Lance was born in Germany, but raised in Hope and Texarkana, and was confirmed in this church. He graduated from Lyon College in 1969 with a BA in History. Then an MA in History in 1971 from the University of Arkansas. After that he worked 17 years for the Social Security Administration, the last 14 years in Texarkana. During those 14 years he was active here at First Presbyterian, and in 1988 (with much support from this congregation) he went to Austin Presbyterian Seminary. Upon graduation, he served churches in Arkansas and Ohio until his retirement in 2015. He married his wife, Sondra, at this church, in 1985, and she was an almost perfect pastor’s wife until her death in 2003. Since his retirement he has filled pulpits all over Arkansas. His son, Brian, lives and works in Conway. Lance lives in Hot Springs.
Michael D. Odom, Organist and Choral Director
Michael (who has a day job as Director of ESSER for the Texarkana Arkansas School District, after serving as Principal at Arkansas High for several years) brings a wealth of experience to FPC, including a BA in Organ Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting, and many years of service at churches in Smackover, El Dorado, and Camden. He played for us for several months, and joined the staff officially in 2020. He now directs the Adult Handbell Choir in addition to work with the Chancel Choir and the Children’s Choir. We love to hear him play…and sing!
Caitlin Walsh, Youth Director
Caitlin started her journey with First Presbyterian in July of 2021 as a Youth Director. She worked with several youth groups over the course of the previous nine years in various capacities from youth mission’s coordinator to pastoral intern. She has also been a teacher in the Texarkana Arkansas School District since 2018. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and International Studies from East Texas Baptist University in 2017, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Southern Arkansas University in 2020. An active member of all her past churches, Caitlin has felt very welcomed here. “The family I have been blessed with at First Presbyterian is unparalleled. This church is truly a place where all belong, and all are loved.”
Blanche has enjoyed working with the children in the church nursery for many years. She loves seeing all “her kids” growing up. She has worked full-time at Miller County Abstract and Title since April of 2013 after many years at Stanhope’s. She still loves creating and leases studio space with several other artists at the 1894 Gallery in the 1894 City Market on Olive Street in Texarkana, Arkansas. Blanche loves our downtown area and is so glad it seems to be revitalizing. She also enjoys reading, and listening to singer/songwriter daughter, Caitlyn, do her own amazing version of creativity!
Rebecca has been employed by the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) since September 2015, first in a part time capacity and now full time. Rebecca attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she met her husband Chad. They married and moved to Memphis, Tennessee so that Chad could pursue a degree in doctor of dental surgery from the University of Tennessee, Memphis. Rebecca worked as the Director of Operations for an executive suite for over four years in the colorful and refurbished downtown Memphis.
While in the last year of dental school, the Johnsons received the amazing news they were expecting a baby boy. The day their son, Griffin, turned one, they packed up their bags and moved back to the beautiful Northwest Arkansas area to start their own dental practice which they managed for fifteen years before deciding to move to Texarkana to be closer to family.
Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and watching college football, rooting for TCU where Griffin is now a student.