First ARP Staff

Pastor

Dr. Kyle E. Sims

Kyle was born in Greenville, South Carolina and was raised in Easley by his parents Mr. & Mrs. Clifton J. Sims. A graduate of Pickens High School in 1989, he accepted a basketball scholarship to Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. While at Erskine, he was a four year member of the Flying Fleet Basketball team and was involved in a wide variety of campus activities.  Kyle was the recipient of the Lee Atwater Honorary Scholarship in 1991, the R.C. Grier Scholar in 1992 and was named to the “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges” in 1993.  Kyle graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History in May of 1993.

In 1996 Kyle accepted the position of D.C.E. at the Rogers Memorial ARP Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina and entered Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte that fall.  In June of 1997 Kyle became the Student Supply Pastor at the Smyrna and Hickory Grove ARP churches in Western York Co.  He was installed pastor  in 1999 after his graduation from seminary. While serving these two churches he worked with various churches to plan youth rallies, community services, and various projects. He served as a Volunteer with the SC DJJ. 

In 2005, he accepted a call to the First ARP church of Lancaster, SC and is presently serving as their minister.

In 2010, He graduated from the Erskine Theological Seminary's Institute on Reformed Worship with a Doctor of Ministry degree.

He is a volunteer Chaplain with the Lancaster City Fire Department which gives him the ability to minister to the whole community as well as to the needs of the firefighters. As a former Basketball Player, he has enjoyed coaching youth basketball in the Moriah Church League and Hope on the Hill League.

Kyle is married to the former Kelly Elizabeth Counts of Greenville, SC. Mrs. Sims is also a graduate of Erskine College. Together, they have four children and reside in Lancaster with their cat, Allie and dog, Dixie Crystal.

 

Music Director

Dr. Kristen Wunderlich 

Kristen holds a B.A. degree in Music and English from Luther College and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Performance with a related field of Vocal Pedagogy from the University of North Texas.  Her dissertation topic focused on the song cycle, The Prairie Sings, written for her by American composer, Philip Wharton.  She gave the premiere performance of the cycle in October 2006.

A scholar of historical vocal pedagogy, she received a grant in 2004 to attend the Physiology and Acoustics of Singing conference in Denver, Colorado. Her teachers include Dr. Stephen F. Austin and Rebecca Turner.

In 2005, she was inducted into Sigma Alpha Iota as a Friend of the Arts by her Pennsylvania State students.  She is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Her students have portrayed lead and supporting roles in operas and been featured in solo recitals and as soloists in chamber works at the collegiate level.  Several of her students have placed as semifinalists and finalists at the annual NATS auditions.

Dr. Wunderlich currently teaches Voice, Vocal Pedagogy and Art Song Literature at Winthrop University.  She has previously taught voice as a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas and as a faculty member at the University of Texas at Arlington, Pennsylvania State University, Luther College and Waldorf College.

 

 

Pastoral Intern/Youth Director

Jordan Bernard

Jordan is a student at Erskine Theological Seminary in Columbia. He is married to Amanda who teaches music in Rock Hill. A native of York County. He is a graduate of Northwestern High School and Liberty University. Before Seminary, he worked at Panera Bread and volunteered with the Youth Ministry of Tirzah ARP church. He was an ordained deacon at Tirzah. 

Jordan has a variety of responsibilities in the life of the congregation. His main focus is on Youth ministry, but he does work in areas of worship, preaching, teaching, visiting, and administration. 

 

Organist/Pianist

Amy Jones

Amy is a Registered Nurse and works with Duke Energy. She is a native of Lancaster and is married to Johnny Jones and has two children, Sara and Will. Amy plays both the organ and the piano and has been with us since the Summer of 2011.

Secretary

Stacy Pokopac

Stacy is a native Ohioan who has lived in South Carolina since 1992. After working a variety of retail jobs and completing her college degree at Coastal Carolina University, she married David in 2000. Their daughter Eliana was born in 2007 and they relocated to Lancaster in 2010. Stacy has been church secretary since February 2016.