TO CONTACT ONE OF THE STAFF, PLEASE CLICK ON THEIR NAME
All the Members of the Congregation
Rev. Dr. Bradley K. Walker, Pastor
Rev. Dr. Bradley Knox Walker answered the congregation’s call to become senior pastor for First Presbyterian in August, 2008. Since his arrival, he has been working alongside many members to discover what it means to be a missional congregation in the 21st century.
Brad was born in Texas, but grew up in Atlanta, GA. He attended Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where he studied Philosophy. After college, he considered a career in restaurant work before following God’s call into ministry as a church youth director. It was during this time that he met his wife, Lee. Continuing to hear God’s call he attended Columbia Theological Seminary where he graduated with his Master of Divinity degree in 1989. Brad served congregations in Arkansas, Texas, and Alabama before coming to First Presbyterian in Topeka. He completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in May of 2012, again from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Brad and Lee have been married 25 years. Their son, Lane, recently graduated from Centre College in Kentucky and is working in Japan. Brad enjoys golf, music (mostly, rock, jazz, and classical), reading, running, biking, car racing, sharing good meals, and being outdoors. The Walkers also share their house with a Cocker Spaniel, and two cats (or vice versa).
Sandra Stogsdill Brown, Designated Associate Pastor
The Rev. Sandra Stogsdill Brown began her work here as our Designated Associate Pastor in the summer of 2014. A native of the Kansas City area, Sandra studied music at the conservatory at University of Missouri, Kansas City before beginning her theological education. Sandra has lived in Southern California and holds an M.A. in Religious Education from the Claremont School of Theology in addition to a M.Div. from Central Baptist Theological Seminary; she also studied at Princeton.
Ordained in 2007, Sandra served as the associate pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Lee’s Summit, Missouri through June 2014. She is delighted to join in the mission of FPC Topeka—“sharing God’s love from the heart of Topeka”—and is excited to strengthen and support the good ministry that is already happening here. Sandra is a wordsmith who has a deep love of seeking the places where God’s word connects with everyday life, as well as helping people discern how God is working within them; she is also passionate about education, stewardship, team-building, creative worship, and “radical hospitality.”
Sandra and her husband Rod have been married since May 2014. They live in Meriden and have three daughters between them: Rachel Bell, Tabor Brown, and Madeleine Bell of Overland Park.
Erin La Row, Coordinator of Children & Youth Ministries
Erin La Row has lived in several Kansas communities over the years, but eventually found her way back home to Topeka to be closer to her family. Growing up in the Seaman school district, Erin discovered at a young age she has a knack for words and enjoys writing and telling stories. That served her well as a reporter and bureau chief for KAKE TV’s Garden City station and later on as a senior communications representative at Westar Energy.
Erin’s faith has led her to pursue a path of service working with children and youth. She’s excited to bring her skills to her new role as Children and Youth Coordinator and is looking forward to getting to know the families at First Presbyterian .
Erin and her husband, Steve, have two boys, Ty and Trace.
Kevin Kellim, Director of Music
Dr. Kevin Kellim has served as Music Director at First Presbyterian Church since 1990, where he conducts the Chancel Choir, supervises the scheduling of soloists and guest musicians, and serves on related committees at the church.
Kellim received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southwest Baptist University, a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Kansas State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from The University of Kansas.
In addition, Kellim has been the choral director at Washburn University since 1992, where he conducts the Washburn Choir, Washburn Singers, and Women’s Chorus, and teaches courses in advanced conducting and private voice. Under Dr. Kellim’s direction, members of the Washburn Choir have toured Europe extensively and performed to enthusiastic audiences throughout South Africa.
Kellim is celebrating more than 26 years as Music Director of the Topeka Festival Singers, a select choir of adult singers, performing a wide selection of choral literature ranging from Bach to Broadway.
An active conductor and adjudicator, Kellim has directed several honor choirs, festivals and music clinics throughout the region. He and his wife, Pam, are the proud parents of three amazing young adults and three wonderful grandsons.
Song Yi Park, Organist and Bell Choir Director.
Song Yi is working on a “DMA in Organ Performance” at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. She is a native of Korea, has a degree in Choral Conducting from Yonsei University, where her minor study was organ, and a degree from Boston University. She has studied at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore as well. Song Yi was raised Presbyterian in Korea, and has served churches in Boston, Baltimore and Kansas City.
Robert E. Jacoby II (Bob) has served as assistant organist at FPC Topeka since the fall of 1975. Recently retired as Family Practice physician after 37 years practice in Topeka, he has been an avid amateur organist since his first lessons with Richard M. Gayhart, organist at FPC Topeka (1947-1999) beginning in eighth grade (1960). He continued his organ studies (as a chemistry major) at KU also with Mr. Gayhart. He was organist at his home church, Central Presbyterian in Topeka (1965-1967), and while attending medical school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore he served as organist and choirmaster at Seventh Baptist Church (1969-1972). He was winner of the Young Artists competition of the Chesapeake Chapter AGO in 1969. He enjoys sharing playing duties, normally playing ten Sundays a year and frequently accompanying the choir on piano.
Coleen Akers, Financial Secretary
Francie Forrestt Riley, Communications Coordinator
Lori Hennessey, Administrative Assistant