Meet Our Staff
As a young girl, Laura was called to be a church organist. She have spent her life serving churches as organist in NC and TN. It has been her privilege and pleasure to service this congregation since October 2004. She was born at Fort Jackson Army Base in Columbia, SC. She forgets the year. After her dad completed his service in the Army, they moved to Burlington, NC. She graduated from the UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance.
She is blessed with 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and 4 grandchildren. She is married to her husband, David, and they have combined a lifetime of music careers, faith, and love for sharing our music together. The music plays on, and God continues to open new doors for her. She is now an affiliate broker with a real estate firm here in Johnson City. It has been a blessing to meet new people and serve Him in a different setting,
Contemporary Music Leader
Valerie has been working as First Presbyterian’s contemporary worship leader since August of 2020. Valerie is currently a student athlete at Milligan University studying a double major in student ministry and psychology. She is involved in worship with several other ministries such as LXI, Vespers, and Milligan Chapel. She spent 6 years of her life living in Canada, but moved to Johnson City in 2007. In her down time, Valerie enjoys snowboarding, writing music, and cooking.
Director of Music
Larry Dodd is originally from the Northwest corner of Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy also lived in Florida for a number of years before coming to Tennessee. Larry graduated from Indiana University and holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Larry has been involved in music ministry for over 40 years and has been the Director of Music at First Pres since 2007. He is a member of the local Chapter of The American Guild of Organists and has served as Dean of the Chapter. He is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association. Larry and Kathy have three adult children and four grandchildren. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren.
423-926-5108 Ext. 802
Director of children's and middle school ministries
Jennifer Jacobs is the Director of Children's and Middle School Ministries. Jennifer is originally from Cleveland, NY, and has lived in Florida and Virginia before settling in Tennessee. Jennifer and her family have called First Presbyterian home since 2005. She has worked with children of all ages here since 2007 and imagines herself doing that for many years to come. Jennifer and her husband, Matt, along with their three children can be found camping, hiking, and boating anywhere water is found. When she’s not outdoors, Jennifer can be found stitching away in her sewing room.
423-926-5108 Ext. 805
Stacy Larsen has served as the Executive Director of The River since it opened in 2004. She holds a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN with a major of Political Science and minors of Art, Sociology, and Women's Studies. She also has a Master of Education in Early Childhood from ETSU. Past jobs include being a librarian, teacher, Family Support Specialist, and working with adults with special needs. Stacy is an identical twin and has lived in Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and has made Tennessee her home since 1998. After growing up in the Methodist Church, she joined the Presbyterian Church in 2002. She has a daughter, Sarah, who lives with her husband in Knoxville and is a speech pathologist. In her down time, Stacy likes to be creative, collect buttons, and shop thrift stores.
terry (tree) Lewis
Contact: 423-926-5108 Ext. 807
Amy malcolm Sentell
Amy Malcolm Sentell is the Director of First Presbyterian Preschool. She has been the director of our preschool for 10 years, but she’s been here much longer as a preschool parent and attended preschool here, too! Her background in education and arts put her in the perfect place and it’s always a great day on the preschool hall. She has two wonderful college kids and an active puppy that keep things exciting. She loves art, books, music, going on adventures and building things. This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!
Contact: 423-926-5108 Ext. 806
Silvia Werthem is originally from Florida and joined the staff in June of 2019 as the Finance Assistant. She assists the Pastor of the Church to oversee and manage all matters related to Accounting and Finance. She has 25 years of experience in various fields of accounting and Finance have equipped her with a vast knowledge and skill set to support the church in her current position. She is married to her husband Rod; we have 3 grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, exercising, shopping, sewing, and spending time with her grandkids.
Contact: 423-926-5108 Ext. 804
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