Church Staff




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 his wife Nicole, have a son, Oliver, who brings joy to all the Meldes (and the congregation). Scott and Nicole work and live in Tucson.  Their daughter, Erin, graduated from Arizona State University and is working as a Graphic Designer for a Marketing firm in Phoenix and is now engaged to be married in the summer of 2017.





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.


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.


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


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’s Office Manager, Erica Adams, is originally from Arvada, CO. She has an Associate of Science degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and is finishing a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Management. Her husband, Tom, is an active duty Marine Corps recruiter here in Tucson. They’ve also lived in Oceanside, CA and Charleston, WV. In July of 2016, they moved to Tucson on military orders. They have one daughter, Aubree, who is the light of their lives, and two dogs, Duke & Cheech. Erica began working at CPC in January of 2018. She and her family are avid sports fans and enjoy watching their two most favorite teams play: the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos.






The Church’s Bookkeeper, Robin Plemmons, hails from South Carolina.  She met her husband, Rob, at Clemson University. After Rob’s graduation, the couple married and moved to St. Louis where Robin completed her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. BC (before children), she worked at a couple of CPA firms and achieved her goal of being a licensed CPA in the state of Missouri. Robin, Rob, and their children lived in suburbs of Atlanta and Los Angeles before moving here to Tucson in summer of 1999. Although a stay at home mom during that period, Robin volunteered as treasurer for the church the family attended and at various schools that the children attended. More recently, she worked as a business manager for a local church.  During her off time, Robin enjoys travel, especially to see her children in Virginia and Texas plus her 2 grandchildren in Texas.