Meet our teachers
Meet Our Staff
Called to equip God's people for God's work in the world.
Caroline came to First Presbyterian Church in 2015 after serving as a professional hospital chaplain and clinical pastoral education supervisor. Her responsibilities at First Pres center on supporting the deacons and caregiving ministries of the church as well as working with the congregation around mission and outreach both locally and abroad. She is a graduate of Yale Divinity School (Master of Divinity), the and the University of Pennsylvania (Master of Bioethics). Caroline and husband Kevin were both born and raised in Chester County. Kevin is a graduate of Messiah College (’02) and works in the information security field.
Anderson began serving First Presbyterian Church in 1997. Born in Bristol, Virginia in 1930, Anderson graduated from Lincoln University with a BA and and M. Div. He was the chair of the NAACP during the 1960's and even coordinated buses of people from Chester County to attend the March on Washington in 1963. He has pastored numerous churches including 2nd United Presbyterian in West Chester, and both Bethel Presbyterian and Reeve Memorial Presbyterian in Philadelphia. Anderson has served as both Parish Associate to First Pres and Supply Pastor to Wissinoming Presbyterian since 1997. He and his wife Mae have been married for 39 years and have three sons between them.
Ann began serving at First Pres in September of 2019. Since moving here in 1984, Ann Garrou Dickey has pastored four churches in Chester County: Westminster West Chester, Unionville, Doe Run, and Bethany Mendenhall and two in North Carolina in her 38 years of ministry. She is married to David Dickey and has two married children, Heather and James and one very special granddaughter Callan Dickey. She retired in 2018 and loves being part of the FPC family!
Director of Music
Sándor has been serving First Presbyterian Church since May 2016. He holds three Bachelor degrees in organ performance, sacred music and conducting as well a Master’s degree in sacred music from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (Austria). He came to US in 2012 as a scholarship recipient of prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. At the age of 12 Sándor already knew that his calling was to become an organist. He also believes that music has the power of bringing people closer to God. In his free time, Sándor enjoys having good conversations with his friends and walking in nature especially in spring and fall. He does not have a TV but his loss in compensated by an 1100 cc Honda Shadow.
Director of Christian Education
Sara joined the children's ministry team at First Presbyterian in the summer of 2016. She is passionate about finding creative ways to help all of God's children know and experience God and develop faith as they grow. She holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary. Sara lives in West Grove with her husband and two sons. She enjoys reading, cooking, and exercising, and treasures time with family and friends.
Director of Engagement
Elizabeth has been on the First Pres staff two previous times and is back as the Director of Engagement. She will be overseeing visitor outreach, hospitality, and helping members use their gifts in meaningful ways. She loves the First Pres family and considers it a privilege to serve. She has lived in West Chester her entire life and loves it! She and her husband have two daughters and her favorite dog of all time: Teddy, a goldendoodle. In her spare time, Elizabeth loves to read and bake.
Director of Youth and Contemporary Ministries
Originally from a small town outside of Akron, Ohio, Eric now lives in Exton with his wife April and their two dogs, Biscotti and Cannoli. They like to hike, eat vegan food, sit around a fire and try new things. Being a native Ohioan comes with Cleveland sports fandom; Browns, Cavs, and Indians. He's also a Buckeye fan at the collegiate level.Personally, Eric likes to read, run, listen to podcasts and write down various thoughts on occasion. At 14 years old someone told Eric he should try out for the student band in their church. He did, and has been leading worship ever since. Eric graduated from Kentucky Christian University with a degree in Worship Arts and spent six years as a worship pastor in Royersford, Pa. He is the reigning March Madness champion of First Pres!
