Pastoral Staff

Dr. Mike Garrett

Senior Pastor

mike@firstprez.com

Mike came to FPC in 2015 to serve as an Interim Pastor after a long ministry in Atlanta, Ga.  In 2017 he was called by the congregation to the office of Pastor. He was ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church in 1987. Mike has degrees from James Madison University, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and Columbia Theological Seminary.

He is married to Marcia and they have two married adult children and two grand daughters that are a joy! Mike likes to swim, kayak, and get away to the beach whenever possible. He loves pastoring this historic congregation and helping guide it to a faithful future of loving and serving Jesus Christ.

Rev. Matt Thorley

Pastoral Assistant &

Director of Youth Ministry

matt@firstprez.com

Matt was raised in Murphy, NC, just about as far west as you can go in North Carolina in the mountains. He moved back to North Carolina in September of 2020 from Oceanside, CA to pursue his calling into full-time ministry at First Presbyterian. He earned a B.A. from Regent University and an M. Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is currently working towards his Th. D. from Evangelical Seminary with a focus in Military Chaplaincy. His research interest includes looking at how pastors and chaplains can use the Old Testament prophets to speak into the moral injuries soldiers experience during war and combat.

Matt is married to his lovely wife, Corbin, and they have two children that keep them on their toes! Their 9-year-old son, Caedan, and their 4-year-old daughter, Lisa love the children’s program and nursery at First Presbyterian Church. Matt and his family enjoys board games and movie nights, traveling to the beach, enjoying the outdoors, and traveling to western NC and south Texas to visit family.

Rev. Mitch Watson

Director of Pastoral Care

mitch@firstprez.com

Pastor Mitch was raised in the hills of western NC (Hudson).  Graduated from Campbell University with B.A, earned an M. DIV., achieved 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).  Ministered at many NC churches. Married 29+ years to his beautiful bride, Donna (Bass). They have 2 spoiled cats Fluffy & Leah.  He enjoys beekeeping & running up to 26.2 mile road races.

Program & Support Staff

Dr. Marcia Mervin

Director of Music Ministry & Organist

marcia@firstprez.com

Dr. Mervin began studying music at the age of 4, taking piano and then organ lessons during middle school and high school with Dr. Roberta Bitgood.  She is a graduate of Spring Arbor University (BA) and The University of Michigan (MM, DMA) where she studied organ with Dr. Marilyn Mason and Dr. James Kibbie, completing degrees in  Liturgical, Synagogue and Church Music (organ).  She has served churches in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oregon, and The Netherlands since the age of 15. She is married to Rev. Marvin Mervin, who is serving at Faison Presbyterian Church (NC).  They are blessed with five adult children and 7 grandchildren in their blended family. 

Britany Spivey

Director of Christian Education & Children’s Ministry

britany@firstprez.com

Britany Spivey joined the First Presbyterian Church’s staff in 2013, as the Director of Children’s Ministry. In 2020, Britany completed the Certified Christian Educator process offered through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and now oversees our congregation’s Christian educational programs and the Director of Christian Education. Britany graduated from Belmont Abby College with a major in Business Management.  Followed by a Master in Education from Emory & Henry College. Combining the skill set that these two fields brings, she helps our church family grow as disciples by building a strong foundation of faith. She certified Christian Educator. Britany is a North Carolina native and enjoys sports, the outdoors, TV and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Julie MacRae

Director of First School

julie@firstprez.com

Julie has been the director of First School since April 2013. She moved to Fayetteville from Gastonia in 1990 and has been married to Jim MacRae Jr. for almost thirty-one years.  Their daughter, Mary Katherine, is married to Patrick Dufour and they live in Beaufort, NC. She teaches seventh and eighth grade ELA at Down East Middle School and Patrick is a captain and commercial fisherman. Their son, Jim MacRae lll, is a graduate of NCCU School of Law and plans to work in Fayetteville. She is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where her husband grew up.  She grew up at Union Presbyterian Church in Gastonia and she is very happy to have First Presbyterian Church as her other church family. Julie says that the very kind folks at First Presbyterian Church, the First School teachers, children and families are a wonderful blessing to her.

Nichole Russ

Director of Communications

nichole@firstprez.com

Nichole is a Fayetteville native. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services Management through the University of Phoenix and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing through Capella University. Nichole has over 24 years experience in graphic design and marketing. Nichole lives in Fayetteville with her family. Together, they love to stay busy; roller skating, jumping on the trampoline, swimming, doing crafts together and tending to their miniature zoo of pets.

Joy Keys

Administrative Assistant

joy@firstprez.com

Joy is originally from Missouri. She moved to Fayetteville in 1998, and has been working at First Presbyterian Church as Administrative Assistant for over 23 years.

Joy loves reading.  Her very favorite thing to do is spend time with her best friend, Jim. They have been married to for 50 years. 

Joan Daughtry

Operations Manager

joan@firstprez.com

Nina McLaughlin

Housekeeper

Wanda Ussery

Nursery Director

wanda@firstprez.com

Wanda has taught for over 26 years for NC Public Schools. She is now serving as the K-2 Curriculum Coordinator for Hoke County Schools.  Wanda has taught in both Hoke and Cumberland County Schools.  She has two beautiful grandsons, Stevie and JoVanni.  She also has another grandson on the way! Wanda’s son Stephen and his wife Desiree live in Nutley, New Jersey. She loves to visit them as often as she can.  Wanda says that she has been honored to serve as the nursery supervisor at First Presbyterian over 25 years.  She loves her church family very much!  She also enjoys reading, crafts, and playing with her Labrador, Ace!