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  • Leslie Nissen – Chair

  • Julie Carter

  • Dwight Christenbury

  • Bob Forsythe

  • Ron Howard

  • Erika McGilley

  • Jim Smelker

  • Sarah Thibodeau

  • Char Wojcik

  • Anne Wright


Membership is open to any member of the congregation of Trinity Presbyterian Church.




The Local Missions team members are the stewards of Trinity funds allocated to agencies addressing the urgent needs, as well as long-term goals, of our neighbors who need assistance, in whatever form that may be. The organizations we support are located primarily within Henderson County, but we also include the Presbytery of Western North Carolina.  The local agencies and organizations included on the list below currently receive financial support disbursed from the Local Missions Budget, which is approved by Session annually. (Endowments and other gifts sometimes allow our team to allocate more than the budgeted amount to named or voted-upon organizations.)


Additionally, many of the agencies have historically received faithful volunteer support from Trinity members. Covid interrupted nearly all volunteer “jobs,” for quite a while, but Trinity members persevered wherever possible. Although organizations are moving toward a "new normal," the landscape of local volunteer opportunities keeps changing, post-pandemic. Therefore, agency websites are the most reliable source of up-to-date information about their current volunteer opportunities.* 

*Our Reach Out and Serve document provides brief descriptions of the organizations supported by Trinity via Local Missions funds and / or by committed volunteers from our congregation.

Trinity Presbyterian Church’s founding members shared a strong commitment to sharing the Sovereignty of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Power of the Holy Spirit with all the people of the world. We turn today to this strong mission commitment to inform the work of the Global Missions Ministry. We actively participate in activities to minister to the needs of the poor, the sick, the lonely and powerless; by engaging in the struggles to free people from sin, fear, oppression, hunger and injustice; and by encouraging hope in a peaceful, loving world.


Because Trinity enjoys a strong Local Missions Ministry which focuses on needs within the Presbytery of Western North Carolina, the Global Missions Ministry has turned its attention to helping those further afield. Some of the activities and missions we support follow:


Guatemala Partnership –

Trinity has been in partnership with a small Presbyterian church in western Guatemala, Fuente de Vida (Fountain of Life), since 2003. Members of the Fuente de Vida congregation have hosted mission teams from Trinity on frequent occasions. Likewise, mission teams from Fuente de Vida have visited and preached at Trinity. Believing that faith and well-being are both supported by education, Trinity has supplied scholarship opportunities to numerous children from Fuente de Vida and Monterey, the local community. Prior to our support, not one child from Fuente de Vida had graduated from high school. Now there are four high school graduates, and some students have continued on to college.  

Mission Co-Workers – Guatemala - Sandi and Brian Thompson-Royer –

Guatemala is a patriarchal country where women are frequently ignored, assaulted, and killed with impunity. There are few female pastors or other successful women role models with whom Guatemalan women might interact. Sandi Thompson-Royer has a ministry focused on leadership development among the Sinodica, the women of the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala. These women are working courageously for change in their country and culture. Brian Thompson-Royer is an agricultural specialist and is working to support individual farmers and farm cooperatives.


Mission Co-Worker – Guatemala – Leslie Vogel –

Rev. Leslie Vogel has recently accepted the position of Presbyterian World Missions regional liaison for Guatemala and Mexico. Prior to this assignment, Leslie worked for the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies (CEDEPCA), another Trinity mission. She has visited Trinity several times in recent years, helping us understand daily life amidst the political chaos in Nicaragua and Guatemala.  


Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America – CEDEPCA- Guatemala –

CEDEPCA is an ecumenical educational organization which works to transform lives in Central America. CEDEPCA is a highly organized and focused organization that specializes in disaster preparation, intercultural encounters, women’s ministry, and a biblical and theological seminary. Teams from Trinity have visited CEDEPCA on several occasions, and CEDEPCA representatives have visited Trinity to describe their multi-functional approach.  (


Ecumenical Center for Pastoral Integration – CEIPA – Guatemala –

CEIPA, located in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, promotes the interests of children and adolescents, especially those working in the city streets. CEIPA brings street education, medical referrals, and meals to those children who are forced by economic circumstances to work in the streets and four main markets, rather than attend school. This alternative education model takes education to where the students are, right to the city streets.  (


Center for Development – CDCA – Nicaragua –

The CDCA’s mission is to enable communities to become self-sufficient, sustainable, and democratic entities. Its primary focus is Ciudad Sandino, the most densely populated city in Nicaragua, and one of the poorest. CDCA works in the area of sustainable agriculture, sustainable economic development, health care, and education. (


Mission Co-Workers- Madagascar – Dr. Daniel and Elizabeth Turk –

Dan and Elizabeth Turk are working to improve lives in Madagascar. Elizabeth trains village health workers, helps communities develop safe drinking water sources, and educates church leaders and youth about HIV and AIDS prevention. Dan has helped the community develop an extensive fruit tree program to improve food security and nutrition in a country where 80% of people live in poverty. Trinity has supported the Turks with $2000 in 2019. (


Mission Co-Workers – Thailand - Andy and Ellen Collins-

The Collins family lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where they partner with the Christian Communications Institute at Payap University. They focus on the Institute’s program of using drama and dance to communicate the gospel through Thai culture. The Collins and the CCI lead students to Christ by performing evangelistic Thai folk dramas in 25 villages throughout Thailand. The Collins and the CCI troupe visited Trinity in 2016 to demonstrate their unique evangelistic program. 


Nkoma Hospital – Malawi –

Trinity has enjoyed a long relationship with Nkoma Hospital. For many years, their chief physician was a mission co-worker from the Presbytery of Western North Carolina. The 220-bed hospital has evolved from a single missionary doctor to a modern facility that serves patients from all over Malawi and neighboring Mozambique. It has all major departments, including a busy ophthalmic department. On a yearly basis, 53,000 outpatients are seen and there are 19,000 admissions. 


Greenbelt Movement – GBM – Kenya -

The Greenbelt Movement is a non-governmental organization that focuses on environmental conservation, community development and capacity building. It was established in 1977, under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya. It aims at organizing women in rural Kenya to plant trees, combat deforestation, and stop soil erosion. Since 1977, over 51 million trees have been planted, and 30,000 women have been trained in forestry, bee keeping, food processing and other trades. (


Theological Education Fund (PC(USA)) –

The Theological Education Fund prepares men and women in eleven seminaries in the USA to be pastors, educators, and musicians for congregations. Serving as centers for theological discourse and reflection, the seminaries provide advanced degrees and continuing education for pastors and lay leaders. (


Church World Services -

Church World Services was formed in 1946 in the aftermath of the second world war. Seventeen denominations came together to form an agency “to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.” The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless. CWS affirms the power of individuals and communities to take ownership of their future. They meet people right where they are, helping them maintain solutions they can maintain – and build on. That means a refugee family is able to start a new life or a disaster victim is able to rebuild with safety and dignity.  (


Human Trafficking –

Human trafficking is human slavery, and western North Carolina, with its intersecting interstates, is among the top eight states with this criminal activity. Whether agricultural,

Industrial, service industry, or sexual, human trafficking victims are unable to advocate for themselves. Within the past two years, representatives from Trinity have engaged in letter-writing campaigns to elected officials, sponsored trafficking awareness in Sunday worship, and worked with local community agencies to assure their focus on trafficking victims. 


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance – PDA –

Natural disasters know no season. Volcano eruptions, hurricanes, fires, tornados, floods, and drought-induced famines just keep coming. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance affords us a way to assure that our dollars are going where they are needed. PDA can be on the ground not only in the USA but in countries around the world where they work in concert with local churches and other responders. By working with groups that already have a presence in the affected area, they can “hit the ground running” while providing for the needs of local people with cultural sensitivity.  PDA can be there right after disaster strikes and is prepared to stay for the long haul.  (

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