Whitney Strong Getman strongly believes in training up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
As the new Director of Christian Education for First Presbyterian Church in Hernando, Getman said she is looking forward to helping shape and form children's early foundation in God's Word.
"As Presbyterians, we do believe it's important to start educating children in every aspect of the church from an early age," Getman said. "It makes for a more well-rounded adult and helps them want to be a part of the church."
Getman and her husband Kevin, an engineer with the Pickering Engineering firm in Memphis, are the proud parents of two young girls, ages 3 and 1.
Getman herself grew up in a family which had strong roots planted deeply in the church.
"Just about everybody in my immediate family worked in the church," Getman said. "We were the family that when the church doors were open, we were there. We were a family that was strong in the church. Growing up in the church there was a certain spirit of grace and Christian hospitality that carried over to the life of the community from the church. I always felt like I was part of something larger than me."
Getman, who grew up in Memphis, hopes to replicate that sense of hospitality and grace-filled purpose among the congregation at First Presbyterian Church and beyond.
Getman, a longtime member of Idlewwild Presbyterian in Memphis, attended St. Andrew's University in Laurinburg, N.C., near Fayetteville, N.C.
Familiar with the growing dynamics of the Mid-South, Getman said there is major opportunity for growth within the church and denomination.
"We have seen growth in the numbers of people coming to live in Hernando for the past seven years," said Getman of the DeSoto County seat.
Hernando was recently identified as the fourth fastest-growing city in Mississippi.
"With the schools being so good and the overall quality of life, we think that's among the reasons why so many of our new members are coming here," Getman said.
Getman said First Presbyterian has a confirmation class for 5th and 6th graders in addition to continuing Christian education in other grades.
"What my hope is that we will be able to bring in Hernando leaders and help the church understand what we can do to help the church and city grow," Getman said. "On Wednesday nights we will bring in special speakers, including law enforcement and other people within the community. We understand that we do reach a greater audience than just Hernando."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.