Pastors & Staff

REV. DR. PAUL H. LANG

Pastor, Head of Staff

Paul H. Lang is Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, North Dakota.  A graduate of Furman University (BA Music), Paul continued his studies at Columbia Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1993, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2003.  He received the Lyman and Myki Mobley Prize in Biblical Scholarship for his paper on the use of musical settings of the Psalms in Christian worship.
    In recent years Paul coauthored a book with Ben Johnson on making a personal retreat (Time Away  published by Upper Room: 2010), and has focussed on Spiritual Formation and leadership development in the church.  In 2010 Paul led the Fall Spirituality Retreat at Montreat through the Columbia Theological Seminary Certificate in Spiritual Formation (topic: Liturgy of the Hours).  He has been an instructor for the Synod School of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, the Presbytery of the Northern Plains, and continues to write and teach in a variety of other settings around the country.  His most recent book is The Pilgrim’s Compass — Finding and Following the God We Seek published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2019.  Paul also serves as the Executive Director of the Institute of Church Renewal — a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization with a supporting relationship with the Presbyterian Foundation
   Paul and Sarah (his wife of 29 years) have two sons, Daniel & Benjamin.    Since 2013 Paul has been developing a new congregation-based ministry of adult faith-formation called The Pilgrimage.  To learn more about Paul’s ministry in Fargo, or The Pilgrimage visit his website https://www.paulhlang.com .

REV. MARY JO E. (DAHLBERG) HOLTEY

Associate Pastor

Mary has been the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, North Dakota since 1992.  She grew up in Southwestern Minnesota and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. degree in biology.  She was a research technician at the Mayo Clinic before starting seminary at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1989.  While at Princeton Mary received the Robert P. Goodlin Award for pastoral care and clinical ministry.  She went on to complete two residencies of Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Minnesota Hospital and at Abbott Northwestern/Minneapolis Children’s Hospitals before beginning her call to the Fargo Church.
Her primary responsibilities include pastoral care to and nurture of the congregation, and outreach beyond the walls of the church building –  missions within the community and region, as well as with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya.
Mary and her husband of 23 years, Tom, have two young adult children, David and Sarah.  She’s a “dyed in the wool” Minnesota Vikings fan and has never met a Sudoku or Cryptoquip she didn’t like!

jan lundgren

Business Manager

Jan Lundgren joined First Pres in 2014 as the Business Manager where she processes contributions, does the financial reporting and payroll.  Previously, she spent 8 years as the part-time bookkeeper for Messiah Lutheran Church, which is also her church home.  Before moving to Fargo, she was a staff accountant/payroll for a manufacturing firm in Minneapolis for over 10 years.  She enjoys meeting congregants, loves her coworkers and appreciates the flexibility her position offers to attend her children’s activities.
Jan has been married for 21 years to husband, Michael. They live in North Fargo with their three children, Sophie, Natalie & Daniel, and a naughty cat, Rufus.  An avid reader, you’ll usually find her with a book in hand when she’s not on a walk, attending one of her children’s events or folding countless loads of laundry.

monica gelinske

Administrative Assistant

Monica Gelinske is FPC’s Administrative Assistant. Retiring from a 15yr career in the food service industry, she began as a temp worker for First Presbyterian in the winter of 2011. She became a part- time employee in 2012.
Creating publications and handling major mailings for the church play a large role in her responsibilities here at FPC. Publications include the weekly Bulletin & Bulletin Insert, monthly Messenger, and annual Ministry Catalog. As the Administrative Assistant, her other roles include assisting staff with office projects and maintaining/organizing the office space.
Married, with two fur babies, Monica spends her time volunteering as Director of Operations for a local non-profit. She also owns a hand-crafted jewelry business and showcases her work at a local art studio.

penny andrist

Coordinator of Children's Ministries

Education: MA in Learning Disabilities
BA in Psychology/Secondary Education
Certification in Elementary Education
Minor in Coaching
 
Penny Andrist has been on the staff of FPC for 10 years as the Coordinator of Children’s Ministry. She reviews and selects curriculum for all levels of elementary Christian Education, oversees the nursery, recruits and trains teaching volunteers, plans special events and the annual Children’s Worship Service, and directs VBS.
Penny Andrist began her teaching career in 1984, first working in public schools in Williston, ND and then as a self-employed consultant and educator for businesses, associations and the UND Continuing Education Staff. She started her own Children’s Music company, Penny & Pals, in 1990 and continues to write, record and perform in a wide variety of family-friendly venues. She conducts music and movement workshops with youth every summer, has recorded seven award-winning albums and numerous commissioned works, including curriculum, theme songs and jingles.

In her free time, Penny loves almost any outdoor activity – hiking, biking, running and gardening – and anything musical, especially her ukulele! She is married, has three old cats and lots of other family that she hangs out with, usually at the kids’ table.

kayla bones

Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Kayla Bones has served as the Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at First Presbyterian Church since June of 2015. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a degree in religion and music in May of 2015. Most recently, in May of 2019, Kayla earned her MA in Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministry from Luther Seminary.  
Kayla is interested in thinking about the future of the church and how we do ministry together. The questions she asks are: How do we live out our faith in our daily lives through our relationships with one another? How do we watch for and name God’s action in the world? How do we engage young people in the life of the church?
In her spare time, she is the Volunteer Coordinator for Plants for Patients, a local non-profit dedicated to spreading compassion. Kayla likes to binge-watch PBS Masterpiece Theater shows and reality TV, play board games and trivia, and travel.

sally harmon

Music Coordinator/Organist

Sally Gunkelman Harmon was born and raised in Fargo. Following 12 years of private piano lessons before college, she graduated from NDSU in 1976 with a BS in Music Education/emphasis on Piano Performance. Sally became a church musician, accompanying children’s choirs and playing for church services while a young teenager, and continued on to become Assistant Organist and then Organist and Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Fargo. She joined the staff of First Presbyterian in 2010. Sally and her husband, David, have three grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Erynn Millard

Adult Choir Director

Erynn Millard has served at First Presbyterian Church Fargo since fall of 2015. She has a PhD (2014) in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and a Masters (2002) and Bachelors Degree (2000) in Music Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at Minnesota State University Moorhead; previously she taught choir with Newport News Public Schools in Virginia for ten years (2001-2011). Prior liturgical experience includes fifteen years as section leader and soloist at St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Norfolk VA. She resides in Fargo with her three pound Yorkshire terrier, Chesley Wigglesworth.

Rick Fiebiger

Facility Manager

Rick Fiebiger is the Facilities Manager at First Presbyterian Church. He has been with First Presbyterian for 16 years.
Rick works closely with the Building and Grounds Committee to ensure the church and grounds are well maintained. The historical aspects of the church are very interesting to him.
He is an avid reader and enjoys gardening on his homestead.