Speakers + Workshop Leaders

Mark Tidsworth

Keynote Speaker

Our keynote speaker is Mark Tidsworth

Mark launched Pinnacle Leadership Associates in 2008, since then expanding Pinnacle’s ministry in terms of services and geographical reach. Serving in various vocational roles (pastor, new church developer, interim pastor, renewal pastor, therapist, nonprofit director, business owner, leadership coach, congregational consultant, leadership trainer, author) prepared Mark for leading Pinnacle into its various expressions. Mark’s direct service continues to be driven by a keen curiosity about the intersection of faith, church, and 21st century living. At this point, you will find Mark doing presentations, providing trainings, coaching, and creating content. Mark is a frequent presenter in clergy gatherings and denominational gatherings. Ordained in the Baptist Tradition, Mark now serves through the Church at large. Mark resides in Chapin, South Carolina.

Pressley Cox

Workshop Leader

Meet Pressley Cox

Pressley Cox serves as the Associate for Shared Mission and Ministry in Foothills Presbytery. She is a graduate of Presbyterian College (BA in Religion/Christian Education), Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Master of Arts in Religious Education) and Columbia Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity). Prior to coming to Foothills, Pressley served as Pastor for Eastminster in Simpsonville, SC. She has also served congregations in York, SC and Charlotte, NC. Pressley currently serves as the Social Media Coordinator for SOAP APCE. She is married to Ben and they have three high schoolers.

Mandy Keathley

Workshop Leader

Meet Mandy Keathley.

A native of Charleston, SC, Mandy Keathley’s life-long passion for music began early. Playing handbells, studying the organ, and singing in church choirs kept church music as a central part of her development as a musician. As a student at the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts, she had the opportunity to begin her professional conducting career by conducting the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Early studies also included summers at the Brevard Music Center and later, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Appalachian State University.

Mandy has served Presbyterian churches of various sizes as Director of Music and/or Organist, the smallest having only 25 members! She is currently the Director of Music at Central Presbyterian Church in Anderson, SC where she has served for the past 16 years, leading adult choirs, children’s and youth choirs, and handbell choirs. In addition, she teaches private piano, organ, and voice lessons. She lives in Greenville, SC with Lucy, her beautiful shepherd, who enjoys keeping her on her toes.

Kevin Simons

Workshop Leader

Meet Kevin Simons.

Kevin Simons is the Editor for St. James Music Press and Director of Music and Organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw, Michigan. In 2023, after 20 years of teaching, he left his position as Associate Professor and Director of Choirs at Saginaw Valley State University.

He holds degrees in vocal performance, choral conducting, and music education from the University of Oklahoma, Central Michigan University, and Boston University.

As the Editor for St. James Music Press, Kevin oversees the publication of choral and instrumental music used by churches throughout the world. He serves as the Director of the Sewanee Church Music Conference, the oldest conference for musicians in the Episcopal Church and is the choral director for the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival..

Well known as a builder of choral programs, Kevin is a frequent choral and vocal clinician. His choirs have sung with the Saginaw Choral Society, Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, and for conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and National Music Teachers Association. He has collaborated with Sydney Guillaume, Sylvia McNair, Natalie McMaster, Kevin Cole, and the Chieftains. He resides in Saginaw, Michigan, with his wife Amy and their children, Claire and Henry.

Worship & Keynote Information

“Small Boat, Good Current”

Psalm 46 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God

Primary Themes

Good CurrentGod’s energy has been flowing through this universe since the beginning of time. God’s energry still is flowing through our world, enlivening us through the Holy Spirit. Disciples of Jesus are not called to create spiritual energy for leading God’s Church. Disciples of Jesus are called to surrender control, trusting that the current of God’s energy is good, and trusting themselves to this current

Small BoatChurches come in many sizes. Deconstructing what “small” means, moving toward increased “church-esteem”, seeing the gift in small.

First Keynote “Reading the Current”

This presentation includes two parts, the first foundational for understanding the current situation with the second moving into response.

Part One—Given the seismic shifts in our world, so many people are reevaluating their lives, including their relationships with their faith and their church. While this raises some level of concern for us, this also presents timely opportunities for churches to reevaluate who they are and what they are about. This presentation describes recent cultural changes, along with research on how churches are responding. Vitalized congregations are described, followed by Mark’s recommendations on what we can no longer do and what we must do as churches.

Part TwoThree Prerequisites for Navigating the Waters

Before launching ourselves and our churches out onto those waters, there are three practices every church leader needs in place beforehand.


Second Keynote: “Navigating the Waters”

This presentation dives into Four Key Moves by church leaders toward becoming the most effective version of the body of Christ we can be in this current situation. Learning these four key moves open the door for leaders to invite their churches into this kind of adaptive transformation, equipping them to courageously trust themselves to the current of God’s movement through Christ. In other words, these are takeaways for church leaders, useful in their church contexts.

Follow Up Option— Communities of Practice

Over the last ten years, we at Pinnacle have discovered a fruitful way for churches to collaboratively move forward in mission…forming Communities of Practice. Some COPs are the built into our Transforming Church Initiatives, like Making The Shift, Farming Church, ReShaping Church. Others are the result of Lilly Grant funded activities. Either way, COPs are high quality, effective, and cost-efficient ways for churches to be in relationship with each other, focused on mission advancement. All this to say that if there’s a need for implementation of the inspiration and learning from this event, we are able to facilitate COPs toward that end. Of course we do congregational coaching along with other services, yet the COP is ideal for churches in similar circumstances after a learning experience, focused on implementation. Simply FYI.

Workshop Information

“Choosing and Evaluating Curriculum”

Nearly every church purchases curriculum of some kind: Adult Bible studies, Children’s Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Confirmation curriculum, and so forth. You need a way to determine which curriculum is right for your program, one that aligns with your theology, is engaging for your participants, and gives your leaders what they need to facilitate. This workshop will help you with all of these tasks.

Led by Pressley Cox

“Practical Resources for Handbells and Handchimes in the Small Church”

Have you ever wanted to start a handbell choir, but don’t know where to start? Don’t have enough people to create a “full” choir? Or are you just curious about how handbells work? This workshop is for you! We will look at practical resources for starting a bell choir and learn some hands-on techniques for ways you can use bells in worship.

Led by Mandy Keathley

Workshop One “By the Book”

How to stay copyright compliant and ethically responsible in the small church. Examples and suggestions will be provided of what to do (and what not to do) to live in a world with bulletins, streaming, and social media.

Workshop Two “Even I Can Sing That”

Musical resources for the small church from the catalog of St. James Music Press. Participants will sing through anthems, psalmody, and service music that will empower your small congregation to sing.

Led by Kevin Simons