Rev. Dr. John Stephen Kay
John was born in Pennsylvania and moved to the small town of Wiggins, Mississippi, near the Gulf Coast, when his father, a Presbyterian minister, accepted the pastorate of a church. After three years there, the family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where his father pastored and where he grew up, finishing grade school and high school and graduating from Belhaven College with his B.A.
John went to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts for his Master of Divinity degree and served a church in New Hampshire. He then came to Chicago and received his Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary, where his area of specialty was Congregational Revitalization. He served churches in central Illinois after 1976, including serving as a consultant in church financial growth for the PC(USA). In 2014 he retired after eighteen years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, but shortly after was asked to be the Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Decatur. After serving there for two years, he had another short period of retirement before accepting the position of Interim Pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church.
John’s wife, Betty, is a retired elementary school teacher and the author of a number of historical books for children. They live in Wilmette, close to their daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Director of Christian Education
As Director of Christian Education at Highlands Presbyterian Church, I have the privilege of planning and leading children and young people to learn more about Jesus and deepen their faith. I received a B.A. in Sociology from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, and a M.A. in the Sociology of Education from the University of Chicago. I started my career in elementary education and enjoyed the interaction with children. After my own two children were born, I was asked to become Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Downers Grove. I pursued further education and received a M.A. in Educational Ministries from Wheaton College.
I have worked with children and youth at Highlands Presbyterian Church since January, 2004. It has been a joy to watch our young people grow from infants to youth, and from youth to adolescents ready to graduate and go on to college and careers. My husband and I also love to travel—especially to London, where I have four grandchildren.
Email Margaret at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Music
I have been employed by Lyons Township High School for the past twenty-two years. The first thirteen years I served as a substitute teacher, and for the last seven as a para-educator in the Special Education Department. I have a B.A. in Humanities (Drama) and a minor in Education from George Williams College (now Aurora University). I have three grown sons. My oldest and middle sons are teachers, and after spending five years in the United States Navy, my youngest son is attending college at the University of Illinois/Chicago. I have been married for twenty years to my best friend, Mike.
I love Highlands Presbyterian Church! This year I am celebrating my 22nd year as Director of Music! We are a very warm and inviting congregation. Please consider joining the choir and singing with us each Sunday from September through early June. No audition is necessary, just make a joyful noise!
Email Maria at email@example.com
W. Perry Johnson
Pianist & Choral Accompanist
I’m a native of Louisville, KY but now live in Oak Park, IL. I have four children - Sophie, Gabriel, Pierre and Sebastien. I received advanced degrees in piano performance from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France, and I hold both a bachelor and master degree in music as well. Besides responsibilities here at Highlands, I teach piano from my home studio.
Email Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org