David-headshot

David O'Dowd

Interim Senior Pastor  Email

David brings to East Orlando experience as a ruling elder while ministering with Cru (Boston), as an associate pastor and twice as senior pastor (FL & OK), and as a full-time faculty member of Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS) and an adjunct faculty member at RTS (Orlando), Westminster Seminary (Dallas), and Redeemer Seminary (Dallas). He studied at Northwestern University (IL), Western Seminary (OR), and LSU (Baton Rouge). Before coming to UPC David served as interim senior pastor at both Covenant Presbyterian, Harrisonburg, VA, and Covenant Presbyterian, Nashville, TN. He has provided counsel and service to several other Sessions and congregations during their senior pastor transitions. He delights in seeing church officers and staff grow in living out the implications of the gospel in their relationships and having that reality positively impact the congregation. David and his wife Mary Nell have been married for over 40 years and have two sons and a daughter.

Steven-headshot-squareSteve Weidenmuller

Executive Pastor  Email 

After a 30-year career in corporate Human Resources, Steve was compelled to leave that profession and start a new calling. Moving from Richmond, Virginia to attend Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando), and graduating in May 2019 with a Masters of Divinity, he was called to be the Executive Pastor of UPC. He and his wife Lee have been married for more than 30 years. They have two married daughters, all of whom live here in Orlando. My favorite part of living in Florida – The weather. My favorite local restaurant – any that serves a good steak.

pablo-torres-new-picPablo Torres

Assistant Pastor / Church Planter Email

Pablo was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He is married to Maria and has two children, Pablo and Paola. He graduated from the Latin American Faculty of Theological Studies (FLET) in 2007. He is an Ordained Pastor in the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (2009) and was received as an Ordained Pastor in the Central Florida Presbytery in November 2017. In August 2017 Pablo and his family arrived in Orlando by a call of the Lord to start a Hispanic PCA Church, under the care of University Presbyterian Church Orlando.

Stephen-headshot-squareStephen Trafton

Director of Worship & Arts  Email

Stephen is originally from Kentucky and spent the past 13 years in NYC before coming to Orlando in 2019.  He received a Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre at Baldwin-Wallace College in 2006, and right before graduation, Stephen was cast on Broadway in the Original Revival Cast of Les Miserables.  He also performed on the Broadway National Tour of Phantom of the Opera where he met his wife, Juliette.  For the past 6 years, Stephen was on staff at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC under the leadership of Dr. Tim Keller, where he served as the Youth Coordinator and the Youth Ministry Director.  He and his wife created a ministry called Living Letters, which brings books of the Bible to life (www.living-letters.com).  Stephen and Juliette have 3 kids and live in Winter Park.  Stephen’s role at UPC includes crafting the liturgy and music for the Sunday services, helping lead the church in thinking about integrating worship throughout their whole life, growing an arts community and putting on creative events, and producing materials and performances that help bring Scripture to life in fresh new ways. 

Gabby-headshot-squareGabby Peterson

Director of Children's Ministry  Email

Gabby graduated from UCF with a Bachelors degree in Elementary School Education. She has been attending UPC for 10 years. Gabby and her husband, Matthew have been married since December 2019. They have a baby boy arriving early 2022! Her favorite local restaurant in Orlando is Thai Orchid in Winter Park.

 

 

headshot Michael BMichael Blackston

Redeemer Counseling  Email

Michael and Rachel Blackston lead Redeemer Counseling here at UPC. They are Licensed Mental Health Counselors for the state of Florida, receiving their Master of Arts in Counseling degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary. They worked at an Oviedo counseling center before coming to UPC. Rachel got her Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology degree from James Madison University and worked as a career counselor and adjunct faculty member at JMU and then the University of Central Florida. Rachel loves working with adolescents, women, and couples. Michael specializes in helping men deal with depression, sexual addiction, masculinity and gender issues, and abuse. He also enjoys working with couples experiencing relational difficulties and adolescents with self-esteem or behavioral struggles.

Tanya-3.1Tanya Turner

Business Manager  Email 

Tanya was born in Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she met her husband, Fred. They fell in love while playing guitar together in the university jazz band. They now have grown twin daughters.

After moving to Orlando in 1991, Tanya became the full-time director of the Adult Literacy League, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching adults to read, and was then a staff accountant with Rodney Eddins, CPA, for 5 years before joining the UPC staff in 2000. Tanya and her family started attending UPC in 1996 where she and Fred played in the praise band for many years, and then moved out with UPC's church plant, Christ Kingdom, in 2005.

Lisa-headshot-squareLisa Stephens

Events & Facility Coordinator  Email 

Lisa was born and raised deep in the heart of Texas. After college at West Texas A&M University, she worked in Marketing & Management for a real estate developer in Uptown Dallas and Austin for 14 years before moving to Orlando in December 2001. Lisa has been a member of UPC since 2002 and has served in many different ministry roles over the years. Lisa loves spending time with her son Travis, cooking, going to water parks, going for walks and hanging out with friends.  

 

Megan-headshot-squareMegan Brown

Administrative Assistant Email

I am a born and raised Floridian, graduating from the University of Central Florida. Go, Knights! I graduated with my Early Childhood Education degree, and after teaching for a couple of years, I joined the UPC staff in 2011. I thoroughly enjoy serving the Lord through my church and in the community. My husband is David, and we have two children: Emma & Harrison. My family and I love going to Disney (a major perk of living in Orlando!), and I also enjoy shopping and eating at my favorite restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory!

Courtney-PhotoCourtney Besteman

Digital Communications Manager Email

Courtney was born and raised in Iowa until she and her husband Justin moved to Bradenton Florida in 2010. They both attended the State College of Florida in Bradenton and then moved to Orlando so Justin could continue his studies at UCF. Courtney completed the Digital Marketing bootcamp at UCF in 2019. They have been members at UPC since 2015.