The Rev. Matthew Miller, who began as Senior Pastor in October of 2013, studied Musical Theater in the prestigious Carnegie Mellon Drama program, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder and worked for a time in the field of corporate facilities management before being called to pastoral ministry in the church. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX, Matthew was called to serve as Pastor to the First Presbyterian Church of Pulaski, TN, followed by the First Presbyterian Church of Sioux City, IA. Matthew has been active in service to the larger church as a member of the Committee on Ministry in both Tennessee and Iowa, as a featured preacher and keynote speaker for the Presbytery of Detroit and Mo Ranch College Connection, and as a Teaching Elder Commissioner to the 220th General Assembly last year in Pittsburgh. Among other places, his continuing education has taken him on pilgrimage to Israel and to Christ Church College in Oxford for further theological study. Closer to home, he has a passion for connecting people to a deeper experience of what it means to follow Jesus through mission; leading groups to Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, coordinating a multi-church Living Waters team to bring clean water to Haiti, leading short-term High School mission, and reaching out to local community through Vacation Bible School. Outside the church, Matthew has been known to take the stage from time to time to relive his youth in the theater. He is a sometime triathlete who swims, bikes and runs so he can enjoy his love of good food and craft beer. He is eager to hear a good story well-told whether in song, fiction, film, or simply in friendly conversation. In addition to their daughters Miranda and Grace, Matthew and his wife Marie welcomed their son Yared into the family in the fall of 2012 from Ethiopia. They feel blessed to be back home in the West and to call Albuquerque home.
The Rev. Stephanie Urban joined the pastoral team at First Presbyterian in 2016 after serving as Associate Pastor at the American International Church in London for seven years. During her time in London, Stephanie served in leadership roles with the Association of International Churches in Europe and the Middle East to organize an annual youth conference and an annual youth pastors conference. While grateful to have had the incredible experience of living overseas, Stephanie is glad to now call New Mexico home, where she sees a lot more sun and is close to her family in Colorado. In her role as Associate Pastor, Stephanie works closely with the Board of Deacons, the Mission Committee, and Youth. Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys exploring the beauty of New Mexico with her husband, reading too many books, trying to grow a garden, and taking orders from all her cats.
Rev. Dr. Frank Yates
Rev. Dr. Frank Yates has been a Presbytreian minister for 42 years. He has served three different campus ministry settings and several congregations in Texas and New Mexico. He taught part-time at numerous colleges and universities over 37 years, teaching theology, ethics, philosophy, world religions, and Biblical studies. He also lectures at Albuquerque Oasis and the Osher Life Long Learning Institute.
Libby graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX with a Bachelor of Arts/Anthropology in 1980. She went on to earn her Master of Arts/Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in 1982, and earned her Doctorate in Educational Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in May 2010. She is currently a Certified Christian Educator.
Libby began her 30 year career as a Christian Educator at the First Presbyterian Church in York, South Carolina. After working for one year she relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina where she held a position with the Seigle Ave. Presbyterian Church from 1983 until 1992. She then moved on to San Angelo, TX where she was a Christian Educator for the First Christian Church and the St. Luke United Methodist Church respectively. In 1995 Libby and her family moved to Memphis where she served Balmoral Presbyterian Church.
In addition to her position as Christian Educator, Libby has served in several leadership positions with the Presbytery of Santa Fe. Currently she chairs the Education Networking Committee.
James Yeager has performed regularly as conductor, organist, harpsichordist, and choral accompanist in central Ohio and beyond. Recently retired, he was Professor of Sacred Music and Director of Music at the Josephinum College in Columbus, Ohio (since 1984) where he created an extensive curriculum and program of sacred music. His first love in music is the pipe organ—its mechanisms, its history, and repertoire. He is particularly devoted to organ pedagogy and the encouragement of organ study. He directed the Josephinum Choir, the Brass Ensemble, and a Gregorian Chant Schola Cantorum. The Josephinum Choir, a thirty-five voice male chorus, produced its third professional CD in 2006, Viva Roma! The Josephinum Choir at Home and Abroad. The choir toured Europe in the summers of 2003 and 2005. At the college Dr. Yeager founded a performing arts series called i Fiori Musicali, now in its twenty-first season on the campus. He taught the Liturgical Music Seminar at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota (in recent summers) and has presented workshops on sacred music in Wichita and Columbus. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Yeager is a past Dean of the Columbus Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and currently serves on the AGO national Task Force for the Part Time Church Musician. Dr. Yeager holds a Bachelor of Music from The Ohio State University, a Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary—New York, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado—Boulder. He studied harpsichord in Paris with Dr. Davitt Moroney in 1982. In 1997, during a six-month sabbatical leave, he studied improvisation at the organ with Dr. Naji Hakim, Organist Titulaire at St. Trinité Church, Paris. Among other things in retirement, he has rekindled his interest in model railroading. He currently resides in Mountainair, New Mexico with his wife, Elaine Zabor.
Mary joined the ACG Team as Director in January 2015. She was born and raised in Albuquerque and has attended First Presbyterian Church for most of her life. She received her B.A. and teaching certification from the University of San Diego in 1991 and completed her Graduate work at the University of San Diego, Texas Christian University, and the University of New Mexico. She has been in the field of education for over 25 years. She is dually certified in General and Special Education. Mary enjoys running, reading, traveling (especially to the beach) and playing with her family which includes her husband, four fabulous children (three of whom attended A Child’s Garden) and her dog, Tara.
Carolyn Rhodes was born and raised in Albuquerque and attended the University of New Mexico earning a Bachelor degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Art History. Carolyn has been on staff since 1994: first at A Child's Garden Preschool from 1994 - 1999 and then as the Executive Assistant from April 1999 to August 2015 and currently as the Church Adminsitrator. Carolyn is an Ordained Elder and a life time member of First Presbyterian Church. She is married and lives in Los Lunas, NM and has two grown children. Carolyn enjoys drawing, needlepointing, knitting, and spending time in God’s beautiful outdoors.
Sam Mayer graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Business Administration and Organizational Behavior. He worked 24 years for various hotels and resorts throughout the southwest, before joining the church staff in 2001. Currently he serves as its Finance Administrator and is an ordained Deacon. Sam is married and lives downtown. He is passionate about his family, both the human and the canine ones.
Niccole is a newer member of the Albuquerque community. Traveling most of her life as an Army brat, she is most recently from North Carolina. Niccole and her husband, Jeremy Williams, have a daughter, Solana, who is two years old. Niccole is currently enrolled at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, working on her Masters Degree in Art Therapy. She loves the outdoors...hiking, gardening, and nature photography. She also enjoys doing arts and crafts of various kinds.
Sharon Baca is lifelong resident of Albuquerque, growing up and living in the north valley her entire life. Sharon has been married to her husband Dennis for 36 years, they have four daughters, 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. Sharon loves cooking, gardening and crafting especially with her grandkids!