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Our Pastor and Staff

John S. Sheldon
Senior Pastor

John S. Sheldon has been serving as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean City, NJ since 1989. He loves to study the written Word of God and proclaim its good news, because the gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” When men and women, by God’s grace, embrace the gospel the Holy Spirit will produce “the obedience of faith” in their lives which leads to a discipled and fruitful Christian life.
In addition to serving as pastor he currently serves as President of
Presbyterians Pro-Life, an organization founded in the 1970s made of Presbyterian pastors, elders and members calling the Presbyterian Church (USA) to acknowledge the biblical mandate to value and protect innocent human life from its earliest beginnings to its natural end.
Before his call to FPC of Ocean City, he pastored the then yoked congregations of First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Chapel Presbyterian Church in Cuba, Missouri. Pastor Sheldon graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982 and was ordained by the Philadelphia Presbytery to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) in 1983.
John is married to Laurie (DeCurtis) and is thankful to God for her help in making him a better man and pastor. Laurie and John are the parents of nine children who by God’s covenantal mercy have been signed and sealed in baptism, profess faith in Jesus Christ, and belong with their parents to the people of God.

Kim Murphy
Director of Youth and Family Ministries

Kim Murphy has been our Director of Youth and Family Ministries at FPC since 1999. He was born in 1965 and grew up in the rolling hills of Little York, New York. By God’s grace he received faith and believed he was a sinner in need of a Savior from the time he was a little boy and is forever grateful that God has seen fit to continue growing him deeper in a relationship with Jesus Christ since those early days. He worked as a church organist and pianist throughout high school, college, and many years beyond. He was also a partner in a family plumbing and heating business for ten years.
Kim and his wife Gretchen have been married since 1989 and have four children they are seeking to train up, though God’s mercy, in the way they should go. In 1996 he graduated from Columbia International University with a BS in Bible and General Ministries and minors in Music and Youth Ministry.
He loves hard work, a good laugh, talking with people, hearing their stories, and the privilege of being a part of the Body of Christ: the church. In his position here at First Pres he highly values the many opportunities for mutually encouraging fellow believers to grow in walks with God, knowledge and understanding of His Word, and relationships with other believers. As he works with youth and families he endeavors to direct young people to their need for Christ and their parents. At First Pres we constantly seek to remember it is the parents’ role to raise up the children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Kim strives to support parents in this endeavor.
Kim’s favorite authors and speakers are
John Piper, Jerry Bridges, Charles Spurgeon, RC Sproul, Joshua Harris, and Voddie Bauchaum. He enjoys music by Stephen Curtis Chapman, the original Newsboys, Michael Card, David Meece, Petra, (Yes, you can STILL get their music!), Chris Tomlin, and the Annie Moses Band. Kim enjoys games (the old fashioned sort!), playing the piano, singing, nights at home with his family, Sunday afternoon naps, reading, movies, and getting his hands dirty with a job that needs doing!

Pastor Daniel E. Unrath
Pastor Of Visitation

Pastor Unrath has been a minister since 1964 in the United Methodist Church. He served seven churches in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and, upon his retirement, one in New Jersey (Hammonton).
He graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, KY and from Eastern Baptist Seminary. He and his wife Cecilia have been married for 47 years and have three children and three great grandchildren, all living in Pennsylvania.
He will be visiting all of our shut-ins over the next few months. If you ever desire a visit, you may call the church office or contact him at home (399-1790). The Unraths live at the south end of Ocean City at 145 Bark Avenue.

Joanne Blackwelder
Organist & Choir Director

For the past four years, JoAnne has been organist/choir director at St. Mary’s in Stone Harbor.
As a teenager, she was organist for First Baptist in Merchantville, NJ.
She taught piano in college and was a substitute organist in Brooklyn, NY while she ran a printing business.
At St. Paul’s Church in Brooklyn she founded and directed a children’s choir. Because music was her stress relief, she always tried to practice piano and organ; she also took voice lessons and sang in countless choirs with directors of many styles.

Jack Shea

Renee Tobias
Church Secretary