Meet Our Staff
Who We Are
Our Team & Leadership
Pastor Paul Hayden –
Paul Hayden and his wife Terri are thrilled to be the Interim Pastor for First Presbyterian Church, Whitefish. Having retired to Bigfork in February of 2020, Paul was called back into active service as the Interim Pastor for the Dayton and Polson congregations before beginning his ministry here.
Paul attended Seattle Pacific College where he played baseball for the last of SPC’s baseball teams and initially majored in music education. After a six-month tour with a Christian music group, Paul felt the call to ministry, asked how he could complete his education most quickly, go to seminary, and become ordained to serve in ministry. He changed his major and graduated with a degree in Christian Education.
Paul received his Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was in the inaugural Fuller Extension Program in Seattle before transferring to the main campus. During 2 of his 3 years in Pasadena Paul interned at 1st Presbyterian Church, Hollywood, California. During his summers, he commuted back to Seattle where he worked as the program director for Buck Creek, Seattle Presbytery’s camp at the base of Mt. Rainier.
Paul has served as pastor of four churches during his 45-year pastoral career. Whitefish is the fourth congregation he has served as Interim Pastor. In each of the congregations, his love for the Lord, for people, and for the scriptures have been central themes.
Paul received his Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His Doctoral Project was titled: “When the World Comes to You: Christian Witness in a Resort Community.” Historically, for those who have grown up in biblically focused churches, mission has been to “Go into all the world…” Many Christians have felt like spiritual failures because they haven’t gone somewhere in Christian service. But what happens when God brings the world to you as in a resort community? How do you do mission in that type of context? His project was written to give theological background and provide a training program to equip congregations to address these questions.
Paul and his wife Terri share four children and are proud to have welcomed their first granddaughter into the family. Terri served for 20 years in volunteer management first at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and then at St. John’s Medical Center. She is now the Volunteer Coordinator for Volunteers and Bereavement for Logan Health Hospice.
Paul and Terri love being in and exploring God’s creation, share a love for serving people, a love of animals, and the love of travel and experiencing new things.
Alma Ramlow –
Alma was born in Pasadena, California. She lived in eight different towns between North Dakota, Montana, Alaska and Washington, all places where her Dad pastored churches. Alma is the oldest of four children. She began playing the piano for church at the age of nine and never stopped.
Alma graduated from East Anchorage High School in 1971 and from Seattle Pacific University in 1976 with a B.A. in Elementary Music Education. She and her husband, Jim, met in Whitefish and were married in 1978. …
They added Bruce to their family in 1992 and Hugh in 1995.
Many good opportunities to play piano for worship and to accompany choirs and singers have come Alma’s way. She feels blessed to serve as music director at First Presbyterian Church since 2014, rehearsal accompanist for Glacier Chorale, an accompanist at Flathead Valley Community College and accompanist for Whitefish High School and Whitefish Middle School choirs.
Lisa Nelson –
Children/ Youth Director
Lisa has always had a passion for working with children. After growing up in Michigan and graduating from college in Minnesota she moved to Seattle to get a graduate degree in school psychology. During that time, she met and married her husband, Bryan. Lisa worked several years in the schools until she and her husband began moving around with his job with Boeing. They spent 4 years in Indiana where their two sons, Chris and Josh, were born and then moved overseas for 8 years, living in Turkey and New Zealand. …
Lisa continued to lead and teach Sunday school, volunteer taught refugee children in Turkey, and taught bible classes in the schools in Auckland. Lisa and her family moved back to Seattle for 11 years. During that time Lisa got a degree in Special Education and taught preschool and elementary age children with Autism. With every move they found a wonderful group of believers to call “family. Church has always been an integral part of their lives.
Lisa and her husband Bryan moved to Whitefish in 2019 to be closer to family. She feels very blessed to have found part-time work at FPC doing what she loves and helping kids grow in their faith. In her free time, she enjoys golfing, hiking, working out, gardening, painting and getting together with friends.
Nicole Grant –
Nichole Grant is happy to have found her Church Home in First Presbyterian Church Whitefish. She and her husband, Mason, decided to settled in Whitefish in 2019 after Mason retired from the US Navy.
They have two boys, Jack and Chase, who have found their love of skiing and rock climbing since moving here. Nichole grew up in a rural farming and mining community in northern New York. She has a degree in Biology …
and enjoyed being a middle school science teacher before moving around the country due to her husband’s career. As a family they enjoy skiing, mountain biking, camping and traveling. Nichole also has a passion for gardening and hiking. You will find her in the church office Tuesday- Friday from 9-1. Stop in to say hi or with any questions you may have.
Deacons & Elders –
The Elders of the church are commissioned to be spiritual leaders of our congregation.
The Deacons of the church are commissioned to care for the physical, social and spiritual needs of the congregation.
Elders and Deacons are members of the congregation and elected by the congregation to serve.
For more information on either or if you’d like to serve please reach out to email@example.com.
301 Central Avenue
Whitefish, MT 59937