About Us

Leadership

Co-Pastor - Hollie Woodruff

Raised in Lubbock, Texas, Hollie Woodruff is a native of Rochester, NY. She moved to Nashville, TN to complete her BBA at Belmont University. After working in the music industry for two years, she pursued her Master of Divinity at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. While a student at Vanderbilt, Hollie spent a semester abroad in Thailand working and teaching in a school for the disabled. She also studyied the economic and social impacts of human trafficking while working and studying there.

Upon graduation in 2004, Hollie was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was named by the Board of the Council on Christian Unity as the 2004-2005 "Disciples Scholar" and attended the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey of the World Council of Churches in Celigny, Switzerland.

Hollie’s ministry has included serving as the chaplain of Barton College in Wilson, NC; as interim minister at several Disciple congregations in North Carolina and Tennessee; and as Director of Development and Communications for Higher Education & Leadership Ministries in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Hollie came to Seventh Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the fall of 2017, serving two years in the traditional service format before having to collaborate in designing an online worship experience that would sustain and grow the Seventh Street membership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her hopes for her congregation at SSCC are in these areas:

  • Authenticity -- that we can gather just as we are and be seen and loved just as we are.
  • Affirmation -- that we move toward being open, affirming, and welcoming of all God’s children, notably those identifying as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Action — that we are hands-on in our local community, connecting head and heart, statistics and passion to best live out our faith.
  • Acknowledgment -- God, bigger than we can hope and imagine. God’s love, grace, and forgiveness are limitless.

Hollie and her partner, Brett, live in Oregon Hill. They enjoy being outdoors cycling and being on the river in kayaks and on paddle boards. She likes playing with her stubborn Great Pyrenees, Mishka, and her ornery cat, Ginny. Hollie is an accomplished violinist and has played for over thirty years.

Co-Pastor - George Cunningham

George was born in Memphis but grew up in South Fulton, a small town in West Tennessee. His parents were both school teachers and he has one older brother, Dan. George received a BS degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee at Martin and an MA degree in clinical psychology from Middle Tennessee State University. After graduation George was hired by Journeys in Community Living, a private non-profit agency supporting adults with intellectual disabilities located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He worked for Journeys for thirty-seven years, first as assistant director and later as executive director.

During his employment at Journeys, George felt a call to church ministry. He attended Vanderbilt Divinity School and received an MDiv degree (Master of Divinity). He was ordained into ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He then helped start a new Disciples church in Murfreesboro and served as its pastor for six years. Open Table Christian Church has grown from seven founders to its current membership of about seventy people. Open Table is an Open and Affirming congregation and is welcoming of all people.

During his thirty-seven year employment at Journeys in Community Living, George had several part-time jobs that he greatly enjoyed. He was a ticket agent for American Airlines, a bookseller at Waldenbooks, and an adjunct professor of psychology and religion at Middle Tennessee State University and the Art Institute of Nashville. These part-time jobs have allowed him to spend time doing some of his favorite activities.

George has a number of friends and family members in Richmond and has visited the city many times over the years. He enjoys the wide variety of restaurants in the city as well as the many parks and museums. George’s new home is on Grove Avenue just down the street from the church, and he looks forward to spending time walking the beautiful neighborhoods of the Museum District, the Fan, and Carytown.

George enjoys several pastimes including travelling across the United States and internationally. He loves reading and being surrounded by books of every kind. He enjoys music of all types. He plays the piano and has sung in a number of church choirs and classical choral groups. George likes to work in the yard mowing the grass and pruning trees. He enjoys watching movies on television, political news shows, and TV programs like House Hunters, Judge Judy, and science fiction/fantasy series.

Twenty-five years ago George acquired his first pet—a boxer named Sam. Later he adopted Fred, a dog of mixed heritage, from the animal shelter. His last dog was Zack, a retired racing greyhound. Currently George is without a pet and hoping to get another dog once he becomes settled in Richmond. He strongly believes that having a pet can improve one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Music Minister - Pam Funai

I have been in Music Ministry since I was 16 years old. I accompanied Children’s Church in my home church and at 17 was playing regularly for worship.

I majored in Music Education at Asbury College in Kentucky. I married a minister and lived in many states. I loved being a pastor’s wife and being a spiritual mentor as Sunday School teacher at all age levels, women’s group leader, and music minister. At the end of that era, I continued music ministry and continued my formal education at Roanoke College receiving my BA in early childhood education.

I taught first grade for ten years in West Point, Va. and continued as a music minister at an African American Episcopal Church where I thrived and loved the congregants. At the same time, I missed teaching music, I had dual teaching certificates in music and early education; so I taught both!! After my high school choir obtained superior ratings at competitions, I became the drama musical director. I led the drama department in performing classics such as Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie and Lil’ Abner.

From the age of 15 I have taught private voice and piano lessons. I retired from private lessons in 2016. I had many fun times singing in a band and playing songs I loved in a restaurant!

In 2017 I thought I had retired from music ministry. Spiritually I realized I needed a church where I could be authentic, transparent me! I believe in inclusion, kindness, that “black lives matter” and that where I chose to worship should reflect those beliefs in its ministries. After searching in the Richmond area, Bill and I found Seventh Street and Rev Hollie. We found a new church home!

My goals for music ministry at Seventh Street are:

  • Music selections that inspire our people to go home singing God’s praises
  • Teaching the congregation hymns that are relevant to our times
  • Nurturing singers and their love of music
  • Working with Green Spring Academy to facilitate a productive partnership which affirms our love of music

Coordinator of Communications and Technology - Ryan McElhaney

Ryan has been with Seventh Street Christian Church since early 2018 and keeps the 1s and the 0s clearly separated.