Ministers & Staff
Reverend Dr. Tom Groome
Reverend Dr. Tom Groome is a lifelong Presbyterian and was raised in Vicksburg, MS. He graduated from L.S.U. with a B.S. degree in Marketing in 1980 where he met his wife, Leslie. They have three grown children; Rebecca, who is married to Anthony Roman and lives in Temple City, CA, Thomas, who lives in Tupelo, and Anna Gray who is married to Joshua Harden and lives in Augusta, GA with their son Benjamin (3) and daughter, Abigail (1). Tom received his Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA in 1998 and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia in 2003. Tom was called to serve the Tupelo church in August 2006 after serving the Covenant Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg, SC for eight years. Tom is very active in the workings of the greater church. He has served on the Commission on Ministry for over 10 years and is past Moderator of that Commission for St. Andrew Presbytery as well as a member of the Committee on Ministry of the Foothills Presbytery in South Carolina. He served a one year term as Moderator of St. Andrew Presbytery for 2013. Tom is very proud of the mission work in which FPC is involved. In addition to extensive local mission projects, FPC has installed 18 clean water systems and made several medical missions to Guatemala since 2006. Tom has made seven separate trips to Guatemala during this time, and participated in FPC’s initial water mission install to Cuba (November 2015). He has also traveled to Ghana, W. Africa and to the Middle East to countries such as Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Israel as part of the work of the church. Leslie and Tom love the community of Tupelo and are blessed to be here. In his spare time Tom enjoys spending time with immediate and extended family, reading, woodworking and everything LSU! Grace, Peace, and Geaux Tigers!
Reverend Dr. Ron Richardson
Ron is the youngest of ten children. He was raised on a farm in Delta City, MS. He grew up knowing how to feed the chickens, pigs, cows (milking as well), ducks, and horses (rode them as well). He drove the tractor to prepare the land for planting beans, corn, and cotton. He then plowed each of the crops along with hoeing, chopping, and picking the cotton. He also helped prepare and plant two gardens (the family had to eat). He gladly left the farm and became a graduate of Hinds Jr. College, Mississippi State University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Religious Education), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity), and Columbia Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry). He completed 13 quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education at Bryce Mental Hospital, Kentucky Baptist Hospital, and Memorial Hospital (Houston, Texas). He developed the first Department of Pastoral Care at NMMC and was Director of this Department for 29 years. During this time he developed and was Clinical Director of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team, developed and chaired the Medical Ethics Committee, developed and lead the Grief Guidance Team, developed and was an advisor to the Parkinson Disease Support group, initiated and helped develop the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Tupelo, chaired the State Certification Committee for the College of Chaplains,and developed industrial chaplaincy programs for local industries serving for 14 years in two of the industries. Ron has served as interim and supply pastor in area Presbyterian churches. He retired from the NMMC in 2005 and became the Pastoral Visitor for First Presbyterian Church in August of the same year. Ron was certified as a T’ai Chi Chih Teacher in 2003. He teaches weekly classes at the Wellness Center and First Presbyterian Church. He is married to Deanna (47 years), has two sons (Chris and Todd), two daughters-in-law (Angelia and Leigh) and four grandchildren (Anna Reese, Christopher Cole, Ava Holland, and Corinne Louise).He enjoys being with his family and taking motorcycle trips on his Harley Davidson.
Dr. Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor directs the Chancel Choir, Tower Ringers and supervises the music program at First Presbyterian. He also teaches music classes and choir at Itawamba Community College. If you have any questions about the music program, please call him at 662-842-5681.
Dr. Ray Harris
Dr. Ray Harris has been organist at First Presbyterian Church since January, 1994. His duties include providing organ music for weekly worship services as well as special and seasonal services. In addition he provides rehearsal accompaniment for the Chancel Choir and soloists. He has recorded a CD of organ music on the Letourneau Organ at First Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Harris holds the Bachelor and Master of Music Education Degrees from Mississippi State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Mississippi Music Teachers Association, for which he has served as Vice President for Public Relations.
In addition to his duties at the church, Dr. Harris teaches music at Northeast MS Community College in Booneville, MS. His duties include teaching piano, Music History and accompanying the college choir. He also serves as faculty advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on campus. He has been chosen as Humanities Teacher of the Year, has been named as a TOPP teacher and has represented the college at the state capital as a HEADWAE honoree.