Rev. Dr. Paul Nelson


Jay Justice

Youth & Outreach Coordinator

Bob Diss


Melinda Davis

Director of Music

Marla Rigby

Administrative Assistant


Rev. Dr. Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson has been our Pastor since 2001. He was raised in India where he attended an American boarding school. Upon graduation from High School, he completed his undergraduate work at Whitworth College in Spokane and later completed his M. Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. He earned his D. Min. with an emphasis in missional spirituality at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

Prior to coming to Woodstock, he served churches in Lawton, OK, Richmond, CA. and Rancho Santa Fe, CA. Secular employment has included owning and operating a small business, managing facilities, and counseling emotionally disturbed youth.

In his junior year at Whitworth, he married Sally, an indispensable support to his ministry. They have three children; Tim and Jamie (married) and Annie. Tim is on staff at a Milwaukee church plant and an administrator for a family services agency. Tim’s wife, Sommer, serves as a senior accountant for the Wisconsin Medical School. Jamie is a youth director in Solana Beach, CA. His wife, Sarah, is busy keeping up with their son Max. Annie loves music (for which she has received many honors), friends, and facebook.

Paul is passionate about the mission of First Presbyterian. Recently he commented, “The pace of life today tends to fling us apart from each other, isolating us. In the midst of these pressures our church is not just an institution; it is a growing family of faith. We want to be a place of deep authentic relationships, a place of belonging. I also envision worship as a place where we are open to nothing less than the presence of God, empowering services to be a continual celebration. In my experience, people who encounter God’s presence move to draw others into their circle, not just as a holy huddle, but as a vibrant source of service to all in need.

“We truly are a family of faith, praising God and serving others.”