Our new minister Rev. Dr. Troy Sybrant has recently moved to Oregon! His family will be joining us later when their house is sold in Ohio. His wife Amy is a music therapist and their daughter Abbey is a rising college sophomore with interests in science, math, teaching, and ballet. He and his family enjoy hiking, concerts, museums, walking their Boston Terrier Cali, and trying new vegetarian foods.
He obtained his Masters in Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School, his Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, and his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has served churches in GA, TN, MO, CA, OH, and now OR. He began investing himself in communities early in his career, working alongside a 98 percent black working poor community to secure low-income housing in Chicago. He helped HIV+ people obtain housing and tracked welfare reform at the state level in Nashville. He has served on ecumenical and interfaith organizations wherever he has lived. He credits his “great cloud of witnesses” as his own source of inspiration and gratitude: family, friends, teachers, mentors, colleagues, and community members.
He and his family are looking forward to the good future that God has in store for us!
Music Director – Ellie Hodder
Ellie Hodder began her tenure as Director of Music Ministries in September 2017.
Ellie holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, an advanced teaching certificate from New York State and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
She directs the church’s diverse music ensembles—Faith, Hope and Love contemporary worship ensemble, the Jubilate Handbell choir and Chancel Choir as well as, SoundWave, an opportunity for elementary aged children to learn hand chimes and handbells.
Music in church is the ultimate practice of community. We endeavor to engage the congregation, each musician contributing their notes to the whole, forging connections through our music making in the moment of our shared worship.
Ellie and her husband, Benn, live in Southeast Portland near Reed College.
Contact Ellie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keyboardist Cheryl Young has been Murray Hills Organist since 2006.
She received a Bachelor of Music Performance in Piano from Marylhurst University in 2008.
She performs music professionally both as an organist and pianist and also as a music educator teaches piano. Past organist positions include Hillsboro Christian Science Church and Portland First Congregational Church. She has given solo organ recitals at the Old Church and First Baptist Church in Portland. As a pianist Cheryl has had extensive experience accompanying vocalists, instrumentalists and has performed as accompanist with the choirs at Walla Walla College, Portland Community College and Marylhurst University.
Besides collaborative work Cheryl is active also as a solo pianist for charity, special events and private parties such as the Northwest Independent College Business Officer’s Association, Oregon Women’s Forum and Margaret Sanger Donor Appreciation Dinner at the Lawrence Gallery. She has performed as a soloist with the Marylhurst Symphony playing Bach both on the piano and harpsichord.
Cheryl enjoys travel and has also performed in Ireland, Spain, Republic of Czech and Austria.
You may contact Cheryl at
Meréy Reed is a native Oregonian with years of Office Administration experience. She loves people and has worked almost exclusively in customer service throughout her years of working.
She has a huge passion for arts and crafts, from knitting to painting to homemade costumes. She has a husband named Korey and they are newlyweds as of April 15th, 2021! Her white and orange cat named Arlo is another great love in her life and if you ask to see pictures, she always has some recent ones on hand.
You may contact Meréy at
Jennifer McFarling grew up in Murray Hills Christian Church, and has worked with children in Stay & Play and the nursery since 1996. She graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in General Science and minor in Biology. After spending 8-1/2 years doing R&D for Stash Tea, she changed gears in 2012 and is now a lead teacher at Valley Catholic Early Learning School. Jenn lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with her golden retriever, Reser.
In her spare time she loves to train her dog and her parents' dog and maintain ParkerPup.com and the corresponding social medias. Through that, she and her dogs have helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for various nonprofit organizations, focusing mainly on cancer awareness and finding a cure. As a dog handler, she and her dogs love to perform and work doing commercials, print ads, and music videos.