The Reverend Alison J. Harrington became Southside's Pastor in January, 2009 bringing with her a passion for Christ and for social justice. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies with an emphasis in U. S. Race Relations. She earned her Master's of Divinity at San Francisco Theological Seminary, where she was a Presidential Scholar. While attending SFTS she began to volunteer at San Quentin State Prison where she worked with the San Quentin Giants Baseball Team and in the Protestant Chapel leading Bible Studies and teaching theology. After graduating with her Master's of Divinity, she served Covenant Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, California and served as a facility chaplain in the Santa Clara County Jail system. In 2011 she was awarded the Beatitudes Society Brave Preacher Award and is currently a Beatitudes Society Fellow.