Karen Henn Allamon became our pastor in 2015.  She holds a Master's in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she was winner of the preaching prize. Her post graduate studies at Princeton were in Family Systems Theory and she holds a BA from Webster University. 

Karen has served the denomination as a delegate to the General Assembly.  She served two previous churches in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and the Presbytery of Genesee Valley.  Her service to these Presbyteries included work on Ordination Exams, chairing the Final Assessment Committee for the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, and teaching and supervising interns for the Commissioned Ruling Elder Program. 

Karen is certified in Crisis Counseling, is a certified CAT (Church Assessment Tool) consultant,  is experienced as a critical incident stress de-briefer for first responders, and has served as a hospice spiritual care coordinator.

A mother of two and grandmother to two, Karen loves all of God’s children.  She does not believe the world is going to hades in a handbasket, although there certainly are days that give one pause.  She hopes you will become part of the Love at First Presbyterian.


Sam Clem is a life-long member of First.  His background in technology, capacity for fun, enthusiasm for theology, and experience raising four teenagers make him a great asset both in the classroom, where he leads our Youth Sunday School, and in the field, where he engages our Youth in a variety of activities.  He is married to Catharine Clem and resides in Staunton.




 Dr. Renee Sokol Huff is our Music Director, but has been active with our Chancel and Handbell Choirs since her first day at First Presbyterian. A recent transplant to Staunton, along with her husband, Renee has continued sharing her voice in the chancel choir, joined and performed with the handbell choir, and provided music leadership in recent Lenten services. Renee has a Doctorate in Music, specializing in Voice Performance; has taught music at the college level as well as middle and high school; has performed and continues to perform in stage musicals and opera presentation; and has experience as Director of Music in several churches.  When you talk with Renee, you experience her enthusiasm and energy for life, in her faith, and in music, which we are fortunate to have her share with us as Interim Director of Music. 




Otto Pebworth is our Organist. Over a year ago, Otto substituted as our organist for a Sunday worship service, and he so impressed our members that he was welcomed back. He has served a number of churches in an Interim capacity. He finds it very meaningful to help churches and choirs through a transition period in their music leadership. His other professional activities include organ building and service work, as well as sound reinforcement installation and service. Otto says: "I see my primary purpose as a parish musician, as one who serves to lead people into worship...most importantly by the congregation's active participation in singing."






 
Heidi Marsh came to First Presbyterian in 2012 and now serves as the church’s Office Manager.  She and her family moved to Staunton in 2011 from northern Virginia and have enjoyed getting to know Staunton’s friendly residents.  A lifelong Tar Heel, Heidi graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Human Resources.  After growing up in Greensboro, NC, Heidi moved to the Washington, DC, area where she met her husband Simon, a chef from Great Britain.  While in the Washington area, she worked in publishing for the American Chemical Society for 10 years.  After having her two sons, Ben and Cameron, she decided to work from home for several years.  In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, reading, and spending time with her family and their cat, Maggie.