STAFF & LEADERSHIP

at PCOC

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Our Pastors

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PCOC Staff

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Elders

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Deacons

Our Pastors

Rev. Dr. Marshall Zieman

Pastor/Head of Staff

​marshall@pcoc.us

Marshall was called to Church of the Cross in 2015 as our Pastor and Head of Staff.  A native of the Midwest, Marshall grew up in the Kansas City area, graduating from Wichita State University with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. A Master of Divinity Degree was earned at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. A Doctorate of Ministry Degree was earned at Fuller Theological Seminary in California.

As newlyweds, Marshall and his wife, Becky, served as church planting missionaries in Spain. It was through the encouragement of Spanish elders that Marshall sought ordination to become a pastor.

Marshall’s first call as a pastor was to West Hills Presbyterian Church in Omaha where he was ordained in 1992. He served at West Hills as their Pastor of Children, Families, and Caregiving. Marshall served the next 20 years as an Associate Pastor at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, overseeing the ministries of Children, Youth, and Outreach.

Always a proponent of world mission, Marshall has served as a Trustee of The Outreach Foundation of the Presbyterian Church. For the past 30 years, Marshall has travelled with church mission teams to Eastern Europe, Cuba, Central America, and Africa. He has conducted numerous teaching seminars in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Belarus, and Moldova on topics related to children’s and youth ministry and pastoral care. In recent years, Marshall has focused his travels in the Middle East, visiting and encouraging the Presbyterian Church in Lebanon and Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Egypt. Since coming to Church of the Cross, Marshall has participated in our church’s travels to minister with our partner church in the village of Gnozdovo, in western Russia.

At Church of the Cross, Marshall serves as our primary preacher and worship leader, manages our busy staff, moderates the Session (our leadership body), and is the staff liaison to our Mission Committee.  He also serves our local presbytery on its Commission On Ministry.  Marshall loves jazz music, cherry pie, bar-b-que, and talking all things baseball, especially as it relates to his beloved Kansas City Royals.  Marshall and Becky have three wonderful adult children and three adorable grandchildren whom they would love to tell you about.

Dr. Christine Dempsey, Ph.D.

Associate Pastor

christine@pcoc.us

Christine was born in Scottsbluff and raised with two mischievous older brothers. She attended college at Nebraska Wesleyan University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Music {trumpet, voice and piano). She combined her passion for music and history and attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, studying hymnbooks in the Reformation. Ultimately,  graduating with both a M.A. and Ph.D. in Modern European History with a minor in Chinese History. She worked at both the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan for fifteen years teaching classes in European and Asian history. She felt a call to ministry in 2014 and entered the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary where she completed her Master of Divinity degree. While in seminary, she also completed a certification in Clinical Pastoral Education and served clinical hours as a Chaplain at CHI Health St. Elizabeth’s in Lincoln.

Dr. Dempsey married her husband, Mike Dempsey, who is a native of Lincoln. He is a Computer Networking Presales Engineer for Sirius Computer Solutions here in Omaha. They have two sons, Liam, a sophomore at Colorado School of Mines, and Cael, a sophomore at Lincoln East High School.  Liam is a mathematician, violinist, gear head and Twitch streamer.  Cael is an artist, percussionist, wrestler and board game enthusiast.

Someday in the future, Christine wants to get into bird watching, see the Boston Pops on the 4th of July, and hike the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

PCOC Staff

Kristi Treu

Director of Music and Executive Director of Vesper Concerts Series

kristi@pcoc.us

Kristi Treu, Director of Music and Executive Director of Vesper Concerts Series, has a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance, vocal performance, and music education from Jamestown College in Jamestown, ND. She later went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in vocal performance and choral conducting from George Mason University in Fairfax,VA. 

As a (retired) military spouse, Kristi has been involved in performing and directing in many locations across the United States. She and her husband, Marv, are the proud parents of three adult daughters and are enjoying the empty nest phase of their lives.

Heather Berry

Christian Education Director

heather@pcoc.us

Heather moved to Omaha in 2012 when her husband David was transferred here with Union Pacific Railroad. Heather was born in Iowa, but has lived most of her life in Texas, with a short stay in Louisiana due to David’s work. Heather was a stay at home mom for 15 years, but kept herself busy volunteering at church, in the community as a CASA and as a Girl Scout leader. Heather graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Animal Science and worked for the Houston Zoo as a Zookeeper in the Education Department right out of college. But when she and David started a family, Heather felt called to stay at home to raise their three children. Heather is excited to serve the church and see how God uses her in her new role here at Church of the Cross.

