Staff

Rev. Dr. David Holyan, Pastor

David Holyan grew up in the Seattle area and attended Seattle University, graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. After a career in Financial Management and Technical Sales, David felt a call to the ministry. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in June 1998. David's first call was as pastor of the Sligo (PA) Presbyterian Church in 1998. He served this rural congregation for three years. In September 2001 David became Associate Pastor at Rolling Bay Presbyterian on Bainbridge Island, Washington. David earned the Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological Seminary in May 2006 and became Pastor of First Pres, Kirkwood March 1, 2007. He serves as a member of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team and is the co-author of Recovering from Un-natural Disasters. He also blogs at A Contemplative Bent.

Rev. Dr. Karen Blanchard, Associate Pastor

Karen was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut. She received her B.A. from The College of Wooster (including a semester studying at New College Divinity School in Edinburgh) and then attended Boston University School of Theology where she received her Masters of Divinity degree. She first served at Second Presbyterian Church in the Central West End of St. Louis. She received a Doctor of Ministry Degree in 1990 from Eden Theological Seminary. She then served as Pastor of Pacific (Missouri) Presbyterian Church for nearly eight years before coming to First Pres in 1999. Karen is married to Scott Martin, a fellow Wooster grad, who is a commercial real estate broker. Their daughter attends the University of Missouri and their son is studying at University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. At First Pres, Karen works with the Deacons, Adult Education, Stephen Ministers, the New Member Committee and helping to lead or create small groups. Within the larger church, Karen serves on the Pastoral Care Committee and completed training in mediation training with the Lombard Center. She also spends time enjoying her love of reading, travel, and gardening.

Mr. Bill Stein, Director of Music Ministries

Bill Stein was raised in northern Illinois. He began taking piano and organ lessons at an early age and played his first worship service at the age of 12. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in organ from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a Master of Music Performance degree in organ and sacred music from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern he studied organ with Wolfgang Rubsam, choral conducting with Richard Webster, and church music with Margaret Kemper. Bill served churches in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois as both Organist and Music Director. He has completed several choir tours of Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Ireland, and England as conductor, organist and accompanist.

Bill began serving First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood as Director of Music Ministries on May 1, 2006. At First Presbyterian, Bill is the church's Organist, conducts the Chancel Choir, Chancel Ringers, Middle School Ringers, Chorister Choir, and Church Orchestra. At First Presbyterian he has led major works for choir and orchestra such as Handel's "Messiah", Vivaldi's "Gloria", Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna", Durufle's "Requiem", and Poulenc's "Gloria". Bill led the Chancel Choir on a tour of Scotland and England in October 2010, performing in St. Gile's Cathedral (Edinburgh), Coventry Cathedral, York Minster, and St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He is a member of the church's Organ Committee and is excited about the installation of their new Casavant Freres Pipe Organ in October 2013. He serves as Artistic Director of the church's Con Spirito Concert Series, currently celebrating its 13th season. Bill is member of the Steering Committee planning the American Guild of Organists 2015 regional convention, and has served on the Executive Board of the St. Louis Chapter, American Guild of Organists. He is an active recitalist and accompanist.

Mr. Travis Evans, Music Associate

Travis assists and supports our growing music ministry. His responsibilities include directing the Chancel Ringers and Middle School Ringers, accompanying and assisting with the Chancel Choir, serving as assistant organist, and performing administrative duties in the office for the music ministry.

Travis is an Adjunct Faculty member at St. Charles Community College where he teaches courses in music, organ and piano. He is also on the faculty at the University of Missouri - St. Louis as a Piano Specialist in the music department, and an Adjunct Faculty member at Lindenwood University where he teaches Music Theory. In addition to his academic work, he has also served as a church musician. He has served as the organist/accompanist at St. John UCC in St. Charles and was Director of Music for eighteen years for Lutheran Churches. Travis spent two seasons as the Artistic Director for the Choral Art Singers in St. Charles County.

Travis studied choral conducting with Dr. James Henry, conductor of the Ambassadors of Harmony and head of the choral department at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, instrumental conducting with Dr. Paul Davis at Webster University, and organ with Dr. Charles Ore, the late Dr. Theodore Beck, and Dr. Barbara Harbach. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and a Masters of Music in Organ Performance from Webster University in St. Louis where he studied with William Partridge, Canon Precentor at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, where he has also volunteered as the assistant choirmaster for many of their Evensong services. 

Rob Monroe, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries

Rob Monroe grew up inside the Washington, DC, beltway and served churches in Maryland and Virginia before moving to the Midwest in 2010. He has served on Presbytery, Synod and Regional committees focusing on children, youth, and education.

Rob joined the staff at First Pres in January of 2012 as Director of Youth Ministries and Mission. In the summer of 2015 Rob expanded his role and is now responsible for the Children, Youth and Family Ministries.

Mrs. Sherry Peters, Director of the Children's Center

Sherry became the Director of the Children's Center (Preschool and Kids' Day Out Program) in June of 2015. She and her husband, Mike, have four children. They reside in Kirkwood.

Mrs. Jane Meppiel, Financial Secretary

 

Paula Bujewski, Office Administrator

 

Mr. Dee Robinson, Head Custodian