In June 2022 we said farewell to our installed pastor, Margaret Orr Fox. Margaret has accepted a call to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We know Westminster will be richly blessed by Margaret’s service as an Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries.
The session is currently taking steps to call an Interim Pastor who will serve the congregation during the period of reflection preceding our next call of an Installed Pastor.
We are fortunate that this community has a wealth of teaching elders who will preside over worship until an Interim Pastor can be called. Reverend Sheldon Steen, pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, will serve as moderator of the Session until that time.
Director of Christian Education
We will soon be saying goodbye to Christy Williams, who has been leading the Christian Education Ministry of First Presbyterian since 1987. Christy is leaving to become Interim Director of Dogwood Acres, our presbytery’s retreat center and summer camp. We have been blessed by Christy’s ministry and many talents, and we look forward to continuing to work together in ways that benefit the youth of our congregation and presbytery.
Eleanor Cleveland – Interim Christian Education Coordinator
Eleanor Cleveland is the Interim Christian Education Coordinator. She grew up at First Presbyterian Church with her family and has worked for the church in many roles including summer camp counselor, Christian Education assistant, and weekly assistant in the children’s Sunday School class. Eleanor has a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Library Science from Florida State University. She currently works at Florida State University’s Strozier Library as the Strozier Service Desk Manager.
Jacqueline Cruz – Christian Education Assistant
Jacqueline Cruz is serving as the Christian Education Assistant and working with our older children on Sunday mornings. Jacqueline has served with the youth group, attended Montreat summer youth conferences, and was a member of the previous pastoral search committee.
Judy Arthur – Summer Organist & Choirmaster
Dr. Judy Arthur is a Collaborative Pianist and Music Director/Conductor. She retired as Director of Choral Activities at Leon High School in May 2016 after serving on the faculty there for 38 years. From 2017 through 2020 she held an appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education Faculty at FSU. She is a Past President of the Florida Vocal Association (FVA) and the Florida Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), has accompanied many choirs and choruses, and is also active in directing and producing musical theatre. During the summer of 2022 Dr. Arthur will serve as organist and choirmaster for the Summer Choir.
Tim Hoekman – Interim Organist
Timothy Hoekman is retired from the faculty of FSU, where he was Professor of Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from 1984 through 2022. He earned the D.M.A. degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan, his B.A. from Calvin College, and the M.M. in piano performance from Peabody Conservatory. He has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, and since 2012 has been a Lieder coach at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. He is also a composer, and in 2002 was named the MTNA-Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle To Make a Prairie, commissioned by the South Dakota Music Teachers Association. A longtime member of First Presbyterian Church along with his wife and frequent collaborator, soprano Carla Connors, Tim will serve as our Interim Organist in 2022-23.
Ethan Murphy – Interim Choir Director
Ethan Murphy recently completed his M.M. in Choral Conducting at the University of Minnesota, where he was also the choir director at Bethlehem Covenant Church. Before moving to Minnesota he taught high school choir in northern Virginia and served as Director of Music at Regester Chapel United Methodist Church. He will be a PhD student in Music Education and Choral Conducting at FSU and will serve as our Interim Choir Director in 2022-23. The Adult Choir meets at 7:00 on Wednesday evenings to rehearse, and all are welcome!
Lori Touchton – Office Administrator
Jim Davis – Financial Administrator
Jim Davis and his spouse, Wendy, have been members of First Presbyterian Church for approximately 35 years. Jim is a Certified Public Accountant serving our church and other nonprofits in the Big Bend area. He serves on the board of directors for nonprofits in Leon and Wakulla counties that serve seniors and environmental concerns. Additionally, Jim enjoys talking to individuals about how they can include the Church in their estate plans.