Who We Are


Welcome to First Pres!007

We’re so glad you’ve found our website and are interested in learning more about us. With a 125-year legacy located in downtown Bakersfield, we are a church and community that is passionately committed to knowing Christ, loving one another and blessing the world. We invite you to take a moment and browse our site to learn more about who we are and how you might become involved in this vibrant community. Click here to view our annual report.


Our Structure

First Pres is governed by a body of 18 ordained Elders, called Session, and 7 committees. Our Elders are men and women who meet monthly for three years, with six elders rotating on and off each year. Our committees include a minimum of 2 Elders, one of which is the committee chair, at least one staff representative, and other volunteer members of the congregation. The committees are:  Finance, Worship, Discipleship, Membership & Fellowship, Property & Maintenance, Personnel and Missions.  

Our Elders

Our Elders provide wisdom and spiritual leadership for our community.  Elders shown L to R – Back row: John Rodgers (Worship Chair), Duane Keathley, John McCormick (Discipleship Chair), Bob Wert, Bob Lerude (Membership & Fellowship Chair), Deborah Nystrom, Bill Byrd (Property & Maintenance Chair), Greg Black (Finance Chair), Doug Heitman Front row: Jim Duncan, Jeff Smith, Catherine Waldon (Personnel Chair), Delani Bair, Beth Kuney, Russ Bigler, Phong Han (Missions Chair)
Not shown: Dave Chesney, Brenda Hallum, Jim Conners (Clerk of Session), Mike Abril (Treasurer)



Our Deacons

Deacons are ordained by the church to embody Christ’s love by demonstrating leadership in serving the sick, the friendless and those in distress, both within and beyond our church family. Deacons serve three-year terms. Deacons shown L to R – Back row: Ron K’Miller (Moderator), Ann Batchelder, Bruce Batchelder, Mike McGovern, Tom Jones, Ken Brown, Dave Rezac, Al Malsbary  Middle row: Vicky Hay, Tim Feldstein, Susan Lunsford, Catherine Black, Nikki Heitman, Susan Hackney, Shirley Byrd, Kathy Rezac, Sandy Yoon, Judy Wert, Corey Keathley  Front row: Mary Ann Rodgers, Edith McCormick, Jane Galbreath, Nancy Duncan
Not shown:  Cody Bema, Lisa Elliott, Katie Feldstein, Leslie Roberts, Pam Conners, Bill Galbreath, Karen K’Miller, Marilyn Radon, Mike Radon, Steve Tolin, Joyce Witcher, Tyson Witcher, Julie Chesney 


Evangelical Presbyterian Church

EPClogo-2LineTagline-RGBOur name describes us well. The EPC is both evangelical and Presbyterian. We are evangelical in our zeal for the Gospel, as well as, evangelism, missions and living obediently as followers of Jesus. At the same time, we are rooted deeply in the Protestant Reformation and especially the theological and pastoral work of John Calvin. We embrace the Westminster Confession of Faith as our doctrinal standard and the rule of spiritually mature elders linked together regionally as the best way to guide local congregations.

Vist the EPC website www.epc.org/

Weddings at First Pres

We believe marriage is a covenant between a woman and a man who, before God, make a lifelong commitment to each other. In our wedding ceremonies, we rejoice that marriage is a gift given by God, blessed by Jesus Christ and sustained by the Holy Spirit.  For information regarding holding your wedding at First Pres, please contact the church office to make an appointment.