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About us.

First Presbyterian Church is a congregation with a deep appreciation of our history and tradition, but we are also a growing family with a tremendous sense of hope for the future. We’ve been in existence since 1884 and located at the corner of South Center and Citrus Streets since 1912. The love that we share here is both deep and real, and everyone is welcomed at First Presbyterian Church with genuine warmth and joy.


Our members do not all agree on many issues that divide people in modern culture. However, we believe we are stronger because we have different opinions on important subjects. We can disagree without being disagreeable! 



Rev. Mario Alberto Bolivar

Pastor and Head of Staff


Mario Alberto Bolivar was born in Barranquilla [baraŋˈkiʝa] which is on the northern coast of Colombia, South America where he received his bachelor's degree in Law from the Simon Bolivar University of Colombia in 2006. Mario later graduated with his Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH in 2012. Most recently, he has completed an Executive Training in Adaptive Leadership from McCormick Seminary.

Mario was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament on September 18, 2014, by the Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery (PCUSA.)

Mario and Melissa "Mel" Bolivar were married in 2011 and together have two children. They are a bilingual family so you will hear them often speaking Spanish and English. Mario became an American Citizen in 2017 concluding his process of naturalization with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services.

In his free time, Mario enjoys working on home improvements and playing competitive slow-pitch softball. As a family, they enjoy going on day trips and discovering God’s beauty while having an adventure. Throughout the year Mario enjoys using film and technology to share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We're Glad You're Here

Cheryl Matthews
Church Secretary

AA degree in Business Administration with 20 years’ experience in management position.

Joy Holifield

Worship Leader, The Crossing

Contemporary Praise Band Leader and worship leader

Cynthia Curtis
Director of Traditional Music

BA in Music Performance from University of Central Florida, post-graduate studies at Westminster Choir College at Princeton University

Faye Thompson

Financial Secretary

25 years as computer programmer

Jeramie Toussaint
Part-Time Maintenance 

For Maintenance Comments please contcat the church office

Shannon Walter
Director of Children's Ministry

Began as a volunteer and now Director of the Christian Education program and activities

Nancy MacDonald
Nursery Director

More than three decades of experience as the church's nursery director.

For Nusery Comments or Concerns please email

Richard Paul, CPA


BS degree in Business Administration with a Masters in Accounting from University of Florida.



Ruling Elders have responsibilities in several areas of the life of the church including exercise in leadership, governance, spiritual discernment, and discipline. They are brought forth to the congregation by self-nomination, or by the work of a Nominating Committee. 

The Congregation votes to chose their Ruling Elders which are Ordained and Installed in a Public Congregational Meeting. The Women and Men Installed as Ruling Elders are elected for two year terms.

Current Elders: Bob Hartman, John Jackson, Bob Curry, Barbara Smith, Amy Singleton, Dalton Yancey, Don Brandt and Ruth Polgreen.

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