Staff

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Alex Lang

Pastor

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Rev. Alex Lang is passionate about sharing his gifts of teaching and preaching. His primary focus is to encourage spiritual growth through the intersection of scripture and theology with real world issues. He also cares deeply about mission - reaching out to all and serving others in Jesus' name to change the world for the better.  Alex earned a master's of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, in Princeton, New Jersey, and a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Rice University (Houston, Texas). He also spent a year studying theology at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Before coming to First Pres in 2013, Alex served as associate pastor at Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Alex is married to Courtney, and they have two children.

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Judy Hockenberry

Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care

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Rev. Judy Hockenberry has a heart for caring ministry and extensive experience with pastoral care. She has exceptional listening skills and an amazing ability to connect with people of all ages. In addition, her gifts in preaching, worship leadership, and teaching, as well as her ability to be flexible and engage in meaningful interpersonal communication are important assets in her overall ministry at First Pres. Judy earned a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and she holds a bachelor of arts degree in social work from Augustana College, in Rock Island, Illinois. She has more than 30 years of experience with the Presbyterian Church (USA), consisting of 20 years in various types of parish ministry and 7 years caring for our aging population at Presbyterian Homes before coming to First Pres in 2015. Judy possesses the strong conviction that, “All of us are invited to work together in the power of the Holy Spirit, making God’s kingdom tangible in our community and in the world.” Judy is married to Ken, and they have three grown children.

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TC Anderson

Associate Pastor for Children, Youth, and Families

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Rev. TC Anderson guides and supports the spiritual development of children, youth, and families at First Pres. TC’s years of experience and infectious excitement for working with young people adds both depth and fun to the family ministries of First Pres. TC also has responsibility for the Congregational and Community Life Committee, and he uses his strong interpersonal skills to build relationships through community groups within the congregation and outreach efforts in the surrounding community. TC earned a master of divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. Before coming to First Pres in 2012, he worked with youth groups for 9 years, and spent 7 summers as a camp counselor and program director at Camp Westminster in Roscommon, Michigan. In his spare time, TC enjoys movies of all sorts, especially all the recent movies based on superhero comic books. TC also sings and plays guitar, and uses music in his ministry. 

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Adam Hendrickson

Director of Music and Worship

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Adam Hendrickson joined the First Pres staff in May 2012. Adam leads music in worship and coordinates the overall music program of the church. He provides direction, oversight, resources, and support to the church’s music ministry, including adults, youth and children, traditional and contemporary worship, and both choral and instrumental music. Adam earned a bachelor’s of music degree at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, and a master’s of music at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Adam has earned multiple vocal honors and has performed in venues ranging from House of Blues in Chicago to Carnegie Hall in New York City. Adam finds that, “When people come together to worship and make music together, I am surrounded by pure joy. It’s a wonderful sense of community.” He believes music can have a profound impact on youth and the entire congregation. Adam likes spicy food and sour candy. Adam is married and has a daughter.

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Brian Larson

Director of Operations and Technology

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Brian Larson coordinates and manages the church building and grounds, which includes overseeing building equipment and serving as the staff resource person to the Board of Trustees. He also serves as a technical resource for communications and manages special projects for Pastor Alex Lang. Since joining the staff in 2015, Brian says, “I feel very fortunate to be able to combine my faith and my service focus to work for not only a faith-based organization, but my home church.” Brian graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in broadcast journalism from Indiana University. He also earned an MBA with high honors from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. A lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church, Brian has served in many areas over the years. An avid do-it-yourselfer, Brian is married and has three children. 

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Coleen Anzalone

Director of Parents' Day Out

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Coleen Anzalone works closely with the PDO teaching staff to provide a safe, fun, and educational environment for the children. She also partners with other First Pres staff to continue to make Parents’ Day Out a wonderful outreach program of the church. Coleen served as a teacher at PDO for many years, and loves her role as director, which she began in 2016. She earned a BS in communications from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. After working in the staffing industry, she ran a daycare business in her home before she began working at Parents’ Day Out. At PDO, she has cared for babies, preschool-age children, andtoddlers. “It is most rewarding when a child who begins the PDO year with separation anxiety eventually enters the classroom, gives his or her PDO teacher a hug, waves good-bye to mom, and has a smile on his or her face.” Coleen is married and has two children.

