meet the staff
Rev. Robert J. Dyer
Senior Pastor/Head of Staff
Pastor Rob is the Senior Pastor and Head of Staff at FUPC. Born and raised in Belleville, Rob graduated from Belleville West High School and went on to receive degrees in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University and Purdue University. After a career in computers and project management, Rob left engineering to pursue his lifelong passion for ministry in 2002. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. From July 2005 until November 2012, he served as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Vernon, IL. Rob has a particular interest in linking the needs of the community with the passions of its Christian servants. As a public speaker (www.robdyerspeaker.com), Rob enjoys speaking to various organizations and churches looking to transform lives. Rob’s wife, Sarah, is pursuing a PhD in Child Clinical Psychology at SIU-Carbondale. They have 4 children. Rob enjoys time with family, playing basketball/softball, coaching youth sports, reading, playing guitar/piano and dabbling with technology/computers.
Director of Christian Education
Stephanie Foltz joined the staff in November 2000. As Director of Christian Education, she works with the Christian Education Committee to oversee educational programming from birth through adults. Stephanie and her family relocated to this area on a military move in 1993. Originally from Winchester, Virginia, she has an undergraduate degree in History from Westhampton College of the University of Richmond and a graduate degree in Museum Education from the College of William and Mary. Stephanie is a member of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators, serves on the Resourcing and Equipping Team of the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, and coordinates a monthly Presbytery Gathering of Christian Educators and Children & Youth Workers.
Director of Youth Ministries and Director of Equipping Ministries
Kaitlin "Kaitie" Kautz joined the staff on November 7, 2011. Kaitie comes to us from Minnesota. In addition to leading our youth ministries, Kaitie leads our equipping ministry efforts to connect people in the church with life-giving participation in church life. Prior to working at FUPC, she worked full-time for a group called Youth Encounter where she had been working with youth in camp and through a traveling missionary ministry. She has a passion for mission and has worked abroad in Ghana and Nigeria. She has also interned as a Senior High Youth Ministry coordinator. She has experience leading worship, creating and planning youth activities, organizing a team to support youth, and we have been told that she plays the guitar and has a passion for dance. Kaitie graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a BA in Child Psychology and a BS in Youth Studies.
Dr. Andy Jensen
Director of Music Ministries
Andy Jensen joined our First United staff on August 1, 2012. As Director of Music Ministries his work includes directing the Chancel Choir and United Bells, and providing general oversight of our church music program. A native of central Illinois, Andy came to Belleville with a new appointment as Director of Choral Activities at Southwestern Illinois College in 2011. He served in a similar capacity from 2008-2011 at Arkansas Northeastern College. Andy held full graduate assistantships in choral music while pursuing the Master of Music at Illinois State University and Doctor of Musical Arts at The University of Southern Mississippi where he studied both conducting and educational pedagogy under Gregory Fuller, John Flannery, Karyl Carlson, James Major, and Timothy Fredstrom. He is married to Cathy, and they have two children, James and Eli. They have been worshipping with us for the past year.
Dennis Bergin is our First United Organist/Accompanist. Hailing from Clay Center, Kansas, Dennis earned a Bachelor and a Master of Music in Organ Performance from Wichita State University. He has held numerous church Organist and Director of Music positions in the Clay Center and Saint Louis areas. He serves as Principal Organist for the American Kantorei Bach at the Sem Concert Series at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis. He has won numerous competitive awards including being named one of five finalists in the International Grand Prix de Chartres Concours d’Orgue in Paris and Chartres, France, and he was the First Prize Winner in the International Organ Playing Competition sponsored by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has appeared as an organ soloist in concert with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and also with the Region VI American Guild of Organists Convention in St. Louis. In addition, he has performed as an organ soloist throughout the United States, and lives in Webster Groves, Missouri with his wife, pianist and composer, Julia Posey Bergin.