Officers & Staff
Reverend John Kidd – Bridge Interim Pastor
John is a native of Lake Worth Florida.He was raised in Lakeside Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach.
He graduated from Palm Beach Junior College, Warren Wilson College with a degree in History and Political Science. He is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree.
John was ordained in May 1982 when he was called to be the Pastor of the Morris Fork Presbyterian Church in Morris Fork Kentucky. He met his wife Roberta while serving there.
They served as Co-Pastors from 1987-2015 in churches in Missouri and Virginia. They retired and moved to Raleigh where Roberta grew up and our family has settled.
John and his wife have one daughter.
Before becoming the Bridge Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian of Garner he served as the Bridge Interim Pastor at Milner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh.
For fun John likes to make music with his friends.
Stephanie Taylor — Administrative Assistant
Stephanie was born in Atlanta, GA but has lived in NC most her life. She graduated from Elon University in the Class of 2003. She worked at LabCorp as a Technologist Customer Service Rep for 12 yrs before coming to The First Presbyterian Church of Garner. She married her husband, Mark, in June of 2016 and gained a wonderful teenage daughter at that time. She loves spending time with family and friends and her hobbies include crocheting, sewing, gardening, historical reenacting, and much more.
Rose Gurkin — Choir Director
Rose began her ministry with us in September, 2001. She has many years’ experience on church staffs and brings her love for music and her dedication to her faith together in service as our Music Director. She has a bachelors’ degree in Music Education from Western Carolina University and a masters’ degree in Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Rose believes that every person has music within them and strives to provide multiple opportunities for every person to worship meaningfully with music and to grow in their faith through participation in the Adult Choir, Handbell Choir and Kid’s Choir.
Rose also works full-time as an Administrative Assistant for the North Carolina Council of Churches. She and her husband Michael live in North Raleigh with a spoiled menagerie of pets.
Gloria Oelke — Organist
Gloria was born in Staunton, VA, the first of four children. She was raised in Highland County, VA where her family attended Monterey Presbyterian Church. In 1976, she obtained a bachelors’ degree in mathematics from Longwood College (now Longwood University). She returned to her hometown high school to teach science and math. During that time she also served as pianist in her home church
In 1981, she decided to try something new and moved to Kansas to work as a mechanical engineering aide at a nuclear generating plant that was under construction. There she met Bruce Oelke and, in 1984, they were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Emporia, KS. They now have two daughters and three grandchildren.
The Oelke family transferred to North Carolina in 1984 to work at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant construction site. They began attending the First Presbyterian Church of Garner, where Gloria sang in the choir as a soprano or alto, as needed. In 1989, she started another career at First Citizens Bank as a computer programmer. Today, she holds the titles of Assistant Vice President and Assistant Secretary.
Gloria became the organist at First Presbyterian Church of Garner in 1992 and considers her music as her witness. She has served as a deacon as well as an elder on the Session.