Staff Announcement: Camilla Ballard

I write to share news that our Director of Youth Ministries, Camilla Ballard, will retire this fall after 23 years of service with us. A letter from her to you appears below this one. Please scroll down and read it.
Planning has already commenced on how we will say goodbye and thank you with the same fervor of spirit Camilla has brought to moments like this for others. There will be parties and gifts. Let us know if you’d like to help. Separately, I’ve asked our Associate Pastor, Rebecca Chancellor Sicks, to begin coordinating the search for our next Director of Youth Ministries. Our goal is to make the transition of leadership this fall as seamless as possible. 
I’ve only been with you for a couple of months. Still, it did not take long for me to conclude that our youth ministry is an honest reflection of its leader. I found this to be true again just four days ago at our annual Senior Sunday celebration. 275 students spread over Camilla’s 23 years have passed through this distinctly local ritual of being celebrated, close to their graduation from high school, with all the imagination and drama a former theater teacher can squeeze out of Byrd Hall. If that was you, you knew you were loved, noticed and treasured by Camilla, your church and God.
Amos Disasa

A Message from Camilla


Dear FPC Youths and Those Who Love Them,

For 23 years, that thing you do has continued to change me for good.  I have been enchanted by the hero within each of you and those superhero adults working with you. You have courageously followed your hearts and your dreams. And because of that, I have witnessed the Spirit generously bless your work as peacemakers, environmentalists and humanitarians. As such, you have given me hope for the future. 
I promise you I will always remember Mo-Ranch, Montreat, drama teams, mission projects, COFFEE HOUSE, COFFEE CUP,  coffee dates, Confirmation Overnights, Youth Sundays, Youth Committee, Senior Sundays, Service Corps Celebrations, Youth Sorting Ceremonies, CMW, NYC after 9/11, Home Groups and all our movies, movies, movies together. In turn, I have faith you will remember that the oldest magic of all is love.
On September 15, I am closing my door and turning in my keys. My family and I have loved being part of your lives.

With God, anything is possible,
Camilla Ballard

FPC Dallas Welcomes Gerry Tyer

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas is excited to welcome Gerry Tyer as its new interim associate executive pastor. He will assist the church in administrative matters including oversite of the finances, facilities, personnel, technology services, The Stewpot, Encore Park and the Developmental Day School. He will serve the church while the pastor and Session make key decisions about future staffing.


Gerry is a retired Presbyterian minister. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia (philosophy), a Master of Divinity (Biblical studies), a Master of Theology (counseling) from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry (worship and administration) from Boston University. He was the pastor of churches in West Collingswood (New Jersey), St. Paul (Minnesota) and Columbus (Ohio). For twenty years he served as the executive presbyter for the Presbytery of Tampa Bay (Florida), a regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church. He is the author of Seven Keys to an Effective Presbytery. He is currently writing a book tentatively titled Leading a Church in a Rapidly Changing World. Since 2013 he has been the stated clerk (chief administrative officer) of Grace Presbytery.

Gerry’s hobbies include golf and road trips exploring the southwest United States. He is married to Maxine Tyer, a retired mathematics teacher. They make their home in Irving, Texas.

Join Rev. Amos Disasa at Presbytery

The Reverend Amos Disasa will be introduced at the Stated Meeting of Grace Presbytery on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. During the Committee on Ministry Report, members of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas congregation are invited to stand with our new minister when he is presented at the Presbytery meeting.

The report begins at 2:15 p.m., with the “Welcome to New Teaching Elders” occurring at some point in the report. A bio and Statement of Faith for each new pastor is included in the Commissioners’ packets, and each minister will have an opportunity to speak briefly. After Amos’ presentation, church members will have a photo-op, either at the front of the sanctuary or in an outside space. Members can then leave or stay as they choose.

Registration is not required. Ambassadors in red aprons will be stationed around the Preston Hollow PC campus as guides. Because the parking lot is large, seasoned Holy Rollers will offer golf cart rides from the parking lots to the Jubilee Courtyard entrance to the Atrium. A map of the Preston Hollow PC campus can be found at the following URL:

Preston Hollow PC is located at 9800 Preston Road (Dallas). Please join other members of our church family at this Presbytery meeting to stand with Amos as he is presented to Grace Presbytery. For additional information, please contact Beth Hernandez, church receptionist, at (214) 748-8051.

