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Pastoral & Program Staff
- Matt OvertonAssociate Pastor, Acting Head of Staff
Pastor Matt grew up in Southern California and did his undergrad in History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and then went to seminary at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.
It was at college that he met his wife Anne and began sensing God’s call to youth ministry. He started working with teenagers at age 21 and still loves working with them. Once Matt finished seminary he received a call to Northern California and served there for 4 years before coming to Washington. He came to Columbia because he felt a calling to serve at a church that was not only trying to reach teens for Jesus Christ, but also doing its best to equip and teach parents how to raise their kids as followers of the Lord.
Matt has 2 children who are amazing gifts from God. In whatever spare time he has to recover from the last youth event Matt likes to run and hike in the awesome Creation that the Northwest provides!
- Scott PetersonInterim Associate Pastor
Scott is a native of the Northwest. His father was a Methodist pastor and their family moved around Oregon and Washington before he graduated from High School in Centralia, Washington in 1976. Scott heard a call to ministry while at Seattle Pacific University, where he graduated in 1981. Scott served in the mission field in Australia and New Zealand before attending Gordon Conwell Seminary near Boston, Massachusetts.
Scott met his wife, Mary, in 1985 while doing a church internship in Cleveland, Ohio. They married and moved to Pasadena, California where Scott graduated from Fuller Seminary in 1987. Scott took his first ordained position as Associate Pastor in Escondido, California. Later, Scott was the pastor at 1st Presbyterian Church in Brawley, California.
In 1999 Scott took the position of Head of Staff Pastor in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Scott earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Seminary. In 2004 Scott’s family moved to Newberg, Oregon where Scott was an adjunct professor at George Fox Seminary. From 2005 until 2016 Scott was pastor at Cooper Mountain Presbyterian in Aloha, Oregon. From 2016 until 2019, Scott was the Stated Supply Pastor at Mt. Scott Park Presbyterian in S.E. Portland.
Scott and Mary enjoy bicycling, evening walks, hanging with family and friends, following the Blazers, Seahawks, Ducks, and Beavers, and being proud parents of Elizabeth and Michael, and daughter-in-law Kylee.
- Jeff HaagensonWorship & Music Minister
Jeff Haagenson brings a diverse musical background to his work at Columbia. He has studied choral music, opera, voice, piano, and guitar. He incorporates all of this into classical, traditional, popular, contemporary and jazz styles of worship music. Jeff enjoys working with the contemporary worship band and leading the traditional choir. He considers it a privilege to work behind the scenes to prepare Sunday morning worship services that enhance and support the messages of the day. He also enjoys preparing the annual Christmas Concerts and special worship services. Jeff is a composer and arranger of both classical and contemporary music and has served as a music director at the high school and college levels. Jeff considers it a privilege to work with High School students at the church. He incorporates them into the worship team as he teaches and mentors them to be a new generation of worship musicians.
In his spare time, Jeff loves to practice and play guitar as well as biking, skiing and exercising. Jeff’s wife Anna is also a musician and they frequently perform together. Jeff and Anna have three boys - James, Matthew, and Adam.
Jeff has a Bachelor’s degree in music from Concordia College and a Master’s Degree in music from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
- Tifny MathenaChildren and Intergenerational Ministries Director
Tifny is a native of the Pacific Northwest. As a military spouse, her family has moved seven times in the past ten years, but is thankful to be settled back home. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Portland State in 2006 and brings a diverse range of experience in parent-child education, therapeutic preschool, foster care and pregnancy resource ministries, working with at-risk youth, and military family and spouse support. She and her husband Aaron have two children, Max and Stella.
- Raquel DeWittInterim Director of Children's Ministry
Raquel grew up in the northwest as a PK (preacher's kid) and has been continually involved in church life in multiple capacities since her (younger) youth. She attended Oregon State University studying Human Development and Family Studies and later completed a master’s program from Portland State in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education. She has taught and worked with children of all ages and their families. Education and community building continue to be life passions. Raquel has three girls – two of whom have mostly left the nest and a third who is a senior in high school. When she’s not helping one of her girls launch into their own, she enjoys being barefoot, reading, paddle-boarding, and experiencing life outdoors.
- Lydia TombarelliYouth Director
Lydia grew up in Spokane, Washington and has lived in the Pacific Northwest her whole life. She loves student ministries, the outdoors, hiking, sports, and just hanging out with youth students. Lydia attended Whitworth University where she fell in love with the study of theology and began to discern what a call to ministry would look like vocationally. During her time at school she was able to study church history, serve her community, intern within different ministries, and find her call to youth ministry. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and Speech Communications Lydia returned to Columbia Presbyterian Church after being a 2018 summer intern.
