Pastoral Staff



Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons, Senior Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons began his ministry as the tenth Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, SC, on September 1, 2007. As the primary preacher and leader of the pastoral staff, Dr. Gibbons plans and coordinates the church’s consistent biblical teaching and worship.

A native of Scotland, Dr. Gibbons began biblical studies at Glasgow Bible College in 1982, where several years later he supervised the student placement program and lectured in Evangelism, Communications, and Practical Homiletics. During this time he initiated missions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. While serving The Church of Scotland's Board of National Mission in Inverness, from 1997 to 2007 Dr. Gibbons served as a Regional Development Officer to eight highland presbyteries and then as the Moderator of the Presbytery of Inverness. Dr. Gibbons currently acts as co-moderator on the ECO denomination’s Theological Task Force.

Dr. Gibbons holds joint honors in Ecclesiastical History and Systematic Theology from the University of Glasgow and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from University of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. He is the author of "Conspiracy Theory: When God is Seemingly Against Us" released in November 2021.

He and his wife, Ruth, have one adult son.


Rev. Stan Johnson, Visitation and Prayer Pastor

The Rev. Stan Johnson began serving First Presbyterian Church on November 8, 2004. He oversees the Prayer and Visitation ministries of the church. 

A native of Greenville, Stan graduated from Greenville High School in 1969 and Furman University in 1973. After receiving his degree in 1985 from Covenant Theological Seminary, he pastored for 14 years in Kentucky, then returned to Greenville to serve as chaplain at Greenville Memorial Hospital. Stan came to First Presbyterian Church as Pastoral Care Intern in September of 2003. 

Stan and his wife, Stephanie, have six children and two grandchildren.



Rev. Dr. Brian Stewart, Associate Pastor of Missional Discipleship

The Rev. Dr. Brian Stewart has brought his enthusiasm and heart for evangelism and missions to First Presbyterian since June 7, 2009. He oversees local, national, and international church missions.

A native of North Carolina, Brian is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and John Wesley College, with master’s degrees from Duke Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. In 2021, Brian received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Before coming to First Presbyterian Church, Brian served for seven years as the organizing pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Springs, a new church development in Barium Springs, NC, that was awarded the Sam and Helen Walton Award for Excellence in New Church Development in 2007. Prior to that, Brian was the organizing pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Jackson, TN. 

Brian and his wife, Tracie, have two sons.


Rev. Charlie Buchanan, Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults

The Rev. Charlie Buchanan joined the First Presbyterian staff in 2011 as our Junior High Youth Director. After completing all of his educational and presbytery requirements, Charlie was ordained as an Assistant Pastor in April of 2015. In March of 2017 he became Associate Pastor of Student Ministries and in 2021 he became Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults.

A native of North Augusta, SC, Charlie graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Psychology. He continued his studies at Erskine Theological Seminary, completing his Masters of Divinity in 2011. Shortly after graduating, Charlie was brought on staff at First Presbyterian Church.

Charlie and his wife, Carrie, have one daughter.



Rev. Dr. Claire Ripley, Associate Pastor of Discipleship

The Rev. Dr. Claire Ripley joined the pastoral team of First Presbyterian Church in December 2015. She oversees Adult Education, New Member Ministries, Family and Marriage, and Women’s and Men’s Ministries. Claire graduated from the University of South Florida in 1986 with a B.S. degree in Finance and Business Administration, and worked in corporate banking for many years. She received a Master of Divinity degree from Erskine Theological Seminary in 2010 and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2019. Her thesis, entitled “A Missional New Member Curriculum: A Launch into a Life of Discipleship,” explored the prominent role of spiritual formation and discipleship in congregational transformation.

Claire and her husband, Todd have a daughter, Katie, son-in-law, John, and granddaughter, Lucy, who live in Atlanta.