Director of Finance and Operations
Jeff began working at First Presbyterian in February of 2019. He is originally from Stroudsburg, PA and graduated from Bloomsburg University. He also earned an MBA from Villanova University. For the past 18+ years he was employed by USA Today and its parent company, the Gannett Company. He was most recently the National Director of Business Operations, spending seven years in Charlotte, NC. While previously residing in the Lansdale, PA area, Jeff served on the church council as well as the stewardship committee for many years at a large Lutheran church. Jeff now resides in Wilmington, DE with his wife Lisa, who is a fourth-grade teacher at the Tower Hill School. They have two adult children, Kyle and Krista, and two grandchildren. Being animal lovers, they also have several dogs and cats that all live harmoniously! Lisa and Jeff enjoy walking the dogs and spending time in Cape May Point. Jeff is a fan of all Philly sports teams and of course Villanova basketball. He enjoys watching sports in person and on television as well as working on home improvement projects.
Marissa Kiepert Truong
Marissa joined First Presbyterian in June of 2021 as the Director of the church’s preschool, also known as The Bucket School. She holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Temple University, a master’s degree in psychology from Villanova University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College. Marissa is also a certified nursery school and kindergarten teacher. She believes that a Christian values-based preschool curriculum helps to strengthen a lifelong love of learning and social-emotional development in young children. Marissa enjoys long neighborhood walks, collecting children’s books, and hot summer days at the beach. She resides in Paoli with her two children and husband.
Karen began working at First Pres as a part-time secretary while her three children were in early elementary school. That was back in September of 1987 – she has been here over 30 years and has been the Office Manager since 1999. She and her husband Dave live in Coatesville, where he is enjoying retirement from teaching and coaching college football. They have 4 grandchildren. In her free time, Karen enjoys gourmet cooking, reading, as well as traveling with her husband all over the world – their favorite was going to South Africa which included safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana. It was an amazing experience.
Claire Kramer began working for First Presbyterian in late December 2018. She graduated from Shippensburg University with a BA in Communications and a minor in Psychology. Claire’s early communications career consisted of designing comprehensive educational materials for prospective law students. Growing up in Newtown and living in Harrisburg, Doylestown and finally West Chester, Claire is married to Scott and has three lovely daughters – Raegan, Abigail and Paige. After countless volunteer hours at her daughter’s various schools over the years, she was eager to return to workforce and is glad to be working at First Presbyterian West Chester.
Willy joined the First Pres Staff as a Full Time Custodian in January, 2006. Prior to that, he worked for Wyeth Labs in the same field for many years. Born in Puerto Rico, he moved to Florida at 17, and on to West Chester, PA at the age of 18. Willy feels comfortable enough with the church that he calls First Pres, “home” and misses it when he is away. Willy always tries to catch one service each Sunday – his favorite part is the music and he enjoys both traditional hymns and our new contemporary music style. About 4 years ago, Estrella came from Puerto Rico to West Chester for the first time. In their spare time, they love to watch movies at home and go shopping. Shopping trips often include one of their 16 grandchildren – they have 8 each!
Wedding Coordinator is her job function at present but she has also served as a bookkeeper, teacher and Assistant Director of the Bucket School in years past. Gretchen graduated from Kutztown State College with a degree in Elementary Education and is certified in Bookkeeping. She has used these skills at First Pres for over 20 years. She has a passion for helping others and works tirelessly in the areas of ending hunger, providing meals for those in need, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and making hats for Naphtali and Migrant Ministry. She also fundraises for these passions using her organizational, leadership and cooking skills in running bake sales, Stop Hunger Now events, Bridge Dinners, the National Day of Prayer. She has been married to Glenn for 35 years they have two children whom both live in West Chester. They are blessed to be so close and enjoy volunteering as a family for different events. She has a broad range of skills and passions that she uses throughout her ministry here at First Pres.
Children's Choir Director and Choir Accompanist
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Kira holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory in Piano Performance and Emphasis in Choral Conducting. She began her musical life in the church handbell choir at the age of six. She spent many years in church, believing that music was instrumental (pardon the pun!) in nurturing one’s spiritual faith. At age sixteen she was offered her first church leadership roll as Assistant Choir Director. Currently she teaches piano and voice to students in the West Chester area and is the Choral Conductor Scholar for the Reading Choral Society. In her free time you can find her baking a variety of cakes, tarts, and pastries for all to enjoy!