Rev. Dr. Leslie King began her service to First Presbyterian Church of Waco in 2012.
She received her BA from Kansas University (’91) and her Masters of Divinity from McCormick Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Chicago (‘94). In 2010 she completed her Doctor of Ministry at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City Missouri with an emphasis in Spirituality and Organizational Change.
She has been married to DJ King since November of 1996 and together they enjoy watching their three children, Cody, Katie and Claire grow up. With a menagerie of stray animals, the Kings are glad to call Waco “home”.
Chancel Choir Director
Randall Umstead holds the Charles H. Evans Chair in Voice at Baylor University, where is also an Associate Professor of Voice and Director of the Division of Vocal Studies. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Randall has performed extensively as an operatic and concert singer in the US, Europe, and South Africa. He has appeared as a soloist with the Flagstaff Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Bach Societies of Houston and Dayton.
At First Presbyterian Church, Randall conducts the Chancel Choir. An avid fan of anything from his hometown of Kansas City, you will often hear him speaking fondly of the Chiefs and Royals, as well as expressing a nearly constant yearning for Joe’s Kansas City or Gates BBQ. He enjoys traveling, including annual trips to his wife Bronwen’s home country of South Africa.
Jessica is from Walnut Creek, California. She attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, where she majored in English and minored in piano performance. She also worked as an accompanist for the Dordt music department. In 2012, she received her M.A. in English from Baylor University, and she currently teaches English at Baylor. When she's not reading or playing piano, Jessica can be found running in Cameron Park, baking cookies, and/or listening to the musical Hamilton.
T. BRADFORD WILLIS
A native of Waco, Dr. T. Bradford Willis is a graduate of Baylor University, The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, and the Baylor College of Dentistry. He is a retired pediatric dentist.
Interested in the history of Waco since childhood, he has served as a church historian for over 20 years. His interests include taking photographs for the Organ Historical Society, creating memorials for Find A Grave, and collecting old Texas photographs.
DEE DEE CARSON
Dee Dee Carson joined the staff of First Presbyterian Church in August of 2011. She is originally from West Virginia, and all jokes related to that are welcomed! Dee Dee attended Wake Forest University for her undergraduate education in Business Administration and Princeton Theological Seminary for a Masters of Divinity.
Dee Dee’s husband, Jordan, is currently a Ph.D. student at Baylor University in Religion and Literature. In 2015, they welcomed their first child, Porter. Porter is busy bringing plenty of joy and laughter to their lives, and refuses to let them sit still for long.
Jan Bodine grew up in Fort Worth. She has degrees from Texas Wesleyan College and UT/Austin. She is a retired teacher of public school choral and instrumental music. Her hobbies include travel and refinishing furniture. She has been a member of First Pres since 1969 and Director of Music since 1980.
Mark is a Partner with a Pattillo, Brown, & Hill, a local CPA firm, and specializes in audits of Financial Institution. Mark has been a member of First Presbyterian since 1980, the year he graduated from Baylor University. He became the Church Treasurer in March 2003 upon the death of the previous Church Treasurer. Mark enjoys attending all Baylor sporting events, especially Women’s Basketball, where he has been known to don a green wig in support of the Baylor Lady Bears. Mark and his wife Marilyn, a Success Coach at TSTC, have one son, Hunter, a graduate of TSTC.
Lucinda keeps the records on all members in the church in the church data base. Other duties include printing the church membership directory and processing the church records for baptisms, wedding, confirmations and transfers. Her ongoing weekly task is the Sunday bulletin. Greeting people as they come to First Presbyterian is one of her favorite things, as well as answering incoming calls.
Care to the Building
Cristina Gutierrez de Garcia joined our staff in July of 2017. She is delighted to be working with us here at First Presbyterian. Previously, she worked in the restaurant business. Christina is married and has two children, Diane and Miguel. She has lived and worked in Waco for 26 years. She loves to read and has a cat to keep her company.
EMILY STERN COX
Director of Christian Ed.
Emily has served as Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian since 2014. She was baptized here as a child in 1993. She was involved in many of the programs as a child and teenager.
In 2009, she moved to Tulsa, OK to attend the University of Tulsa where she received her Bachelor of Arts.
She is married to Andrew Cox, a lab manager and research associate at Baylor University. They had their first child, Jacob, in 2016 and enjoy watching him grow. They also enjoy the company of their furry children: Zia (dog), Isaac (cat), and Mo (cat).
Becky has been organist at First Presbyterian Church since May, 1980. She has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in organ performance from Baylor University. In addition to playing the organ, Becky teaches private piano and organ to over 35 students, young and old alike. This year, she has taken up learning the harp and will enjoy playing it in church on a regular basis.
Outside the musical activities, Becky's interests include riding her horses in parades and in equestrian drill team performances. She also competes in obstacle/trail riding. In her free time, Becky is a water aerobics instructor at the Waco Family Y, teaching 5 classes every week. Becky and husband Vic, have three grown children and 6 precious grandchildren
Data Coordinator & Bookkeeper
I was born in Panama City, Florida. We moved to College Station, Texas when I was four years old. I grew up as a Texas A&M brat roaming the campus and attending every football game. I married my high school sweetheart during Senior year spring break, that was thirty six years ago. My husband, Sam, and I have three sons, Daniel, Alan and Nathan. We attend Christian Life Church. I also work part time for H&R Block during tax season. This will be my twenty first year working for them and have achieved Enrolled Agent status. I am looking forward to working here at First Presbyterian Church and contributing to the staff here
Parish Associate for Gerontology
Jm Ellor has been a bi-vocational Presbyterian Minister for 33 years. He has been Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church for th epast 13 years. As Parish Associate he is available for counseling, particularly around older adult issues as well as visits older adults at St. Catherine's/St. Elizabeth's in Waco.
Jim is also Professor in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. Jim joined Baylor faculty in August of 2004.
Jim has worked as a medical social worker and gerontologist for over 40 years. Dr. Ellor spent his first 8 years practicing social work as a community organizer and then as a medical scial worker at Augustana Hospital and Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. He has served as a Parish Associate in 6 different churches as part-time on-call chaplain at Edward Hospital, in Naperville, Illinois as well as the chaplain to the Methodist Home of Chicago.
Dr. Ellor is also an adjunct teacher in the Pastoral Care Program at Asbury Theological Seminary. Jim is the Senior Editor of the Journal of Religion Spirituality and Aging and author or editor of 10 books and numerous articles and book chapters.