- Greg HillsLead Pastor & Ipswich Campus Pastor
Pastor Greg Hills brings a wide variety of experience to First Presbyterian Church. After graduating from North Carolina State University, he worked as an engineer in corporate America for seven years. Hearing the call to pastoral ministry, he then completed his Masters degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and traveled to Istanbul, Turkey in 1996 for four years of Christian work on foreign field. In 2001, he returned to the states and joined the pastoral staff of First Presbyterian Church where he has faithfully served to this day.
Greg’s many activities at the church reflect his diverse background: preaching, teaching, leadership training, and spiritual gifts assessment to name a few. But his deepest passions are for global missions and developing vision and direction for the church.
In his free time, Greg enjoys skiing, watching movies, and outdoor activities with his wife and partner in ministry, Heather. Greg’s children are: Andrew, Collin, Jonathan, Benjamin, Mackenzie, and Paige.
- Derek BakerDanvers Campus Pastor
Derek has been with FPC since 2008 when he graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 2010 he was ordained and as part of the church’s vision to have “More People, More Like Christ.” He was brought on staff with a view to launching a second campus. In September 2015, Derek and his family, along with 70 passionate people were sent out from our Ipswich Campus, to launch our Danvers Campus.
Derek and his wife Brooke were married in July 1999 and they have a daughter, Haley, and three sons, Haddon, Hudson and Holden. Brooke is a teacher by training, tutors students in math part time, and serves at the Danvers Campus in many capacities. Derek and Brooke have lived in a variety of places on the North Shore during their years here, but most recently they have moved to Ipswich. Prior to their time here, they lived in Austin, Texas where Derek worked for a college ministry organization called ECHO. It was during his later years with this group that he began training and preaching and felt called to attend seminary for further education.
Derek enjoys soccer, running, music, playing his guitar, reading good books, watching good movies, hiking and camping.
- Jon ConantAssociate Pastor
Jon Conant was recently voted by our congregation to become our next Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church. He will begin this position officially in April 2018!He grew up in Maine and came to the North Shore to study music at Gordon College. Jon met his wife Jen at Gordon where they were fellow music majors and occasional dramatic love interests. They graduated and were married in 2005. Jon will graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in May 2017 with a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Counseling.
Jon and his wife Jen began attending FPC in the fall of 2010. Jen is a music educator, an active mezzo-soprano in the greater Boston area, and a full time Mom to three awesome kids: Jeremiah, Isaac, and Isabelle. Jon is passionate about being a dad and husband, about preaching, teaching, and the role of music in worship. During his time at Gordon-Conwell Jon has been grateful for the chance to serve at FPC in these areas, as well as volunteering with the Middle School youth group.
Jon loves all things New England and is an avid Patriots fan. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, playing racquetball, working on cars, discussing theology and mental health issues, and singing renaissance choral music.
- Jon EvansYouth Director & Church Administrator
Jon Evans is one energetic guy. Under his leadership for the past 23 years, our middle and high school youth program has become one of the “signature” ministries at First Presbyterian.
Jon co-leads a team of about 20 volunteers on a whirlwind schedule of regular activities including youth group meetings, Sunday school, Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips, summer camps, concerts, amusement parks – the list goes on.
A theme verse for our youth ministry is Mark 12:29-31 as it encourages us to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves” says Jon. “It guides us in our growth in our relationship with God and it guides us in how to love others as well. I love to see students grow from wherever they are in their faith, to the next step in their faith. We see this happen in a variety of ways as we have the privilege of being involved in their lives.”
Jon is especially convicted about involving teens in worship. Students are involved in helping to lead regular youth worship events and they are often involved in helping to lead worship in our regular Sunday morning worship services.
On the administrative side of things, Jon works with the Trustees in the care for, scheduling and maintenance of the church facilities, he oversees all aspects of technology for the Ipswich campus and he helps to coordinate our fellowship opportunities.
