elliot-smith As a graduate of Penn State University, Elliot spent the early years of his career as a small business owner. In 1987, he heeded the call to ministry, sold the family business, and enrolled in a double-competency degree program at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Bellarmine University, earning an M. Div. and an MBA.

In 1992, Elliot was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and served as an associate pastor at Wekiva Presbyterian Church in Longwood, Florida. In 1996 he was called as Thornwell’s first director of church relations for south Georgia and Florida. Elliot traveled throughout the region speaking to individuals, groups, and church congregations inviting them to “share in the joy that is Thornwell.”

Elliot and his wife, Jill, come to Thornwell from Austin, Texas, where Elliot served as Vice President for Development for Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services since 1998. They have two adult children, a daughter and son (twins).

Elliot began his current ministry position as Thornwell’s ninth president in June of 2011. His passion for children and family ministry runs deep as does his commitment to providing a joyful Christian community within which to nurture all God’s children.

“Children are a wonderful gift from God. Sadly, child abuse, neglect, abandonment, and other family crises threaten that gift. You and I are blessed to share in Thornwell’s ministry, for it is by God’s grace and working together that we are able to keep the promises we all make in Baptism and heed Christ’s call to serve the least of these.”