By Rev. Daniel J. Commerford
After an extensive search, we are excited to introduce Mary Taneti as our new Director of Faith Formation. For the last ten years, Mary has served as Director of Christian Education for First Presbyterian Church, Goldsboro. When she arrives, Mary will oversee all the ministries of First Presbyterian Church, Gastonia that involve faith formation and discipleship such as Children & Youth Programs, Wednesday Night Alive, Sunday School curriculum, and small groups. Mary’s gifts, talents, and experience will be a blessing to the congregation and community.
Mary’s first day at FPC will be May 1, 2023. Please keep Mary and her family in prayer as she makes her transition from Goldsboro to Gastonia.
More About Mary
Mary Florence Taneti, a native of South India, has a Master of Arts in Christian Education degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virgina. She is a Certified Christian Educator in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Earlier in her career, she received graduate and post-graduate degrees in Accountancy from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, and worked in microfinance, refugee resettlement, child development, and church administration. After receiving her degree in Christian Education, she worked as the Director of Christian Education for children and youth at First Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina for the past ten years.
Mary credits her mother for instilling a love for storytelling and teaching. She uses creative ways to make stories come alive and become an integral part of a person. Mary is grateful for the Christian nurture she received from her Sunday school teachers. She wishes to guide young people as they grow in faith. She enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening. Colt, her 4-year-old Aussie-Doodle loves working at church with her. In her spare time, she watches Indian movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Mary and her family immigrated to the United States and have been living here since 2005. James, her husband, teaches at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. Vismai (20) and Vismitha (19) major in human biology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
What the Director of Faith Formation Search Committee Says About Mary
“Meeting Mary for the first time, I was immediately drawn to her thoughtful, caring demeanor. The Holy Spirit shines in her eyes. There was an immediate connection with Mary and with ten years experience already shaping the faith journey for children of Christ of all ages, she will be such a gift to our church family! She has exciting ideas and what a gift it will be to see our family grow and flourish at FPC with Mary at the helm of Faith Formation! God is good….ALL the time and ALL the time God is good!” – Josie Conner (Co-Chair of Search Committee).
“I am excited to announce Mary Taneti as our next Director of Faith Formation. Mary comes to our church highly skilled, prepared and recommended. Mary's commitment to God and Jesus Christ is evident in her life experiences from work, education, leadership, recognition, and volunteering. She is excited to witness the Gospel to people of all ages and has many ideas on how to embrace these opportunities. I think these qualities will make her an outstanding choice to lead our church body in Faith Formation. I look forward to working with her and developing in my own faith journey.” – Kevin Schultz (Co-Chair of Search Committee).
“Mary brings a wealth of knowledge and great passion to the Director of Faith Formation position. Her work ethic and ability to adapt to a changing environment will lend itself well to the congregational needs at FPC Gastonia.” – Lee DuBois
“My wife Donna and I shared a wonderful afternoon and evening with Mary and her husband James, what a delightful and energetic couple. Mary comes to us well qualified for our church position and Donna and I are very excited to bring her into our church family.” – David Dickson
“I'm so excited to welcome Mary to our team. She brings a wealth of experience and a heart for service. I know that she will be a blessing to our congregation in our faith journey. I look forward to seeing how God will work through her in this role in the coming years.” – Sabrina Robinson
A Word From Mary
Dear FPC, Gastonia,
Thank you for the opportunity to be your new Director of Faith Formation. My family (James, Vismai, Vismitha, and Colt) joins me in thanking you for the love, prayers, and support during this call process.
I have experienced God’s providence in our meetings and conversations. As we transition toward Gastonia in the coming months, we celebrate with you the joy of new beginnings, both in the life of the congregation and ours. I look forward to learning alongside you as God’s plan unfolds for us through the ministry of faith formation.
In the meantime, let us uphold each other in prayer.
Grace and Peace,