Rock Sumner

Business Administrator

​rock@pcoc.us

Rock Sumner, Business Administrator, is a native of South Dakota and graduated from South Dakota State University – Brookings, SD with majors in Animal Science and Commercial Economics. He worked within the banking industry in both South Dakota and Nebraska as a bank branch manager and loan officer. Rock also has experience in insurance industry having been an agent in western Nebraska for Shelter Insurance Companies and Ohio National Life.

Rock and his family moved to Omaha and joined our church in 1994. He has worked as a trainer for adults, retail management and buying, and is now PCOC’s Business Administrator. Rock has volunteered many hours at PCOC as a member of the Alleluia Singers, as a Deacon, as the Cornerstone dinner cook for many years and moderates our Cross Care team.

As PCOC’s business administrator, Rock works with our Building & Grounds, Safety, Gift & Memorial, Finance and Investment committees.

Rock and his wife Anna have two grown children.

Gayle Kerr-McFadden

Communications

​gayle@pcoc.us

Gayle is a native of Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Gayle has worked in corporate communications (technical writing and editing, training, instructional design, communication quality assessment, and client communications) for more than 25 years. She is also the author of several children’s picture books.

Gayle and her family joined our church in 1998. As PCOC’s communications associate, Gayle works with all groups within the church to support their communication needs. As a volunteer, she has taught senior high and junior high Sunday school. As a mom of youth in the church, she actively supports the senior high fellowship groups in their events and fundraising activities. Gayle has served on the Christian Education and Congregational Life committees.

Gayle and her husband Matt have three sons, high school through college aged.

Anne Wattles

Secretary and Receptionist

Elders

Our leadership is based on the Presbyterian form of government in which ministers and ruling elders chosen by the congregation serve together. Twenty-four elders serve on the Session, each serving a three-year term. Elders also participate on one or more of the eight standing committees, often as moderators.

Building & Grounds

John Stalnaker, moderator 

Finance

Sam Rennick, moderator

Worship & Music

Jayne Frederickson, moderator

Christian Education

Matt Kahler, moderator

Membership

Pam Otto, moderator

Clerk of Session

 Marsha Marron

Congregational Life

Kristin Jacobi, moderator

Mission

Karen Morey, moderator

Current Elders

Year indicates when the term will end.

2023

John Stalnaker

Matt Kahler

Jeff Boyum

Kristin Jacobi

Tim Graumann

Sam Rennick

Pam Otto

Sheri Sessions

2024

Casey Ballou

Mimi Bauer

Jeremy Cunningham

Jayne Frederickson

Dawn Gibson

Karen Morey

John Sparks

Lowell Wilhite

2025

Amy Boesen

Curt Field

Belinda Greiner

Linda Matson

Lloyd Meyer

Kathy Nickel

Anne Wattles

Stephanie Weaver

Deacons

Elected by the congregation to three year terms, deacons minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith.

The deacons of our church actively minister to others through…

  • outreach to homebound individuals
  • member visitation and support
  • correspondence and personal contact with members for significant life events
  • hospital visitation and delivery of flowers
  • provision of luncheons following the funeral services
  • coordination and provision of meals and other assistance during times of need.
  • support for various ministries such as Pantry Sunday, the Prayer Shawl ministry, recognition of graduating high school seniors, care boxes for young members who are away from home, and many special projects to support ongoing needs in the local and larger community.

Moderator of Deacons

Pam Swenson

Current Deacons

Year indicates when the term will end.

2023

Kim Banat

Anna Flairty

Sally Hansen

Peg Hiles

Doug Larson

Pam Swenson

Meg Whaley

2024

Jennifer Bruce

Mary Beth Gust

Matt Karges

Kathy Moore

Cindy Rieke

Karen Saunders

Bidong Tot

Becky Zieman

Clarence Waters (2-year term)

2025

Jerry Cornett

Neal Hubbard

John Morey

Tina Morgan

Ginger Peterson-Britt

Inga Wagner

Danny Whitlow

Carolyn Will

Piper Smith (2-year term)

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