Presbyterians have a well defined and biblical form of church governance that is centered around the office of elder.  The word “Presbyterian” literally means of, relating to, or denoting a Christian Church or denomination governed by elders according to the principles of Presbyterianism. Like all Presbyterian churches, our congregation elects elders to serve three year terms.  They, together with our Pastor (or teaching elder) exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline, and have responsibilities for the life of our congregation as well as the whole church, including our relationships with all of the churches in the Ottawa community (as described in the Book of Order).

At First Presbyterian Church, each elder is assigned to provide leadership to a specific committee (which anyone who is an active participant on the life of our church is welcome to join).  Each committee is responsible for overseeing a specific aspect of our church life and ministry.  Any questions or concerns about our church life should be brought to one of the elders on the responsible committee, and that elder will bring the question or concern to the committee for appropriate action.

The committees of First Presbyterian Church are as follows:

    • Administration
    • Deacons
    • Discipleship
    • Fellowship & Outreach
    • Missions
    • Trustees

Our current elders, and their associated committee assignments, are as follows:

John Walker (Teaching Elder)

Diane Farrell (Clerk of Session)

Class of 2018

  • Brian Smithmeyer (Discipleship)
  • Pete Trolinger (Administration)
  • Brad Angus (Trustee)
  • Mike Farrell (Deacons)

Class of 2017

  • Kerry Gerding (Fellowship & Outreach)
  • Betty Ehret (Fellowship & Outreach)
  • Jim Keely (Administration)
  • Lisa Mestelle (Discipleship)
  • Dan Duggan (Trustees)


Class of 2016

    • Carol Woeckel (Worship)
    • Ron Koestler (Missions)
    • Diane Kennedy (Worship)
    • Dan Mestelle (Trustees)






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