Our Staff


  • Rev. Conley Zomermaand

    Interim pastor

    Conley A. Zomermaand began his ninth interim pastor position at FPCE on March 1, 2017. A native northwest Iowan, he grew up in Holland, Michigan and holds academic degrees from Hope College, New Brunswick (NJ) Theological Seminary, and Drew University (NJ). He has served churches in New York, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois. He legally resides in Xenia, Ohio with his wife and son, though he spends most of his days in Eustis. He also proudly claims three adult daughters.

    Pastor Z believes that when people grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, their churches grow and thrive as well. He loves to worship and lead worship, singing and occasionally breaking into dance. You will also see him running, biking, and walking all around the town and countryside. He is really proud of his gardens—but they are in Xenia. 

    His office door is almost always open and you are invited to stop in to see him.


    Email: PastorZ@fpceustis.com

  • Melanie Howard

    Executive director

    Melanie joined the FPCE staff in July 2010 as our church's full time administrator. Melanie has a BS from Bates College in Lewiston Maine and has done Master's work in Administration at St. Joseph's College, Maine. She's also earned a degree in Nursing. Melanie served for seven years as a Clerk of Session in the Philadelphia Presbytery, and has many years of experience as a church administrator. Melanie is also an ordained deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). 


    Email: melanie@fpceustis.com

  • Cynthia Curtis

    Director of traditional music

    Cindy has been the director of Music at 1st Presbyterian Church since 1978, and has a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Central Florida, and has engaged in post-graduate studies at Westminster Choir College, Princeton. Cindy leads all of the choirs at First Church including our Chancel Choir, Gold Handbell Choir and Youth Ringers.


    Email: CDCBELL@aol.com

  • Joyful Holifield

    Worship leader, the crossing

    Joyful and her husband Tim have been leading worship at First Church since 2011. Tim and Joy are passionate about leading worship and reaching out to the underserved and the local community. They were married by Pastor Leon in April 2012, and now have a little boy named James.  Joy is a licensed physical therapist assistant, who is now working out of the home taking care of James, as well as planning and preparing worship at The Crossing. 


    Email: joyfulholifield@gmail.com

  • Tim Holifield

    Worship leader, the crossing

    Tim is a graduate of Stetson University, with deep roots in the Eustis area.  Tim works full time in senior management at Entia, a technology company in Central Fl, and is also an ordained Elder at First Church.  We are doubly blessed to have Tim and Joy leading worship at the Crossing every week.


    Email: tholifield@gmail.com

  • Shannon walter

    director of children's ministries

    Shannon Walter is our Director of Children’s Ministries and has been active in our church for three years. She is married to Jeramie and enjoys homeschooling their daughter Lauren while also serving in MOPS leadership and maintaining a home-based crocheting business. 


    Email: Shannon@fpceustis.com

  • Nancy MacDonald

    Nursery director

    Nancy has been the Nursery Director at First Presbyterian Church for over 34 years. Some of the little ones she's cared for over the years have had the privilege of bringing their own children to her now. Nancy is completely dedicated to the growth, nurture and well-being of all of the children in her care. A few years ago, in appreciation for her dedication and her hard work, the congregation dedicated the nursery in her name and in her honor. We are blessed to have Nancy on our staff and serving in ministry at First Presbyterian Church. 

  • Shawnie Cheatham

    Preschool Director

    Shawnie has been a Preschool Director for 18 years and is passionate about teaching children in creative and loving ways. She has been married to her husband Mike for 36 years and they have 4 daughters and 7 grandchildren. Her favorite things include M&M's, travel, reading and lady bugs!


    Email: shawnie@fpceustis.com

  • Alysa Hritzik

    Director of communication & Marketing

    Alysa was born and raised in Central Florida. She and her husband Mike have two beautiful children, Gavin and Avery. Alysa has a B.S. in Communication from Florida State University and has been a licensed Realtor since 2002. She is passionate about helping women and children. She is an active supporter of various women’s ministries in Lake County.


    Email: communications@fpceustis.com

  • nickie fleming

    Director of Children & Family Outreach / Summer Camp Director

    Nickie has a long career in non-profit event management and fundraising and currently serves as the PTA President at Mt. Dora Christian Academy. She has a passion for all things crafty and creative and loves children - because she is basically just a big kid herself! Nickie has assisted our MOPS ministry in childcare, fundraising events and promotions as well as served as a team leader for VBS for several years. She is married to Larry and they have two children, Brody and Ella.


    Email: Nickie@fpceustis.com

  • Brett Sutton

    Building supervisor

    Brett Sutton has been with First Church since 2010 and works as our Building Supervisor on a full time basis. Brett is a master stone crafter by trade and the owner of Sutton Enterprises DBA Quality Stonecrafters, his main business when he's not serving the Lord and the First Church family by doing a thousand things to keep our church campus looking great and running smoothly.  

  • richard paul

    Treasurer

    Richard attended the University of Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in accounting and earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant in March, 1965. Richard and his wife were married in the First Presbyterian Church of Eustis that same year. He says,"When I was little, I wanted to be grown up. One of these days I plan to do that." Here is a statement from Richard, "I consider the fact that I have been able to use my knowledge and skills as an accountant to help this Church bring the Word of God to our community a blessing from God for which I am forever grateful. I am not sure that my singing in the choir is a blessing."


    Email: RAP32726@aol.com

  • Rev. Dr. Tom Weikel

    Pastoral care associate

    Dr. Weikel is an ordained prison chaplain, with years of experience in counseling and prison ministry. He is also the facilitator of the GriefShare program that is offered through First Presbyterian Church.  


    Email: Harbor_Con@yahoo.com

  • B. Grassel

    Parish nurse

    B. is a trained RN and she also works for the Lake County Public School System in addition to serving for the past several years as our Parish Nurse. B. is a great resource and support to our Pastoral Care Team.  


    Email: tavaresgator@aol.com

  • Faye Thompson

    Financial Secretary

    Faye grew up in upstate New York and relocated to Central Florida in 1980. Faye spent 25 years as a computer programmer before going to work for a church and preschool in West Orange County.  She is married to Steve; they have 2 children and 1 granddaughter.  Faye also runs an embroidery and quilting business.