Denise Hackenburg – Choir Director

Denise has been our choir director since 1990.  Denise has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Music from East Carolina University.  She is currently the director of choirs at Roanoke Rapids High School.  Her ensembles regularly receive superior ratings at festivals.  She is married to husband Gary and is the mother of Jacob.  We are blessed to have Denise lead our choir.  Her contributions regularly make worship an inspiring and beautiful experience.

Joe Sandoval – Pastor





Joe has been pastor of our church since 2010.  He is a third career pastor having been a computer software engineer for thirteen years before becoming a minister of the Word and Sacrament, and a teacher for four years before that.  Joe received his Master of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary at Charlotte and his Doctorate of Ministry at Duke Divinity School.  Joe is a trained classical singer who loves church music and particularly enjoys choral singing.  Joe also uses his experiences as a teacher and computer person in his ministry, teaching Bible Study and Sunday School classes and fixing problems with the church’s technology.  Joe is married to his wonderful wife Nancy (pictured).  Joe also enjoys working with his hands on wood projects and sometimes on his truck.


Tammy Spragins – Church Administrative Assistant

Tammy started working with us in 2014.  In addition to setting up the bulletins and composing the church’s newsletter, Tammy is the church’s receipts treasurer and pays the church’s bills.  She also keeps track of the church’s calendar and manages all the things that the rest of the staff and committee moderators heap upon her.   The list of tasks that Tammy takes on for the church seems to grow with time but she handles it all with a cheerful, can-do attitude.  Miracles happen everyday that Tammy Spragins sits at her desk at First Presbyterian Church.  Tammy is pictured with her husband Wally.  They have two children and three grandchildren.

Nick Stephenson – Church Organist

Nick joined the church staff in December of 2019.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Church Music (organ) at Greensboro College.  He has a master’s degree in Organ Performance from Converse College.  And he has a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.  Nick was on the faculty of St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia for 31 years.  He spent three summers in Cambridge, England doing research for his Ph.D. which was a study of the conducting career of George Guest while he was conductor of the choir of Saint John’s College in Cambridge.  During his time at St. Catherine’s his choirs made several recordings and engaged in performances of the highest calibre.  Nick also served as church organist for eleven years at St. Andrews Church, Oregon Hill in Richmond.  Nick currently lives in Boykins, Virginia.  Our church is blessed immensely by the skills that Nick brings as a fellow worship leader.  He is a lot of fun at choir rehearsal too!