Meet our Staff

 

Jeff Smith, Pastor

Jeff is a native of Blowing Rock, NC and is grateful to God to serve as pastor at FPC. He is a graduate of Montreat College (B.A. Bible and Religion), a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary (M. Div.) and a Doctor of Ministry at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He served three different congregations during 14 years of ministry in South Carolina (Bennettsville, Spartanburg, and Columbia) and has been the pastor at FPC since 2014. He is passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and empowering the church in Christ’s mission to the ends of the earth. His wife, Angela, works for Water Mission, a non-profit ministry that provides safe and clean water to impoverished areas around the world. They have two sons, Brennan and Lawson. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys trout fishing, UNC Basketball, and spending time camping with his family.
 
 
 

Jennifer Jones, Office Administrator

Jennifer has been the office administrator at FPC since January 2002. Some of her responsibilities include the weekly newsletter, bulletins, financial records for the church and FMO, membership records as well as being a source of support to staff and to the congregation. She lives in Todd with husband, Greg, and boxers Zeus and Zoe. She has two wonderful sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, 3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. Jennifer loves her family, dogs, shopping, and photography, anything to do with technology and computers, cooking and kitchen gadgets.
 
 
 
 
 

Steve Marks, Pastoral Associate, Adult Ed & Congregational Care

Steve Marks and his family relocated to Boone from Greensboro in the spring of 2011 and they have been members of First Presbyterian Church ever since arriving in the High Country. Steve has worked with youth and college students for several years and now serves as the Adult Ministry Director and the Pastoral Associate. Steve graduated from Guilford College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and completed the Congregational Leadership Program at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Sensing God’s call to ordination, Steve is enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. In addition to his work with the church, Steve volunteers with the Cove Creek Fire Department. He enjoys every aspect of mountain weather along with a good cup of coffee with friends!
 
 
 

Erin Fowler, Director of Children’s Ministries

 
Erin has her BA and NC teaching license. She has been a preschool teacher most of her adult life, most recently at First Morning Out. Erin enjoys being a mom to a brood and a grandma. Most importantly, she enjoys sharing God’s love with His people.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shawn Huntley, Director of Youth Ministries
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brandon Winbush, Choir Director

Brandon is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where he studied piano with Dr. Rodney Reynerson and choral conducting with Dr. Stephen M. Hopkins. He is currently pursuing a masters in choral conducting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Brandon spent six years as choral director and piano teacher at Watauga High School in Boone, where he was awarded “Teacher of the Year” for the 2021-2022 school year. Brandon’s Choirs have been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York, The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, and conferences for the NC chapters of both the American Choral Directors’ Association and the National Association for Music Education. He also serves as choral director for Cannon Music Camp at the ASU Hayes School of Music.

A lifelong lover of church music, Brandon grew up in both the Episcopal and Presbyterian musical traditions, and has served several congregations in the high country as a pianist, organist, and choir director. He is in his fourth year at First Presbyterian, having served as accompanist, and now serving as director of the Chancel Choir.

 
 
 
Tyler Dellaperute, Pianist
Tyler joined our staff as our new pianist in August, 2022. Tyler has a B.A. in Music from Cedarville University and is a recent graduate of ASU with a M.M. in Piano Performance with an added Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy.  He has been playing the piano since he was in middle school and has grown up the son of a Baptist pastor.  He brings the comfortability of playing both contemporary and traditional music.  Tyler has worked with Brandon Winbush at Watauga High School and through music camps at ASU. 
 
 
 

Cindy Clawson, Worship Band Leader

Cindy has a wide background of musical experience. She has been a church musician for 30 years in various positions as Choir Director, Church pianist, attempted organist (but her legs were too short), Children’s Choir Director, Hand bell Director and just about whatever has come up in music. She has also worked as a public school music teacher. Wherever her family moved she found some available position in a school from grades K-12. Her favorite public school forum was directing high school chorus. As life brought new challenges and different circumstances Cindy took on a job at Boone Drug, Inc. This is where she gets to work with a great group of people every day. Cindy has 3 children.
 
 
 

Amber Kanoy, First Morning Out Preschool Director

Amber received a BS degree in Child Development from Appalachian State University. She has worked at FMO now for 5 years. She absolutely loves preschool and being a mom! She enjoys spending time with her husband Josh and their four kids. She also enjoys playing tennis and hiking.
 
Elders
 
Class of 2023
Ruth Dotson – Mission
Kim McAulay – Worship
Gary Moss – Finance & Stewardship
Cathy Simpson-Koch – Communications
Class of 2024
Neville Chaney – Property & Personnel
Frank Mayberry – Communications
Sue Newell – Church Life
Greg Warmuth – Finance & Stewardship
Class of 2025
Jack Butler – Mission
Allison Harrison – Worship
David Kesler – Property & Personnel
Carrie Merschat – Christian Education
 
Anna Lehman – Clerk of Session
Deacons
 
Class of 2023
Pete Barr
Mary Linda Dooley
Steve Edwards
Liz Michael
Class of 2024
Katherine Logan
Ben Miller
Linda Ruff
Jo Sorrell
Class 0f 2025
Jane Butler
Andrew Glover
Dot Hutelmyer
Guy Rippy