Staff

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Pastor and Head of Staff (for over 20 years!), Reverend Steven Melde is originally from Scottsdale, AZ.  Pastor Steve earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Arizona and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ.  He served as Associate Pastor at Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church in Grosse Ile, MI, from 1988 to 1996.  He returned to Tucson in August 1996 to become Pastor of CPC.  Steve remains an avid UofA Wildcat Fan.   Steve’s wife, Debbie, is a teacher with the Amphi School District, and they have two children.   Their son, Scott, and wife Nicole have a son Oliver, who brings joy to all the Meldes. Scott and Nicole work full-time working full time in Tucson, and Scott is a student at the University of Phoenix.   Their daughter, Erin, graduated from Arizona State University and is working as a Graphic Designer for a Marketing firm in Phoenix.

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Pastoral Assistant, Steven Brownson hails from the small town of Yankton, South Dakota, and also lived for a short time in Corvallis, Oregon, where he graduated from high school. Steve joined the army and worked as a Surgical Specialist in army hospitals in locations such as Georgia, Germany, Texas, and Hawaii. He retired from the army in 1996 after 21 years of service and arrived in Tucson with his wife, Ellen, in early 1997. Soon after arriving in Tucson, Steve and Ellen became members of Christ Presbyterian Church and Steve has served as a deacon, an elder, and Clerk of Session. He completed his classes to be a Commissioned Lay Pastor in September 2006, and was commissioned to serve as Pastoral Assistant at Christ Presbyterian Church in March 2007.

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Director of Children’s Education, Robin Gilbert was born in Toledo, Ohio, but has lived in many places including Germany and England as an Air Force wife. While being stationed at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, here in Tucson, she took her love of children to new levels as a Boy Scout leader, Girl Scout Leader, coach for t-ball and soccer for her children, and a Sunday School teacher at Christ Presbyterian Church. She finished her Bachelors of Science Degree in Education at Northern Arizona University and is currently teaching 1st grade at Safford K-8 International Baccalaureate where she has been teaching for five years. Now that her two children are grown, she was excited to become more involved in the education of the children here at CPC by becoming our director of children’s education.

Director of Music, Caleb Nihira, is currently a second-year doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Arizona. He grew up in Festus, MO, and attended Concordia College (ELCA) in Moorhead, MN. After his undergraduate education in 2006, Caleb moved to Tucson and began teaching at Academy of Tucson High School until he chose to return to school to complete his graduate education. Having received his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University in 2015, he returned to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. Caleb joined the staff of CPC as Director of Music in fall 2016. He and his wife Jody, who is a 7th grade math teacher at Academy of Tucson Middle School, enjoy traveling, hiking and camping, and spending time at home with their two cats.

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Organist, Dr. Kathryn Baker Snodgrass is a native Canadian who came to Tucson in 1979, where she received a Doctoral Degree in Organ Performance from the University of Arizona.  She holds a Music Bachelors from The University of Western Ontario and a M.A. from the Eastman School of Music. She taught at the University of Western Ontario for eight years before coming to Tucson.  She has performed organ and piano concerts in Canada, United States, United Kingdom and Europe.  Kathryn was Organist at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church for 14 years followed by 6 years at Christ Church United Methodist before becoming the organist at Christ Presbyterian Church.  She also has a private music studio teaching piano students ranging in age from 8-84.  She is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and the Tucson Music Teachers’ Association

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Facility Manager, Lon Bothwell grew up in Tucson and attended Sahuaro High School.  He continued his education at the University of Arizona where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture.  He obtained a Masters of Management at the University of Phoenix.  Lon retired from a successful law enforcement career in Arizona where attained the rank of Captain.  Upon his retirement, he worked as a Project Manager within the construction industry until creating his own facilities management company.  Lon’s love for adventure takes him traveling around the world to exotic locations on hunting trips. Closer to home he enjoys skiing, fly fishing, trips to Mexico and the movies.

The Church Bookkeeper and Office Manager, Rachel Lyman was born and raised in Tucson. She attended Northern Arizona University and has a bachelor’s degree in Finance. Rachel has a kind and talented husband Rob, who is always building something, welds, and is finishing his business management degree online. Their two children are William and Jane, who are busy with school like all teenagers. William is looking forward to finding his first part-time job this summer. Rachel enjoys piecing quilts (which all quilters understand is different than quilting), and playing the piano.