In his limited free time, Jon loves to be outdoors, especially in the woods and mountains where he enjoys hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Otherwise, you may see him and Jo, his wife of 29 years, cruising around the North Shore in their Jeep.
Jon and Jo have a daughter, Shelby, and two dogs, Buddy the large and in charge Golden Doodle and Penny the mini Golden Doodle.
- Jeff SpencerChildren's Director Ipswich Campus
Jeff Spencer is the Children Ministries Director at FPC. He grew up in Ipswich and feels blessed that the Lord has given him the opportunity to minister in his hometown. Jeff graduated from Gordon College, and received his Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
For over five years before coming on as staff, Jeff and his family attended FPC, and he became a member. During that time he was mentored by Pastor Greg Hills and enjoyed teaching children’s programs including VBS, Catechism Kids and Scooters. In January 2009 he was hired by FPC as the Children’s Ministries Director.
At the church, Jeff believes he can combine his counseling experience, theological training and ministry experience to better equip parents to raise their children to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to facilitate the educational process in the church to assist them to that end. Jeff hopes to pursue ordination and return to counseling to complete the Massachusetts requirements for licensing which he hopes will benefit the church in the future. He is currently certified with Prepare and Enrich marriage counseling and has co-led a Divorce Recovery support group.
Jeff and his wife Lisa live in Ipswich, MA with their two children, Emily and Will. Lisa is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and heads a research laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Amazingly Emily and Will share a birthday separated by 10 years.
In their spare time Jeff and his family like to go to Crane Beach, swim, kayak, bike ride, and hike in Acadia. Jeff also loves Lego video games and watching DC and Marvel movies.
- Maureen OhMusic Director, Ipswich Campus
Maureen has been the Music Director for First Presbyterian since 1989. Maureen began taking piano lessons in third grade in Korea. Ever since then she has been involved in some form of musical activity from choirs, to accompanying, to playing in chamber music. Maureen studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada and she graduated with her Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
As part of her role with First Presbyterian, Maureen plays the organ and piano for the traditional and blended services. She also directs the choirs, arranges the offertory music and is a member of the worship committee.
Maureen and her husband Dan live in Beverly and have two adult daughters. In addition to her role at FPC, Maureen teaches music at the North Shore Christian School, Beacon Campus and gives piano lessons at home. She enjoys being one of the mentors for the church’s Mom to Mom ministry and in her spare time Maureen loves watching Patriots, Celtics and Red Sox games.
- Esther BairdWomen's Ministry Coordinator, Ipswich Campus
Esther Baird is the Women’s Ministry Coordinator for FPC and has been a member at the church since 2003. Raised in Philadelphia, both she and Les went on to attend and graduate from Wheaton College outside of Chicago, IL. Esther received her M.Div at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2010 with a particular focus of study on chaplaincy work. Esther is a part time writer and has written a humor/life column in local newspapers for eight years.
Esther sees the need of the women in the church, and the community, to be connected both to each other and most importantly to Jesus. She feels that the culture we live in pushes women towards unattainable goals of a false perfection. It is her desire, along with the other talented Women’s Ministry Leads, to point women to what truly will satisfy them — a personal relationship with Jesus in whom they can find true fulfillment, joy and acceptance through faith in Him.
Esther and her husband Les and their two young daughters, Abby and Riley, live in Boxford. Esther enjoys reading, traveling, doing the voices in all her daughter’s books, and walking their Bernese Mountain Dog, Blue Ears.
- Heather RichNursery Director, Ipswich Campus
Heather Rich is the Nursery Director at FPC and has been a member since 2005. Heather grew up in northern New Jersey, attended Nyack College in Nyack, NY and then received a Master of Arts in Religion with an Educational Ministries concentration from Gordon-Conwell in 2004.
While Heather was at seminary, she was a live-in nanny, giving her an opportunity to care for young children. God provided a second chance to care for little ones while she worked in a day care with infants and toddlers before she had her own children. She continues to enjoy watching other children alongside her own, as well as serving in the nursery.
