Our Staff

Jordan Byrd - Senior minister

Jordan graduated with a BA in religion from Texas Christian University.  He then moved to Lexington, Kentucky to attend Lexington Theological Seminary. He graduated with his Master's of Divinity and received the New Testament Scholar award. Jordan started his ministry by leading youth, and was a youth minister for nearly 10 years before he moved to First Christian Church in Palestine as the senior minister.

Robin Woodward-Youth minister

Robin is a Commissioned Minister in the Disciples of Christ denomination. She began volunteering in youth ministry while still in high school and has served churches officially as a Youth Minister since 2007, first at University Christian Church in Tyler, and now at First Christian Church in Palestine.  Robin has an Associates Degree in Sign Language Interpreting and BA and MA degrees in History. She can beat anyone and everyone at Disney Scene It and is pretty good at Wii bowling, but is terrible at real life sports...all of them.

Jocile Grammer - Choir director/organist

For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. When the family gathered, we gathered around the piano to sing. At age thirteen, I was allowed to join the adult choir at the Baptist church where my parents were members. I sang and substituted for the pianist and organist until I started playing the piano for the church around the age of sixteen. Around 1968, I switched from the piano to the organ. In 1969, my family moved to East Texas where my plans were to begin singing in the choir again. I didn’t realize that God had other plans. My family joined the Baptist church where I learned that the pianist had graduated and moved off. The church was in need of a piano player. Yes, I took the job. In 1971, I married and moved my membership to the Methodist church where my new family went. Here again, I planned to start singing in the choir. But, God had other plans. The church needed a piano player, and I filled the need. In 1982, my family moved to Palestine and we attended the Methodist church in Elkhart. Here, I returned to singing in the choir. In 1999, I received a call from the Pastor of the First Christian Church of Palestine. The church needed an organist and my name had been given to him. I took the job. In 2010, the opportunity to be choir director was presented to me. God honored me by allowing me to be organist and choir director. In January, 2012, we began a Bell Choir. God has not only blessed me by giving me a talent to use and enjoy, but has given me the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of Christians.

Loretta Tolar -Pianist 

Ever since I began taking piano lessons in second grade, music has played an important part in my life. As a teenager, I became the pianist for the church my family attended. Since that time, I have been involved in some way in the music of the church that I was attending at the time. After I became a member at First Christian Church, Claire McCreary recruited me to the choir. (Thank you, Claire!) I then began filling in as the organist from time to time until I became the pianist for the choir. God has richly blessed me by allowing me to serve Him with such wonderful people here at First Christian Church.

Stephanie McPherson - Secretary 

Stephanie is the Secretary at First Christian Church in Palestine, Texas.  She has been doing clerical work for over eleven years. She produces and distributes all church publications, (Bulletin, Newsletter, Directory, etc.) maintains the church calendar, answers phones, and  assists the Pastor and the Church Board when needed.   

Helen Roberson- Custodian

Helen has worked at the church for over 13 years. She cares for the church in many ways. Not only does she immaculately clean the facilities, but she helps keep the church going in many ways. She keeps up with the people, helps with fellowship meals, and keeps the church supplied with all the things that it needs to keep on worshiping.

First Christian Voices
Amy Langley

Amy Langley

I absolutely enjoy worship each Sunday! Each and every person is so happy to see everyone. Walking in the doors of the church and smiles and hugs get my week started right. This family is so important to me! I always look forward to what Reverend Jordan has for me. Every single Sunday the message is perfect. My kids love all the children activities. But with all of this being said, I love this place!