A special welcome to New Members joining First Presbyterian Church of St. Petersburg in 2017. WELCOME!!!
Rachel Bushey and Ryan Reese moved to St. Petersburg in 2011 to attend law school (Stetson), where they met during their first-year classes. Ryan moved to Florida from Rushville, Illinois, but has extended family in the St. Pete area. His grandparents also "winter" here, and he has been visiting the area for over 20 years. While on holiday, Ryan would join his grandparents at FPC-St. Pete, where they regularly attend during their winter months. Rachael comes from Palm City, Florida, where she attended the FPC until she left for college in 2007. The couple now live across the bridge in South Tampa, but are looking forward to being a part of FPC- St. Pete. In fact, they have chosen the beautiful church sanctuary as their wedding venue for this NYE, 2017.
Kathy Willard has been in the area for 15 years and moved here permanently from Ocala, Florida 2 years ago. She grew up in Cocoa Beach and is a retired accountant. She's a Gator! Her daughter, Becky, lives in Gainesville and son, Josh, lives in Tampa. She enjoys walking, biking, running, travel, and reading. I attend the 9:00 a.m. contemporary service.
Opal Dougherty, senior citizen, recently moved to Westminister Palms from Fairhope, Alabama. She enjoys attending the 8:15 worship service, and meeting new people.
Kati and CJ Lawson moved from Fredericksburg, VA about 3 years ago and live in Old NE. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Victoria, and we are expecting their second child at the beginning of May. For the time being they mostly go to the Sunday School for young families and sometimes to the 11 a.m. service. They love traveling, being outside being active in general.
Meet Barbara & Bill Holden. We have been visiting St. Petersburg for the past few years since our son (Greg Holden) and daughter-in-law (Mollie Holden) moved here. Around the time that our grandson (Will Holden) arrived in July 2015, we purchased a small home in the Crescent Lake area and officially sold our home in Marietta, Georgia and moved to St. Petersburg in March 2016. We have a younger son (Steve) and his wife (Kasia) who are members of First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan and they are expecting their first child in February.
We have joined First Presbyterian by Letter of Transfer from Roswell Presbyterian Church in Roswell, Georgia. We were married in an Episcopal Church and have been members in other mainline churches during the time that we lived in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio. Bill grew up in Syracuse, New York; attended Dickinson College and Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Barbara grew up in Ohio and is a graduate of St. Vincent School of Nursing and Georgia State University.
We have been attending the 9:00 am service most of the time and are currently visiting Sunday School classes. It has been so helpful not only to have family who are already involved at FPC but also we thank Dr. Brownlee and his wife, Barbara, who have helped us to get involved in the church family. Bill has been asked to serve on the Finance Committee and Barbara plans to become part of the Faith Community Nursing Program.
While we have lived in Florida for 31 years, we have lived in St. Pete for just over a year.
Meet Nina & Rod Glover. Rod grew up in a small town in northern Illinois. His church during those years had two ministers, retired from the Presbyterian Church, who were both Scots (with the burr!) Nina grew up in northern California and the New York finger lakes.
We both attended Cornell U. where we met skiing. We were married in the Ithaca Presbyterian Church where Nina's father, a professor at Cornell,and her mother were elders. Rod worked at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati for 30 years where we belonged to the Northminster Presbyterian Church. He worked in plant design, and spent his last ten years in government affairs, much of the time in Washington (a strange place for an engineer). We have two sons, two grandsons, and recently greeted our first great grandson.
When we first moved to Florida, we lived in Punta Gorda. We were away about 8 months a year, cruising on our sailboat in Florida and the Bahamas. We had joined the St Petersburg Yacht Club before we moved to Florida, and visited the First Presbyterian Church when we were in town. Since moving to St Pete we have visited FPC often, and attend the 11am service.
Jessica Rentschlar moved to St. Pete in the Summer of 2013 after graduating college from USF Tampa campus. While in college, she attended church on campus (specifically geared for students and young adults) and also back home in Crystal River, where sheI attended a Baptist church. As the oldest of her siblings, she has a younger brother who is in the Air Force and sister who is in Elementary school.
Initially, she started working for a contract research organization under Tom Hochadel, who introduced her to FPC. It first started off because I wanted to go on the medical mission trip to Honduras. After meeting some of the many faces involved with FFIM, she was drawn to the Youth program and helped Pastor Juan up until the time he moved on from here to GA. Jessica would love to stay involved with FFIM and the Youth, especially. She typically attends the 9AM service, but has been to the 11AM, also.
Jessica loves to do anything outdoors and to keep active; one of the many reasons she loves living in FL (e.g. taking my dog to the park, biking, obstacle course races, boating).
This Summer, Jessica plans to be starting Anesthesiologist Assistant school at Nova Southeastern University in Tampa to further her education in the medical field.
Bethany and Mikko Maki joined FPC in November 2016. Bethany is VP for Nonprofit Strategy at PMX Agency (http://www.pmxagency.com/team/bethany-maki/) and Mikko is retired after 15 years in the Marine Corps and 20 years in technology. Bethany is a member of the Membership Engagement & Communications Committee and she and Mikko attend the Faith Filled Families Sunday School Class. They attend the 9:00am Contemporary Service. Mikko was baptized when he joined the church; a new journey in faith. Bethany believes that social justice is an important spiritual tradition in her life and family. "My dad used to play Amazing Grace on the piano often and this lyric is my favorite: It was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved." For Mikko, Chris Tomlin's I Will Rise speaks to him (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa8w7mGug0c). Bethany & Mikko pray for God's will and for continued health and guidance. In their walk of faith they ask God, "What else should we do to help create a more tolerant world and how do we end hate?" Look for Bethany and Mikko at the 9:00am Worship Service and welcome them to the FPC family.
Armenia (Minta) Brown is named after her Paternal Grandmother, but, the names are spelled a bit differently. Her Dad was nervous filling out her birth certificate and misspelled his Mothers name. She loves this story as her Dad was a really, really nice person and adored his mother. Minta was raised in Western Pennsylvania and has a younger brother. She attended two different Sunday Schools. Her maternal Grandmother was a Christian Scientist and insisted that she go to Sunday School at both her church and then The Presbyterian Church that was 1/2 block away. Minta’s Father was a Jeweler and Silversmith in Pittsburgh and her Mother's family were Chocolatiers. Minta was a nationally ranked Tennis Player in my youth and eventually went on to teaching in her late teens. Her Father passed away when she was a freshman in college. She withdrew from the university that she was attending as a Pre-Law student (Minta says, “I would have made a lousy attorney”) and enrolled in a Catholic College in Pittsburgh where she received a BS in Specialized Technology and was trained as a Commercial Interior Designer. She has two children , Harper and Hayley.
Minta is enrolled in The Spiritual Formation Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where she met Pastor Will Browne and his wife, Hmingi. When she joined FPC, she had no idea that Will would soon become the Interim Minister here. Will asked her to become a Prayer Minster and she eagerly agreed. Minta attends all three worship services on Sunday.
Minta purchased a vintage two story home in The Crescent Heights neighborhood of St Pete. The home underwent a complete transformation which took about 7 months to complete. She loves to take long walks with her Miniature Poodle named Hedy and loves to ride her bike. She is an avid needle pointer and an impressionistic knife painter. She is also re-starting the cottage craft business that she launched while raising her two girls, painting sink basins, ceramic tile custom murals and lamps. She is a new artist at The Clay Center of St Petersburg and will be donating a portion of proceeds from all commissions to The Foundation For International Missions. Minta is very grateful to have her new home in St. Petersburg and be a member of The First Presbyterian Church.