Head Nursery Attendant
Mary Alston, a Nashville native, has lived in Rocky Mount since 1993. For many years, Mary has been providing loving nursery care for infants and children at Good Shepherd during worship services and other church events. She has been a member of the Good Shepherd Day School staff as lead teacher since 2002 and has worked with children for more than 20 years. Mary received an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Edgecombe Community College.
Mary is the mother of two (Desmond and Jaletta), and a grandmother of five. When she isn’t spending time with family and friends, Mary enjoys reading, shopping, singing and cooking.
Organist and Choir Director
Lawrence Goering, a native of eastern North Carolina, began organ study while in high school in Kinston, NC. At East Carolina University, he studied organ with E. Robert Irwin, Mark Gansor, and Janette Fishell. After graduating from East Carolina University with a B.M. in organ performance and sacred music, he remained as a staff member in the music library for ten years. During this time, he took further organ lessons with Janette Fishell. He has played recitals at several churches in eastern NC and in Reykjavik, Iceland. Prior to coming to Good Shepherd in 1991, he served Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and Disciples of Christ congregations in eastern NC. In addition to his ministry at Good Shepherd, he maintains a private studio of piano, organ and voice students. Recently, he served as a consultant for a new pipe organ project at another church. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists (past Dean of the East Carolina Chapter), the Rocky Mount Piano Teachers’ Association, and the Board of the Tar River Orchestra and Chorus. He regularly attends the annual East Carolina Religious Arts Festival and the Sewanee Church Music Conference. When not making, directing, or teaching music, Lawrence enjoys walking, hiking, cooking, reading, and art.
Although Velinda Hardy has spent brief periods of time in other places, Tillery, North Carolina, has been her home since she was four years old. She is 1970 graduate of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, having earned a B.A. in English, and a 1972 graduate of Clark Atlanta University in Georgia, where she was awarded an M.A. During her 34 year career, Velinda taught English, Humanities, and African Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and at Halifax Community College in Weldon. While teaching she also did additional studies at East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Velinda was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of North Carolina on May 18, 2001, at Calvary Parish, Tarboro. After ordination, she served Calvary and St. Luke’s churches for twelve years. She then served the Church of the Saviour in Jackson, North Carolina, for four and a half years. In addition to parish ministry, she has served on the Committee for the Millennium Development Goals, the Nets for Life Project, the Committee on the Diaconate, and she co-chaired the Transition Committee for the Election and Ordination of the XII Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Presently she is a member of the Commission on Ministry for the Diaconate, the Society of Companions of the Holy Cross (an international Anglican organization of women grounded in intercessory prayer and advocacy for justice and peace), and the NAACP.
Velinda has been an active missioner: her primary mission field is Africa, and she has visited Kigali, Rwanda, four times as a part of the Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project, and Entebbe, Uganda, where she attended the Anglican All African Bishops’ Conference as an observer. In addition to Africa, Velinda has participated in two missions to Limon, Costa Rica, and in 2018 she traveled with a group from our diocese to make her long awaited pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
At home, Velinda enjoys the solitude of rural North Carolina as an avid gardener and reader.