Our Pastor at Countryside Presbyterian Church

Rev. Rhonda Link-Cummings

Rev. Rhonda Link-Cummings currently serves as Interim Pastor at Countryside for the coming year while we go about the process of finding a permanent pastor for Countryside. We are blessed to have such an experienced interim pastor as Rhonda. Not only is she the Area Coordinator for Presbytery, she has also served several churches as their interim pastor and guided them in the search process for a new pastor. As interim pastor to Countryside, she will conduct our Sunday services, both the contemporary service in The Founders Hall at 9:00 a.m. as well as our regular 10:30 service in the main sanctuary. She is the Moderator of the Session. While she is part-time, she is available for pastoral counseling. Ministering to others is her call as well as one of her loves.

Rhonda grew up in a Christian home in Indianapolis and attended Butler University majoring in organ music. Although she no longer plays regularly, she is an accomplished pianist and organist and has substituted at churches when a regular was not available. She also earned a master’s degree from Butler in education and counseling.

One evening she went with a friend to her friend’s church service and the topic of the pastor’s sermon that day was the role of a pastor. Rhonda had what she described as an almost “road to Damascus experience” (remember Paul in Acts) and immediately knew that she was called to be a pastor. She said that it was so clear. She enrolled in Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and obtained her Master’s in Divinity. Her chosen call was to serve as a counselor and chaplain. It was while serving as a hospital chaplain that she met her husband, Alan Cummings, who was still in divinity school but was serving as an intern chaplain at the same hospital. They have been married for 38 years. Alan is the longtime pastor at Silver Springs Shores Presbyterian Church in Ocala. She and Alan have three children: Steven 36, Chris 34, and Rebecca 30. 
He and his wife are the proud parents of Rhonda and Alan’s only grandchild, Eliana, who was born this past December. Her other two children are closer to home: Chris in Orlando and Rebecca in Summerville, South Carolina. Rhonda is active in the leadership of the St. Augustine Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Steven lives in Taiwan where he is a teacher. Among other things, her service has included being the Presbytery Moderator, the Presbytery’s delegate to the national Synod, and the Presbytery Worship Chair. She is currently the Area Coordinator for the Ocala area and is on the Call Commission for the Presbytery. Rhonda is a person of many interests and talents. One day, she suggested to her teenage son Chris that since he played soccer maybe becoming a soccer referee could earn him the spending money he wanted and that he should take a course to become a referee. Chris enrolled in the course, but so did Rhonda! For over 20 years she has been an active referee of high school soccer games as well as competitive and recreational games. She is now the “assignor,” the person who assigns referees for high school soccer games in the Gainesville region, and still regularly referees soccer games running up and down a soccer field with agile and fast teenagers. She has found that her work as a referee and her interface with other referees and coaches has expanded her ministry to those outside a formal church setting. In her downtime, she loves to crochet and bake. She particularly loves to bake pies and cookies. She is also an avid crocheter. During the Covid lockdown, she crocheted 35 baby Afghans which were donated to poor and homeless families. She even donated some for the Crafty Christians to sell at our annual Craft Fair. And she regularly donates her crocheted items to local churches and nonprofits.

Welcome to Countryside Presbyterian Church