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Our Ministry Staff


Marilyn Gamm,
Transitional Senior Pastor

The Rev. Marilyn Gamm is serving with us as our Transitional Senior Pastor. She is an experienced pastor and transitional/interim pastor, transitional presbytery executive, presbytery and national church leader.


Pastor Marilyn is a cradle Presbyterian and a native of Missouri (Bowling Green). Most of her 31 years in ministry has been in churches in the Midwest but her experience includes large church ministry, presbytery leadership, and national board leadership. Rev Gamm currently serves on the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and on our Presbytery’s Coordinating Council. 

Prior to seminary, Pastor Marilyn worked in radio in Bowling Green and  as a television broadcast journalist and executive in Jefferson City and St. Louis. She is a graduate of William Woods University in Fulton, the St. Louis Broadcast Center, and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


She has memberships in the Daughters of the American Revolution and PEO; is a life-long St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan; enjoys the Triple Crown horse races; and is an avid gardener.


Pastor Marilyn’s home is in Ellisville with her spouse, the Rev. Dr. Craig Howard, who serves as the Executive Presbyter of Chicago Presbytery. Together, they share his two adult daughters, Jacqueline Howard and Judith Howard, both of Chicago.

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Audra West,
Director of Christian Education

Audra became part of the First Presbyterian staff here in Columbia in March of 2020 as the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry.  She has always enjoyed working with children and youth, both in her church and in the public school setting.

Audra grew up in Oklahoma and completed her degree in Elementary Education at Oklahoma City University.  After graduation Audra began her Career in education by teaching 5th Grade in Mounds. She continued her career in education when her family moved to Columbia in the summer of 2008. While living in Columbia she taught in several classrooms with CPS. 

Audra enjoys her life here in Columbia with her husband Jason, and their son Garrick, who are also both part of the FPC Family. She loves spending time with her family, working in the yard and taking walks to enjoy God's creation.

“I have always placed a high importance on the value of a strong church family in the development of young people. I look forward to helping lead FPC Columbia using its vision statement - Disciples Making a Difference. Let’s not forget the words from Proverbs 22:6: "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Administrative and Support Staff

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Noreen McNelis,
Office Coordinator

I recently relocated to Columbia, Missouri from Long Island, New York.  Two of my children moved here several years ago and I have been planning to join them for quite some time.  Another very important reason that I have moved here is to join my four amazing grandchildren, who range in age from eight months to eight years.

The two previous positions I held in New York were Coordinator positions at a school for disabled and medically fragile children. It was a wonderful and caring environment which was very important to me.  

I became very interested in working for the First Presbyterian Church when I saw the involvement and care given to the community.  I am very pleased to be chosen as your new Office Coordinator and look forward to working with you.

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Fran Muench,
Financial Coordinator

Fran joined the FPC staff as Financial Coordinator in June 2019.  Her career background includes experience in operations leadership, project management, and financial services.  Fran is a graduate of William Woods University, and she earned her Chartered Financial Consultant designation from the American College of Financial Services. 



Fran grew up in the Presbyterian Church as a minister’s daughter.  She, her husband, and their two adult children are all ordained Elders at Trinity Presbyterian.  Fran is active in the Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network.  Her hobbies include gardening, fitness walking, reading, and singing soprano in the Trinity choir.  She also enjoys traveling to new places and sightseeing.  The Muench family members are fans of the Cardinals, Royals, and Chiefs, as well as Mizzou athletics.  Fran is inspired by the Bible verse Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

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James Scott,
Assistant Custodian

James cleans and manages the First Presbyterian facilities on weekday evenings and weekends. He joined our team in 2019.

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