Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has added three new leaders to its Board of Trustees, an elected body of up to 37 members. As part of a Louisville Seminary community worship service held during the fall meeting of the Board in October 2008, the following individuals were installed as Trustees.
Melinda E. Johnson, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Grand Rapids, Mich., is a physician and partner at West Michigan Obstetricians & Gynecologists P.C., in Grand Rapids, where she has practiced medicine since 2001. Johnson earned her degrees at Stanford University in California (BS) and Michigan State University in East Lansing (MD) and studied at Oxford University in England. She completed her residency at the Grand Rapids Medical Education & Research Corporation OB/GYN Residency Program, which is affiliated with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine Spectrum Health (formerly Butterworth and Blodgett Hospitals).
In addition to her practice, Johnson is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Michigan State University. She is a member of several medical groups and serves on various boards, including the West Michigan Physician Network (WMPN), whose purpose is negotiating risk-based contracting with Priority Health and other HMOs on behalf of physician practices; Spectrum Health committees and councils, which serve to improve patient care from various perspectives; Butterworth OB/GYN P.C, a 60-member physician organization that staffs the residency clinic service, which cares for the underserved OB/GYN patient population in Grand Rapids; and the JSJ Foundation, a private foundation that supports efforts in education, health, humanity and the arts, and human and social services.
Conrad C. Sharps is the pastor and head of staff of the 2,000 plus-member Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Ala., where he has served since 2006. An alum of Louisville Seminary (MDiv ’85), Sharps also has served as pastor of Faison Presbyterian Church in Faison, N.C., (1985-1988) and First Presbyterian Church of Fernandina Beach, Fla. (1988-2005). While in Florida, he served as a weekly columnist for the Fernandina Beach newspaper, News Leader, which has a circulation of over 13,000.
As a member of the Presbytery of St. Augustine (Florida) and, now, the Presbytery of Shepherds and Lapsley (Alabama), Sharps has held several leadership positions. Currently, he is chair of the Development Division in the Alabama-based Presbytery. In Florida, he was Presbytery Moderator and served on the Committee on Ministry, the Executive Presbyter Search Committee, the Evaluation and Review Committee, and as a member of the Conflict Management Consultant-Intervention team. In service to the larger Church, he was a Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1995, participated in a pulpit exchange with the St. Thomas United Reformed Church of Watford, U.K., and was named Pastor of the Year in 2000 by the Academy of Parish Clergy.
Brent L. Slay of Grand Rapids, Mich., is originally from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Following graduation from Drake University in Des Moines, where he attended on an athletic scholarship, was named twice to the All-American Indoor Track and Field Team, and was named the Outstanding Graduate in the College of Education, Slay taught junior high school in Des Moines. He later became a partner in the Terryberry Company, a manufacturer of custom recognition jewelry and awards, located in Grand Rapids. He sold his interest in the company and retired from active participation in the business in 2004.
Slay is very active in community service and in the ministry of his church, First United Methodist of Grand Rapids. At the church, he serves as chair of the Trustees, as well as chair of the Administrative Board. He has also served as a board member of Senior Neighbors, Inc., East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, Drake University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Clark Retirement Community, and World Affairs Council of West Michigan. Currently, he is chair of the Clark Retirement Community Foundation and vice-chair of the Board of Trustees for Founders Bank and Trust.
The Board of Trustees meets twice each year for two to three days. The Trustees elect the President and faculty, confer degrees and have responsibility for the policies governing all aspects of Seminary life. The work of the Board is accomplished through its committees, including Executive, Academic Affairs, Finance, Seminary Relations, Student Life, and Vision & Mission. Board members are elected to serve three four-year terms, with a mandatory year off before they are eligible to serve three additional terms.
To learn more about Louisville Seminary’s Board of Trustees, visit www.lpts.edu/About_Us.