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 indulge his love of good food and craft beer; and is eager to hear a good story well told whether in song, fiction, film, or just a 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.
Born and raised in Littleton, Colorado where her family goes back several generations, Stephanie still calls the mountains home even after serving for the last seven years in the United Kingdom.
Stephanie’s first introduction to Christianity came in middle school when she joined a local youth group where the faith she found and the questions she started asking led her to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and a newfound passion for social justice and local ministry. After nine months spent working as an intern at the Denver Rescue Mission coordinating programs for homeless families and children, she returned to California to pursue a Master’s degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena with the intention of working as a liaison between non-profit organizations and churches. During her time at Fuller, however, she discerned a call to pastoral ministry and under the care of Glendale Presbyterian Church entered the ordination process with the PC(USA).
After Graduating with her Master of Divinity degree from Fuller in 2009, Stephanie moved across the pond where she served as Associate Pastor at The American International Church in London (AIC) until July 2016. Serving a congregation representing over 20 different nationalities was an experience that formed in her a deep appreciation for the beauty of diversity in the one family of God. During her time in London, Stephanie oversaw AIC’s children’s and youth ministry, organized an annual international youth conference for 100 teenagers from all over Europe, coordinated AIC’s weekly participation in a winter homeless shelter, served on the board of their Soup Kitchen feeding 80+ people daily, and through it all found great joy in serving, teaching, equipping, and loving people in one of the most fast-paced, interesting, and diverse cities in the world.
As Stephanie exchanges umbrellas for sunglasses and makes the move back to America, she looks forward to the adventure ahead where alongside re-learning how to drive a car, she is eager to dive into ministry in the local church with a congregation seeking to proclaim and demonstrate Christ’s love and welcome to a broken world. She brings with her a passion for integrating mission into all areas of church life as well a particular love for intergenerational ministry where children and youth are fully welcomed and included in our life together.
Beyond her work in the church, Stephanie can usually be found in a coffee shop reading too many books, mastering gluten-free baking, or attempting a new project on her sewing machine. She’s also excited to return to the beauty of God’s creation in the Southwest and is thrilled to once again live in the same country as her family!
Rev. Dr. Frank Yates
Rev. Dr. Frank Yates has been a PResbytreian minister for 42 years. He has served three different campus minitry settings and everal congregations in Texas and New Mexico. He taught part-time at numerous colleges and universities over 37 years, theaching 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, who currently works part-time as a contractor with the New Mexico Public Education Department evaluating No Child Left Behind after school programs. Elaine’s current passion is the remediation of their desert acreage with wild grasses and other xeric plants.
Mary is pleased to have joined the ACG Team as Director. 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 certificate 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 25 years. She is dually certified in General and Special Education and is completing her requirements for her Administrative License. Mary enjoys running, reading, traveling (especially to the beach) and playing games with her family which includes her husband, four fabulous children (three of whom attended A Child’s Garden) and her hound dog.
Carolyn Rhodes attended the University of New Mexico earning a degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Art History. She worked in the Corporate world by the avenue of the Banking Industry as an Administrative Assistant from 1983 – 1990. After being a “Stay-at-Home” mom for several years, Carolyn re-entered the work force by the avenue of First Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque and worked as the Executive Assistant from April 1999 to August 2015 and is currently 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, knitting, needlepointing, and spending time in God’s beautiful outdoors.
Sam has been with First Presbyterian Church since 2001. He is an Ordained Deacon and is currently serving on the Deacon Board.
Margaret has been with First Presbyterian Church for nineteen years and is an Ordained Deacon as well as being a life time member. She is married and has two grown children.