Pastors and Staff

Our church is guided by caring staff. Our team of pastors serve the membership and the wider community through preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and local leadership and outreach. In addition to seeking ways our church can participate in and serve our community, our staff help us grow in faith and provide support to us when we need it. Many able and committed people assist our pastoral team in leading our programs and maintaining our facilities.


Rev. Dr. Ed McLeod 
Pastor, Head of Staff

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Dr. McLeod has been Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church since August 2004. Prior to his move to Raleigh, he served three churches in South Carolina: in Columbia, Greer, and Sumter. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. Ed and his wife Jenny have two adult children and a grandson. They enjoy movies, travel and dining out. Ed's golf game is a work in progress and his other hobbies range from crossword puzzles to triathlons.

A native North Carolinian, Ed is grateful for the privilege of serving this congregation in the heart of the Capital City. Building upon a wonderful legacy that stretches back almost 200 years, his vision for First Presbyterian Church is that we will be a community that worships joyfully, serves gladly, and seeks in all that we do to glorify God.




 Program Staff

David Covington
Director of Music

Dr. Covington joined the staff at First Presbyterian in 1994 and has been active in Music Ministry for over 25 years. A graduate of Mars Hill College with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance, he also has a Master’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Southwestern Seminary and a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education/Conducting from The Florida State University.

He has had several full- and part-time church music positions in Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, and Florida.

David is married to Diane Covington, former Choral Director at Leesville High School. They have a daughter, Meredith, a son, Jonathan, and two granddaughters.

Carol Anne Moehring

Carol Anne Moehring
Director of Outreach Ministries

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Carol Anne Moehring has been Director of Community Outreach at First Presbyterian Church since July 2005.

She earned a B.S. in Accountancy at Wake Forest University. A native of North Carolina, Carol Anne is a life-long Presbyterian.

She and her husband, Dick, have two adult children. They enjoy traveling and dining out. Working the daily crossword puzzle and Sudoku are mandatory.

Carol Anne feels honored to be the “face” of Outreach at FPC and strives to help the members live into our mission of “Serving Christ from the heart of the city to the ends of the earth with love, faith and action.”

Beth MacLeod Thaxton
Director of Youth Ministries and Christian Education

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Beth joined our staff in October of 2009. She grew up in Raleigh, where she graduated from Leesville High School. Beth left Raleigh to study at Presbyterian College, where she received her degree in Religion: Christian Education and Spanish in 2005. She then spent four years in ministry in Aiken, SC, serving in all areas of Christian education but focusing on Youth Ministry.

Beth, her husband, Chris, and their children Jack and Avery Jane are thrilled to be in the City of Oaks. Beth loves photography, college basketball, and goofing off with the middle and HS youth of FPC!


Katy Schafer
Director of Children and Family Ministries

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Katy Schafer was called to this full time position in April 2017.  She holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ.  She has spent 30 years working with children, teens and adults in Presbyterian churches.

Katy has 4 children: 2 in high school, 2 in middle school, and she is married to The Rev. Dr. Mac Schafer.  When she is not ferrying her children around, she enjoys reading, playing with  her Maine Coon cats, and would consider herself a live music concert junkie. As a native Floridian she enjoys the ocean, the sunshine, and finding sharks teeth. Katy and her family moved to Raleigh 8 years ago from Scottsdale, AZ.

She is thrilled to be involved in the faith development of  young children at FPC and is grateful for the opportunity to be part of this community.  

Craig Barfield

Craig is a life-long resident of Raleigh. Growing up, he attended Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Craig has been the organist at First Presbyterian Church since October 2002. He has been deeply involved with church music for all of his adult life.

A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Craig is also a CPA. In his spare time, he works with various management boards to preserve some of North Carolina’s historic Presbyterian churches.