Support Staff | Music Staff
Meet our Team
James Witty(EXT. 202)
Bio to come.
Director of Front Porch Ministries
Joel was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He did his undergraduate work at Whitworth University where he received his degree in Speech Communications. It was here that Joel discovered and fostered his God-given passion for ministry. It was also here that Joel met his beautiful wife Kristi. They have been married for the past nine years and have three children. Over the course of the last eight years they have lived in Pasadena, Joel has attended Fuller Theological Seminary where he recently completed his M.Div. Joel and his family are excited about this next adventure of their life and moving to the beautiful San Luis Obispo.
Dr. Jack Springer
Dr. Springer served as Pastor and Head of Staff at First Pres from September 1975 to March, 1990. He and his wife Judy love living on the Central Coast, spending time on the golf course being involved in the life grandson, Jason.
Eric Garner (EXT. 211)
While Eric was born in small-town Pennsylvania, he spent the majority of his youth in the Bay Area. Eventually Eric worked his way down to San Luis Obispo to study history at Cal Poly, during which time he began working in youth ministry in 2005. Following his time in San Luis Obispo, he spent a year working for Mount Hermon Christian Camps. Eric then went eastward to New Jersey where he received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Eric enjoys reading, writing, cooking, cycling, and tree climbing. Also, he is a firm believer that almost any situation can be improved with a nice cup of tea in hand.”
Jenifer Gordon-Rabenaldt(EXT. 200)
Children’s Education Director
Jennifer has been a part of First Pres since she was 6 years old. Her passions are doing weddings and working with the children of our church. She is married and has one son, Ian. She is also our Wedding Coordinator.
Tracy Whittemore (EXT. 207)
Tracy was born and raised in San Luis Obispo County, and has lived here her entire life. She attended Cal Poly University where she studied Music and Speech. She has been married for 27 years, and has two married daughters. Her passions are singing, making jewelry and garage saling.
Mia Purdin (EXT. 200)
Mia was born and raised in Santa Maria and has lived in San Luis Obispo for the past year. She and her handsome husband Andrew are the proud parents of Gabriel, who was born in March 2012. She attended Vanguard University studying Music and Worship Arts. Besides music, she loves cooking, reading, travelling and finding any excuse to shop at Target.
Mark Krist (EXT. 209)
Facilities & Maintenance Engineer
Mark has a Bachelors of Science degree from Cal Poly SLO, in Forestry & Natural Resources Management with a Minor in Land Rehabilitation & a Concentration in Urban Forestry. Mark likes being out of doors, studying science & learning. The picture depicts one of Mark’s greatest achievements, the completion of the S.L.O. Marathon on 4/20/12.
Jennifer has been a part of First Pres since she was 6 years old. Her passions are doing weddings and working with the children of our church. She is married and has one son, Ian.
Praise Choir Director
Dale Wolff has been directing the Praise Singers on a volunteer basis since 1989. His other musical endeavors include singing with the Vocal Arts Ensemble and the "Bald Spots" doo-wop group, and occasionally writing songs. He is a retired Ph.D. psychologist and former Mental Health Director for the County. He and his wife Kathy have three grown sons and several grandkids. His other activities include Rotary, travel, writing, photography, and golf.
Dr. Greg Magie
Chancel Choir Director
Greg received his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from UCLA. He is delighted to use his training and talents as a gift to God and to enhance worship. He enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and hanging out with his four kids.
Linda feels blessed to be able to worship God through playing the piano at First Pres. During the week, Linda works in student services as a counselor at Cuesta College. The remainder of her time is dedicated to her church, her family and friends, and her favorite hobbies, gardening and reading.
Pastoral & Program Staff | Support Staff
Dr. Katya Gotsdiner McMahan
Ekaterina (Katya) Gotsdiner McMahan, born in Toula, Russia, holds a degree in music theory from the Moscow Music Tchaikovsky College, degrees in musicology and Organ, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the Moscow State Conservatory. Katya has won multiple awards and has performed throughout Russia, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States. In addition, she taught music theory at Moscow Conservatory College from 2001–08. Katya comes to the central coast with her husband, Andrew McMahan, Cal Poly’s new Director of Bands.