Pastor: Pat Handlson
Rev. Pat Handlson became pastor of First Pres on March 1, 2006. He came to Cookeville from Pewee Valley near Louisville, Kentucky, where he served for two and a half years. A native of the Minneapolis area, he attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa; received his B. A. Degree from the University of Minnesota; and his Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota. He served two churches near Minneapolis for twenty years before moving south, and he and his wife are pleased to be near family members in Tennessee. His wife Debbie is a native of Clinton, Tennessee, and was employed as town clerk in Pewee Valley. When in Knoxville, Tennessee, she was affiliated with Habitat for Humanity. Currently, she is director of Helping Hands of Putnam County. Rev. Handlson has had extensive experience in mission work, and has studied and traveled in Scotland and the Soviet Union.
Carolyn Stumpf came to Cookeville in 1971 as the young wife of TTU History professor, the late Stuart Stumpf. She had taught school in Ohio and Michigan with her BS in Education from Miami University in Ohio, and she brought the special skills of an educator to her position at First Presbyterian as Director of Christian Education.
Carolyn had served as DCE from 1985 to 2003, and since then she has assumed a position extending far beyond the title of "Secretary". Her talents in crafts and food have enhanced many church programs.
Music Director and Organist: Paul Thurmond
Paul is a native of Atlanta, GA, and received his education at Berry College in Rome, GA, where he graduated with a B.A., and at the University of Illinois in Urbana where he received his Master of Music. He and his wife Anne, who teaches clarinet at TTU have two children, Michael and Emily. When he is not being musical, Paul enjoys reading, hiking, and puzzles of all kinds, including jigsaws and crosswords. He teaches classical piano at TTU and is also an accompanist for the college choir and recitals.