Pastors & Staff

REV. Sarah Marie Bigwood

Head of Staff, Pastor

Pastor Bigwood is Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo. For the past 25 years, she has worked with various churches to build up their youth, young adult and family ministries. She's served as an associate pastor in Golden Valley, MN and a solo pastor in Southampton, New York.

As the leader of an historic downtown church in Fargo, Pastor Bigwood enjoys preaching, teaching, and working with our well-trained and talented staff to provide inspiring ministry. She also provides strategic leadership as her congregation thinks creatively about the future of God's ministry in the expanding Fargo-Moorhead area.

Pastor Bigwood lives in West Fargo with her husband, Tom. They have two children, Robby and Katie and two corgis, Otto and Bishop. The Bigwood family has extended family in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana.


Associate Pastor

Mary has been the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, North Dakota since 1992.  She grew up in Southwestern Minnesota and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. degree in biology.  She was a research technician at the Mayo Clinic before starting seminary at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1989.  While at Princeton Mary received the Robert P. Goodlin Award for pastoral care and clinical ministry.  She went on to complete two residencies of Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Minnesota Hospital and at Abbott Northwestern/Minneapolis Children’s Hospitals before beginning her call to the Fargo Church.
Her primary responsibilities include pastoral care to and nurture of the congregation, and outreach beyond the walls of the church building –  missions within the community and region, as well as with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya.
Mary and her husband of 28 years, Tom, have two young adult children, David and Sarah.  She’s a “dyed in the wool” Minnesota Vikings fan and has never met a Sudoku or Cryptoquip she didn’t like!

jan lundgren

Business Manager

Jan Lundgren joined First Pres in 2014 as the Business Manager where she processes contributions, does the financial reporting and payroll.  Previously, she spent 8 years as the part-time bookkeeper for Messiah Lutheran Church, which is also her church home.  Before moving to Fargo, she was a staff accountant/payroll for a manufacturing firm in Minneapolis for over 10 years.  She enjoys meeting congregants, loves her coworkers and appreciates the flexibility her position offers to attend her children’s activities.
Jan has been married for 21 years to husband, Michael. They live in North Fargo with their three children, Sophie, Natalie & Daniel, and a naughty cat, Rufus.  An avid reader, you’ll usually find her with a book in hand when she’s not on a walk, attending one of her children’s events or folding countless loads of laundry.

penny andrist

Coordinator of Children's Ministries

Education: MA in Learning Disabilities
BA in Psychology/Secondary Education
Certification in Elementary Education
Minor in Coaching
Penny Andrist has been on the staff of FPC for 14 years as the Coordinator of Children’s Ministry. She reviews and selects curriculum for all levels of elementary Christian Education, oversees the nursery, recruits and trains teaching volunteers, plans special events and the annual Children’s Worship Service, and directs VBS.
Penny Andrist began her teaching career in 1984, first working in public schools in Williston, ND and then as a self-employed consultant and educator for businesses, associations and the UND Continuing Education Staff. She started her own Children’s Music company, Penny & Pals, in 1990 and continues to write, record and perform in a wide variety of family-friendly venues. She conducts music and movement workshops with youth every summer, has recorded seven award-winning albums and numerous commissioned works, including curriculum, theme songs and jingles.

In her free time, Penny loves almost any outdoor activity – hiking, biking, running and gardening – and anything musical, especially her ukulele! She is married, has one old cat and lots of other family that she hangs out with, usually at the kids’ table.

kayla bones

Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Kayla Bones (she/her) has served as the Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at First Presbyterian Church since June of 2015. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a degree in religion and music in May of 2015. Most recently, in May of 2019, Kayla earned her MA in Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministry from Luther Seminary.  
Kayla is interested in thinking about the future of the church and how we do ministry together. The questions she asks are: How do we live out our faith in our daily lives through our relationships with one another? How do we watch for and name God’s action in the world? How do we engage young people in the life of the church?
In her spare time, Kayla likes to binge-watch PBS Masterpiece Theater shows and reality TV, read, play board games and trivia, and travel.

sally harmon


Sally Gunkelman Harmon was born and raised in Fargo. Following 12 years of private piano lessons before college, she graduated from NDSU in 1976 with a BS in Music Education/emphasis on Piano Performance. Sally became a church musician, accompanying children’s choirs and playing for church services while a young teenager, and continued on to become Assistant Organist and then Organist and Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Fargo. She joined the staff of First Presbyterian in 2010. Sally and her husband, David, have three grown sons, three daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Pamela Burns

Coordinator of Music Ministries

Pamela Burns is a long-time member of First Presbyterian, joining the staff as Coordinator of Music Ministries in 2023. Pam grew up in North Dakota, and she holds undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Elementary Education from Minot State University, as well as a Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting from NDSU. Pam is a mostly-retired free-lance music educator who specializes in developmentally-appropriate vocal coaching for young singers. As a volunteer, Pam directs the choir for children in grades 3-6 and sings with the Sanctuary Choir here at First Pres. She is also moderator of the EduCon Committee, participant in the Pilgrimage program, and an elected member of the Nominating Committee.

Pam has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and is delighted that many of them live in the FM area! Pam sings with the Fargo-Moorhead Choral Artists, and recently completed a term as President of its Board of Directors. Pam is a fine-arts advocate and patron who also enjoys books, gardens, and travel. But her very favorite things are music and children.

Shawn Neisen

Adult Choir Director

Shawn Neisen is currently a graduate student at North Dakota State University, where he will be finishing his Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting. He has been accepted into NDSU’s Doctoral Program in Choral Conducting to continue immediately following his Master’s. Prior to his current studies, he taught five years of K-12 General and Vocal Music in Battle Lake, Minnesota. Along with directing the choirs at Battle Lake Public School, Shawn also served as the choir director for Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, where he experienced working with singers from five to 95 years old! Shawn is an active member of the Minnesota chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association. He is an accomplished pianist, having served as an accompanist for soloists and larger ensembles. Shawn received his BA in Vocal Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota studying under Dr. René Clausen and Dr. Michael Culloton. 

Rick Fiebiger

Facility Manager

Rick Fiebiger is the Facilities Manager at First Presbyterian Church. He has been with First Presbyterian for 20 years.
Rick works closely with the Building and Grounds Committee to ensure the church and grounds are well maintained. The historical aspects of the church are very interesting to him.
He is an avid reader and enjoys gardening on his homestead.

Drew Brovold


Drew was born in Fargo, ND, where he attended West Fargo High School and graduated in 2009.
His hobbies include going to concerts and Frisbee golfing. His favorite bands are Modest Mouse and Pink Floyd.
Drew previously worked in fast food management. He is excited to learn as much as he can about the facilities and upkeep of the church.

Casey LeMier

Communications & Administrative Assistant

Casey LeMier (they/them) was born in Fargo, North Dakota. They studied at the University of Jamestown for a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Information Technology. They enjoy playing with their cat, reading, and all kinds of games (board games, puzzles, video games, etc).
They started at First Presbyterian in 2022. They are pleased with the job they have been doing and look forward to continuing their work here.