Alfred R. Barrow, Ph.D. - Director of Spiritual Development
Dr. Al has a passion for helping people discover God in the intricacies of their daily lives. With a Ph.D. in Psychology, he is happy to use his 38 years of professional counseling to provide individuals, couples and families with tools to improve their relationships. Dr. Barrow is a certified Marriage Coach and certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors. He and his wife June joined the church staff in September 2014 with the opening of the Spiritual Development Center. Together they offer confidential counseling, spiritual direction and classes related to marriage and family, and spiritual and emotional growth. Dr. Al also teaches adult Sunday school classes and speaks at Men’s Ministry events. He enjoys fishing, watching sports and listening to music. Al and June have two grown children and three grandchildren, and spend the summer months in Indiana.
Cheryl Bauer - Director of FAM/Assistant–Sacred Arts
A musician with administrative gifts, Cheryl is uniquely qualified to serve as both Director of the First Academy of Music and assistant to the Sacred Arts department. With both a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music in flute performance, she has more than 25 years of experience as a flute instructor, including 9 years as an elementary and middle school music teacher; she is also a freelance flutist. Cheryl handles the administrative details for the church’s popular winter concert series. A native of Ohio, Cheryl has lived in Florida since 1981. She and her husband Chuck enjoy sailing on their 26-foot Island Packet Etude.
Chris McNamara - Student Ministry Coordinator
Chris came to Southwest Florida to serve with a mission organization that First Church supports called Ride Nature, which ministers to action sports communities. He has a passion for teaching kids about Jesus by connecting with them right where they are. As Student Ministry Coordinator and serving as a missionary with Ride Nature Chris is discipling First Church students and serving as an evangelist to youth in our community. Chris and his wife, Sidney, have been married for three years and they have two daughters. The McNamara family enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and drinking coffee.
Jeff Faux - Director of Sacred Arts
As a church musician, Jeff Faux (pronounced “Fox”) recognizes how God can use music to enrich the worship experience and speak to one’s heart — and considers it a privilege to be called to such a ministry. Jeff grew up in Lockport, NY and graduated from Westminster Choir College with a Bachelor of Music in Church Music and Music Education. With decades of experience leading church, school and community choral groups, Jeff was called as our Director of Sacred Arts beginning January 2007. Since then, he completed his Masters’ degree in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. His responsibilities for oversight of our entire Sacred Arts program include leadership of the Worship and Music Committee, Media and Drama ministries, Art Gallery, music school and concerts. He also directs the Chancel Choir, Motet Choir, Contemporary Ensemble, Angelus and Jubilate Bells and has a vital role in planning worship services. In addition, Jeff serves as Artistic Director of the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers. He plays piano, organ and classical guitar. Jeff and his wife Joan have two sons, Christian and David.
JoAnn Hochstetler - Parish Nurse
JoAnn moved to Florida from Louisville, Kentucky and holds degrees from Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing and the University of Louisville. With her many years of experience as a registered nurse and in home health care, she is happy for the opportunity to use her nursing education to serve the members of this congregation. Jo Ann is married to Hank; she has four children, four stepchildren and 13 grandchildren. She loves shopping for antiques and collects Heisey glass.
Lauren Hargis - Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Lauren’s unique set of talents was first discovered when she joined our staff in 2012 as a Children’s Sunday School Teacher and then moved on to Assistant Teacher at Wonder Years Preschool. She was promoted to Children’s Ministry Assistant and, in 2014, accepted her present leadership role which involves developing, implementing and maintaining ongoing ministry programs for children 6 months through 5th grade. Born and raised in Lakeville, Minnesota, Lauren began her pursuit of a music degree at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa; she then moved to Florida and earned her Associate of Arts from Florida Southwestern State College. She is currently finishing a degree in Child and Youth Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. Lauren enjoys singing in choral ensembles and teaches private voice and piano lessons. Although she loves travel and exploring new places, Lauren also delights in snuggling up with her cat, Mimi, and enjoying the antics of her Pomeranian puppy, Gryffin.
Peter Lewis - Associate Director of Sacred Arts
With a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, Peter finally escaped the bleak winters of Rochester, NY and moved to Bonita in 1999. Since joining the First Church staff in 2001, Peter has served as the church’s primary organist and pianist, director of the Men’s Choir, and former director of the First Academy of Music as well as piano instructor. His talents on the keyboard and organ have been featured in our Concert Series as well as other local venues. He presently helps lead the music for Sunday worship and serves as director of the FPC Children’s Choir. Peter has introduced music enrichment programs for our youngest members, including music camps and classes for preschool age children through middle school.
Trusha Barner - Director of Missions
Part organizer, part administrator, part traveler and lover of people – Trusha fits right in at the helm of First Missions. She was born in the Netherlands, lived and traveled overseas, worked with several mission organizations and has led and participated in many mission trips. Trusha also had the opportunity to work with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and Christ Is The Answer while living in Italy for several years. With degrees in Child Development, Biblical Studies and Organizational Leadership, she was both an educator and school administrator for over 20 years prior to coming to FPC. Trusha enjoys interior design and reading, and has a great passion for missions. She and her husband Frank have one adult daughter.