- John Van DinterBusiness Administrator
John grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has been an active member of Columbia Presbyterian, serving with children, youth, young adults and small group ministries. He has served as a Trustee and as moderator of the Personnel Ministry team. Prior to joining the church staff in 2019, he held a variety of positions with U.S. Bank. John has a degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University. John and his wife Cindy have two adult children, Hannah and Andrew.
- Ted BuckParish Associate - Pastoral Care and Visitation
Ted returned to the Columbia Presbyterian community in the summer of 2019. He previously served Columbia as a youth director and later as an associate pastor from 1979-1986. Ted was ordained in 1983 during his time at Columbia Presbyterian Church.
Ted is married to Katie (1979) and they have four grown children: Annie (Tim), Jessie (Bobby), Allison, and Matthew. They have three grandchildren, Porter, Jace and Hallie, and a cat named Eva. Ted and Katie enjoy family gatherings and trips to Lake Tahoe and Disneyland. Ted also enjoys watching sporting events, playing golf, reading, and watching a good movie.
Ted has been committed to “bi-vocational ministry” to smaller congregations since leaving Columbia in 1986. He has served in the pastorate, and as an educator and coach, in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In education, he has been a teacher, athletic director, and associate principal, in addition to coaching various sports.
Ted’s focus at Columbia Presbyterian is on pastoral care with a special emphasis on visitation to the elderly, shut-ins, and those in hospitals and hospice centers. Ted also works with the Board of Deacons in providing compassion and hospitality services in the church.
- Terry HurleyAdministrative Assistant
Terry Hurley serves as the Administrative Assistant to future Interim Head of Staff and Pastor Scott Peterson. She moved from the Midwest to Vancouver in 1994 and calls the Pacific Northwest her home. Terry came to Columbia in August, 2014, bringing many years of prior experience serving in ministry support. She is blessed with two grown children and a wonderful church family.
- Viva DennisCommunications Specialist
Viva Dennis is the Communications Specialist/Administrative Assistant. Viva has been involved with Columbia since 1992. She has been in her current position since 2007. Viva and her husband Dallas have been married since 1982 and they are the parents of two wonderful young men.
- Katie MrochkoAdministrative Assistant
Katie Mrochko serves as the Administrative Assistant to Youth and Music Ministries. She was born and raised in Vancouver and was an active member of Columbia as a youth and young adult. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Whitworth University, and served in full-time youth ministry for over a decade at Columbia, Central Kitsap, and First Presbyterian of Colorado Springs. After almost a decade of living in Colorado, Katie and her husband returned to the Pacific Northwest for the scenery and to be near Katie’s extended family. Along with ministering to youth, Katie enjoys sewing hand bags and other accessories, and is also a health coach.
- Marilyn RobertsChurch Bookkeeper
Marilyn Roberts is the church bookkeeper. She joined the church as a member in 1994. Prior to joining the church staff in 2002 she was a manager in the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co. in Dallas, Texas. She holds a BS degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She is married and the mother of two children.
- Mario NievesFacilities Supervisor
Mario Nieves is the church Facilities Supervisor, joining the staff in February 2015. Mario and his family joined the church in 2010. Prior to joining the staff at CPC, he was a Maintenance Technician and Assistant Manager for an apartment complex in Vancouver and Portland. Mario and his wife, Eva, parent one son.
- Anna HaagensonDirector of K2 Live & Children's Music
Anna has been in children’s ministry for 17 years. She has been director of K2 Live, the mid-week program for 3rd – 5th graders, for 15 years and as children’s choir director for 16 years.
- University of Colorado, Boulder – BMus in vocal performance
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – MMus in vocal performance
- Married with 3 adult sons.
Anna is passionate about kids and introducing them to Christ in a way that is real and personal. She strives to influence kids to be lifelong disciples and not merely little moralists.
Anna also believes that parents are the primary influence in a child’s faith development and therefore endeavors to include parents in the ministry in a variety of ways to inspire and equip them to take hold of that role.
In raising her three boys, including one son with Down syndrome, Anna has learned about child development and age-appropriate ways of conveying and living a Christian faith that she brings to her ministry at Columbia.
- Garnet HayesOrganist
Garnet is the Organist and Choral Accompanist at CPC. She works with Jeff Haagenson and other staff members to prepare both organ and piano music for worship services, and she accompanies the Sanctuary Choir on a regular basis. She also works full-time as the choral director at Wy'east Middle School. Garnet holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Westminster Choir College of Rider University where she was a double major in Sacred Music and Music Education
- David CarterMedia Ministry Coordinator
As Media Ministry Coordinator, David works with the pastoral leadership and the Worship & Music Minister to provide quality production of all things technical at Columbia. New to the Pacific Northwest from Colorado, David loves spending time outdoors.
Elders & Deacons
The leadership in Presbyterian Churches consists of pastors, elders and deacons. Each elder and deacon is nominated by the church nominating committee, elected by the congregation, examined by the Session and ordained for their invaluable role in a special ceremony before the congregation.