Leadership & Staff

Rev. Patrick W. T. Johnson

Pastor, Head of Staff



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Patrick has served as Pastor/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Asheville since December, 2015, after serving congregations in Virginia, California, and New Jersey. Before coming to Asheville, he was a pastor for six years in New Jersey and adjunct faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, and the book The Mission of Preaching: Equipping the Community for Faithful Witness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Government) from the College of William and Mary, and a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Philosophy in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

His spouse, Caitlin, is also a PC(USA) minister serving part-time as a solo pastor at Oak Forest Presbyterian in Asheville. They live in North Asheville, with their four children, Isla, Luke, Claire, and Felicity. The family loves to spend time outside, and Patrick enjoys biking, hiking, and any time spent in the woodshop.

At FPCA, Patrick focuses on worship and preaching, strategic direction, leadership and stewardship development, pastoral care, and community involvement. The best way to reach him is by email at pjohnson@fpcasheville.org.

Rev. David Germer

Associate Pastor



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David joined the FPCA staff in January of 2022, after spending most of his life back and forth between Texas and Washington state.  He received his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary after working in several PC(USA) congregations in a variety of roles after graduating from Whitworth University in 2004.  David served as the Director of Christian Education at University Presbyterian Church from 2010 to 2018, and as the pastor of Packwood Community Presbyterian Church near Mount Rainier in Washington from 2018 to 2021.
David’s spouse, Tracy (another Whitworth grad), has spent time teaching in public elementary schools, leading church youth groups, producing children’s plays, and starting her own businesses. She is also an incredible mother to their three children (whom she homeschooled for many years) – Josiah, Titus, and Naomi (who collectively cover an 11-year age range).
David is passionate about the good news of Jesus (and sharing it with others in ways that help others live into it and become more like Jesus), the Bible, movies and stories that shape us, and enjoyment of creation and beauty and physical activity.
David loves to teach and preach, and he is delighted to share ministry with incredible colleagues, allowing him to focus much of his energy at FPC on mission (with a particular interest in local/community engagement) and on ministry with youth and their families and with young adults.

The best way to reach him is at dgermer@fpcasheville.org.

Rev. Shannon Jordan

Associate Pastor



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Shannon joined our staff in January of 2022, after serving at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Decatur, AL, where she was a solo pastor. Before that, she served in several director positions at Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, VA.  She received her Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

At FPCA, Shannon focuses on adult faith formation, children and their families, congregational life, and congregational care.

Shannon met her husband, John,  at Vanderbilt.  Shannon and John have two adult children.  Stephen lives in San Francisco. Anna, her husband Gabe, and their son, James, live in Winston-Salem. For fun Shannon and John like taking walks with their dog, Ozzy, and exploring Asheville and the surrounding areas. John enjoys golf and Shannon enjoys photographing God’s world.

The best way to reach Shannon is by email at sjordan@fpcasheville.org.

Nancy McNeill

Director of Engagement



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Nancy began her work at FPCA in 1998, having been a faithful volunteer in Presbyterian church ministry for years. She began serving as coordinator of Children’s Ministries and later educational ministry with adults as Director of Faith Development. During that time she completed courses through the PCUSA in Christian Education. She is delighted to serve in her current role as Director of Engagement welcoming and involving visitors, new members, and continuing members in a variety of ways into the life and ministry of FPCA through mission, faith formation, and congregational life. She welcomes the opportunity to share extended conversation over coffee as she learns and assists others in helping to make this congregation feel like home. Nancy also enjoys working with our nursery staff and children’s ministry teachers to provide loving care and nurture faith for the youngest of our church family. She oversees our Sunday morning Godly Play classes for children ages 3-5th grade and helps to plan children’s mission, worship and fellowship opportunities.

Nancy and her husband Paul have been active members of FPCA since 1996. They cherish family time with their granddaughter Mallorie, children Aimee & husband Brady, Alex and wife Nicole living here in Asheville; and less frequent, but precious visits with grandson Jonah, son Chase and wife Anna living in Los Angeles.  Nancy likes to walk or hike, cook, work on home projects, or enjoy the beauty of the mountains from their back deck. The best way to reach her is nmcneill@fpcasheville.org.

Jeremy Roberts

Director of Music, Organist



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Jeremy has been at FPCA since August of 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Religion from Grove City College and a Master of Arts in Church Music from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Prior to joining the staff at FPCA, Jeremy served Presbyterian, Lutheran, and United Church of Christ congregations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

He also maintains a private piano studio and has worked as music director for a youth theater company in Ohio. Jeremy can often be heard as a recitalist around the region and has been a presenter for events hosted by the American Guild of Organists, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and Presbyterian Association of Musicians. He will be the organ contributor for PCUSA’s 2021/2022 Call to Worship Lectionary Aids Edition.

Jeremy enjoys cooking, reading (especially poetry and memoirs), art, meaningful conversations, cultivating imaginative living, a good cup of tea, and hiking with his Great Dane-Coonhound mix, Rupert. At FPCA, Jeremy is responsible for planning worship in collaboration with the pastors and for overseeing the music program which includes four vocal choirs and periodic instrumental and bell groups. The best way to reach him is at jroberts@fpcasheville.org.

Liz Thurston

Church Administrator



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Liz is native North Carolinian who grew up in Greensboro, and in the Presbyterian Church. She had a long career in higher education administration, primarily in student affairs and enrollment services.  Prior to moving to Asheville, Liz was the Director of Student Affairs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for over twelve years.  She also held positions at Greensboro College, Peace College, Midway College in Kentucky, and the Graduate School of UNC-Chapel Hill before moving up North to Boston.  Prior to joining FPC-Asheville, she served as the Administrative Manager for the Asheville Census Office for Western North Carolina. 

 Liz loved her time in New England where she fell in love with the Boston Red Sox!  However, but she always knew Asheville would be the home which she shares with her family – Karla, her wife, Cooper, their rescue dog, and their feline calico princess, Sophie. Liz moved with her family to Asheville as Karla accepted the call to be the head pastor at First Congregational Church in Hendersonville. Liz is an avid sports fan, loves to travel, and to spend time outdoors, doing just about anything. 

 At FPCA, Liz is responsible for the financial and business operations of the church, donor records and giving, as well as facilities management, communications, and information technology.  She manages the support personnel to ensure work is well-coordinated and supportive of the church’s ministry and the work of other staff. 

 Liz looks forward to meeting and working with all members of the Church.  

The best way to reach Liz is to email lthurston@fpcasheville.org or to call her at the church at 828-253-1431 ext 117.

Tabitha Bakhashwain

Communications Specialist



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William Farmer




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Farmer’s biography coming soon!

Lucy Hazlehurst

Administrative Assistant



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Lucy’s Biography Coming Soon!

Eve Bennett




Kim Thomas

Choir Assistant

Finn Ashe

Nursery Supervisor


First Presbyterian Church is governed by a session, which is comprised of ruling elders elected and installed by the congregation and pastors.

The role of the Session is to govern the congregation and guide its witness to the sovereign activity of God in the world, so that the congregation is and becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness.

The Session is made up of three classes, with members serving three year terms.


First Presbyterian Church has a Deacon team that supports the Session in a variety of caregiving roles, with emphasis on Congregational Care, Bereavement, New Members, and Prayer. 

The Deacon teams are lead by Deacons but anyone can participate in the variety of care options. If this is an area that interests you, please reach out to Rev. Shannon Jordan

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