Officers & Staff

Officers & Staff

Staff

Reverend Debbie Osterhoudt – Interim Senior Pastor

Debbie grew up in the Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, Georgia – a historic church located across the street from the State Capitol.   Because of her church experiences growing up, Debbie has a passion for both the educational and outreach ministries of the church.   After receiving a bachelors’ degree in History and Political Science from Vanderbilt University, she received her masters’ degree in Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1986.

Debbie was ordained in 1986 as Associate Pastor in the Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC.  Since that time has served in a variety of capacities as Associate Pastor, Pastor, and Interim Pastor.

She is married to Jesse Osterhoudt.  They have four children and five grandchildren.  Debbie loves to garden, do needlework, sail, play with her grandchildren and read.

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.

 

Kathryn Smith — Coordinator of Children and Youth Ministries

Kathryn Smith, our Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry, is a 2015 graduate of North Carolina State University. She comes to us from her home in Blowing Rock, NC, where she is a member of the Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church. During the week, Kathryn is the Site Coordinator of the Afterschool Program of Root Elementary School in north Raleigh.

Kathryn leads the Sunday evening youth group, teaches Sunday School, and plans, organizes, and supervises special events, service projects, camps, retreats, and conferences. Her goal is to make the youth and children’s ministry of this church one where everyone feels invited, comfortable, and loved.

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.