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Katy Allen

Director of Children's Ministries

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Katy Allen is responsible for children’s programming at First Pres. She partners with the Children’s Ministries Committee to support adult leaders in the Sunday School programs for preschoolers and grades K-5; participates regularly in worship; and coordinates with volunteers and parents on programs, events, and other Children’s Ministries opportunities, including Vacation Bible School, Kids Connect at Family Night, and other family programs. Katy has both professional and volunteer experience working with children. She holds a BA in English and a BS in elementary education from Southern Connecticut University, New Haven. “I find it very fulfilling to help give children and their families a way to experience a stronger relationship with Jesus, a deeper understanding of the Bible, and a better understanding of what it means to be children of God,” Katy says. In her spare time, Katy enjoys reading, spending time with her family, volunteering at school, biking, and generally staying active. She and her husband Eric have two daughters.

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Maria Wojtas

Director of Communications

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Maria joined the staff in April 2017. She is responsible for overseeing the church’s internal and external communications. This includes digital and print communications. Maria graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University in 2014, with a BA degree in Anthropology and Communication Studies. While at DePaul she was also awarded the Certificate in Cultural Competence and Leadership Development. In 2017, she graduated from Johns Hopkins University with an MA in Museum Studies. Before coming to First Pres, Maria was a museum educator at Naper Settlement, a living history museum in Naperville, Illinois. Maria has a dog named Maximus that she adopted from PAWS Chicago. She also loves cooking and gardening; refurbishing old furniture; and creating artwork from items people typically toss (such as door knobs and keys). She calls herself a true do-it-yourselfer. Maria is excited to meet members of the congregation: "I love talking to people and learning their stories.”

Christopher Urban

Associate Director of Music and Organist

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Chris has served as associate director of music and organist at First Presbyterian Church since April 2001. Chris provides musical leadership from the organ for the 9:30 CROSSROADS and the 11:00 am HERITAGE worship services. In addition, Chris serves as accompanist for the choirs of First Pres, including the Chancel Choir, Chamber Singers, and Men’s Chorus. He is also a featured recitalist in the church’s Wednesdays @ Noon concert series and is a frequent recitalist at churches in the Chicagoland area. Prior to joining First Presbyterian, Chris served as associate organist at First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana. He also served as organist and choir director of Crafton United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Chris studied organ with Marilyn Keiser and William Evans and is a graduate of Indiana University. He is employed full-time by Kraft Heinz, Chicago, Illinois, as a Sr. Marketing Director on Lunchables, P3 and Claussen Pickles.

Beth Johnson

Nursery Coordinator

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Beth Johnson has been nursery coordinator since September 2004. Her job is to coordinate scheduling of both paid caregivers and volunteer helpers for worship services as well as a variety of church events. Beth's job also entails sending cards to new parents and sending Bibles on baptism anniversary dates. Additionally, she has been a teacher for Parents' Day Out at First Presbyterian since 1989.

Carol Vega

Administrative Assistant / Receptionist

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Carol has many years of experience in business operations, including customer relations and administrative responsibilities. Her role at First Pres is to support the pastors, church staff, and members. She has a wide range of responsibilities, including reception duties, processing church bulletins and other publications, and helping with many other projects to assist the administration, programs, and ministries of First Pres. 

Debbie Walter

Business Admnistrator

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Debbie coordinates and manages the business affairs of the church, including office staff and workflow. She assists in the annual budget-development process and is responsible for all church accounting and financial recordkeeping and reporting. Debbie previously worked in the travel business for 20 years. She enjoys traveling, sports, and the outdoors. Debbie and her husband have three grown children.

James Thompson

Worship Technician

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James is responsible for mixing the audio and visual components of worship services. He primarily assists with technology to achieve audiovisual goals and he has contributed greatly to the enhanced audiovisuals at First Presbyterian Church. James earned a bachelor’s degree in audio for visual media from Columbia College Chicago. He is married and has a daughter. James enjoys “tabletop gaming and basically most things in the nerdy realm of pop culture.”

Mary Fino

Senior Administrative Assistant

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Mary Fino has worked for First Presbyterian Church since 2007. Mary’s many responsibilities include working on bulletins for worship services and funerals; updating attendance records in the church database, keeping the church’s online calendar and coordinating various schedules; compiling information for Session recordkeeping and reports; and assisting church committees and other staff members with many different kinds of projects.