Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons
The Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons began his ministry as the tenth Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, SC, on September 1, 2007. As the primary preacher and leader of the pastoral staff, Dr. Gibbons plans and coordinates the church’s consistent biblical teaching and worship.
A native of Scotland, Dr. Gibbons began biblical studies at Glasgow Bible College in 1982, where several years later he supervised the student placement program and lectured in Evangelism, Communications, and Practical Homiletics. During this time he initiated missions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. While serving The Church of Scotland's Board of National Mission in Inverness, from 1997 to 2007 Dr. Gibbons served as a Regional Development Officer to eight highland presbyteries and then as the Moderator of the Presbytery of Inverness. Dr. Gibbons currently acts as co-moderator on the ECO denomination’s Theological Task Force.
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 and his wife, Ruth, have one adult son.
Rev. Dr. Mark A. Hutton
The Rev. Dr. Mark A. Hutton began his ministry as Executive Pastor on November 13, 2023. He provides Pastoral guidance and support to all members of staff and works in conjunction with the Sr. Pastor to ensure effective and impactful ministry according to the current strategic plan.
A 1992 graduate of Carson-Newman University, Mark began working in full-time ministry in 1993 with Young Life, where he learned the value of in-depth, lifelong relationships centered on and around Jesus. He earned a Master of Arts in Literature from East Tennessee State University, a Master of Divinity from Samford University Beeson Divinity School (Birmingham, AL) in 2006, and his Doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary (Saint Louis, MO) in 2013. Seminary and working in a variety of churches have continued to shape his pastoral life. During his years as a pastor, he has had extensive training and experience in leading churches, equipping leaders, navigating changes, teaching, writing, and building relationships.
Dr. Hutton has a love for Jesus and a heart for His people. His mission in life is to know Jesus and to make Him known. Deeply relational, Dr. Hutton loves being with people while shepherding and helping them to see how the Holy Spirit is at work in their lives. His desire is to invest in people’s spiritual formation and in their personal and professional lives. Mark comes to us from Bristol, TN. He is married to Sherry, and they have three sons, Cooper, Baker, and Thatcher.
Rev. Stan Johnson
Associate Pastor for Visitation
The Rev. Stan Johnson began serving First Presbyterian Church on November 8, 2004. He oversees the Prayer and Visitation ministries of the church.
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 nine grandchildren.
Rev. Dr. Brian Stewart
Associate Pastor of Missional Discipleship
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. In 2021, Brian received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
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 adult sons.
Rev. Dr. Claire Ripley
Associate Pastor of Discipleship
The Rev. Dr. Claire Ripley joined the pastoral team of First Presbyterian Church on December 1, 2015. Her primary responsibilities are leadership and oversight of Discipleship Ministries.
Claire 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, she 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. In 2020, Claire received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Claire and her husband, Todd have a daughter, Katie, son-in-law, John, and granddaughter, Lucy, who live in Atlanta.
Rev. Charlie Buchanan
Associate Pastor of Youth
and Young Adults
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 and in 2021 he became Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults.
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.