My wife, Kari, and I have two sons -- Andrew (born in 2002) and Aaron (born in 2003) -- and one daughter - Allie (born in 2010 and adopted in 2011). Kari works as a marketing administrator for the Knox-Ulsh Group of Hooke, Hooke, and Eckman Realtors. She enjoys Bible Study, runs, and has a passion for helping people in need. Our kids attend South Middleton schools (Go Bubblers!) and keep us busy with sports, music, and nature. I love games (my family tells me I’m kind of competitive), tennis, and running. It's a joy to be part of a large and loving "Second Family."
I grew up in a wonderful Lutheran congregation in upstate New York, near Saratoga. After a year at Albany Law School, I attended Union Seminary in New York City, where I realized that the Presbyterian Church (USA) is an even better fit for me. My undergraduate work was in history and economics (A.B., Colgate University) and my doctoral work (D. Min., Fuller Seminary) was in the area of clergy and congregational health. Prior to being called to Pennsylvania, I served great congregations in New York (Deer Park and Westhampton Beach) and New Jersey (Caldwell and Pluckemin). I received the call to Second Pres in 2007. I'd love to share the journey with you.
I began ministry at Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle in the summer of 2004. Coming to this congregation was familiar in some ways because I graduated from Carlisle High School and was a member of Second Pres. There are members of my family in the congregation in addition to some of my former Sunday school teachers and pastors. I love meeting all the people of our congregation and being involved in the community. I had been gone for thirty years, attending college in Wooster, Ohio, and studying in Nashville, TN, for a brief tenure at Vanderbilt School of Nursing only to learn that nursing is not where God was calling me. I did some community organizing in Florida with farm workers and then in the mountains in Appalachia organizing health clinics. During that time I met someone who asked me to visit her son in prison. Shortly thereafter, I began a death-row ministry in Alabama, where I worked for the next six years.
I attended Harvard Divinity School between 1985-1990. After a year of hospital chaplaincy, in 1992 I was ordained at First Presbyterian in Germantown, PA. My husband, Kevin is a physician at Hershey Medical Center, and my daughter Sarah Rose is living in Washington, DC, and works for the State Department in human rights. We enjoy music, theater, art, and learning more about Civil War history.
I am honored to have been chosen as your next Organist and Director of Music. As I’ve gotten to know the Second Family through the interview process I’ve discovered a community that’s deeply rooted in the Spirit. This is the most important bond we share, and, together, we will realize God’s vision. To learn more about Chris, visit ChrisPrestia.com.
Assistant Director of Music
I grew up in a Methodist Church in New Kingstown, PA, where an active involvement in Children and Youth programs developed my faith in Jesus Christ. My upbringing's second influence was life on a dairy farm, where I developed a strong work ethic and a love for agriculture that lead to a Master's degree in Agricultural Education from Pennsylvania State University. For 15 years, I taught in the public school system before becoming our Director of Christian Education in 2006. Most recently my role at Second has been shaping the future of the Children’s Ministry program and working with families. My goal is to partner with parents so they can be the primary spiritual leader for their children, placing the tools in their hands to help them be successful.
Since graduating from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Sociology, I have worked with children on the Autism spectrum as a TSS and as a Prekindergarten teacher. I really have a passion for children. I enjoyed my time working in the Alumnae Office at Wilson College so much I sought an administrative position at Second Presbyterian in March of 2015. The community here is very welcoming and I am happy to be a part of it. I live in Chambersburg, PA with my husband, Brett, whom I met in 7th grade homeroom, and our Beabull, Maggie. I am a 2008 graduate of Mercersburg Academy, a rural, college preparatory boarding school in Southern Pennsylvania, where I was a part of the newspaper, and played volleyball and softball. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, especially my four nieces, playing/watching sports, particularly softball/baseball and hockey, reading, and watching movies.
Digital Communications Director
I’d like to eke out a living as a novelist, someday, but for now, I’m happy working with the delightful and dedicated staff of Second Presbyterian Church. Graphic design is all about creative problem solving, and I enjoy the challenge of finding answers to Second’s problems. It’s a fun and highly rewarding job.
After being controller for a company that made fractional horsepower motors in Carlisle for 27 years, the Treasurer position at Second Presbyterian Church that I’ve held since August, 2009 has enabled me to continue my career in accounting, given me a feeling of working for God, and has given me an opportunity to develop friendships within the church. I’ve found the congregation at Second wonderful – so friendly, caring and full of faith in Jesus Christ.
My wife, Mary, and I are both transplants from the Johnstown, PA area with periods of living in Huntingdon and Williamsport, PA. We have lived in Carlisle since 1978 so consider Carlisle home. We have two daughters and three grandchildren who we enjoy spending time with. My leisure hours consist of playing ball with my Maltese dog, Emma, taking care of my lawn, gardening, biking, and exercising. I also enjoy watching Pittsburgh Pirate baseball, Steeler football and anything Penn State sports.
Besides working for Second Presbyterian Church, I am also the Financial Secretary at Carlisle United Methodist Church, and work part-time for Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home where I help with funerals and viewings.
Property Manager/Program Support
I love people! God had taken His time to find the right place for me to work. I started my work at Second Presbyterian Church in 1999. I never knew that I would grow my extended family so large!
I have been able blessed to learn so much on my job as a first time Sexton and now I am the Property Manager/Program Support. There are aspects to my job that I never knew I could do but with God's help and the support of my staff and congregation I have been able to help keep our Church building and programs moving.
My roots are from New Oxford, Pennsylvania. I am number 4 of 10 children that has been raised by wonderful parents. My husband, Philip and I have 3 children ( 2 sons, Eric and Greg (his boys) and our daughter, Rose). We have been blessed with 3 grandchildren, Essa, Kai and Elon. One more on the way in November, 2015!
I love to spend time with family and friends and have time away at the beach. Come sit with me and tell me your story.