Rev. Jonathan Mitchell – Pastor
I grew up in Walla Walla, WA. My family faithfully went to church every Sunday. When I graduated from high school I wanted my independence and went to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. After two years, I decided on a career in secondary education. I desired to teach in Washington and began to look for a university closer to home. During that time, I married my high school sweetheart, Jana. Together, Jana and I went to Seattle Pacific University.
After graduating, I did many different types of teaching jobs, but none of them were satisfying. Jana obtained a fantastic job in Walla Walla, and we returned home. There, I worked for six years at the housing authority assisting low income families with stable housing and other services. I learned a great deal about poverty, humanity and myself. Meanwhile our daughters, Ellice and Lydia came along.
During this time, I became deeply involved in the Presbyterian church where Jana grew up. The community of faith was in transition between pastors and in need of leadership. I was on session, and took up a number of leadership roles. I preached occasionally, led liturgy and was the youth director for a time. These experiences were deeply satisfying. I was happy with this way of life. However, Jana and other close friends encouraged me to consider a career in ministry. A move of this magnitude was the furthest thing from my mind. After consultation, prayer, and deep soul searching I began to pursue an adventure at seminary.
The passion for becoming a minister caught fire when Jana and I visited Princeton for a perspective student weekend. I was amazed at the professors’ passion for training people to do ministry in their part of the world. The weekend was transformative.
Jana, Ellice, Lydia and I pulled up our roots and began an amazing, grace-filled adventure that began at Princeton. I initially served First Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls, ID and Community Presbyterian Church in St. Anthony, Idaho. After three years, we moved to First Presbyterian in Maryville, Missouri. It was a wonderful decade of service in the rural mid-west.
As Ellice and Lydia moved into the college phase of their lives, Jana and I are ready for the new thing God has called us to do. We look forward to returning to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and experiencing what God has in store at First Presbyterian Church in Pendleton.
Pastor Jonathan was called to service in Pendleton on June 2nd, 2019. The Covid 19 Pandemic brought a set of unique challenges to the position in the first couple of years. Return to in-person worship has been a welcome change. Pastor Jonathan is serving the congregation of First Presbyterian Church through preaching, home visits, and contributing to multiple boards in the church and community. He has special interest in promoting fair housing and resources for the underserved. And he especially enjoys making appearances for Preschool events and helping at Westminster Woods Camp activities.
Alison Moses – Office Manager
I grew up in a family that was willing to move frequently for new opportunities, and have lived up and down the west coast from Alaska to California. I attended a variety of churches as a child, and learned at the knee of grandparents who were church builders and pastors. Homeschooled early on, I truly loved education. My church life continued to grow throughout her college experience and personal devotional life. I attended college at Oklahoma State University, followed by Washington State University – where I earned Bachelors in Social Sciences with focus in Business and Psych. Around the same time I wrapped up my degree, I was starting married life with my husband Warren Moses. He had two daugthers, Natalie and Kira, from a previous marriage. I had my son Samule after a short relationship that did not end well. Together we tried to provide a stable and loving home for our children and shortly after marriage we had our fourth child, Jonathan.
As I began my life as a mom and moved to Pendleton, I prayerfully sought direction for the future. I attended Whitworth University, where I completed a M.A. in Theology during our children’s younger years. The focus on lay ministry and solid foundation in history of the church and pastoral care gave me an introduction to the Presbyterian Church. After taking some time off from education to raise children, I returned to part time work in an insurance office before joining the staff at First Presbyterian Church of Pendleton, OR.
Alison is the Office Manager and handles the duties of Treasurer and Media Specialist for the Church and Westminster Woods. She is quick to respond to any requests to schedule time at Westminter Woods or answer questions about any of the First Presbyterian Church’s ministries.