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.
Paula Lowe is passionate about children, families and education, and has been in the field of early childhood education for over thirty years. She was a teacher and Director of The Growing Place Child Development Center for twenty years. She is a teacher of our preschool and kindergarten children’s groups which meet on Sunday mornings and during the week. She and her husband Rob are the parents of two wonderful young adults.
Originally from Texas, Kathy attended SMU, graduated from the University of Kansas and worked for 6 years as an occupational therapist. A longtime Presbyterian who has served as both elder and deacon, she has worked in church business administration since 2000. Kathy has two grown children and she and her husband live in Topanga Canyon with their two cats and chickens. She enjoys bird watching, gardening and photographing wildflowers while mountain biking through the Santa Monica Mountains.
Shelly is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and attended Auburn University where she earned a degree in Radio, Television, and Film. She worked various jobs in TV and Film for 8 years gaining valuable experience in interpersonal communications and organizational skills. Shelly joined First Pres as a member in 2003 and, along with her husband and son, became involved in the many children’s programs the church has to offer, and has been on staff since 2014. She enjoys playing and watching sports of all kinds, going to the movies, hiking, and photography.
Contemporary Worship Music Director
Caroline Moore, originally from Texas, has lived in Los Angeles for 10+ years as a singer/songwriter. She attended University of Texas Austin as a Radio-Television-Film major. She served as a pianist and vocalist in the First Pres SM contemporary worship band for about 3 years, and has since then become the contemporary worship music director for the past 3 years.