Rev. Dr. Lisa Rzepka joined our staff as Transitional Pastor on September 16, 2018. She most recently served for 10 years as Pastor and Head of Staff at John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, VA. Prior to that, she served as an intern and a Christian Educator at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore (1997-2003) and as Associate Pastor at Providence Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, VA (2003-2008). While at Brown Memorial Park Avenue, Dr. Rzepka participated with B.U.I.L.D. and in ecumenical neighborhood events which dealt with urban life issues; B.U.I.L.D. is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation and was created in Baltimore 40 years ago. B.U.I.L.D. is focused on improving housing, increasing job opportunities, and rebuilding schools and neighborhoods. First Pres is helping organize a similar IAF affiliate in Anne Arundel County. Rev. Dr. Rzepka holds a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, and a Doctor of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary, Atlanta, GA.
Rev. Dr. Lisa Rzepka
Rev. Dr. Heather G. Shortlidge
Heather was called to First Presbyterian Church in December 2007 to minister in the areas of education, spiritual development, pastoral care and worship.
Previously, Heather served as the associate pastor of Rivermont Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, TN where she developed ministries for children, families, and young adults. Before that, she served as a pediatric hospital chaplain at the Children's Medical Center of Dallas where she provided spiritual and emotional support to patients and staff within the center for cancer and blood disorders.
Heather earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and her Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. In May 2015, Heather graduated from the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) Doctor of Ministry in Preaching Program.
While in high school, Heather was a pre-professional ballerina dancing in Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she spent summers working at the Kennedy Center with the Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell program and other adult education initiatives.
Heather enjoys all things related to food, especially baking and trying new hole-in-the-wall restaurants. She’s a certified yoga instructor and volunteers as a puppy raiser for FIDOS for Freedom, an organization that trains hearing and mobility assistance dogs. Heather’s immediate family is spread out around the country. Her mother still lives in West Grove, PA where she grew up. Her younger sister, Meg, and family reside in Colorado Springs while her older sister, Joy, and family live in Westport, CT.
Director of Music and Organist
Dr. Robert Muckenfuss
Robert has been involved in music ministry for over three decades. He began his career as director of music and organist in Cincinnati, OH, serving several churches, including Kennedy Heights Presbyterian for 12 years, where as music director he was choir director and conductor of all hand bell, youth and children's choirs. After moving to Baltimore he became director of music and organist, again serving with full duties at Linden Heights United Methodist Church. He held this post for 11 years and has also served First Christian Church and St. Andrew’s Christian Community in Baltimore. Robert has been organist at First Presbyterian Church, Annapolis for 9 years and music director for 3 years.
He has been on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore for 16 years, where he is a vocal coach, working privately with voice majors, and teaching classes in vocal literature.
Over the course of his career, Robert has been active in the operatic field as a repetiteur, vocal coach, chorus master and conductor. Opera companies include, Glimmerglass, Wolf Trap, Cincinnati, Lake George, Nashville, and West Virginia Opera.
Another substantial area of his performing career has been in orchestral repertoire and chamber music. He was the principal keyboard artist (piano, organ, harpsichord and celeste) for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. With the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops he has 30 recordings on the Telarc label to his credit. He was a featured artist on The Sound of Music, and Chiller compact discs. Other recordings include Dominick Argento's A Waterbird Talk, and Miss Havisham's Wedding Night and The Rogue and the Romantic. Robert's work in chamber music includes performances with the Pentaura Quintet, (Charleston, WV) and the Cincinnati Baroque Ensemble.
He holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, of the University of Cincinnati, a Masters and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Ensemble Arts, from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He is a frequent collaborator in both vocal and instrumental chamber music. He has been a keyboard artist for several musicals at the Kennedy Center including, Titanic, Cinderella, Bells are Ringing, and James Joyce’s The Dead.
