Synod of the Sun announces new director of Synod Partnership for Disaster Recovery

The Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell begins full-time work Aug. 1

by Synod of the Sun | Special to Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell

The Synod of the Sun announces that the Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell will become the director of the Synod Partnership for Disaster Recovery.

Lee-Cornell currently serves as supply pastor for St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Dallas and will continue working part-time with the synod and St. Mark until July 31. She will begin her work full-time with the synod on Aug. 1.

Lee-Cornell has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and multimedia design from Pepperdine University, and a dual MDiv and master of science in social work from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Texas at Austin. During her studies at APTS, Lee-Cornell was a recipient of a Synod of the Sun Presbyterian Foundation scholarship.

Prior to serving at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Lee-Cornell was an interim refugee resettlement supervisor for Refugee Services of Texas and served as associate pastor for mission and outreach at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.

“The SPDR leadership group was excited about the gifts, skills, and experiences that Kathy brings to this new venture. Kathy’s experience in the church and in social work, as well as a long history with our national church through [Presbyterian Disaster Assistance] and the [Young Adult Volunteer] program, are great building blocks for this new venture,” said Richard Williams, transitional general presbyter of the Presbytery of South Louisiana and member of the leadership group.  “We know that building a new program responding to the many natural disasters in the Synod of the Sun will be a challenge, and we are confident that God is at work through Kathy and our partners as we seek to be God’s hands and feet.”

“I am grateful for this opportunity to serve alongside the members and leaders of our synod,” said Lee-Cornell. “The ways the Presbyterian Church has reflected God’s love and compassion through its steadfast commitment to support congregations and communities navigating the aftermath of natural disasters have been integral to my own personal, vocational, and spiritual journey.

“The recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina showed me how the Church embodies the presence and power of Christ in our world,” Lee-Cornell said. “I believe God has prepared me for this role, and I am excited to see the kinds of collaboration, networking, engagement, and shared ministries that will develop through this unique partnership amongst our 11 presbyteries, the synod, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.”

“It has been so exciting to realize the many ways the Spirit has prepared both Kathy and the synod for this ministry,” said Valerie Young, synod leader and stated clerk. “To have watched Kathy’s education through the Synod of the Sun Presbyterian Foundation’s scholarship program for MDiv students, and to see ways that her gifts have been developed for such a time as this, I could not be more proud and encouraged for the future of the Church!”

 Lee-Cornel is married to the Rev. Alex Lee-Cornell, transitional pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dallas. They are parents to Owen and Gabe.

Reach Lee-Cornell here. Listen to Young’s interview with Lee-Cornell here.

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