Linda Berry was born and raised in Massachusetts where she met her late husband, Ben, a seminarian at Harvard. They were married in Nashville a year later where he came to fulfill a one-year internship in the campus ministry at Fisk University. Two years later, they moved on and she took up the ranks as “first lady” of the church, followed by a two year stint in homeland missions. When he left the ministry to become a college professor, she took advantage of the free tuition for spouse and completed her undergraduate degree in History and her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management. This was followed by a 35-year career as a college administrator, finally retiring as a CAO of a start-up school Simultaneously, she has served as CEO and Lead trainer for her own consulting company, specializing in board and multi-cultural training for schools, churches, and government agencies.
Unhappy with the dogma of main-line protestant religions but still a deeply spiritual being, she became a Unitarian in Norfolk, VA in 1994. Upon her first visit to GNUUC when the Berry’s moved to Nashville in 2007, she knew immediately that she had found a church home, primarily because of the people and size here. In addition to serving on the Search Committee, Linda is Co-Chair of Movie Night, Co-Chair of GNUUC’s NOAH Project, co-facilitator of the GNUUC Building the World We Dream About, Coordinator of the Christmas Eve Chinese Buffet trip, one of two GNUUC GA delegate, and has been quite active the past two years on the Annual Retreat Committee. Linda is currently a first-year student at Meadville-Lombard Theological Seminary, enrolled in the MDiv/MALS intensive program.
Gene Bryant grew up in a Primitive Baptist Church in Appalachia that had been branded in early 20th century by critics as “a no-hell church,” due to its affinity for universalism and repudiation of eternal punishment. By the time he graduated high school, Gene had become disillusioned with organized religion, primarily from his exposure to Bible teachers and preachers allowed to use his public schools as their captive audiences. After three “unchurched” decades, Gene, a founding member of GNUUC, was drawn to Unitarian Universalism because of its liberal principles. He remains basically secular by temperament but has bonded with UUism through communal freethought and fellowship. Gene is a retired educator, having served as teacher, principal, education editor, and manager of communications for the Tennessee Education Association.
I grew up in a small town in central Iowa where everyone knew my name. Raised as a happy Methodist, it wasn’t until I met my husband that I started to question the basis of my faith. After starting our family, now with three children, we joined a UU Congregation in Northern Virginia in 2008, and our move to Nashville in July 2013 brought us to GNUUC where the spirit of family connections made us feel immediately at home.
I work part-time for Juice Analytics as the HR Person. At our previous church I co-chaired the RE Committee and taught RE for years, as well as chaired and co-chaired the Annual Auction. Serving on the Ministerial Search Committee has been a fantastic way to learn about our new church home, as well as getting to spend time with these fantastic people. I’ve loved it. The rest of my time is spent homeschooling our three nubbins and dreaming big, green, garden dreams.
I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. After attending college in Indiana, Germany, and Iowa, I taught high school English and worked as a computer programmer in Des Moines. In early 1989 I arrived in Nashville. From 1992 to 2011, I taught high school math in Metro Nashville Public Schools. I am currently an adjunct math instructor at Nashville State Community College and enjoy bicycling and hiking. My grown daughter and son also live in Nashville.
I am a lifelong Unitarian and a founding member of Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I sing in the choir and coordinate our volunteer work at a homeless shelter. I love that Unitarian Universalism challenges me to expand my understanding of God and truth. The mysteries of life will never be fully knowable. But what I have discovered in my faith is that the practice of love is my only road to building a better world.
This congregation feels to me like it has taken root and is about to burst into full bloom. Creative and talented members are energizing church life in the areas of worship, community social work, and long range planning. Our dreams of growth with our interim minister are becoming reality. I am honored to be a part of the Ministerial Search Committee.
Kathy sees the chance to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee as an incredible opportunity to assist in shaping our community for generations to come. She feels that GNUUC is at a unique moment in its existence with an opportunity for growth, both in size and depth, in the upcoming years. Kathy joined the congregation in 2004. She has served as president for two terms, as Chair of the Caring Committee, and in various other capacities. Most recently, she successfully chaired the Interim Minister Search Committee. Professionally, Kathy is a lawyer. She is employed by the Metro Nashville Police Department, where she is the Director of the Professional Standards (Internal Affairs) Division.
Mike, a UU since 1989, is a founding member of GNUUC. He and his partner Larry were married at 25 Beacon Street by the Rev. John Buehrens in 2011. Mike is a pastoral care lay minister and has served the church in many capacities, including as an instructor for high school OWL and as service coordinator. In his career, Mike worked as a high school teacher, developer of state civil service exams, technical writer, and as an industrial training consultant. He became a licensed family nurse practitioner and spent the last 18 years of his career working with HIV/AIDS pharmaceutical research at Vanderbilt.
As a member of GNUUC since 2010, Caren and her family have been very happy with their third UU church home. She served as chair of the Worship committee between the retirement of our long time minister and our interim ministry, enabling the congregation to provide its own stability during that more insecure time. Her spouse, Jesse, is past president of the congregation, and her two children, Adrian (17) and Laurel (12) are active in the RE program.
Contact the Ministerial Search Team