Church Leadership of First Presbyterian Church of Manhattan, KS

The authority of the church ultimately lies in the words of Scripture and the movement of God in our lives. God blesses every individual with unique and special gifts and talents that enable us to minister to each other and to the world in the name of Christ. 

We believe that God calls certain individuals to serve the church body in specific leadership roles. 

These individuals are nominated, ordained, and installed by the congregation as Elders, who serve on the church’s Session, or Deacons. These leadership bodies are designed to listen to the voice of the congregation, serve their best interests, and seek out God’s leadership in every decision in the life of the church

Church Staff

Jason Pittman | Senior Pastor

Jason comes to First Presbyterian having served congregations in Iowa and Michigan. Born and reared in Arkansas, Jason received his B.A. in Religion/Philosophy and History from Lyon College (formerly Arkansas College, a small, Presbyterian-related school in the foothills of the Ozarks), and his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. But if you ask him, none of that matters when compared to the joyful privilege it is to love and serve Christ Jesus. He loves to tell the story of how Christ was first made known to him. So, ask him – preferably over a cup of coffee!

He is married to Kelly (also ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA), and together they have two children, Kathryn and Benjamin, and a blockheaded Chocolate Labrador, Copper. In his free time, you might find Jason pickin’ and grinnin’ on one of several stringed instruments, making a visit with his family to a national park, or out on a clear night stargazing with this family and marveling at God’s handiwork.

Brad Wille | Office Manager

Brad is a 1970 graduate of Manhattan High School. After graduating McPherson College 1974, Brad began his teaching career in the fall of 1975, retiring in July 2016. Brad has 5 children and is married to his lovely wife of 18 years, Teresa.

Stacy Markley | Communications Coordinator

Stacy Markley grew up in the foot of the Flint Hills in Kansas with her two brothers and a pack of wild critters. After graduating Kansas State University with a BFA in Drawing, Stacy worked in corporate marketing and design for nearly a decade before finding her home at First Presbyterian. When she isn’t hovered over her sewing machine with cats at her feet, she is wandering the Kansas Countryside with her husband, Andrew and son, River.

Dr. Reginald Pittman | Director of Chancel Choir & Handbell Choir

Dr. Reg Pittman has been on the church staff since August of 1997. He’s the Director of Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir. The Chancel Choir provides anthems and other choral offerings for Sunday morning services, as well as additional services during the Lenten and Advent seasons. The Handbell choir also contributes to the music ministry during worship services throughout the year. Both choirs are comprised of church members, and high school and college students. Dr. Pittman is Professor of Music in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University. He’s the Chairman of the Voice Division and Director of Opera Activities. Dr. Pittman currently serves as Past-President of the National Opera Association and former Governor of the West Central Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Mitchell Jerko | Organist

Mitchell Jerko grew up in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with concentrations in piano and voice. From a young age, Mitchell started to play the piano and only studied organ for a few years. After completing his undergraduate degree, he moved to Manhattan and received his master’s degree in vocal performance from Kansas State. Mitchell has performed a few roles at K-State such as Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and the magician in Menotti’s The Consul. During his graduate studies, Mitchell served as the graduate teaching assistant for the Vocal Division, teaching two levels of voice class to non-music majors. Mitchell has been an active musician in the church for over ten years and has served multiple roles in church music, including organist and music director. He previously served as organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Junction City for three years. Mitchell enjoys having the opportunity to serve another Presbyterian congregation as organist.

Session & Deacons

The Session of First Presbyterian Church consists of the pastors and the elders in active service and meets each month. All members of the session, including the pastor, have a voice in making decisions that shape the church’s direction and witness. The session is responsible for the mission, direction, and spiritual leadership of the church.

Deacons Class of 2023Deacons Class of 2024Deacons Class of 2025
Sherry Borck Virginia Benkelman Pam Beardsley
Linda Couch Connie Bietau Missy Cox
Peggy Lyons Josh Medicinebird Sue Bath-Dunn
Tim Manges Daisy Schalles Karla Garcia
Stacey Montgomery Ross Snyder Jann Gibbs
Linda Schottler Shirley Vogts Shelley Manges
Kristine Tiroch Mylo Wattenford Kim Smith
Mary Vander Pol Judy Weaver Kay Weigel
Ron Wilson Brad Wille

Session Class of 2023Session Class of 2024Session Class of 2025
Ken Burton Jon Anderson Guy Allen
Joan Burton Ray Coffey John Lyons
Doug Chapman David Davis Rod Manges
Terry Healy Bruce McMillan Jim Morrison
Sam Mwangi Bob Mullen Vincent Tracey
Joan Nelson David Parker Cinda Vogel
Claudia Voos Chris Wilson Teresa Wille