Reverend Dr. Alberta McLaughlin
Pastor, Sandhill UCC
Reverend Dr. McLaughlin officially assumed her current pastoral position on September 29, 2013. She is a native New Yorker, who now resides in North Carolina. She also serves as a Clinical Chaplain and Victim Advocate for Law Enforcement. She attended New York Theological Seminary to help discern her calling from God. In addition, she attended the College of New Rochelle, NY where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Also, Shaw University Divinity School, Raleigh, NC and United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH, whereas she earned her Doctorate in Ministry.
Rev. Dr. McLaughlin has an extensive background working with Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors. She brings a wealth of her knowledge working as a Clinical Chaplain in the prison and hospital setting. She serves in the capacity as a crisis counselor for many years.
Rev. Dr. McLaughlin serves as a Justice LED (Leaders, Engaging, and Developing) Regional Trainer for the Justice Witness Ministries for United Church of Christ (UCC). She served as the chairperson of Church and Ministry of the Eastern North Carolina Association, United Church of Christ. Also, served on the Board of Directors for the Southern Conference, United Church of Christ. She continue to serves as a member for the Southern Conference Women of United Church of Christ and a trainer for Global Ministries, United Church of Christ.
Rev. Dr. McLaughlin published her dissertation, Wounded Prisoners: A Cognitive therapeutic approach to behavior modification to bring about internal healing among inmates.
Rev. Dr. McLaughlin is a woman of God who has stepped out in faith in many aspects of her life. She finds her most rewarding times when she can hold someone’s hand during his/her most difficult times and help explore their own faith in God. She would always remind you, “God does not put a period at the end of a sentence there is always a comma because God is Still Speaking.”
Dr. McLaughlin holds close to her heart a famous quote by Sojourner Truth, “I am glad to see that men are getting their rights, but I want women to get theirs, and while the water is stirring I will step into the pool”.
G. Vanessa McNeill
Church Secretary and Public Affairs Official
Ms. McNeill is a longtime resident of Aberdeen, NC and a longstanding member of Sandhill UCC. She is considered the glue in ensuring the function of the church efficiently operates. With more than 35 years of professional teaching experience, she is a retired educator of North Carolina Moore County Schools. She possesses an undergraduate elementary education degree from South Carolina State University and a masters in education degree from Fayetteville State University. Ms. McNeill is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and one of the founding members of the sorority chapter in Southern Pines, NC. For over five years, Ms McNeill actively worked as a volunteer with the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina. In addition, she serves as a behind-the-scene community activist--a quiet professional who makes things happen.