Our staff is the face and voice of Northminster Presbyterian Church. From the pastor, who leads us in worship each week, to the choir director and organist, who guide us musically, to the church secretary, who greets all visitors to the church office; all are important to the life of this church.
Pastor and Head of Staff
The Rev. Dr. Dennis J. Hughes
Dennis has served as pastor and head of staff at Northminster since November of 1995. Before that he served at the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Louisville, Kentucky, as an expert on liturgy. He received his PhD from Notre Dame University.
In addition to his pastoral duties at Northminster, Dennis also serves as Stated Clerk of Seattle Presbytery.
Director of Christian Education
Elyse Fairweather is the Youth Director and incoming Director of Christian Education at Northminster Presbyterian Church. She is also working on her Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary Northwest. She has lived in the Seattle area since September of 2011, moving down here after having completed a BA in English Literature at Western Washington University, and interning with a college ministry there in Bellingham. When she’s not hanging out with the high school students at NPC or working on her studies, Elyse enjoys painting, playing music, and exploring Seattle!
Pam has served as church secretary since 1998. Hers is the pleasant voice you will hear when you call the church office, or the smiling face you will see should you show up at the office door.
Ah-Ra, who comes from Korea, is a doctoral student in organ studies at the University of Washington. She has been playing the piano and organ for many years in churches and in special musical events around the world. Ah-Ra graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Korean National University of Arts in 2005 and a Masters of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Washington in 2009. She has attended and performed at numerous academies and master classes including the National Organist Academy (Seoul), the Torch International Organ Academy (Seoul) and Academie de L’Orgue de Saint-Die (France). Ah-Ra has played a wide variety of sacred and secular music.
Kathryn Smith Derksen
Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA
- M.A. in Conflict Management and Peacemaking, cum laude 1998
- B.A. in Political Science, International Emphasis, cum laude 1993
- B.A. in Music Composition and Performance, cum laude 1993
Kathryn has experience as a choir director in Presbyterian and Episcopal congregations as well as in her own Mennonite denomination, and has directed choirs in Uganda and Chad while serving for three years in each country as a Mennonite peace worker.
Kathryn is a free-lance musician (Viola da Gamba) and composer She and her husband, Dan, also lived and worked in Northern Ireland. They have two sons, age 10 and 8.