1220 2nd Street Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tim Vance was born and raised in Hornell, NY, with an older sister and two younger brothers. He attended Houghton College in Western New York, where he played college basketball on scholarship and graduated with a liberal arts degree in Biblical Studies and Educational Ministries. While at Houghton, he studied abroad in London, Paris and Madrid.
After graduation in 1999, Tim moved across the country to Bellevue, WA, to work with high school students at Bellevue Presbyterian Church. In 2006, Tim graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena with a Master of Divinity. Ordained in July of 2009, Tim took his first call as associate pastor at Gateway Presbyterian Church in The Dalles, OR. For the past 4 years, Rev. Vance has had the pleasure of serving as associate pastor of the beautiful American Church in Paris along the Seine river. He also frequently moderates the renowned Thurber lecture series interviewing experts from all over the world about various global issues.
His hobbies include basketball and cycling. His favorite bible verses are Micah 6:8 and Acts 17:28.
Peter Earhart grew up in a Presbyterian family of eight children in Pittsburgh, PA. His journey westward to southern California included a sixteen-year stop in Washington, DC, and a seven-year stay in Tucson, AZ. He completed his Master of Arts in Christian Education degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2008. He served as Director of Children’s Ministry at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ for three years and then Director of Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministry here at First Pres since 2011. He is married to Laurel and they have four grown children.
Mark Alan Hilt is the Director of Traditional Music at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica. He began as organist in 1999 and continues to lead the choir, accompany the service on organ and piano, and collaborate with his colleagues in music, Noah Needleman and Irene Navarro. Mark began his study of the pipe organ at Wichita State University in Kansas with Robert Town, and continued his work with Marianne Webb at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is the Orchestra Conductor at Harvard-Westlake School, where he works with 10th, 11th, and 12th-graders in Symphony, Camerata Strings, Beginning Music Theory, and Advanced Placement Music Theory. Mr. Hilt is co-founder and Music Director of Jacaranda, where he has led a variety of ensemble works, concerti, chamber symphonies, and varied works for large ensembles, including the US premiere of Olivier Messiaen’s Song of the Deported (1945) for large chorus and orchestra.
Jen Philbin was born and raised in the South Bay and served at the Presbyterian church they grew up in for over 10 years. Throughout their service to the church, Jen invested in children’s, youth, worship team, and missions ministries and has brought energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to everything they do. They graduated from California State University Long Beach with two degrees in Family Life Education and Child Development & Family Studies. “I feel so grateful to be welcomed into a church community that loves and accepts all of me. Serving here has transformed my faith in the best way.”
Emily Audras was raised in southern California, and has attended Presbyterian churches for her entire life. She is a Pepperdine University graduate in April of 2023, with a degree in English Education and a vocal music minor. Additionally, she earns credentials in English and elementary education in December of 2023. She studied for a year at Pepperdine’s Lausanne, Switzerland program, and was fortunate enough to reunite with some of her relatives overseas. Music is one of her favorite ways to connect with God, and she is so excited to share the joy of music with the children at FPC! A few of Emily’s favorite things include hiking, reading, playing the piano, journaling, and leading worship.