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All the Members of the Congregation
Sandra Stogsdill Brown, Designated 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.
Ali Decker, Director of Family Ministries
Ali Decker joined us May 2017 as our Director of Family Ministries after completing her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She holds an undergraduate degree in Ministry Leadership with an emphasis in Christian Education from New Hope Christian College in Eugene, Oregon.
Ali is from California and grew up attending First Presbyterian Church of San Diego where she served first as a Nursery attendant and then as Assistant Director of Child and Family Ministries. While in college, Ali was a teacher’s assistant at City Tree Christian School, dabbling in everything from office work to marching band assistant and supervising the afterschool program.
Ali is passionate about educational ministry and creating opportunities for fellowship. She is delighted to join us in ministry here at FPC and cannot wait to see what God has in store as we begin to faithfully reimagine what our family ministry will look like.
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
Dr. Song Yi Park has been the Organist and Director of Handbell Music at FPC Topeka since 2015. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from University of Kansas, where she studied with Dr. James Higdon and Dr. Michael Bauer. Previous organ degrees include a Graduate Performance Diploma in organ performance with Dr. John Walker at Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Sacred Music degree in organ performance with Peter Sykes at Boston University. She began her undergraduate studies in choral conducting with Dr. HaeOck Kim at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. She holds a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at KU and is currently working on her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting at KU with Dr. Paul Tucker.
Song Yi is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and started her church job when she was seven. Until now she has served as an organist, soloist, collaborative pianist and a choir director at several churches in Korea and U.S. Also she has been an active Graduate Teaching Assistant at KU.
Robert Jacoby II, Assistant Organist
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.
Lori Hennessey, Administrative Assistant