Church Staff

Name Position
E-Mail (
Phone Ext
Pastor Toby Nelson

Pastor & Head of Staff



Paul Ferris Director of Music & Worship


Rebecca Chase Director of Children's Ministry
Robin Stearns Preschool Director
Ann Keirns Admin. to the Pastor and Elders


Lisa Gonzalez Administrative Coordinator
Ken Gardner Custodian
David Stearns




General Church E-mail




1965 Colfax Street
Concord, California 94520
(925) 676-7177 church office
(925) 676-6244 preschool
(925) 825-3357 fax

Office Hours
Mon,Wed,Thu 9:00am - 4:30pm

Tue 10:30 - 4:30pm
Closed Fri, Sat, Sun

Pastor Toby Nelson

Pastor Toby joins FPCC as our interim pastor and head of staff. Pastor Toby has been an ordained Presbyterian minister for 40+ years with a focus on being interim pastor for congregations in transition. He is a local boy, having graduated from Pleasant Hill High School, San Jose State University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for his Masters of Divinity and San Francisco Theological Seminary for his Doctorate of Ministry. He calls himself a “Disaster Pastor” which stems from being a Chaplain on the Federal Disaster Team at Ground Zero after 9/11.  Since then, he has worked around the world when there are disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Haiti Earthquake, Philippines Typhoon Hainan, South Sudan wars, and many other hurricane/earthquake/tsunami tragedies.  He considers disaster work as a “terrible-honor” where he listens to the “Human Cry”.  Pastor Toby and his wife Judy have been married for 47 years and have a son, Erik. Their permanent home is in Nevada City, California.


Rebecca Chase

Paul Ferris - Director of Music & Worship

Paul has joins us, effective September 1, as our new Director of Music & Worship. Paul is number three of four sons born to a Presbyterian minister. He grew up in northern Michigan, where his family still lives. As the story goes, he began playing piano as soon as he could climb onto the bench, picking out Sunday school tunes by ear. His formal training began at age 6, continuing through college. From 6th through 12th grades he studied piano and organ with August Huybrechts, a faculty member at Interlochen Arts Academy. He continued his studies at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and, after moving to San Francisco, at San Francisco State University, graduating cum laude with a BA in Music Education. After an extensive freelance career in the secular world, he returned to the church, serving at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Richmond, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in San Carlos and most recently at First Presbyterian Church of Hayward. Paul lives in Richmond with Debi, his wife of 40 years. They have two adult children. When he is not working on music he enjoys sailing (he has a small sailboat, the Whirled Peas), cooking, gardening, travel and crosswords.


Rebecca Chase

Rebecca Chase - Director of Children's Ministry

Rebecca joined us as Director of Children’s Ministry effective January 2015. Rebecca received a degree from Denison University in Educational Studies, and a Master’s degree and teaching certificate from Wheelock College in Teaching Young Children. After working at preschools and kindergarten in the Boston area for nine years, she and her husband moved to Tennessee where Rebecca happily taught at a Knoxville Montessori school for six years in Preschool and Lower Elementary. She and her husband went on a mission trip to Bolivia with college students from UT Knoxville, which stirred a yearning for connecting young people to the Gospel. When the family moved to San Diego, Rebecca taught Elementary Religious Education at St. John’s Episcopal School in Chula Vista. She also spent time as a Development Coordinator for a Tijuana foster home for children whose parents are incarcerated. Rebecca loves prayer, reading, eating at local restaurants, and tasting wine. Rebecca has a son in college in Boston, and a son in high school in Albany, where they reside. Her husband is an Episcopal priest in the San Francisco diocese.


Photo of Robin Stearns - Dir. of Youth Ministries

Robin Stearns - Preschool Director

Robin has been the director of Beginnings & Beyond Montessori Christian Preschool since August 2011.  Robin graduated from Saint Mary's College in 2003 with a degree in Liberal and Civic Studies and a minor in Montessori Thought, a certificate in Early Childhood Education, and has worked as a Montessori preschool teacher for several years. Her ten years of work experience at three preschools, along with her volunteer work in ministry to children for twelve years, reflects her passion to work with children. Robin has also served as an elder and Clerk of Session for three years.


Support Staff

Ann Keirns
Administrator to the
Pastor and Elders

Lisa Gonzalez

Lisa Gonzalez
Administrative Coordinator

Ken Gardner

Ken Gardner

Susan Sohner

Susan Sohner