Meet the folks in the office.

  • Pastoral Staff
  • Program Staff
  • Support Staff

Pastoral Staff

The Rev. Dr. Stuart Baskin | Pastor

FPC's resident theologian, Stuart is always game for a good debate and cherishes his calling to teach the faith. A lifelong nerd, he admits to reading theology at bedtime, disappearing down rabbit holes of biblical inquiry, a habit begun at Union Seminary in Richmond. Always on the front line of mission—whether caring for the souls at FPC, promoting interfaith dialogue in Tyler, or taking outreach abroad—Stuart cares deeply about walking through life with folks. His family shares his passion for building community, too: his wife, Amy, works in non-profit development, a path that his older daughter has followed, and his younger daughter works on political campaigns. Rest assured: dinner conversation is never dull!

The Rev. Pamela Leach | Associate Pastor

With all of her many talents, Pam fills in wherever there's need. You name it—advising the deacons, leading worship, developing curriculum—Pam's on it. Her real passion, though, is teaching scripture and the spiritual disciplines, a joy she cultivated as a student at Columbia Theological Seminary. When she's not up at church, Pam shuttles her two daughters back and forth between ballet and swim team, to a steady soundtrack of contemporary Christian tunes. Pam and her husband, Jeff, escape to the mountains with the kids every chance they get—there's nothing a cup of hot cocoa and a hike can't fix.

Program Staff

Donald W. Duncan | Director of Music & Organist

Long before Donald started playing organ in church at the age of twelve, he was determined to be a church musician. It was bound to happen; church work runs in the family (mom played piano for worship, his father preached, and a brother joined the clergy as well). Introduced to the Presbyterian Church through his undergraduate alma mater, PCUSA-affiliated Lyon College, Donald is passionate about enhancing worship through music—both theologically and aesthetically. Donald has made his name as both a musician and director in the East Texas area, serving as the artistic director of the Tyler Civic Chorale and Tudor Rose Ensemble and as the organist at Temple Beth El as well as serving in the East Texas chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Phyllis Kidwell | Director of Children's Ministry

As a long-time program director and leader in Grace Presbytery, education and outreach are Phyllis’s passions, and she works hard to make the Children's Ministry at FPC just as welcome to the new kid as it is to the regular roster. Motivated by the energetic and creative parents she works with, Phyllis aims to make everything bigger and better, linking up with other ministries of the church to show our youngsters that you don't have to be a grown up to make a difference. Phyllis and her husband John live on twenty acres in Athens, where they raise chickens, garden, and gather their great big family as often as they can.

Neil McKown | Director of Student Ministries

Grace Presbytery is Neil's playground: he grew up at First Plano, where his parents are still volunteer youth directors; he was baptized at College Hill Pres. in Tulsa; and he interned at First Tulsa and First Grapevine before he made his way to Tyler. Some of the talents that serve him well as a youth director are—in no particular order—a fondness for road trips and baseball (he's been to 172 minor league games and counting), a talent for most musical instruments including the tuba ("heavy metal," get it?), and an inhuman disregard for sleep. Lock in, anyone?

Karen McClellan | Director of Communication

A West Texas transplant steeped in Austin's creative industry, Karen has a thing for the architectures of information and wordsmithery. When she’s not hopping around the state (her family is a tribe), Karen fiendishly collects recipes and craft projects—there’s always a mess on the kitchen table.

Support Staff

Susie Holley | Executive Assistant

Susie is the admin guru, keeping everyones' ducks in a row and treasuring the relationships she has built in the congregation. At home she has another full-time job—she and her high school sweetheart (married thirty-eight years) raise longhorn cattle and train horses on Pecan Creek Farm, on the other side of Jacksonville. Mom, super-grandma, and master gardener, Susie still finds time to enjoy the view (though sometimes it's from her seat on the riding lawn mower).

Lynn Collyer | Admin. Assistant to Christian Education

As the staff’s longest-serving member, Lynn prides herself as a resource person—and is she ever! She started teaching Sunday school as a teen and has been plugged into the national PC(USA) scene for several decades now. As Canadian expats hailing from Nova Scotia, Lynn and her husband Robert relocated to Texas twenty years ago, quickly discovering that tamales are best eaten AFTER the husks are removed. When she takes off her staff hat, Lynn puts on her member hat—both of her kids grew up at FPC, and she's always ready to lend a hand or offer a listening ear to the congregation that she considers family.

Nanci Pollard | Financial Assistant

Raised in Corpus Christi, Nanci graduated from the University of Texas as a matter of course—her father played football there in the ‘40s—and still regularly makes the pilgrimage down to Austin to cheer on the Texas Longhorns. She and her husband Nick are frequently on the road staying connected with their two sons, one in Dallas and one in Austin. She still has the time, however, to read a good mystery and hone her golf game—when she’s not cracking the whip at the office, that is.

Click on a staff member's name to send them an email. Not sure who you need to contact? Get in touch with the church office