Clergy and Staff
Rev. Dr. C. Gray Norsworthy
Gray was born in Billings, Montana and moved to Atlanta when he was eight weeks old. Gray actually grew up a few miles from Northwest Presbyterian Church, living in houses on Forrest Lake Drive and Loridans Drive. He graduated from The Westminster Schools. After belonging to a Baptist church growing up, Gray began attending a Presbyterian church while doing his undergraduate work at the University of Virginia. He graduated from UVA with a B.A. in English in 1979 and returned to Atlanta to work in marketing at Southern Bell.
When he was called to the ministry, he entered Columbia Theological Seminary where he completed a Master of Divinity with distinction in 1985. He was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on July 21, 1985. Gray later earned his Doctor of Ministry degree through McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois in June of 1997.
Gray retired in January of this year after serving almost twelve years as the Senior Pastor of Johns Creek Presbyterian Church in Johns Creek, Georgia. Prior to that, he served as the Senior Chaplain of the ecumenical Big Canoe Chapel (2008-2010), Senior Pastor of Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta (1994-2008), Senior Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Staunton, Virginia (1989-1994), and Associate Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Snellville, Georgia (1985-1989).
Gray is a published writer and poet. His most recent work appears in the anthology, Special Visions: Poems by and for Pastoral Caregivers. He has also written a set of articles in the preaching commentary, Feasting on the Word: Year C, Volume 3, 2010. Gray has taught classes in church history and Presbyterian polity in the Commissioned Lay Pastor program at Columbia Theological Seminary. His work with presbytery has included chairing the Division on Church Growth, the Policies and Procedures Committee of the New Church Development Commission, and serving on Presbytery’s Council.
Gray and his wife Pam have three children: son Mason, age 32, and daughters Cameron, 29, and Maggie, 27. Their dogs Gladney and CJ round out the Norsworthy family. When Gray has free time, he enjoys playing the guitar, recording music, reading, hiking, rooting for the Atlanta sports teams (Braves, Hawks, Falcons) and the Virginia Cavaliers.
Director of Youth, Young Adult & Community Outreach
AJ Shortley earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div) and a Master of Theology (Th.M) from Columbia Theological Seminary in 2017 and 2018. He has been involved in ministry since 2008 when he began volunteering with a local college and young singles ministry. AJ has served several churches in the Atlanta area, as well as provided pastoral care to families as a chaplain for Northside Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Capstone LLC. AJ is an avid reader, and his favorite subjects are history, science, theology, and biblical studies. He is passionate about seeing and sharing the relevance and beauty of scripture, and especially scripture's amazing God. AJ and his wife Lindsey were married in May of 2016. They love spending time with their Australian Shepherds and mountain biking.
Director of Children’s Ministry
Marina was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, the seventh of nine children. Marina’s parents are from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and Marina is a native bilingual Spanish speaker. She graduated from SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, NY with a B.S. in Community & Human Services and a minor in Organizational Leadership. Marina is passionate about helping children, she believes that ALL children matter and should be seen and heard. While in high school, she played basketball, softball and volleyball. Marina’s favorite baseball team is the Mets.
During her free time, Marina enjoys spending time with her young adult children, Stephen and Gabrielle and enjoys taking long walks in the park with her 8-year-old Terrier Mix dog, Gary Columbo. She also enjoys cooking, singing, and comedy.
Mauro Ronca is the Organist of Northwest Presbyterian Church (since January 2017). He studied Piano, Composition, Organ and Conducting at the Conservatory in Italy and he then specialized in Vocal Accompanying at the University of Georgia (MM 2014) and the Manhattan School of Music, where he received the Harold Bauer Award in recognition of outstanding accomplishment. Recent collaborations include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera 24 Hour Opera Project, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as an assistant conductor, and the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at the Juilliard School. In New York City, Mauro also worked as staff accompanist and coach at the Manhattan School of Music and as a freelance pianist, harpsichordist and opera coach. He was also Director of Music at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. For many years Mauro has served as an organist and music director in the Catholic Church including “Santa Maria Assunta” Cathedral of Asti. While at the Cathedral, he played the inaugural recital after restoration of the “Grisanti” organ (1768).
Scott began working at Northwest in October 2007, serving as the administrative assistant. In September 2010, he was promoted to administrative manager. He received a BA from Clayton State University and Masters of Music from The North Carolina School of the Arts, where he also completed a fellowship with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute.