First Presbyterian Church



Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons, Senior Pastor

Since September 1, 2007, Dr. Gibbons, a native of Scotland, has served as the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, SC, one of the largest churches in the state, with an active membership of 3,500, including 60 staff and 6 pastors.


In addition to providing 21st-century leadership at the heart of the city, Dr. Gibbons’ main focus is serving as the church’s primary preacher and leader of the pastoral staff. He seeks to bring spiritual insight, purpose, and direction to the officers, staff, and congregation of the church, as well as to many in the Greenville community through a Sunday morning television broadcast, First and Foremost. First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, is an active and thriving congregation dedicated to serving those in need locally, nationally, and internationally.


Dr. Gibbons holds joint honors in Ecclesiastical History and Systematic Theology from the University of Glasgow and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Highland Theological College. He has also served as Chair of the ECO Theological Task Force, and was privileged to be Chaplain of the Day for the United States Senate in 2018. He and his wife, Ruth, have one adult son.


Rev. Tim Leslie, Educational Ministries Pastor

The Rev. Tim Leslie is First Presbyterian Church's Pastor of Educational Ministries, where he has served since January 18, 1999. He coordinates with other staff a ministry of Christian education that seeks to build believers who order their lives according to the Bible.

After receiving a BA from Belhaven College in 1973, Tim continued his education at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS, where he received his Master of Divinity in 1976. He served in pastorates in Alabama and Florida. During the Florida pastorate he began his pursuit of a Master of Theology in New Testament from Columbia Theological Seminary which he received in 1995.

Tim and his wife, Cathy, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.


Rev. Stan Johnson, Congregational Care Pastor

The Rev. Stan Johnson began duties as Congregational Care Pastor of First Presbyterian Church on November 8, 2004. He oversees various ministries of congregational and community support, including prayer, counseling, support groups, Stephen Ministry, military, and emergency assistance.

A native of Greenville, Stan graduated from Greenville High School in 1969 and Furman University in 1973. After receiving his degree in 1985 from Covenant Theological Seminary, he pastored for 14 years in Kentucky, then returned to Greenville to serve as chaplain at Greenville Memorial Hospital. Stan came to First Presbyterian Church as Pastoral Care Intern in September of 2003. 

Stan and his wife, Stephanie, have six children and one grandchild.



Rev. Brian Stewart, Evangelism & Missions Pastor

The Rev. Brian Stewart has brought his enthusiasm and heart for evangelism and missions to First Presbyterian since June 7, 2009. He oversees local, national, and international church missions.

A native of North Carolina, Brian is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and John Wesley College, with master’s degrees from Duke Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA.

Before coming to First Presbyterian Church, Brian served for seven years as the organizing pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Springs, a new church development in Barium Springs, NC, that was awarded the Sam and Helen Walton Award for Excellence in New Church Development in 2007. Prior to that, Brian was the organizing pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Jackson, TN.

Brian and his wife, Tracie, have two sons.


Rev. Charlie Buchanan, Associate Pastor of Student Ministries

The Rev. Charlie Buchanan joined the First Presbyterian staff in 2011 as our Junior High Youth Director. After completing all of his educational and presbytery requirements, Charlie was ordained as an Assistant Pastor in April of 2015. In March of 2017 he became Associate Pastor of Student Ministries.

A native of North Augusta, SC, Charlie graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Psychology. He continued his studies at Erskine Theological Seminary, completing his Masters of Divinity in 2011. Shortly after graduating, Charlie was brought on staff at First Presbyterian Church.

Charlie and his wife, Carrie, have one daughter.



Rev. Claire Ripley, Associate Pastor

The Rev. Claire Ripley joined the pastoral team of First Presbyterian Church on December 1, 2015. Her primary responsibilities are leadership and oversight of New Member Assimilation, and Women’s Ministries.

The Rev. Ripley graduated from the University of South Florida in 1986 (B.S. in Finance) and worked in corporate lending for many years. After recovering from serious health challenges, and as a response to God’s gracious love and care, Claire left the banking world in 2003 to become a full-time Congregational Care volunteer at First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC. It was here that she sensed God’s call into ordained ministry, serving as Membership Development Director (2004-2009) while attending seminary. Claire received a Masters of Divinity degree from Erskine Theological Seminary in 2010. A highlight was studying Reformation Church History at Martin Luther’s residence and Preaching Seminary in Wittenberg, Germany.

Prior to returning to FPC, she served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, SC, as Associate Pastor for Spiritual Growth. Discipleship and Spiritual formation are her passions. Claire is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Claire and her husband, Todd, have one adult daughter.





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