Robert has a long and fulfilling musical career. Highlights of his career include numerous performances at Carnegie Hall, a Far East Tour, and featured soloist in Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony, with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops; Hawaiian tour with world renowned baritone, John Shirley-Quirk; and work with notable conductors including Robert Shaw, James Levine, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, and Max Rudolf. A recent highlight includes two summers in the beautiful city of Mozart's birth, Salzburg, Austria, teaching on the music faculty for the University of Miami, Frost School of Music vocal program.
Director of Family Ministry
Miss and her husband Russ joined the FPC family after the birth of her second son in 1999. She jumped right in and volunteered in the nursery, taught Godly Play, served on the Christian Education Committee and helped lead many Vacation Bible School summer programs. In 2003, Miss accepteda part time position as Director of Children’s Ministry, overseeing children and their Christian formation from birth through 5th grade. Her passion was always Social Work so she listened closely to her call to work with children and families.
In January of 2014, Miss moved to full time status and accepted the additional responsibility for Christian Education of the youth (grades 6-12) as Director of Family Ministry. The highlight of her job is during the summer when she directs a one week Vacation Bible Camp in both Annapolis and in Letohrad, Czech Republic with a partner church. During that time shegets to work with dynamic adults, passionate youth and energetic campers! Her greatest joy comesfrom seeing the children grow from infancy into young adults within the church family.
Prior to her work at FPC, Miss received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design and Business from Radford University. For 13 years she worked as an interior designer for Marriott Hotels at their corporate office in Bethesda, Maryland where she specialized in hospitality design. In 1999, she left Marriott to focus her energy on her family. This move allowed Miss time to volunteer in her local community which she continues to do today through STAIR, Lighthouse Shelter, Food Link and the public school system.
Miss is married to Russ Good, Owner of Good Consulting, specializing in project management. Russ currently serves as a Deacon and wherever else Miss may need him at the church. They are blessed with two energetic young men, Griffin and Cameron, who keep them on their toes both on and off the baseball field. Miss loves being with her family and friends and finding time to practice yoga.
John moved to the Annapolis area in 2000. Soon afterward, he became actively involved in the Sweat Equity program at First Presbyterian. In 2008, John became an interim maintenance technician at the church and then accepted a permanent position as Facilities Manager in 2009. Prior to joining the staff, John also served a three year term as a Trustee.
Al Johnson joined the church staff as custodian in February of 1996. After completing an 18 year career with the Board of Education, Al shifted to full time at FPC in September 2011. Al has lived his entire life in Annapolis where he is well known and deeply involved in church and community groups. In his free time, Al is a member of the Gospel Travelers, an a cappella singing group.
Sharon received her Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and her Master and Doctorate degrees from the California School of Professional Psychology. Previously, Sharon worked as a licensed Psychologist in the midwest. Before starting in the fall of 2012 as secretary, she held numerous volunteer positions in the Annapolis area while home with her children. A member since 2006, she has been active in church as a Sunday School teacher and deacon. Sharon, her husband, and their three sons reside in Eastport and love walking to church on Sundays.
Dottie has been our Business Manager since late 2011. She grew up on the Eastern Shore and has lived in Cape St. Claire for the past 21 years. Dottie graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and also has a public notary designation. She is married and has two wonderful kids. Their family attends Cape St. Claire United Methodist Church. Dottie enjoys gardening, kayaking and walking in her free time.
Noor Khaleel joins us in the nursery September 2018. She is married, has three children in elementary school, and works part-time in the nursery at the Anne Arundel Community College. She is a native of Iraq and moved here in 2016. Since then she has established herself in her Severna Park neighborhood, learned English, and acquired her Maryland State driver's license. She is a quick learner and warm and loving with the children. We are lucky to have her on our staff.
Sydney joined our nursery staff in September 2018. She graduated from Broadneck High School this year and will attend the Anne Arundel Community College to pursue her EMT-P certification.
I'kea Pope recently moved here from Syracuse, NY. She is in her junior year at Bowie State University majoring in Child & Adolescent Studies. She loves working with children and learning new things. I'kea's favorite activity is to eat and to spend time with family. She shares, "I'm on a journey of bettering myself and becoming the best me I can be."