Meet our Staff

Pastor Beth Utley

Beth Utley grew up in central Arkansas, raised in faith by parents and grandparents. Her father was a chemistry professor at Hendrix College, and her mother, a registered nurse. Her grandparents lived on a lakefront, and she spent weekends fishing, gardening and lobbing apples or persimmons at her sisters. She graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Education, concentrations in Speech, Drama, and English. She received a Masters of Oral Communication from Baylor University and is a Certified Educator in the PC(USA).

Beth knew she wanted to be a teacher almost from birth. Outside of brief temptations from Nancy Drew and midwifery, Beth worked as an educator, first in classrooms (middle school to college), then in Christ's church. Working in North Carolina as a Director of Christian Formation, she felt called to explore seminary and graduated with her Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. She was awarded the Helen Deans Preaching Award which honors a student who exhibits promise for effective preaching in the church. (Her children and husband would tell you she's been preaching at them for a long time.)

She has served congregations for 20 years, working in partnership with the pastors and congregational leadership to equip disciples for today's church. She is passionate about discipleship as following Jesus, not believing a set of tenets or a particular dogma. She thinks the church community is a blessing of intergenerational relationships and is called to "be the change we want to see in the world" (to paraphrase Ghandi). 

She is married to Carl, an intentional interim pastor. They have four adult children. Adam is completing work in a PhD in immunology in Buffalo, NY; Allie is working on a PhD in Worship and Liturgy at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN; Hannah is a neonatal ICU nurse in Richmond (where her husband is in seminary); and Claire is in Greensboro where she is working toward a writing career. Beth's best evangelism tool is Murphy Brown, a two-year-old labradoodle. People always want to talk to Murphy.

 

Office Administrator, Amy Hochfeld started working at FPC in November of 2011. She loves praise music and enjoys singing on her church’s worship team. Recently she purchased a keyboard, even though she couldn’t play a note, and is currently learning to play piano. A widow for 11 years, Amy was recently married in June of 2017 to Alan Hochfeld. Her daughter and son-in-law, newlyweds, live in Bethlehem, Pa. Feel free to contact Amy in the church office if you have questions…or need a little cheer.

Director of Music, Patricia thor Straten-Mohr has directed our Senior Choir and our Youth Choir since 2005. Pat is an accomplished soprano soloist who has performed throughout Northeastern and Central PA.

Organist and Pianist, Michael Capone has sat at the organ bench of our 24 rank pipe organ since 2002. A graduate of West Chester University with a bachelors degree, Mike also has earned a masters degree from the University of Scranton. Mike is retired from Pocono Mountain School District where he was a choral director.

Financial Secretary, Debby Tanico has been balancing our check book, paying our bills, and meticulously maintaining our financial records since 2000.

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday,  9am - 4:30pm