Family Ministry

 
 
Vacant
Director of Children, Youth and Families
 

 

 

Sunday School Coordinator- Open, see employment page under members and friends for the job description

Vacant
CYF Connections Assistant
 
 
Commissioned Lay Pastor

 

Judi Geistlinger
Commissioned Lay Pastor
 

Judi is a Commissioned Lay Pastor, trained through the Synod of Lincoln Trails. She graduated from the University of Illinois with bachelors and master’s degrees in education. In addition to her role planning and leading worship (on a part-time basis), she teaches computer workshops for staff full-time at the University of Illinois with the Technology Services department. She previously served at First Pres as ministry assistant for youth and adult education departments in the late 90’s to 2005. When not working, she enjoys cozy mysteries and keeping fit. Judi and her husband, Jay, live in Champaign. They have two adult children, Ted and Beth. 

 
Operations Team
 
 
Marcia Franks
Administrative Assistant
 
Marcia has been with the church for over twenty-five years. She attended Parkland College in the legal secretarial program. She is presently Administrative Manager and oversees the running of the church office among other duties. Her family includes two grown daughters, Erin and Laura, five granddaughters and a grandson. Marcia grew up in Philo but has since moved to Savoy.
 
 
Patty Farthing
Receptionist
 

Patty has been a member of this congregation since 1978 and has served as Director of Nursery and Childcare and is currently serving as Receptionist. Her formal training is in early child development and elementary education. She and her husband Bruce are certified parent educators and have been teaching parenting classes for many years in our church and community. Patty and Bruce have four grown children and nine grandchildren.

Ann Petry
Bookkeeper
 

Ann joined First Pres in 2015, having previously worked as a bookkeeper for an engineering firm in Urbana. She holds an Associates Degree in accounting from Parkland College and a Bachelors Degree in General Studies from Eastern Illinois University. Ann and her husband, Greg, have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Ritchie Drennen
Facilities Manager
 

Ritchie grew up in Robinson, Illinois and moved to Champaign in 2000. He joined the staff at First Pres in 2011. This is where he met his wife who is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Ferrer
Audio Visual Technician
 

Robert comes to First Pres from the University of Illinois, having retired following 25 years of service managing the IT infrastructure at Grainger Engineering Library. He holds three Masters Degrees: Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Information Science from Columbia University, and Education Technology from San Francisco State University. Robert is our staff’s newlywed. He and his bride, Patricia, who came all the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to marry Robert, were wed in July, 2020.

 

 
Missions
Rachel Matthews
Mission Coordinator
 

Rachel is our part-time Mission Coordinator, assisting our Mission Team, World Mission and Community Mission Deacons, as well as other groups in the church, to live out our call to serve others.

She holds a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, a Master of Arts in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and a Doctor of Ministry in pastoral counseling and psychotherapy from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

She is a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois.

When not working Rachel enjoys walking, gardening, reading and going to movies with her husband, Matt.

Val Smith
ESL Director
 

Val Smith is serving at FPCC as the Director of the English Language program for Adults.  Previously, she taught special education students in Central Illinois and English language classes for K-12 multilingual learners in Central Illinois and Rochester, MN.  While in Rochester, she also taught adult multilingual learners and worked with minority communities as a minority recruitment specialist in the Department of Clinical Research at Mayo Clinic. 

Val earned a BS degree in elementary education from Wheaton College, an MA degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Lincoln Christian University and an MA degree in Learning Disabilities from Bradley University.

Val retired earlier this year from the Champaign Unit 4 school system and lives in Savoy with her husband, Rev. Dr. Tim Smith, a retired pastor. They have two adult daughters and two grandchildren. 

 
Music
Joe Grant
Director of Music
 

Joe has been Adult Choir Director at First Presbyterian Church since August 1996. Joe has a Doctorate in Education and recently retired as a faculty member at the University of Illinois School of Music. He and his wife Becky have three children: two daughters, Kelly and Erin, and a son Joe. Recreational interests include tennis and golf.

Sora Shepard
Church Organist/ Pianist

 

Sora Park Shepard was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to America to pursue a master’s degree. She earned her M.M. and Artist’s diploma from Western Illinois University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

Shepard currently works full-time as a piano instructor and staff accompanist at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Previously she served as director of the University of Kansas Community Music School and has worked as a pianist at KU, Washburn University, and MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas. When not playing and teaching piano, Sora enjoys running, weight lifting, tending her plants, and spending time with her cat, Mimsey, and her husband, Matthew.

Contemporary Worship
Kelsey Stremplewski
Director Contemporary Worship Band 

 

Kelsey is the director and vocalist for the Contemporary Worship Band. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from Judson University and a Master of Music Theory degree from Bowling Green State University. Kelsey’s family includes her husband, Andrew, and her two cats, Luna and Kahuna. 
 
 

 

 
 
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT
 
The Church is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons on the basis of individual qualifications, without regard to race, national origin, sex, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law.
 
Hiring and promotion are based on job-related requirements and on an individual’s qualifications to perform the job. This policy of non-discrimination of the Church applies equally to all phases of the employer-employee relationship, including, but not limited to, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, and termination.