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OUR STAFF

Multnomah Presbyterian Church is in the process of identifying a permanent pastor. During this transition MPC's Session has proposed for 2024 that we will be led by Heather Hellman as Head of Staff and the Reverend Dr. Jennifer Ackerman.

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Heather Hellman, Temporary Pastor, CRE

Heather has a huge passion for helping people see how valued and loved they are by Jesus. She has a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Bible and Theology and Youth Ministry from William Jessup University and over two decades of ministry under her belt. Heather loves to empower others to serve in the church and community and is always in awe of the amazing volunteers who choose to partner with MPC. She especially enjoys helping kids and students create and lead programming that we use for VBS and our summer programs in Skagway, Alaska. While much of her ministry career was spent focused on children and youth, she has always enjoyed leading worship, preaching and creating fun, engaging opportunities for people of all ages to connect with each other around Jesus and his word. Heather is excited to see what God has in store for her and MPC next!

Heather grew up on both coasts as a native of Pittsburgh PA, and the Bay Area CA. She currently lives in Portland with her husband, Valentine, their son and daughter (who survived a youth group with their mom as the leader). She is grateful her family loves the church as much as she does and often serves alongside her. Heather loves hockey (Go Pens, Knights and Kraken!), animals, and sometimes her family of unusual, furry and fur-less pets can be found helping at church too.

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Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ackerman,
Temporary Transitional Pastor

Dr. Jennifer Ackerman has nearly 30 years experience facilitating the worship and preaching efforts of churches in multiple denominations across the US, and as an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she serves as the Fuller Seminary’s liaison to the denomination. She holds an MDiv and a PhD in Theology and Culture from Fuller and has experience as a professional musician, where she performed in theaters around the country while serving churches as a worship and music director.

 

Since 2017, she has been directing the efforts of Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Preaching, where she has worked to catalyze a movement of empowered, wise preachers who live and lead at the convergence of worship, preaching, and justice. In 2022 she joined Fuller’s faculty as an assistant professor of preaching in the School of Mission and Theology.

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Ray McKean, Music Director

Ray grew up in the Midwest and started accompanying for his church choir in the 7th grade. He has been involved in music ministry ever since, having served as an accompanist in various congregations for almost 40 years. Ray received his Bachelor degree from Coe College and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Miami University of Ohio.

 

He has been with Multnomah Presbyterian since 1995, serving as accompanist, organist, praise team director, and most recently, Director of Music. Ray also works as a dance accompanist for the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, NW Dance Project and June Taylor’s School of Dance, and does freelance accompanying for various high school and college students throughout the Portland metro area. Amy (his wife of 31 years!) is a very gifted music educator and performer, and they have two amazing kids.

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Amy McKean,
Director of Marimba Ensembles

Amy’s love for marimba extends to her day job as an elementary music teacher in the Tigard-Tualatin School District. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Willamette University and Master of Music from Miami University, both in percussion performance. Her very first year of teaching in 2005, she started a marimba ensemble and has continued every year since. Through generous donations from members at MPC, Amy started “Rejoice!” in 2017. In addition to performing for the church during worship and special events, the group has also played for a Trail Blazer Pregame show. 

 

Amy and her husband, Ray have been married 31 years and have 2 grown children, Ellen and David. It is a blessing to call Multnomah Presbyterian home!

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Vicki Smallwood,
Office Manager

Vicki has been a part of the church starting as far back as she can remember. As a PKK (Preacher's Kid's Kid), it was practically a foregone conclusion. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing from Linfield, and has enjoyed putting her creative and technological skills together in digital media. Her hobbies include reading sci-fi and fantasy, ringing handbells, and watching shows with her family.

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