MINISTRY TEAM

GET TO KNOW THE FIRST PRES CHURCH STAFF

Rev. Dr. Brian R. Paulson

PASTOR/HEAD OF STAFF

Brian, a native of Southern California, joined First Pres as Senior Pastor in 2004 and has planted deep roots here in in Lake County. He was raised in Palos Verdes, CA, studied at Georgetown University, and received degrees from UCLA., Princeton Theological Seminary, and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia. He and his wife, Jill, fell in love when they were in seminary together at Princeton and they started their marriage, as well as their ministries, in suburban Detroit. From 1993 to 2004, Brian served as pastor at Orangewood Presbyterian Church in Phoenix.

 

Brian speaks Italian and Spanish with some fluency and maintains many Christian friendships in Italy and around the globe. He carries his doctoral research and learning forward as a leader in ecumenical and liturgical thought, as well as in interreligious work. In his free time, he loves to paint, photograph, and bike on trails and beside our local lakes. In the winter, Brian likes to hunker down with a good book. In the summer, he loves to take a nap in the Midwestern summer breeze.

 

Brian and Jill have two adult children, Annie and Ben, and they adore spending time with their young grandchildren. Annie is a teacher and lives with her husband and children in Libertyville. Ben is a farm manager and musician in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Rev. Amy Heinrich

ASSOCIATE PASTOR, CONGREGATIONAL LIFE

Pastor Amy received her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and served as Chaplain at Colorado College and Austin College, and as Campus Pastor at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Before coming to First Pres Libertyville, she served as Associate for Campus Ministry at First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor and the Ecumenical Center and International Residence. Her ministry focus at First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville  is discipleship building through Andrew Ministry and classes for prospective new members; fellowship and growth through small groups; and compassion and care through hospital visits, prayer and Stephen Ministry.
 

Amy's husband and soul mate, Rob, is in private practice in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Lake Forest. They live in Prairie Crossing, a conservation community in Grayslake. Hiking the trails there, with her Irish Terriers is one of Amy's best sources of prayer, renewal and fitness. Amy loves to exercise, cook, entertain, travel and "verbally process" with her therapist husband by the fire after a busy day. Rob and Amy have three adult children: fraternal twin sons, Ian and Max, who live in New York and North Carolina; and a daughter, Emma, who recently graduated from Elon University.

Rev. Nicole Chapman-Farley

INTERIM ASSOCIATE PASTOR

Rev. Nicole Chapman-Farley (she/her) has called Lake County home for almost thirty years and northern Illinois home her whole life. A child of the Catholic Church, she found her way to the PC(U.S.A.) as a young adult and soon realized she had really been Presbyterian all along.

 

Several years after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design, she found herself sensing a call to ministry, borne out of her time as a youth group advisor at Wildwood Presbyterian Church in Grayslake. She graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago with a Master of Divinity and has served as the Director of Youth Ministries at Winnetka Presbyterian Church, as a solo pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Waukesha, WI., and as the pastoral artist and founder of A New Creation, a collaborative arts ministry.

 

She is compelled by justice and equality in the ways she shows up in the world and in her ministry. Two ways she has engaged these values are as a founding member and current president of PFLAG Grayslake / Round Lake and as a founding member of the Racial Equity and Justice Task Force for the Presbytery of Milwaukee. She lives in Gurnee with her husband, Paul, and is grateful to be family to a son named Jim, a daughter-in-law named Casey, a beloved transgender former spouse named Iris, and two Whippets, named Calvin and Hobbes. Besides art, lived theology, and justice, she'll gladly have a conversation about gardens, books, podcasts, music, and movies.

Alex Barnes, M.Div.

PASTORAL RESIDENT

Alex is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (B.A. History, Religious Studies) and the University of Chicago (M.Div.). She grew up in North Carolina, the middle of three children. Alex loves to preach and teach and cannot wait to get to know the congregation. Graduate school left her with no free time, so she's excited to discover hobbies in this next phase of life. She'd love to talk to you about pop culture, comedy, books, and any Lake County spots she should check out!

IN MINISTRY TOGETHER

GET TO KNOW THE FIRST PRES CHURCH STAFF

Lennie Blair

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Michelle Groenke

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & MEMBER MINISTRY

Mary Kovatch

OFFICE MANAGER, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PASTOR

Vicky Nicholson

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Linda Westman

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR

Megan Huber

Administrative Assistant for Faith Formation

David Edelfelt  

DIRECTOR OF CHANCEL AND MOTET CHOIRS

Charles Murphy

CHAPEL MUSIC TEAM DIRECTOR

Gloria Song

ORGANIST

Dave Clavey

MANAGER OF BUILDING OPERATIONS

Patricia Obispo

SEXTON