Dallas Choir Selected as Semi-Finalist for The American Prize

On Monday, February 11, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas’ Chancel Choir was announced as a semi-finalist for The American Prize in Choral Performance for 2018-2019.

The Chancel Choir, directed by Joshua Taylor, provides the primary musical leadership for worship at First Presbyterian Church. This volunteer adult group, with varying musical backgrounds, presents a wide variety of repertoire from standard church music, spirituals and gospel, to music by new composers.

“It is such an awesome gift to stand in front of this choir each week and I'm so humbled that we're included [as semi-finalist]” said Taylor.

The American Prize is a national nonprofit competition in the performing arts and is the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts. The organization, unique in scope and structure, is designed to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles and composers in the United States..

The prize has attracted hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states since its founding, has awarded more than $60,000 in prizes in all categories since 2010, and is presented annually in many areas of the performing arts.

The final award will be announced later this year.

FPC Dallas Awarded Preservation Honor for Sanctuary

Preservation Texas has announced nineteen restoration, rehabilitation and preservation planning projects that will be recognized at its 2019 Honor Awards Ceremony and Reception in Austin, Texas on February 27th.  The 2019 Honor Awards, the FPC Dallas Sanctuary being one of them, are selected by a jury of preservationists and recognize successful efforts to save irreplaceable and authentic historic places in Texas. 


“The 2019 Honor Award winners set a high standard toward which we can all aspire,” said Preservation Texas President Ann Benson McGlone of San Antonio. “These preservation projects required vision and determination. We look forward to putting the spotlight on these outstanding efforts.”

First Presbyterian Church’s Sanctuary was built in 1914 and it’s renovation, which restored the space to its original state, was completed in January of 2018. “'We were so fortunate to work with David and Anne Stimmel and all of the amazing team at Architexas - Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation, Inc. and Andrew and the team from Byrne Construction Services,” said Josh Taylor, FPC’s director of worship and music. “I'm glad so many folks have recognized the care and love that went into this project.“

Click here for event details and a full list of selected projects.

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Annual PW Tree Trimming

PW women are invited on Friday, December 7 at 10 a.m. at the Villages of Dallas (formerly Grace Presbyterian Village) for the annual tree trimming party. We need women to trim tree in the assisted living area and furnish refreshments for residents and staff. Click here for more information.

The Villages of Dallas is located at 550 E. Ann Arbor, Dallas.  We will trim the Christmas tree in the Assisted Living area at the Villages, leading singing Christmas carols, and furnish refreshments to the residents and staff.  You may bring your refreshments with you or, if you are not able to attend, you may bring them to the First Presbyterian Church Parlor no later than 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 6.  Label your contribution for "VILLAGES OF DALLAS" and indicate if it contains nuts or is sugar free.  For further information please telephone Isabel Coubrough at 214-320-6079.

All-Church Christmas Caroling

Fa-la-la-la-la… Do you love to sing Christmas carols? Come join us as we take some Christmas cheer to our members who are homebound after worship on Dec. 9, 12:45-3:30 p.m. It doesn't matter if you're a great singer or not! We just want your enthusiasm and holiday spirit! You are welcome to have a quick lunch in Byrd Hall and then meet in the Welcome Center at 12:45 to board a church van for our adventure. You may also carpool or drive your own car.  

We'll visit FPC members living at PVN, The Villages of Dallas, and various homes in Dallas. Mari McAdoo and Amy Aamold will be our wonderful song leaders. We plan to be back to the church no later than 3:30. All are welcome to spread some Christmas cheer and have fun with us!  RSVP to Kathy Price at or at 214-748-8051. 

Comfort at the Memorial Arch

We recognize that the holiday season can bring sadness and a swirl of conflicting emotions for those who are grieving. Faith & Grief Ministries provides their annual Memorial Arch as a place to remember loved ones by writing their names on ribbons and tying them to the arch with other names.

Visit Faith & Grief’s Memorial Arch at the east end of Klyde Warren Park from December 1 – 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to write the names of your loved one on a remembrance ribbon, tie it to the arch and have moments of personal reflection.

FPC Dallas is sponsoring a Service of Hope at the arch on December 18 at 6:30 p.m. This interfaith prayer service aims to acknowledge the pain that loss brings and to cling to the hope that as we walk through our grief, light shines on the other side.

Services will also be held on December 3 and December 7. For more information, visit