Kathy Keener is the Interim Pastor of First Presbyterian Church. She will be with us until we have completed the process of calling our new permanent pastor. She has had extensive experience with interim pastor work, as First Pres is her eleventh interim position.
Kathy grew up in Eugene, Oregon, attending Central Presbyterian Church with her educator parents. While attending the University of Portland, she helped to organize a Catholic Peace Ministry and a children’s choir at a nearby church. After earning her BA (cum laude) in Peace Studies, Political Science, and German, she attended McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and received her Master of Divinity in 1986. Kathy served as pastor for a small rural church in Illinois for five years, before beginning ten subsequent interim ministries, at various churches in the Midwest, with memberships ranging from 37 to 1100.
Kathy is glad to be back in Oregon where she can periodically visit her parents and 21-year-old daughter in Eugene.
A native of Pasadena, California, Laurie Anne Hunter received her B.A. from the University of
Winnipeg and her Masters in Piano Accompanying from the Juilliard School in New York.
She spent five seasons as Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach with the New York City
Opera, becoming the fourth woman ever to conduct there when she made her Lincoln Center
debut with Marc Blitzstein's "Regina" in 1992.
Since then, Laurie Anne has worked with American Musical Theater of San Jose and the
Seattle Opera while working her way to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Cabaret
Theater and Southern Oregon University's Department of Theater Arts.
She has been on the faculty of Hartt School of Music, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv
and currently is on the adjunct faculty at SOU in Ashland. Recently, she took up the harp and
now plays therapeutic harp music for Providence Cancer Center and Hospice in Medford.
Carolyn and her family joined First Presbyterian Church when they moved to Ashland in 2001. She became the church treasurer in January 2010.
Carolyn was raised as the daughter of a Lutheran minister (retired ELCA). She moved around with her family, living in several parts of California as well as Hawaii. After graduating in 1984 from Harvey Mudd College with a degree in math, Carolyn worked for Pacific Bell Telephone/SBC in California. She began as an engineer and advanced over the next 15 years to the position of Senior Financial Analyst.
In 2000, she gave up the paying job to stay at home with her kids (ages 19, 14 and 9 as of February 2013). With this job, she is rediscovering her passion for "bean-counting" and enjoys being the treasurer for the church.
Linda first served as our financial secretary and then as church treasurer in the early 80's. She
began her work as office manager in 1988.
She graduated from Sonoma State University in California. She has held positions as head
bookkeeper for the University of Idaho Dormitory Food Services and in accounting at San
Francisco Theological Seminary when her husband Gary was a student there.
The Brewers moved to Ashland in 1979 so their two children could live closer to their grandparents. Linda enjoys her family and traveling to places unknown. What she likes best in life is spending time with her grandchildren, Devon and Della. She likes working in a positive environment and enjoys getting to know the people of our congregation.
Ellen was born and raised in the small town of Highland, Maryland. After completing her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech she spent a year abroad in Kasane, Botswana working for a non-profit doing conservation education. She then discovered the Masters of Environmental Education program at Southern Oregon University and moved to Ashland in 2013.
After searching for a church home in Ashland almost a year, Ellen was happy to find a position at First Presbyterian that combines two of her passions: working with kids and sharing God’s love! She enjoys working with children and youth and is excited to grow with the children’s education programs at First Presbyterian.
In her spare time, Ellen enjoys singing and playing the piano, baking, horseback riding, hiking, biking, running, and exploring the great outdoors.
Bill Kirkman has been a Parish Associate for our church for a number of years. His duties have included calling on church members, substitute preaching, and stepping in for the pastor when necessary. Bill and his wife Caroline have lived in Ashland since1985 where, for fifteen years, he served as a marriage and family counselor.
Bill’s background is one of service and travel. After completing Princeton Seminary in 1960 and serving as pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Lemoore, California, he traveled to Korea and Singapore, where he worked for the Board of Missions in Korea (“village evangelism”) and Singapore (“urban ministries”). He loved traveling, meeting the people, and soaking up the Asian culture.
Next, Bill and Caroline spent ten years in Henderson, Nevada, doing “national mission” work, bringing a failing church back to health. It was there that he became interested in family therapy and got his degree in Marriage and Family Counseling.
First Presbyterian is honored to have had Bill Kirkman as our Parish Associate. As he settles into his much-deserved retirement, we wish him well.
Note: When the chuch's relationship with Rev. Constance Wilkerson was dissolved in 2014, Bill's title became Parish Worker.
Sierra Stamps is our childcare provider on Sunday mornings. You will find her in the nursery – with her toddler son Miles – providing nurture for our children and keeping the room neat and organized.
Sierra is a single mom and student at Rogue Community College, getting the basic courses under her belt by working online. After graduating from RCC, she plans to transfer to SOU to complete her Bachelor’s in Business (leading to a job in Human Resources) or in Early Childhood Education (leading to a job as a pre-K or K teacher).
Sierra has the determination and resolve to learn everything she can and succeed in her studies. And, on top of her own hard work and strength of character, she expressed her willingness to trust in the Lord to provide, over and above what she can do on her own. She appreciates the opportunity to work for First Presbyterian.