Staff

Dr. John L. Frye, Jr.
Senior Minister
Extension 102
Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
Associate Minister
Extension 104
Pastor John H. Stanley
Minister of Visitation
Timothy J. Belk
Director of Music Ministries
and Organist
Extension 108
Jill B. Kimbirl
Director of Children's Ministries
Extension 106
Aaron R. Mead
Director of Youth Ministries
Extension 107
Amanda Wood Williams
Director of Membership Development
and Communications
Extension 117
Elizabeth T. Stewart
Information Services
Extension 109
Lisa Marisiddaiah
Parish Nurse
Extension 121
Dr. Patricia L. Sudderth
Director of
Presbyterian Weekday School
Extension 112
Janeen F. Silver
Director of After School/
Summer Enrichment
Extension 110
Cheryl S. Mims
Director of
Mothers Morning Out
Extension 112
Myles A. Davidowitz
Childcare Coordinator
Extension 112
Donna Kerns
Receptionist
Extension 100
Sherry Moore
Administrative Assistant
Extension 102

Timothy J. Belk
Director of Music Ministries and Organist

Timothy J. Belk holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in organ performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. As a North Carolina Emerging Artist grant recipient he attended the Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland earning the distinguished prix de perfectiment. His principal organ teachers include John S. Mueller and Lionel Rogg.

The recipient of many honors, his concert tours have taken him across the European continent, England, Bermuda and the eastern United States. Mr. Belk has served some of the most prominent congregations in Charlotte: Hickory Grove Baptist, a contemporary worshiping community of more than 10,000; the University City United Methodist Church; Myers Park Baptist Church, an American Baptist congregation noted for its liturgical worship and fine choral tradition. As an accompanist, he has recorded choral works of Benjamin Britten, Zoltan Kodaly and Carlyle Sharpe with the Cantata Singers of Charlotte and has been featured at the Manhattan Music Festival in New York City where he performed Durufle's Requiem with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and festival choir at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

He has consulted more than 130 organ projects, acoustical enhancements and has led numerous church music workshops throughout the southeast.

Mr. Belk has served the mission and ministry of First Presbyterian Church in many capacities since January 1, 2003. He served on the faculty of the 2012 Worship and Music Conference sponsored by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians at Montreat and will celebrate his twelfth season as accompanist for the Annual South Carolina United Methodist Youth Choir Festival in April 2014. Timothy is a member of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and serves on the American Guild of Organists Charlotte Chapter Executive Board. He is honored to serve as Convention Coordinator for the American Guild of Organists Southeast Regional Convention July 1 - 4, 2015.

Rev. Dr. John Lennig Frye, Jr.
Senior Minister

First Presbyterian welcomed Dr. Frye in August 2007. He is a person of strong faith, intelligent and thoughtful, warm and engaging. A native of Moore County, North Carolina, Dr. Frye earned a B.A. Degree in English from Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina. Following college graduation, he was a high school English teacher and football coach but he felt a call to the ministry. After one year, he joined the family business, John L. Frye Company, Inc. of Robbins, North Carolina, intending to save money for seminary. Instead, his father's illness and incapacitation led him to run the business for 14 years. While in Robbins, Dr. Frye was active in Elise Presbyterian Church and served in leadership roles in numerous civic organizations and as mayor of the Town of Robbins.

In 1990, Dr. Frye entered Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia, where he received a Masters of Divinity and was awarded the Salem Fellowship. Upon completion of Seminary in 1993, he served the congregation of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, first as associate pastor of congregational care and mission and later as associate pastor for discipleship and nurture. While in Columbia, he began doctoral studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. In 2002, he accepted the call to be senior pastor and head of staff at South Aiken Presbyterian Church, Aiken, South Carolina. He completed a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality in 2004 while in Aiken.

Dr. Frye is married to Denise Deibler Frye and they have one adult son, John L. Frye, III. Dr. Frye is a recipient of the Alumni Service Award from the Davidson College Alumni Association and served on the Board of visitors of Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina. An avid Davidson Wildcats sports fan, he enjoys golf and water fowling.

Jill B. Kimbirl
Director of Children's Ministries

Jill B. Kimbirl holds a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Shenanoah University in Winchester, Virginia and a Masters Degree in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. Jill is married to Brad Kimbirl. They have two children.

Aaron Mead
Director of Youth Ministries

Aaron is a Michigan native and enjoyed his formative years in Kenya with missionary parents Jana & Tim Mead. A 2011 graduate of North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, Aaron earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Youth Ministries. His hobbies include contact sports and riding motorcycles. Aaron joined the ministry team of First Presbyterian September 26, 2011.

Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
Associate Minister

Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore joined First Presbyterian Church as Associate Pastor in August 2011. Born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, she was raised in Altavista, Virginia, the youngest of two daughters. She accredits her foundation of faith to her parents and to Altavista Presbyterian Church, who nurtured and upheld her Christian education as a child.

Lauren is a graduate of Greensboro College and of Princeton Theological Seminary. She was ordained as minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1999. She is the 1996 recipient of the Hardy Christian Service Award from Greensboro College and is the first installed woman pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia.

Lauren served the First Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood, New Jersey, as their Associate Pastor from 1999 - 2002, working primarily in the areas of youth ministry and pastoral care. Following three years of service in Ridgewood, she accepted the call to Memorial Presbyterian Church in Greensboro in 2002 to serve as pastor. Lauren enjoys working in the areas of discipleship development, preaching, campus ministry and mission.

Lauren divides her calling between full-time service in the church and her most important calling to be a wife to Jeff and a mother to William and James. When not on church time, Lauren can be found reading books to her boys, enjoying girls’ night out with friends, and daydreaming about the next time she can sneak away to the beach.

Pastor John H. Stanley
Minister of Visitation





​A second career pastor, Pastor Stanley's first career was in the business world where he served as director of commercial marketing for Public Service Company of North Carolina and then as director of external relations for PSNC Energy, a SCANA Company. Concurrent with being Minister of visitation, Pastor Stanely is Chaplain of McLean Funeral Directors, Gastonia. Among many civic leadership posts, he is past chairman of the Board of Gaston Regional Chamber and past president of the Gastonia East Rotary Club. Also, he is a past potentate (chief executive officer) of Oasis Shriners, and he has served on the Board of Governors, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Greenville.

Heeding God's call to ministry, Pastor Stanley was graduated from the School of Laity/Commissioned Lay Pastor Program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2001. Subsequently, he completed the Academy of Reformed Theology at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education at Charlotte. He served Robinson Presbyterian Church, Gastonia as pastor from 2001-2011.

As a Stephen Minister, he completed the Stephen Leader Course of Study. Following the death of their 16-year-old daughter in 1984, he and his wife, Rose, co-founded the Gastonia Chapter of Compassionate Friends, a support group for families who have experienced the death of a child. He served on the national board of directors of The Compassionate Friends, including one year as Vice President. Pastor Stanley is recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and the Alcoa Award for Public Service from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and was named 2004 Citizen of the Year by the Gastonia Civitan Club.