Staff Biographies

First Presbyterian Lansing Staff

stanley jenkins

Stan grew up in Illinois and Michigan (Plymouth), and attended Oberlin College, graduating with a B.A. in Religion in 1985. Having felt the call to ministry from his teen years and through college, he immediately went on to seminary and earned his Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Stan was ordained promptly after graduating from Union in 1988 and accepted the solo pastorate of First Presbyterian Church of Waterloo, NY, which he served for three years before beginning doctoral studies in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. During that time, Stan came to realize that parish ministry was his true calling, and that is what he has pursued faithfully since 1995.

Stan’s stepson, Elias Moose, recently graduated from Bard College, in New York State’s Hudson Valley.

Stan served the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown in New York City for 15 years. He became pastor there at a moment of transition following the 30-year tenure of the previous pastor and faced many challenges: a declining membership, strained financial circumstances, and spiritual and mission malaise. Stan was able to revitalize the congregation, find new leadership, harness new talents, introduce new worship practices, and make the church an active presence in the surrounding community. Acting on an idea of his wife Mary, for example, the church created the “Greens for Queens” urban farm on church property to raise organically grown vegetables for donation to local food banks.  During Stan’s time at Newtown, he served the wider church by holding several positions in the Presbytery of New York. He chaired their search committee for an Executive Presbyter and served as chair of the Committee on Ministry.  Stan served the First Presbyterian Church of Dutch Neck in Central New Jersey from 2011 to 2013.

In Stan’s own words:  “We find our effective unity in the fact that each one of us is in need of God’s mercy and healed in His love. What binds us together is the Grace of God and not our outward conformity or homogeneity. In my own ministry, I strive to maintain focus on this Grace,…while at the same time striving to remain open to the movement of the Spirit of the Living God in each moment. I strive to reflect this dual focus in worship and in fellowship, in mission and in stewardship.”

Kathy Banghart is a native of California, but since she has now lived in Michigan longer than she lived there, she considers herself to be a Michigander (or is it Michiganian?). She has been a member of First Pres, Lansing, since 1984, and has been the Director of Christian Education here since 1996. Kathy has been active at the presbytery level of our denomination in a number of capacities, including serving on the Discipleship Ministry Team, being a POINT (Presbyterians Organized in Nurture and Teaching) representative for PC(USA) educational ministries and being a commissioner to the 2008 General Assembly. She is currently serving on the planning committee for our Lake Michigan presbytery’s Educator Fellowship support group, as well as on the local planning committee the 2012 Association for Presbyterian Church Educators’ annual conference.

Kathy is a native of California, but since she has now lived in Michigan longer than she lived there, she considers herself to be a Michigander (or is it Michiganian?). She has been a member of First Pres, Lansing, since 1984, and has been the Director of Christian Education here since 1996. Kathy has been active at the presbytery level of our denomination in a number of capacities, including serving on the Discipleship Ministry Team at the presbytery level, being a POINT (Presbyterians Organized in Nurture and Teaching) representative for PC(USA) educational ministries, and being a commissioner to the 2008 General Assembly. She is currently serving on the planning committee for our Lake Michigan presbytery’s Educator Fellowship support group, as well as on the presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry.

Sallie Campbell is the director of Congregational Life and Community Outreach.  In this position, Sallie works with youth and families in the church as well as others.  She oversees all intergenerational/congregation wide activities and events.  In the outreach portion of her position, Sallie works with several community based organizations, and supports the work of the Food Pantry in the church.  She is on the board of both NorthWest Initiative and the Global Institute of Lansing (high school completion program for refugees) that are also housed at the church.  Sallie also collaborates with the Americorp program and the Downtown Neighborhood Association as well as other ministries and organizations in the surrounding community.

 

Sallie graduated from Western Theological Seminary with a master degree in Religious Education.  She worked in resettlement with Lutheran Social Services, Unaccompanied Minor program for several years.  She also worked at Delta Presbyterian for many years.  She has been married to her husband, Steve, for 43 years and has lived in the Lansing area for almost 40 years.  Steve and Sallie have 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren.  They spend a lot of time enjoying their family and travelling to visit their children and grandchildren.  Sallie has worked at Lansing First Presbyterian for about 6 years and enjoys her job very much.

Megan Higle, a Detroit native, recently moved to Lansing with her husband, Rev. Bob Higle (Plymouth Congregational Church). She earned a bachelor of music (vocal performance) from Marygrove College (Detroit) and a master’s degree in choral conducting from Oakland University. Megan has an extensive background in church music as well as music theater for both children and adults. She has a voice and piano studio where she enjoys teaching and mentoring. Besides music, Megan enjoys spending time with her family (Bob, and stepsons, Tim and Tony), her pets (dog, Abigail; cats, Eli & Jerry), and cooking/entertaining.

Sergei Kvitko is the organist for First Church. Born in Russia, Sergei began studying music at the age of six. He received his doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University where he won numerous piano performance awards.

He is an award-winning recording engineer and producer as well as a composer, and is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMY). He organizes the Fine Arts Concert Series.

Shelia Conrad is director of the First Church Lansing hand bell choir. A member of the student services department of Waverly Community Schools, she is a Lansing native. She manages a resort in the northern Michigan village of Elk Rapids, and enjoys cooking and reading. She has three children and one granddaughter.

Having grown up at First Pres, Heather has been a part of many church activities since she was small. But she always liked volunteering for the child care room.

Heather has worked in the First Presbyterian Child Care room for 7 years. She has been babysitting since she was 12 and was a nanny for two amazing kids for 3 years. Now she is a stay at home mom to four year old Audrey.

A Lansing native, she currently resides in Haslett with her husband Dave and their daughter. She enjoys gardening, crafts, theater and learning how to cook from her husband. They hope to open their own restaurant someday.

Tracy is a Lansing native and graduated from Harry Hill High School and Lansing Community College. Her professional experiences include being an office manager/sales administrator for a large equipment firm, customer information representative and retirement counselor for the State of Michigan and operations director for a Lansing area fast food chain.

Tracy and her husband, Rory, have three grown sons and three grandsons. Tracy enjoys spending time outdoors, especially “Up North,” being at the beach, bike riding, and yoga class.

Steve graduated from Eaton Rapids High School in 1998. Since that Steve has served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He also worked in the property maintenance and home construction fields. Steve and his wife, Abby, have two children. He enjoys game night with family, playing recreations sports, and watching MSU games. Go Green!

Charles Herrick is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and received degrees from DePauw University (B.A.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div. and Th.M.).

He was ordained in 1971 and has served churches in New Jersey and Michigan, as an installed pastor, interim, stated supply, and, most recently in his retired capacity, as Parish Associate at First Presbyterian, Lansing.

He has served Lake Michigan Presbytery in a number of capacities, including Moderator of Presbytery in 1986. Currently he is a member of the Camp Greenwood Agency. Charlie (as he prefers to be called) also has a freelance art/ matting and framing business out of his home in rural Mason. He and his wife Shirley have two grown children.

Abigail English has been working in the First Presbyterian Child Care room for 16 years. She began volunteering when she 15 years old. Abigail has been working with children for most of her life, beginning at the age of 10 when her baby brother, Benjamin was born. She worked at the Mary Poppins Nursery School as an assistant teacher for four years and in a home day care for 5.

Currently, she is a massage therapist and a student pursuing a degree in Social work. Abigail comes from a wonderfully musical family and can often be seen in local theater productions. She is also a member of the Lange Ensemble, a local community choir.