Ruling Elder Marsha Heimann
The Stated Clerk is elected by Presbytery to a three-year term. The Clerk keeps the minutes and records of Presbytery and Presbytery Council; communicates with other governing bodies; draws up the Docket for Presbytery Meetings; interprets the Book of Order; and helps guide the Presbytery in its work and mission.
Ruling Elder Jack Felch
The Moderator is elected annually by the Presbytery. The Moderator conducts all meetings of the Presbytery; represents the Presbytery to the religious and secular communities; helps guide the Presbytery in its work and mission; conducts services of Ordination and Installation; and is its highest elected Officer.
Dr. Jack Felch is the Executive Director of The Lehigh Conference Churches. He is a long-time ordained Elder and Deacon in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and holds graduate degrees in Operations Research and Management.
Dr. Felch leads a dedicated staff of 32 men and women in fulfilling the Conference’s mission to “minister to and advocate for those in need and encourage all to reach their full potential.” Partnering with 140 congregations and faith-based organizations in the Lehigh Valley, the Conference seeks to put faith into action, assisting people who are hungry or homeless and people struggling with mental health concerns, and poverty. The Conference engages over 4,000 volunteers in service and assists some 14,000 people in need each year on a budget of approximately $4.5 million.
Since retiring from the US Army, Dr. Felch has served in senior executive positions in private enterprise, government, and not-for-profit organizations, including over thirteen years in providing administrative leadership in large churches and regional ecclesiastical organizations. Dr. Felch has held faculty appointments with several educational institutions including the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA, George Washington University, and Goshen College.
Dr. and Mrs. Felch have been married for 50 years and reside in the Borough of Coopersburg. They have four children and nine grandchildren. Mrs. Felch volunteers at her local church and with the Coopersburg Historical Society. Dr. Felch was elected to the Borough Council in 2009 and currently serves as the Council President. They are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown.
Teaching Elder Carol Brown
The Vice Moderator is also elected annually by the Presbytery. The Vice Moderator assists the Moderator and helps guide the Presbytery in its work and mission.
Rev. Dr. Carol Brown is a native Pennsylvanian, born and raised in Pittsburgh. She graduated from Slippery Rock University, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This led her on to an eye opening journey to the Mountains of Eastern Kentucky in 1975 where Carol was the only woman minister in a Presbytery of 105 churches! She found her calling to be a hundred miles from a “real” hospital. The message she left behind when ministering to Rural USA was that “with God, you can do anything!” This belief gave these wonderful, caring people, who had a heart for the less fortunate, a new sense of self and ability to accomplish what they did not see possible.
In 1983 Carol joined the Lehigh Presbytery when she became a part time tentmaker at Stroudsburg. Believing in God’s calling, taking on other part time jobs to make ends meet, Carol waited until 1988 to become a full time staff member at the First Presbyterian Church of Stroudsburg. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She remained with this meaningful congregation until her retirement in 2012. Throughout her time in this Presbytery, Carol has been a frequent member on the Committee on Ministry, Vice Moderator/Moderator (26 years ago), and Commissioner to the Synod and General Assembly.
Time spent outside the ministry is with family and friends. Carol has a younger brother and sister who have provided her with five niece/nephews which created the path for her to be the proud Great Aunt to three nephews. She shares a house with Jane Koelble, and enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters and their families. Carol likes to put to use the multitude of skills learned on mission trips by “doing it herself” for many home repairs. Outside she likes to hike and bike while finding time inside to read and work on counted cross stitch. Keeping up on technology, Carol takes advantage of a few fun computer games. She found a great support through years of membership in the International Association of Women Ministers (treasurer 1979-present) which has provided the opportunity to travel around the world when attending Assemblies of the World Council of Churches ( Vancouver, Australia, Korea) and local IAWM gatherings in Hungary, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, and Scotland, to name a few.
Trusting God’s plan, in August Carol and Jane sold the Stroudsburg home in one day and bought a place the same week in Reading where they now reside.
Teaching Elder Ruth Ann Christopher
Presbytery Lead Team Chair
The Chairperson of the Presbytery Lead Team is elected annually from its members. The Chairperson chairs the meeting of the Presbytery Lead Team, and helps guide the Presbytery in its work and mission.
Ruth Ann was born in Summit Hill, PA. She attended Kutztown University and received a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1980. She then attended Pierce Junior College in Philadelphia, majoring in Computer Programming while also attending Temple University, majoring in Accounting. Ruth Ann specialized in financial applications as she worked in various capacities in the Information Technology field. Over a period of 10 years, she served as Project Leader with Advanced Cybernetics in Reading, Programming Manager with the Dial Corporation in Hazleton, and Senior Programmer/Analyst with North Penn Transfer in Lansdale. Sensing a call to ministry, she attended Princeton Theological Seminary and received her Master of Divinity in May of 1993. In October of 1993, she began serving as pastor of Faith United Presbyterian Church in Pen Argyl.
In addition to her duties as pastor, Ruth Ann enjoys hiking, biking, computer design, art, reading, and NFL football. She has served Lehigh Presbytery as chair of Trustees, Moderator of the presbytery, chair of Presbytery Council, and co-chair of Kirkwood Camp Board.
Ms. Marianne Kitzmiller
The Treasurer is elected by Presbytery to a three-year term, without limitation. The Treasurer monitors the work of the Bookkeeper, provides a monthly overview of Presbytery’s finances for the Board of Trustees, makes recommendations to the Board as appropriate, and serves ex officio with the Finance Committee.
She holds a BA in Communications with an emphasis in Advertising/Marketing, and a BS in Accounting, both from Bloomsburg University. She is also pursuing her MBA at Wilkes University and hopes to finish that in the not so distant future.
The youngest of five siblings, Marianne was born and raised in the Philly burbs and is a die-hard fan of both the Eagles and Phillies. She has two grown children whom she adores, and two stepchildren that she considers a blessing. In her spare time, Marianne prefers to be outdoors, preferably on a beach or near a body of water. She owns three pugs and enjoys photography, writing, reading and “quiet time” alone. She is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown family and feels blessed in so many ways to participate in the mission of this church.