Our Team


Rev. Nathaniel Mathews

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Pastor Nate and Mrs. Anna are from Waverly, Tennessee where they have known each other since kindergarten and were crowned Prom ‘King and Queen’ their senior year of High School.

Both have a heart for God and God’s people. Nate and Anna earned degrees in the Social Sciences from Bethel University with the hope of helping others. Nate’s degree in Psychology helped him develop a desire to better understand the needs of those he serves, recognizing the complexity of life we all live with. Anna’s education led her to become passionate about the aging in society, as they are often forgotten. She has worked as a long-term care Social Worker and Hospice Bereavement Coordinator. Currently, her heart is with those suffering from dementia. Anna is also a ‘Certified Dementia Practitioner’.

Nate holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Memphis Theological Seminary. His seminary journey allowed him the freedom and privilege to ask the difficult questions of faith and spirituality while studying under scholars of their respective fields. Pastor Nate’s time at the seminary also consisted of sharing and learning from a diverse group of individuals from varying faith traditions, whose focus was to learn (scholarship), grow (piety), and serve (justice). The Cumberland Presbyterian Seminary believes in equipping students with the tools to change the world so it may better reflect the Kindom of God, on earth - as it is in heaven.  Spending time in Memphis TN, the heartbeat of the Civil Rights Movement, afforded Pastor Nate the opportunity to be active in the community partnering with the Cumberland Presbyterian Seminary. Pastor Nate has served as Pastor, Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor, and Music Minister in various churches over the years. 

Nate and Anna’s hope is to share God’s love to the world God loves. We aim to do this by seeking, nurturing, and equipping people to become surrendered followers of Jesus Christ – as a people inspired, empowered, and used by God to change lives through prayer and service with the love of Christ.

Pastor Nate enjoys good food, fun with others, watching movies, reading, and being outside! 



Children's Ministry Coordinator

Aurora Buchanan

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Aurora has always had a passion for sharing the love of Christ with others, especially children, to help them establish and grow in a relationship with God. She wants all children to know that Jesus loves them. She was shown the love of Christ through a loving and supportive community that encouraged her to grow in her faith; because of this community, she wants to show Christ's love and help others come to know and grow in a relationship with him.

She attended Margaret Talkington for her middle and high school career and currently attends Lubbock Christian University (LCU) to earn her degree in Biblical Text and Preaching, with a minor in Children and family ministry.

Aurora shared: “I want to help all children know that they are loved and cherished by the creator of the universe no matter what situation they come from and that God wants to have a relationship with them.”

She loves journalism, writing, singing, archaeology, volunteering, hiking, camping.

Interim Director of Worship and Music

Ken Smith

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Ken Smith began as worship leader in 2017 and was asked to serve as interim Director of Worship and Music in December '18. He is a lifelong Cumberland Presbyterian, raised in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Floydada, TX. Ken is an ordained deacon, an ordained elder (currently serving on the Session), is very active in Presbytery del Cristo and has been on Denominational Boards in the past. We at FCPC are very blessed to have Ken serve in this capcity. Ken brings experience and knowledge to the worship team. Ken is passionate about worship, the theology behind our worship and the Scripture that informs our theology and worship. When asked about his service as worship leader, Ken said: "What an honor it is to be able to serve God's people by leading their services. I feel that my entire life has been leading me to a point where I am able to serve my God and my church in this way." 


Nancy Russell

Nancy Russell began her ministry as organist at First Cumberland Presbyterian in April, 2018. She has served as a church organist since her junior year in high school, and is currently also organist at First Baptist Church for the Traditions service.

At the age of nine, Nancy accepted Christ as her personal Savior and was baptized at First Baptist Church of Bellmead, Tx. While in high school, she attended a Youth for Christ rally in Houston where she felt and accepted God’s call to Christian music ministry. Since that time, God has provided opportunities for serving as organist and pianist at churches in Waco, Bellville, Pecos, Stephenville, Paisano Baptist Encampment, and now in Lubbock.

Inspired by an older sister who was also a church organist, Nancy began picking out songs on the piano as early as age three. The first song she remembers trying to play was “It Is No Secret What God Can Do.” She began private piano lessons at the age of eight, and then studied private organ with Dr. Robert Markham at Baylor University while in high school. She continued her organ lessons while in college.

Nancy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University in Speech and English, with secondary education certification. She also holds a Master of Science from Sul Ross State University in educational administration. She taught high school speech and English in Bellville and Pecos for 24 years, then began her career in administration as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Dublin ISD. She retired in 2009.

Bringing honor and glory to God and helping provide a worshipful experience at each service is Nancy’s desire and prayer as she prepares music for the Sunday services.

Church Secretary

Karen Reid

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We are grateful to have Karen serve in this capacity. Karen helps us all run smoothly. When we asked Karen concenring her life in the church she had this to say: "Other than a wife and mother, I have only worked as an office assistant. I enjoy the 'people contact' I make with church members coming to the office and others who stop by. I find it enjoyable and fun to create new and colorful e-mails and newsletters. I have worked with children in various ways, been chair of ladies organizations several times, a deacon and now a newly elected and ordained elder at FCPC. I remember thinking one time that all I wanted to be in my life was a wife, a mother, and to work for my church. God has helped me to fulfill this desire. I am blessed and thank God every day of my life for giving me this opportunity to serve Him and my church." 


Richard Trussell

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Richard Trussell is the Church Treasurer here at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Lubbock, Texas. He has worked in the area of church business administration since 1989. Richard is a member of the Church Network and holds the designation of Certified Church Administrator (CCA). The Church Network is an inter-denominational association of churches and individuals which exists to serve churches by advancing professional excellence in individuals who serve the local church in the area of administration. The designation of Certified Church Administrator is given to those who complete the Church Network certification program by acquiring knowledge and using resources unique to church administration. According to Richared: “Stewarding the resources God has entrusted to the church is a significant responsibility. I believe that church administration is a calling to this role in much the same way that any church leader is called. It is a calling to a unique kind of ministry.” We are grateful to have Richard on staff. 

Elected Leaders

The "Session" consists of Elders who have been elected to serve as overseers of the spiritual condition and direction of this congregation along with the pastor who serves as moderator.  The current session members have been elected for the following terms (year indicates when their 3-year term will complete):

2021 - Gordon Downum, Karen Reid, Ken Smith; 2022 - Monte Chitwood, Darnell Dingle, Scott Fanning; 2023 - Valerie Parkinson 

Diana Akins, Stated Clerk of the Session; Ken Smith serves as President of the Board of Directors of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Lubbock, Inc. The Board consists of all session members, excluding the pastor. Darnell Dingle serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors.

Session and Board of Director meetings are typically the second Monday of the month at 5:30.  Elders are ordained into the office of Elder and continue to serve as Elders of the congregation even when they are not on the session.


The "Diaconate" consists of Deacons who have been elected to serve in the ministry of service, compassion, care of the poor and others in need. This minsitry is given to the church by Jesus Christ, who came to serve rather than be served. 

Current Board of Deacons (year indicates year in which they will complete their 3-year term):

2021 - Cindy Chitwood, Sherry Walton; 2022 - Edie Fanning; 2023 - Glenn Jones, Greg Akins 

Chair - Cindy Chitwood; Secretary/Treasurer - Edie Fanning

The Diaconate typically meet on the first Monday of the month at 5:30. Deacons are ordained into the office of Deacon and continue to hold their ordination, even if they are not serving on the Diaconate.