Church Staff

Steve Garstad

The Rev. Steven Garstad - Interim Pastor

Interim Pastor Steve Garstad comes to us with a broad and deep background in pastoral ministry. Educated at Lehigh University where he majored in political science and sociology, Steve went on to receive his M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary where his major was homiletics. He later studied and received an M.B.A. at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A native of Camp Hill, PA, Steve has served most of his pastoral ministry in Presbyterian congregations in the Philadelphia area. His first call was to the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church where he served as Minister to Community and Youth. He moved on to become the senior pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Utica, NY. Later while studying at the Wharton School he served as Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Philadelphia. Steve also worked as a banker for several years in the field of institutional trusts while continuing to guest preach for numerous churches.

In 1996 Steve returned to full time ministry, serving as the interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Johnstown, PA. Receiving his certification in Interim Ministry at Pittsburgh Seminary, he has served as interim pastor for five other congregations ranging in size from 100 to 800. “I am good with names and quickly get to know people,” Steve says, “and that helps reduce anxiety of the congregation during the uncertain period of transition.” A steward of individual and congregational gifts, Steve seeks to “uncover the treasures in the trunk and the skeletons in the closet” during the interim period looking to come to terms with the past and discern God’s mission for the future. Experienced at congregational systems theory, Steve helps congregations understand how they function and dysfunction at faith communities. His aims are to be shepherd to the flock, preach sermons which connect timeless biblical truths with current day life experience, and help our congregation stand upon the firm foundation of the our rich heritage and reach for the future to which God invites us. He hopes we can live as Jesus lived and love as Jesus loved as we reach out to a world crying out for God’s love and peace, community and a connection to purposes larger than ourselves.

Steve’s interests beyond ministry include travel, hiking, paddling, fly fishing, genealogy and reading history. He admits he cannot pass a historical marker without stopping to read it and that trout do not tremble when they hear his footsteps at streamside.

 

Debbie Senile - Administrative Assistant

Debbie Senile joined First Presbyterian as our administrative assistant in May 2016. She says our Glendale church resembles the small town church of her childhood. She brings a wealth of church office experience to us from the three former congregations where she filled similar roles since 1997. Debbie has received both Level I and Level II certification from the Administrative Personnel Association of the Presbyterian Church USA. Not content to coast on her old competencies, she continues actively seeking professional growth.

 

Debbie and her husband Darrell grew up in western Pennsylvania. They are now long-time residents of the greater Cincinnati area residing in the countryside outside Oxford. They have two grown sons.

 

Debbie lists as her first responsibility, "Greet visitors and provide positive first impressions, followed by quality care and good customer service." We enjoy her cheerful, welcoming presence, her helpful atteention to detail and her creativity with the bulletin and newsletter.

Amy Duke

Amy Duke - Organist

Amy Duke has served First Presbyterian Church, Glendale as organist since the summer of 2000. She previously served here as a substitute organist since 1996. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organ Performance from Judson College in Marion, Alabama, and came to Cincinnati with her husband, John, after serving the First Baptist Church, Talladega. In addition to a love of music she enjoys creative food preparation and extensive gardening.

In 2015 Amy was honored on her fifteenth anniversary and her title was changed to Director of Music to reflect her broader role in the musical leadership of our worship.

Tyler Hagy

Tyler Hagy - Choir Director

Our former choir director TylerHagy has just received his second Masters degree at CCM. He left us at the end of April 2017 to take up full time teaching and choral direction at a large high school in Iowa. An active search for our next choir director is nearing completion with the expectation one of our finalists will be hired before summer 2017.