Our Staff

The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift
ProbablyIMG_1710 not what you would think of as your “typical pastor,” Pastor Deb came to South Church in 2008 after successful careers as a musician, a public school teacher, a community organizer and a non-profit administrator. Originally from Oneonta, NY, she became a Rochesterian in the late 1980′s and was ordained in the Presbyterian church as a Minister of Word & Sacrament (also known as a Teaching Elder) in 1990. A graduate of Hartwick College, the State University of NY at Oneonta and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, she continues to be a student of interfaith dialogue.

Pastor Deb is committed to urban ministry and exploring new models of what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st century.   You are just as likely to see her speaking to the City Council about neighborhood development, raking the lawn at the church, engaging someone around politics and ethics while at a local watering hole, or hanging with the teens as you are to hear her preach.

She seeks to practice reconciliation through understanding and education. Owning a home in the city’s Neighborhood of the Arts, she is a single mom of her daughter,  Carly, a student at SUNY-Oswego (Go Lakers!).  They have two dogs, love movies and have way too many books!



Jane Watt

Rev. Dr. Jane Sarjeant Watt
Parish Associate
A native of Rochester, Jane is a retired pastor and former executive for the Southern New England Presbytery. She has served as a consultant for the PC(USA) General Assembly on Stewardship and Mission Funding, as a development officer for the Presbyterian Foundation in the Synod of Lincoln Trails, and as a trustee for Auburn Seminary. Jane is a graduate of Russell Sage College, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and Columbia Theological Seminary . She became South’s Parish Associate  in 2013.



Allison Thorp-Coughlin

Music Director
Allison joined our staff in 2012 when she and her husband, Sean, moved to Rochester from Kentucky. Allison is ABD (All But Dissertation) for her PhD from the Eastman School of Music in the prestigious Choral Conducting program. She leads both the Sing for Joy group and the Mt. Hope World Singers at South.


Katrina Hebb

Katrina Hebb

Mission Assistant
Katrina joined our staff in 2015 after interning with several of the urban Presbyterian Churches in Rochester. A graduate student at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, she is preparing for a career in professional urban ministry and joins our Pastoral Team by leading several of the Acts of Faith. With a successful career behind her in sustainable farming and organic gardening, Katrina is blending those interests with her passion for justice as she seeks to answer God’s call for her life.