PASTORAL, PROGRAM & ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

 

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Weddington

Senior Pastor and Head of Staff

The Rev. Dr. Sam Weddington joined the community of F.P.C. on August 1, 2018. Sam has served churches in New Jersey, Seoul, South Korea and Virginia. Sam is joined in ministry with his wife Grace, who is also an ordained Presbyterian minister, and two children, Sammy and Joan. His theological passion is Pauline theology, and his doctoral work explored the intersection of new creation, ecology, and modern Protestant evangelicalism. Beyond his doctorate from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, he holds a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Sam has deep family connections to the Bristol and Abingdon areas.

Betsy Galliher

Church Business Administrator

Betsy has been overseeing the daily operations of the facility and handling our accounting since September 1999. She holds a degree in business administration with a major in accounting from Tennessee Technological University. Early in her career, Betsy first served FPC for four years, then worked for the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. She has also served as treasurer for other local not-for-profit organizations. Betsy and Lee married in 1983 and are the proud parents of two terrific adults, daughter Sarah and son Pearce. Sarah is married to Chris Newton, and Pearce is a captain in the US Army.

Robert J. Greene Jr.

Organist / Music Associate

Bob Greene holds degrees from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He has served as music director and organist for congregations in Florida, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia. His musical compositions include art songs, congregational hymns, choral anthems for adults and children, handbell compositions, church musicals, solo organ pieces, chamber music, electronic music, contemporary Christian music, and a major cantata, The Seven Last Words, based on the passion of Christ. He has received awards and commissions for his instrumental and choral compositions, and he is published by MorningStar Music and Saint James Music Press. Bob joined our staff June 1, 2017. He lives in Bristol, Virginia.

The Rev. Dr. Dave Welch

Minister for Discipleship and Local Mission

Dr. Welch has served First Presbyterian Church as Minister for Discipleship since June 2005. He has served churches in Boone, North Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; and Douglasville, Georgia. Along with worship, he is interested in all new technology. Dave also serves our community as a member of the Bristol Tennessee Board of Education. He and his wife, Linda, have been married since 1987. He and Linda share experience in youth and college-age ministries. They have three children, Kathryn, Abigail, and Stephen.

Lilly Osborne

Director of Children’s Ministries

Lilly has served as our Director of Children’s Ministries since June 1, 2014. She brings a strong musical background and experience in our children’s music ministry to her post. Lilly graduated from King College with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Bible and Religion and formerly taught in the Sullivan County School System. In addition to her work for FPC and as a piano teacher, she cares for her family of five children, Michael, Annie, Daniel, Ginny, and Charlotte.

pat flannagan

Interim Choir Director

Pat Flannagan retired from King University in 2020, having served for 38 years on the faculty at King where he taught music history, conducting, musicology, choir, and voice. Flannagan earned a B.A. in Psychology from King College, B.M. in Church Music and a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from The Catholic University of America.  While a student at Westminster, his mentors were Robert D. Simpson, Erik Routley, Dennis Shrock and Joseph Flummerfelt, and he had opportunities to sing and study with some of the outstanding conductors of the 20th century including Robert Shaw, Leonard Bernstein, Seji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Rafael Kubelik, Antal Dorati, et al.  Dr. Flannagan is the founding conductor of the Voices of the Mountains, a regional choir associated with The Symphony of the Mountains.  

Dr. Flannagan hosted Morten Lauridsen for a residency week at King University in 2008 in preparation for a concert of Mr. Lauridsen’s music.  He has trained choirs for 6 different performances at Carnegie Hall, working with conductors such as Timothy Sharp and John Rutter. In April of 2019, Flannagan hosted Tim Sharp for a performance of Tim’s Bluegrass Mass: Come Away to the Skies with the King University Symphonic Choir and the Sanctuary Choir from First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, TN.

Larry Connolly

Facilities Manager

Larry joined our staff in April 2015 to oversee the custodial services, coordinate work by outside contractors, and fulfill items on our comprehensive Preventive Maintenance Plan. This is a big job for a big campus, and we are delighted to have his eyes and expertise.

Scottie Bales

Financial Assistant

Scottie joined our staff September 1, 2016, taking charge of creating wonderful menus for a wide range of events and preparing food for groups of all sizes. In addition to these responsibilities Scottie is now working in the main office as the Financial Assistant to the Business Administrator.

The Rev. Jerry Swam Sidi

Director of Contemporary Worship and King Campus Evangelist

We welcome Jeremiah Swam Sidi (Jerry) and his family; Rachael (wife); Davita (daughter); David (son); and Damita (daughter) from Waco, Texas but originally from Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Jerry will be serving in two roles as the Director of Contemporary Worship here at First Pres and the Campus Ministry Coordinator at King University. He brings a wealth of experience as he pursues his Doctorate.

Jerry has a Bachelor of Art in Theology (Pastoral Studies) from Jos ECWA Theological Seminary, Nigeria. Master of Theology ThM. Missiology – Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary Seoul, South Korea. (Master of Christian Ministry) MACM from Baylor University Waco, TX.

He is currently working on his Doctorate at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.

Katie Arnold

Director of Student Ministries

Katie joined the FPC staff as Director of Student Ministries in the summer of 2012, after serving churches in Abingdon and Atlanta. Her passion for walking with students through their teenage years as they wrestle with faith shines through her work with the youth of FPC and the community. Katie graduated from King University in 2005 with a degree in youth ministry and psychology and earned an MA in Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary in 2016. She has three children, AJ (son),  Brady Thomas (son), Wrenley (daughter).

Justin Miller

Pastoral Resident and Local Mission Coordinator

We welcome the newest staff member, Justin Miller. The Pastoral Resident program is our church’s two-year, part-time mentoring program in which we walk and work with a candidate as they move toward ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA. Justin comes from Arden, NC where he has served as the Family and Worship minister. He is a graduate of Emmanuel Seminary.