William C. Heard
Bill has served as pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church since 2012 and is a graduate of Davidson College (1985) and Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia (1990).  Bill received a certificate in counseling from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation, Philadelphia (1991).  Bill served as an assistant pastor for First Presbyterian, Macon, GA (1991-1995), as church planter and pastor of Harbor Church, PCA in Mooresville, NC (1995-2009) and as pastor to English speaking people among the Amigos en Cristo Church in Cotacachi, Ecuador 2010-2012. 
Bill and his wife, Sydney, have three daughters Ann, Ceci and Sarah.  Bill’s favorite pastimes include percussion, music composition and boating.

Director of Music

Dr. Cliff Taylor

Dr. Clifton Taylor began duties as part-time Director of Music in January 2015.  He hails from a musical family in which both grandfathers were musicians, and his father and brothers are all currently professional musicians.  He has over 40 years of experience in choral and instrumental church music making.

Cliff is employed full time as Associate Director of Bands at Mississippi State University, where he holds the rank of Associate Professor.  Among his other duties, he co-directs the athletic bands, and there are occasional Sundays when he is away from Grace due to his travel with the band to perform at MSU games. 
In addition to his work at Grace and MSU, Cliff composes and arranges music for bands, directs the band program for the Starkville Homeschool Music Cooperative, performs as a professional trombonist, and serves as a leader with Grace’s Trail Life USA troop.  He and his wife Charlotte have two grown children, Clifton and Evelyn.   


Carolyn Rodgers

Carolyn was born in French Camp, MS and graduated from French Camp Academy and Belhaven University with a major in Piano and a minor in Music Education. She has been involved in teaching classroom music and piano in Benoit,French Camp, Kilmichael, Ackerman, and Kosciusko, MS Public Schools and at the Presbyterian Day School in Cleveland, MS.Carolyn began playing the piano for worship services when she was 12 years old at the French Camp Presbyterian Church and has been involved in leading worship and playing the piano and organ ever since. Through out the years, Carolyn has played the piano and organ for numerous weddings, special services and celebrations, Christmas programs, and funerals.

In 1981 she married Jerry L. Rodgers and moved to Houston, TX.  Later they moved to Bantang, Indonesia and Greenville, SC with his work. After Jerry's death in 1989, she and their son, Chris, moved to Starkville to be near family. At that time, Carolyn joined Grace Presbyterian Church and shortly afterwards began assisting with the church's music ministry by playing the piano, accompanying the choir, and later playing the organ, a total of 27 years at the keyboards at Grace.  Since moving to Starkville, Carolyn has taught private piano lessons at her home and at Starkville Academy.

In addition to loving music of all kinds, Carolyn enjoys baking and visiting with family and friends. Top on her list of favorite people and places to visit  are her son, Chris, and his wife, Amy, and their two children, Christopher and Hartlee in Mobile, Alabama.

Choir Accompanist

Gwyen Elizabeth Sutphin


Gwyen Elizabeth Sutphin has served as the pianist at Grace Presbyterian Church since January 2015.  She has grown up in Starkville since she was 8 months old. Gwyen Elizabeth is an honor graduate of Starkville Academy and is currently a sophomore at Mississippi State University.  She is majoring in Computer Engineering and minoring in music at MSU where she is a member and plays piccolo with the Famous Maroon Marching Band and is a pianist with the MSU Jazz Band.  Gwyen Elizabeth is a “preacher’s kid” and is an active member of First United Methodist Church. She enjoys music in many forms, basketball, all MSU sports, and is a huge Elvis Presley fan.

Band Coordinator

Daniel Neely


Daniel Neely is a student at Mississippi State University majoring in Electrical Engineering. His family has always been very involved in music and had a strong passion for leading worship. In fact, three of his older brothers are worship pastors at their respective churches. He views it as a great blessing to be able to help coordinate and lead worship for a wonderful body of believers. He will be graduating in December of 2017.

Children's Ministry Director

Amelia Nolenpdrawer_180927_1kj32k
Amelia Nolen grew up in Birmingham, AL.  She is a pastor's kid and remembers becoming a believer in elementary school.  In college she was introduced to RUF by a roommate and there experienced significant growth in her faith.  It was in college that she also met her husband.  Amelia has a master's degree in Social Work and spent many years working in the community.  She became the children's ministry director at Grace in January 2014.  Amelia and her husband have 2 kids.

Youth Leader

Emily Benson

Emily Benson is from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. She is currently a student at Mississippi State University studying Secondary Education. After growing up in a Christian home, she became a Christian during her freshman year of college. Now a senior, she is involved in RUF, spends her summers working with children at Twin Lakes Camp, and hopes to continue in ministry work. During her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring new places, and spending time with friends.

Youth Leader

Nathan Lowery

Nathan Lowery grew up in Georgia and went to high school in Zachary, Louisiana.  He is a senior at Mississippi State majoring in Forestry and Natural Resources with a concentration in Urban Forestry. Nathan loves the outdoors, sports, and coffee shops!

Church Administrator

Lisa Vaughan
Our church administrator is Lisa Vaughan. A Starkville native, Lisa is married to Randy and they have 3 grown sons. After a career in elementary education, Lisa now fills her free time with family, fostering animals for the Humane Society and traveling. She is an active member of First Baptist Church.

Reformed University Fellowship

Elliott Everitt, Campus Minister
Elliott and Carrie moved to Starkville in June 2017. They have four children: Thomas (10), Harris (8), Graham (6) and Jerome (3). Elliott grew up in Jackson, MS, and while he is an avid Mississippi State fan, he graduated from Ole Miss in 2006. Carrie grew up in Peachtree City, GA and attended Mercer University from 1997-2001 before moving to Oxford to work as an intern with RUF at Ole Miss. This is where the Everitts met, and they were married in December 2005. After 5 years as a youth director in Yazoo City, MS and graduating from RTS in Jackson, MS in 2012, Elliott accepted the call to serve RUF at Mercer University in Macon, GA in January 2013. RUF has been instrumental in the lives of both Elliott and Carrie, and they are thrilled to be a part of the Hail State family.

Reformed University Fellowship

Allie Harmon, Intern
Allie Harmon grew up in Montgomery, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education. At Auburn, she found RUF to be a place that taught the hope of the Gospel for broken sinners. Amidst the busyness and emotional chaos of college, Allie needed the reminders of the truth that God loved her, despite who she was. For that reason she decided to be an RUF intern and she cannot wait to begin at Mississippi State in the fall.

Reformed University Fellowship

Ward Evans, Intern

Ward is from Athens, GA, but grew up outside of Athens in the bustling metropolis of Nicholson - a town that boasts one stop light and a Dollar General. He attended the University of Georgia in Athens, where he studied history and political science. Ward was involved with RUF all four years at UGA, and is excited to be a part of RUF at Mississippi State, a school that shares his affinity for bulldogs. Ward is known as an avid lover of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, fantasy and sci-fi novels nobody else likes, Georgia football, and as someone who quotes the office and parks and rec so much that it's "annoying." You can generally find him reading, watching Netflix, playing video games, throwing the football, or hanging out at a coffee shop pretending to like coffee.