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Our Leadership


Maxwell Michaels

Max is the new minister at First Presbyterian Church, beginning in November 2023. He was born and raised in North Carolina and grew up in Belmont. He attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. After college he went directly into Seminary where he attended Union Presbyterian Seminary.  It was

here where he met his wife, Jenny,  and graduated with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education and a Masters of Divinity. After Seminary, he began serving as the Resident Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, IN. Max has years of experience serving as a Youth and Sunday School leader.  


Mary Louise Baker


Mary Louise Baker holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance with a Minor in Piano Performance from Salem College where she studied with Dr. Jack Mitchener and Ms. Barbara Lister-Sink. At Salem, she was named the A.J. Fletcher Scholar, the highest award for music scholars at the college, and was the recipient of the President’s Prize in 1999. She earned a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Literature from the University of Notre Dame under the instruction of Dr. Craig Cramer in 2001. At the prestigious music school at Notre Dame, she was awarded a full scholarship, serving as assistant director of the Women’s Choir, Liturgical Choir, and assistant organist for the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. She completed further organ studies in Germany and Canada. In 1997 Mrs. Baker was chosen to perform at Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, Canada, for an audience of over 1200 in the “Organ a la Carte Recital Series." She has served on the panel of judges for the regional hymn-playing contest at Methodist College and performed many recitals throughout the years. In 2003, Mrs. Baker earned her certification in Kindermusik, a musical training program for children. She has many years of experience serving as organist, directing choirs, and teaching at the college level. Mrs. Baker is currently the Organist and Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Cheraw, SC, and music teacher (8 years) at Marlboro Academy, Bennettsville. Mrs. Baker enjoys living in Laurinburg with her husband, Sam, of 23, their 4 children, Sadie, Jessie, Sam, and Lainey, and 2 dogs, Benji and Olive.


Carolyn West


Carolyn joined the staff of First Presbyterian Church in August of 2007. She and her husband, Steve, attend Westside Baptist Church where Steve is pastor. She enjoys reading, working in her flowers, bird watching and spending time with family and friends.


James Kendall


James is a native of Cheraw, SC. He joined the staff of FPC in 2014. He is a 1969 graduate of Long Jr. High School and worked at the Pepsi Plant for 19 years. James is married to Arnetha. They have one daughter and 3 grandchildren. James loves fishing and traveling. He is a deacon at Word of Life Fellowship Church.

Arnetha Kendall


Arnetha is a native of Morven, NC. She joined the staff of FPC in 2014. She is a 1970 graduate of Bowman High School in Wadesboro, NC and worked at Stanley Tools for 4 years. Afterwards she started her own sewing business which lasted 12 years. Arnetha attends Word of Life Fellowship Church, along with her husband, 1 daughter and 3 grandchildren.


Kim Brabham


A Cheraw native, and a member of First Presbyterian Church her entire life, Kim is a graduate of Winthrop University. She has been married to David, a self-employed residential contractor, for 35 years. She and David have 2 children. David Jr. is a Clemson graduate and a senior project engineer for Thompson Turner Construction. He and his wife, Hannah, a Nurse Practitioner live on John’s Island and have one son, Clark. Their daughter, Laura, a Clemson graduate, and her husband, Zain live in Austin, Texas. Laura is a corporate recruiter with Google and Zain is a marketing director at Canva.


Mary Gulledge


Mary has served as First Presbyterian Church nursery worker since 1997. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from USC in Columbia, SC, and a Master's in Education from George Peabody-College of Vanderbilt University. Mary and her husband, Tommy, live in Cheraw and have 1 grown son, Phillip.  Phillip is a health physics advisor for Energy Northwest in Washington state. His wife, Iris, also works for Energy Northwest as a records specialist. They reside in Richland, Washington.


Paige Coates


Paige Coates is a life-long Cheraw native. She has been married 28 years to Donald Coates and they have 2 children. Beth lives in Greenville, SC and works with children with autism. Marlee is a sophomore at Francis Marion University and is majoring in education. In her free time Paige enjoys helping others, spending time with friends and family members, and being outside.


Eve Nobles


Eve has had a passion her entire life for working with children. Thanks to the love that her own teachers had for their job and students, Eve knew she wanted a career in educating children before she even finished kindergarten. Growing up, she often spent her time watching out for her younger sister, cousins, and the children at her home church, Faith Fellowship Church, playing with them and learning about how children learn. Eve has taught 3 and 4-year-old preschool classes at St. David's School and First Methodist Church Child Development, and she currently serves as children's librarian at the Matheson Library. A Northeastern Technical College graduate, Eve has plans to further her education in the near future with an online degree in Elementary and Special Education. Eve is also an active volunteer throughout the community, assisting with Theater on the Green productions, the Cheraw Marching Tribe, and various events held in town. In her spare time, Eve spends her time sewing, crafting, singing, and playing piano.


Sally Powell


A Greenville, SC, native, she grew up in the Methodist church.  She is a graduate of Winthrop College with a degree in Health and Physical Education.  She and her husband, Phil, have been married for 50 years. They have 2 children, Rebekah P. Ardis and Philip, Jr.  They are both married and have 2 children each.  Rebekah, Chris and their 2 girls live in Rock Hill, SC.  Philip and his wife, Chrissy and their daughter and son live in Seneca, SC.  Sally and Phil moved to Cheraw in July of 1975.  Before retiring, Phil was the Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services for Cheraw.  Sally taught Physical Education and coached in the Cheraw area schools.  They are active members of St. David’s Episcopal Church.

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