass has been a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church for about 22 of the 24 years that I have been alive J. My parents joined the church with me while I was a toddler and I have grown up here. From moving through all the age groups of the youth group where my parents were both teachers, I myself am now the youth leader/lead choreographer of our liturgical dance group. I am also a member of the Nominating committee and out kitchen/ catering committee. I love this church, but I would love to see more young people like myself to better relate to. I view this position as my duty as a child of god, as well as being the lone young adult who is active in our church to help our church survive and last long into the future for my children to grow up in as well. Outside of church I am a huge animal lover and hope to do something with that down the road but currently work at the CMPD crime lab. I graduated in spring of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences as well as a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. I spend the little free time I have with my family, my fur babies, and planning my wedding because I recently got engaged!