United in Christ. Dedicated to spread the Good News.
Jesus Christ is our God, our Prophet, our Priest, and our King. We strive in every way to live under his authority and in submission to his word.
Mark Cary, Pastor
Pastor Mark Cary was converted in 1979. Shortly after his conversion, Pastor Mark worked in an inner city church in Philadelphia. He helped with a variety of ministries including teaching English to refugees and managing a thrift shop designed to touch the lives of people trapped in poverty. While there he met and married his wife, Sarah. Mark began his seminary studies at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia and finished seminary at Sangre de Cristo Seminary in Colorado. He holds a BA in biblical counseling from Trinity College and a Master of Divinity from Sangre de Cristo Seminary. He was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in May of 1990.
Mark has pastored in rural Custer County, Colorado, suburban Las Cruces, New Mexico, and in the Baltimore/Washington, DC metro area at Chapelgate Presbyterian Church where he served as Minister with Single Adults, overseeing a singles group and a divorce recovery ministry. He was the associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Gadsden, Alabama, before coming to South Dayton Presbyterian Church in 2004. Pastor Mark and his family spent 2001 ministering in the Czech Republic.
Mark and Sarah have two children, Elisabeth (1987) and Paul (1989).
For a fuller picture of our pastor's heart and direction in ministry, see:
- Pastor Mark's personal testimony of God's work of grace in his life
- Pastor Mark’s personal priorities
- Pastor Mark’s vision statement
Mike Littell, Assistant Pastor
Born and raised in Chicago, he comes to Dayton by way of Minnesota, where he has lived since 2001. In May 2013 he received the degrees of MDiv and ThM from Bethlehem Seminary in Minneapolis, MN. Mike wrote his master's thesis on Deuteronomy. He received his BA from St. Olaf College in 2005, where he majored in English and Philosophy.
In 2008 he met and married Megan, and they have four wonderful children.
The Elders of SDPC lead and shepherd the church, ruling as servant leaders and putting the needs of the church before their own.
The Deacons of SDPC work hand in hand with the elders and the church community to tend the needs of the congregation, the building, and the community.
Dan Whitley, Director of Children’s Education
Dan graduated from Wright State University in 2007 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. He has taught 3rd grade at Fairborn Primary for the past 6 years. Dan and his wife Emily have attended South Dayton Presbyterian since being married in 2004. As the Director of Children’s Education ministry, Dan oversees Children’s Sunday School and Children’s Church. He also provides overall direction and guidance to keep the ministry running smoothly, which can involve anything from choosing curriculum to cleaning up Play-Dough residue from the carpet.
Dan was born and raised in Kettering. He and his wife, Emily, have a 3 year old named Eli and are currently expecting their second son. When not at church, Dan enjoys weight lifting, reading comic books, and building with Legos.
Email Dan at email@example.com
Emily Whitley, Nursery Coordinator
Emily has been a member of South Dayton Presbyterian Church since 1994 and has been involved in the hospitality committee, and helped with teaching the preschool Sunday school class. She and Dan met at a singles group at another church and after much persistence and chasing she finally married Dan. She worked as a receptionist at a physical therapy office until she had her first son Eli. Then she starting teaching the toddler class in the church nursery and continued teaching after she had her second son, Quinn.
Emily likes cooking, watching movies, and painting landscapes in acrylic.
Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Tipps, First Service Worship Leader
Dr. James W. Tipps has been the Coordinator of Music Education at Wright State University since the Fall of 1992. Jim is also the conductor of the Wright State University Men’s Chorale. Prior to his appointment at Wright State, Jim taught elementary school general music and high school choral music in Georgia, and conducted Men's Glee Club and Choral Union at Florida State University. Additionally he worked extensively with church music as a conductor, pianist, organist, and consultant in the mid-west and southeastern United States. We are blessed to have Jim lead worship for our 8:30am Service on Sunday Mornings.
Email Jim at James.email@example.com
Debbie Holt, Biblical Counselor
Debbie was born and raised in the Chicago area and accepted Christ as Savior at the age of six. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Cedarville University, M.S. in Counseling from Wright State University and post-master’s study at the University of Dayton. Debbie worked as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in private practice for sixteen years before going to work as a Bereavement Counselor at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton in 2006, a position she holds presently. She was a pastor’s wife for many years. Her husband Mike died suddenly in 2005 and both her professional and personal experience with grief and the sustaining presence of the Lord Jesus Christ form the foundation of her counseling with hospice. A passion for Biblical soul care counseling brings her to current ministry with South Dayton Presbyterian Church, where she has been a member for 8 years.
Debbie is “Nana” to 4 precious little treasures in Chicago and she loves spending time with them, along with reading, walking, and dinners with friends.
Email Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitty Drake, Administrative Assistant - Bookkeeper
Kitty joined the SDPC staff in December, 2008. She comes to us with 7 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant to the Worship Pastor at another area church. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Wittenberg University, and has used her gifts to serve as adult and children's choir director at churches in Ohio and Arizona.
Kitty recently served as a Development Department Volunteer at the Miami Valley Women's Center in Kettering. She and her husband of over 35 years, TL, have been stationed in 4 states and in Japan while TL served in the U.S. Air Force. They have two grown children.
Kitty's life verse is Exodus 15:2 "The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise him; my father's God and I will exalt him."
Melissa K. Owens, Administrative Assistant
Melissa graduated from Teen Challenge Institute of Missions in 1988 and from iPec (Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) in 2016. She has worked more than 10 years as a Regional Director with the Department of State's J-1 student visitor exchange program and enjoys working with students from all over the world. Melissa is an Ohio native and she currently lives in Mason, Ohio.
Melissa has four nearly grown children and three grandchildren and a godly husband of 27 years. She served as a local legislative liaison to Christian home educators for 14 years through Christian Home Educator's of Ohio. Supporting the family is a big part of how she serves the Lord and it's where she finds the most joy.
When not working she is helping her husband with their newly formed business called Front Porch Family Services and Counseling Center and playing with the grand-babies.
Email Melissa at Melissa@SDPC.org
The Reformed Church traces itself back through the ages of God’s people. We are the children of: Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, the Church of Jesus Christ, the fathers and mothers of the church, and the Reformers of the 16th Century. We do not distinguish ourselves as a particular sect, but as members of the One Church of the One God, who worship that One with all the Saints of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
The Westminster Assembly, and its offspring
At the beginning of the English Civil War, parliament called an assembly of pastors and theologians ("the Westminster divines") together. Their job was to recommend a revised confession of faith for the official Church of England, in order to eliminate the abuses of power which had arisen out of the episcopate. Having begun in 1643, the Westminster Assembly completed its theological work by 1647, and was formally disbanded in 1652.
Members of the assembly were “varied in outlook within a generic Calvinism” (Letham, WA) and they produced a remarkable statement of faith, faithfully articulating Reformed and biblical consensus of the Christian faith. The almost immediate rejection of the Westminster Confession in its own land meant that English Presbyterianism was something of a stillborn child, but one which continues to influence people in many countries. Descendants of Westminster’s vision include denominations all over the world.