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Our Staff

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Rev. Rothea (Thea) Kornelius, Head Pastor

Reverend Kornelius was born and grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a degree in Physiotherapy and later obtained her doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University. She has worked both in South Africa and the United States for over 20 years.  Rev. Kornelius received her Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

 

Thea is married to Dawn La Duke, and they have 5 fur babies, 3 dogs and 2 cats. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, knitting, making music, and anything that has to do with the great outdoors. 

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Pam Merrill, Office Manager

Pam brings 20+ years of church and private sector office management experience to First Presbyterian. Her penchant for writing and detail have happily found a home in her tasks here, along with her desire to serve the people of the congregation.  

 

Pam has two grown sons and two magnificent grandchildren. She loves books, movies, theater, discussing theology, hosting dinner parties, walks and meeting folks along the way, and actually likes to wash dishes and shovel snow.

Deborah Walters, Director of Music

Deborah has served as Director of Music for over 30 years. She brings enthusiasm, experience, and education (Master’s Degree) to her position as Director of Chancel Choir and leader of the Children’s Music programs. She takes an active leadership role in community ecumenical music opportunities for adults and children alike.

Through her efforts, First Presbyterian offers a summer week long music and drama day camp for the children of First Presbyterian and those from family literacy programs and other local churches.

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Joshua Myatzaw, Accompanist, Pianist & Organist 

Joshua Myatzaw, a Christian musician hailing from Burma, boasts a rich and diverse musical background spanning over two decades. Since 2000, he has demonstrated excellence as a music director, conductor, composer, lecturer, and church musician, sharing his talents across diverse countries such as Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, and the USA, as well as various denominations.

 

Joshua's expertise has enhanced congregational worship experiences, reflecting his dedication and passion for music. Academically, he served as a professor and head of the music department at the Myanmar Institute of Theology for ten years, concurrently fulfilling the role of music director at his church in Myanmar for 24 years.

 

He holds music degrees and certificates from esteemed institutions worldwide, including Ethnomusicology from Payap University in Thailand, a Master of Music degree major in Choral Conducting from Silliman University in the Philippines, and postgraduate programs in Performance Certificate in Music (with a focus on Piano & Vocal) and Master of Art in Community Music from Judson University in the United States. His guiding motto is John 13:34.

Becky Koester, Custodian & Building Maintenance

Becky works full time as a Logistic Coordinator at Hoffer Plastics.

She is a long-time member of First Presbyterian Church, and has served as the church janitor for 10 years.

Becky describes her work in our building a "challenging adventure!"

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