Clergy

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Rev. Dr. Mark Barger Elliott

Co-Senior Minister

Mark was baptized in John Calvin’s church and 18 years later made a profession of faith while attending Cornell University. Ten years later, he was ordinated in the PC (USA). Along with his wife Lynn, Mark has served churches in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Riverside, Illinois, Grand Rapids, Michigan and most recently in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he served as Co Pastor/Head of Staff with his wife Lynn at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church.

Mark graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary where he won the John T. Galloway Preaching Award. At San Francisco Theological Seminary he earned a Doctor of Ministry in preaching. Mark has taken classes on strategic planning at the Harvard Business School, has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Northwestern University, and a Certificate in Human Resource Essentials from Cornell University. 

Mark has taught “Biblical Perspectives” at Compass College of the Visual Arts and preaching at McCormick Seminary. In 2020, before the pandemic, Mark and his wife taught a seminar at Princeton Seminary on “Visually Speaking: Proclamation in the Digital Age.”

As an author, Mark has published Easter: 21 Stations, Middle of the Maze: Five Secrets to Finding Your Way, and Creative Styles of Preaching. He is an award-winning filmmaker having produced and directed the documentaries Lost Boy Home and the Last Songwriter. While his wife enjoys gardening, Mark enjoys cooking and watching college basketball. 

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Rev. Lynn Barger Elliott

Co-Senior Minister

A fourth generation Presbyterian pastor, Lynn Barger Elliott has served churches in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Riverside, Illinois, Grand Rapids, Michigan and most recently in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she served as Co Pastor/Head of Staff with her husband Mark at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church.

Lynn graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in Philosophy and from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity. She has a Certificate in Non-Profit Executive Leadership through the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame.

Lynn is the recipient of the David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar of the Year Award designated to a seminary graduate within the United States who demonstrates the strongest potential of benefiting the greater church with his/her skills of scholarship and preaching. She has served as Affiliate Faculty at Calvin University where she taught courses on Leadership and Intergenerational Ministry and was involved with the Calvin Prison Initiative at Handlon Prison.

As an author, Lynn has published chapters in the books “InterGenerate: Transforming Churches through Intergenerational Ministry” and “Faith Formation with the New Generation.” She speaks nationally and consults on dynamics around Generational Theory, Youth Ministry and Ministry Leadership.

For hobbies, Lynn enjoys word games and is perpetually striving to grow a redder tomato! Lynn and her husband Mark have three children. Their son Brendan works in New York City, their daughter Auden works in San Francisco and their daughter Halley is a sophomore at the University of Michigan.

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Rev. Andre Castillo

Associate Minister

Andre is a Southern California native with a passion for seeing disciples of all ages thrive in their relationships with Christ and the Church. Andre grew up in faith and ministry leadership at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego, CA. He studied music at the University of California in Irvine, and completed his Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. He has served in a variety of roles in church leadership, including Assistant Director of Youth Music and Drama, Worship Leader, Community Life Pastor, and Director of Operations, and has served with congregations from Los Angeles to Chicago. Andre is also an active member of the Presbytery of Southern New England, currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Trustees and President of the Corporation.

Andre is thrilled to be a part of the First Presbyterian Church family, and feels incredibly blessed to be partnering with a leadership team and congregation that is so passionate and committed to intergenerational mission and ministry. In his free time, Andre loves to sing, read, run, and join pickup games of just about any sport. Andre lives in Cos Cob with his 5-year-old daughter, Noelle.