Preparing the Way for a Life of Service: An Interview with the Rev. Alexandra Hutson

By Rev. Eugenia A. Gamble

A child of the Synod of Living Waters, Alexandra Hutson grew up in First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa Alabama. “My family joined FPC when I was seven years old. We were always welcome there and it was the one place throughout my school years where I knew I could always be myself. What was most special was that I was nurtured, loved and supported by members of all ages. It started with my Logos table parents and never stopped.” During the time of confirmation preparation Alexandra’s faith deepened and she was given space to ask deep questions. “My pastors nurtured my leadership skills and gave me the opportunity to lead in worship using prayers I wrote myself. The first time I stood to lead worship as a High School student, I felt the nudging of a call to ministry. My pastors talked with me about what ministry was really like and encouraged my exploration.”

It was during that time that Alexandra began to explore where she wanted to go to College. Maryville College, a Covenant Partner institution of Synod of Living Waters, ticked all the boxes. Alexandra knew she wanted to attend a PCUSA affiliated school and found just what she needed at Maryville. “Everything at Maryville is integrated. Everything is a part of a larger picture. Classes, local church support, chapel, choir. Each part of my college life worked together and prepared me further for my future ministry.” Alexandra served as an intern at New Providence church near campus, sang in choir all while majoring in religion.

Upon graduation she attended Columbia Theological Seminary, another Covenant Partner of our Synod. “My religion major certainly gave me a leg up when I got to seminary. During my first year, the classes reinforced what I had learned and gave me confidence to broader and deepen my studies.”

After completing seminary, Alexandra was called and ordained as Associate Pastor at Government Street Presbyterian Church in Mobile Alabama. During her pastorate, which coincided with pandemic, Alexandra says, “GSPC helped me learn flexibility and patience. Everything changed and plans that ‘should’ have worked, often didn’t anymore. What I value most from that experience is that it opened my heart and emotions to deeply connect with other people in some of the same ways that others did with me growing up in my home church.”

During her tenure at GSPC, Alexandra and her husband Jacob, welcomed their first child, Elsie Grace, into the world and the life of the church. Currently Alexandra is exercising her call to ministry as a full time mom. In addition, though, she supply preaches regularly throughout the Presbytery of South Alabama and participates in all aspects of the larger church. “This week was Elsie Grace’s first presbytery meeting,” Alexandra chuckled. “I sat on the same row as two other clergy women and we just passed her back and forth. She did great during worship but she slept through the meeting part. What I love about this time in my ministry is that I get to expose Elsie to lots of different churches with different styles of worship. They know her now and she got so many hugs and cuddles at presbytery.”

As Alexandra and I closed our conversation, we both saw how the congregations, partners and entities of our synod had incarnated the love of God in Jesus Christ in Alexandra’s life and how that nurture is coming full circle with her daughter. “I was always so welcome at church as a child and now so is my daughter.” This is just one example of how our synod faithfully ‘prepares the way’ for God to meet, love and lead God’s people.