Rev. Reeder became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in 2022. She and her husband, Zach, came to FPC from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Rebecca served as Associate Pastor at Sewickley Presbyterian Church for two years. Rebecca graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2019 at the top of her class, being awarded special honors in preaching and pastoral care. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Rebecca received her undergraduate degree in Engineering Science. She first moved to Pittsburgh in 2011 as Campus Ministry staff working with Carnegie Mellon University students in partnership with Shadyside Presbyterian Church and the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO). Soon thereafter, Rebecca also began to sense a call to ordained ministry. She loves to build relationships and witness to the work that Christ is doing in the church and throughout the wider world. Rebecca and Zach are the proud puppy parents of two Golden Retrievers, Kieran and Ceilidh.
Rev. Dr. Barta was pastor of First Presbyterian Church from 2002 to 2012. Tony and his wife, Carol, came to First Presbyterian from United Presbyterian Church in Universal, Pennsylvania where he served for 27 years. In 2013 the congregation elected him Pastor Emeritus as an expression of gratitude and respect for his ministry. He continues his ministry by serving in the Western Kentucky Presbytery (WKP) and supplying as a minister in WKP pulpits. A former member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, Dr. Barta also lends his beautiful voice to our choir on occasion.
Elder Goolsby, a retired teacher and librarian, is First Presbyterian’s Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE). As a CRE, she is a ruling elder trained to preach, lead worship, administer the Sacraments, and carry out other pastoral functions that aid the minister in meeting the mission needs of the church. After completing CRE study with the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Pam was commissioned by the Western Kentucky Presbytery in 2011. Most recently, Pam served in an interim pastor capacity for FPC while the church searched for our next installed minister. Previously, she led “A Time for Young Disciples” during the worship service, taught Sunday School, worked with the Youth Group, and participated in mission trips to Nicaragua. Pam’s husband, Wayne, and their children, Chandler and William, are also active participants in church activities.
Gayle became the organist at First Presbyterian in January 2006 and the choir director in January 2014. In addition, she is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for the Christian County Public Schools and the organist for Hopkinsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She holds a B.A. from Belmont University, Nashville (with a major in music and minor in speech and drama), an M.M.E. from Murray State University; and an ESL teaching endorsement from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. After moving to Ft. Worth, Texas, she became accompanist and assisting director of the Texas Girls’ Choir. She also taught high school and middle school choir for 23 years and served as organist choirmaster in Ft. Worth churches. She returned to Kentucky in 2000 to care for her mother. Wherever she lives, her music continues to be shared with churches, schools and the community.
Dr. Lester served as the choir director at First Presbyterian from 1995 to 2014 and as Community Outreach Leader from 2014 to 2016. She is a native of Hopkinsville and graduate of Hopkinsville High School. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, she began teaching music at H.H.S. and became the music director at FPC. After Joan and her husband, Bob Lester, moved away from Hopkinsville, she taught music in elementary and middle schools in Florida, New York, and Texas. She also taught music at Elmira College in Ithaca, NY, and the University of Texas in Austin. In all of the places she has lived, Joan has been a member and/or director of church choirs and community choirs, music organizations and events. Her degrees in music include a B.M. from U.K., an M.M. from Ithaca College, and a D.M.A. from University of Texas, Austin. Her children live in Nashville, Arizona, and New Zealand.
Lanesha joined the staff in 2002. Her years of experience in working with infant and preschool children began at age 13 when she started helping with infants in the church she attended at that time. She is a graduate of Hopkinsville High School and Hopkinsville Community College and holds an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. After additional training in child development and care, she earned a Child Development Associate certificate. Lanesha has worked for several years in local child care centers and is currently employed by First Methodist Church Day Care Center.
Bridgette joined our staff in 2022. She was raised in Cadiz, KY, where she graduated from Trigg County High School in 2011. She attended Murray State University from 2011-2012. In 2013, Bridgette started working at Pennyrile Electric and moved to Hopkinsville. In 2017, she got married as well as welcomed her first son into the world. In June of 2021, Bridgette resigned from Pennyrile Electric and relocated to Louisiana, where her husband was stationed at Fort Polk until April 2022. They are now back in Hopkinsville and hoping to begin construction of their new home in Cadiz, KY later this year. Bridgette enjoys shopping, spending time with family, and helping others. She is a member of Rocky Ridge Missionary Baptist Church, where her pastor is Rev. Kenneth Wharton.
Copyright © 2022 First Presbyterian Church - All Rights Reserved.