Heather and her husband Patrick live in Hamilton with their 3 children - Ben, Grace and Emma. In her (hypothetical) spare time, Heather enjoys reading, competitive running, playing games with her kids, going out to dinner with her husband and walking with her dog, Bear.
- Jennifer WhiteacreOffice Manager, Ipswich & Danvers Campus
Jen Whiteacre is the office manager for First Presbyterian and is often the first voice you hear or the first smile you see when contacting the church. She is a graduate of George Fox University, with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. Jen also has a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. Prior to working at First Presbyterian, she worked in Student Development as a Resident Director at King College in Tennessee.
Jen has served in various ministries of the church including the Young Adult Ministry, Women’s Ministries, and Prayer Ministry Team. Having a heart for missions and a passion for travel, Jen has served in Brazil and Ukraine and has had the pleasure of being a leader on one of the youth mission trips to Voice of Calvary Ministries. Her passion for travel has taken her to 15 countries and 42 states.
Some of the things Jen enjoys includes baking, photography, travel and seeking out new cultures and new cuisines, genealogy and researching her family history, reading, and spending time with friends. She considers it a pleasure and blessing to serve both the staff and congregation of First Presbyterian.
- Anna HadornAssistant Youth Director, Ipswich
Since coming to First Presbyterian Church in the Spring of 2015 Anna Hadorn has brought a lot of life and excitement to our Youth Ministry program. Anna began a relationship with Jesus through Young Life, and was compelled by that experience to use her life to show Jesus to lost people.
As our assistant Youth Director, Anna leads and directs our high school ministry, co-ordinates regular youth service and missions opportunities, serves with our middle school ministry, helps to organize our winter retreats and middle school Deerwander camp, and she intentionally disciples many of our female students.
Anna loves the privilege of being a part of students’ lives and she considers her role at FPC to be her dream job! She very much enjoys the privilege of planning weird and wacky activities for Youth Group as well.
Anna lives in Beverly with friends and her rabbit, Basil, and enjoys exploring the North Shore, hiking, gardening, coffee, music, dogs, and anything with good food.
- Nathaniel LeeGlobal Missions Intern
Nathaniel is the Global Missions Intern and member at First Presbyterian Church. Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, he went on to receive a degree in Biblical and Theological studies from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. After graduating in 2017, Nathaniel married his best friend and high school sweetheart, Brynna, and moved to Hamilton, where he is currently pursuing his Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and seeking ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America.
Alongside the Global Missions chair, Nathaniel oversees communication between our missionaries and the congregation, mobilizes the church for missions, coordinates Short-term trips, and helps orchestrate the annual Global Missions Conference.
Nathaniel feels called to pastoral ministry and global missions, and has a passion for ministering to the marginalized, oppressed, and unreached. In his spare time, Nathaniel enjoys hiking unknown mountains, admiring Christopher Nolan movies, reading theology, and watching the UNC Tarheels dominate in college basketball.
We are blessed that Jesus Christ has raised up these men to faithfully serve FPC as our local church elders.
George Papanicolau, Ipswich
John Evans, Ipswich
Jeff Azadian, Ipswich
Elders Shepherding Responsibilities
At FPC our elders desire to be actively involved in the lives of our members by encouraging and assisting them in their spiritual growth. One means of doing this is through our Elder Care Groups where each particular elder connects with certain individuals and families at their respective campus, and checks in on them for prayer, conversation and encouragement. If you are interested in finding out more about how to become connected with one of our elders, please see one of the pastors or contact the church office.
The deacons lead the church in its display of the great compassion of Christ through ministries of mercy within the church, and in our local community.
We are blessed that Jesus Christ has raised up these men to faithfully serve FPC as our local church deacons.
Ken Harding, Ipswich
Dan Janssen, Ipswich
Russ Queen, Ipswich
Randy Rydbeck, Ipswich
Rob Van Cleef, Ipswich
Randy Van Dyke, Danvers
John David Bower, Danvers
Mark Panjwani, Ipswich
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