Pastor and Staff


John Winings 

Bridge Interim Pastor 

First Presbyterian Church welcomes John Winings as our new Bridge Interim. John comes to us from Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church where he has been serving as interim pastor for a year. His congregation there gives him glowing reviews for bringing the church back together during the pandemic.

            He is excited about joining us and brings lots of ideas and energy to our church.  John will start work next week and will preach for the first time on Sunday, February 14.

            John and his wife live in Wake Forest where they were both charter members of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. He was commissioned at Butner Presbyterian Church and he served as their pastor for three years, followed by three years as the first pastor of a new church development in Clayton, now called Discovery Church. He is currently a member of White Memorial Presbyterian in Raleigh. John and Debbie have three grown children, five grand-children and are overjoyed to have the chance to raise one of them - eight-year-old Emma!

            After his retirement from the corporate world, John was very active in mission work in Haiti where he lived for several years and learned the language, later writing a book on his experiences. Also, he has been Interim Executive, Stated Clerk, and Treasurer of the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic, PCUSA.

            John will be here several days a week and is eager to meet everybody. He will be a wonderful bridge to our permanent installed pastor.

Phone: (919) 734-5392 ext. 13; cell: 919-696-6762


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Chris Watkins

Director of Music

Chris was born in Greensboro, NC.   He attended Guilford College graduating Magna cum laude with a Master’s degree in organ performance and choral conducting.  He received a scholarship and assistantship to pursue his doctorate in organ performance and choral conducting at the University of South Carolina.  Chris has served churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia.  He performed in the White House by special invitation of the President for two Christmas concerts for members of the Senate and their families.  He also performed for five Southern governors in their Executive Mansions including Governor James Martin and Governor James Hunt of North Carolina.  Chris’s hobbies include studying English history, painting, and cooking for friends.  He wants to use his talents to bring out the talents of others in order to give them back to God with a joyful heart and sound.

Phone: (919)734-5392 ext. 12


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Mary Florence Taneti

Director of Christian Education

Mary Florence Taneti, a native of South India, has completed a Master of Arts in Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA. She is a PCUSA Certified Christian Educator. She had earlier received graduate and post-graduate degrees in the field of Accountancy from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. Before joining First Presbyterian Church, she has worked in the fields of microfinance, refugee resettlement, child development, and church administration. 

Mary's love for telling stories and teaching children dates back to her own childhood when she helped her schoolteacher mother. In her teaching, she uses Godly Play. Mary is grateful for the Christian nurture she received from her Sunday school teachers. She wishes to be a guide to young people, as they grow in faith. She enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening. Colt, her 2-year old Aussie-Doodle loves working at church with her. In her spare time, she watches Indian movies and tv shows on Netflix, with her husband, James, and children, Vismai and Vismitha. 

Phone: (919) 734-5392 ext. 19 


Nona Andrews

Church Administrator


Nona is a native of West Virginia. She began her nearly 35-year career with the federal government in Washington, DC. Upon relocating to North Carolina, she worked for the Department of Defense at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Her experience included administrative positions in Civilian Personnel, and the Base Chapel. Most of her experience, however, was in the Operations directorate and command, serving as Secretary to the Director of Operations and later as Resource Advisor for the Deputy Commander for Operations. She began her second career at First Presbyterian Church as Office Manager in 1996 and worked until 2001. Nona has an associate degree from Pikes Peak Community College and has studied at North Carolina Wesleyan College. She has served as Church Administrator since October 2012. Nona has a daughter, Rebecca, and two grandchildren, Patrick and Sarah.

Phone: (919) 734-5392 ext. 10


Jean Whitaker

Finance and Membership Administrator


Jean graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina Wesleyan College in 1988, with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. She also has been a Notary Public since 1994. She has lived in Goldsboro since 1972 and she is the mother of two children, Jennifer and Joseph. She has been a Financial Administrator here at FPC since July 2002.

Phone: (919) 734-5392