- Category: Church News
Dade City, FL – In 1972, Dr. Katherine “Kitty” Piersall found her lifelong church family at the First Presbyterian Church in Dade City. Now, 44 years later, they are honoring her on “Give Thanks Day” to recognize her decades-long contributions to the church. The celebration will begin with Sunday service at 10:30, followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall. Piersall has served as the church’s choir director, sang in the choir and played hand bells, and ultimately took on the role of pipe organist 12 years ago.
“I truly love this church,” said Piersall. “It’s very, very beautiful, and has always been a positive influence in my life.”
Piersall started her secular career in education in 1957. She began teaching in Orlando, before moving back to her home state of Kentucky where she earned her Masters degree in music education at Eastern Kentucky University, and ultimately went on to be awarded a Doctorate in educational leadership. She served as the assistant principal at Moore Mickens Education Center in Dade City for 10 years before becoming the first principal at San Antonio Elementary for another decade. She was then appointed the first principal for the Thomas E. Weightman Middle School in Wesley Chapel, where she served for 10 years before retiring from the Pasco County School System in 1997. She was then asked to lead the accreditation of elementary schools in Florida for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She retired from that post in 2004.
“Kitty Piersall was an outstanding school administrator in several district positions. You could always call on Kitty to be successful with any undertaking she was asked to do. Kitty’s dedication to the school district and her church is exemplary. Both were blessed to have her,” said Tom Weightman, former Superintendent of Pasco County Schools.
Piersall was hired as their choir director by the church in 1972. A devastating divorce in the early 1990s led her to leave that position, but she remained in the choir. She credits her church family with getting her though that difficult time.
“When I was really hurting, this church never turned its back on me,” said Piersall. “They loved and supported me, as Christians are supposed to do.”
Piersall raised her four sons, Jeff, Keith, Todd and Glenn in the church, who all still live and work in Florida. She attributes a large part of their success in life with being able to grow in the reformed tradition of worship and learn service to their community. Piersall also has 10 grandchildren, ranging in age from 8 to 28.
The First Presbyterian Church, located at 37412 Church Avenue in Dade City, celebrated its 127th year this year, and is currently seeking a permanent pastor. Ordained Minister Callie Curington Weber, who is the third generation of Curingtons to worship in the First Presbyterian Church, will be the visiting minister for Piersall’s special service. All are welcome to attend.
About First Presbyterian Church: First Presbyterian Church of Dade City was organized on January 13, 1889 by the Rev. L. H. Wilson, an evangelist of St. John’s Presbytery of Florida. Sunday worship is at 10:30 a.m. and adult Sunday school is available at 9:30 a.m. Children’s Sunday school programs are also available. The church also offers meeting spaces for individuals and organizations not associated with the church for a minimal fee.