About the Church

The Church is described in the Bible not as structure, but as a people-The Body of Christ. What this means is that the church is a living and growing body. We have a 150 year legacy of serving Jesus Christ in Alameda. We have celebrated our faith in Jesus Christ throughout the generations by laughing, learning, supporting, and praying for one another. First Presbyterian of Alameda is where people are equipped to be followers of Jesus in their families, jobs, schools, and anywhere God leads them.

We are a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. First Presbyterian welcomes everyone no matter where they are on their spiritual journey: from skeptics, to those who are curious about Christian faith, to people who are looking for a new church home. What unites us is our belief that the grace of Jesus Christ is for everyone.

Our foundation is in the Presbyterian Tradition which emphasizes grace is the way we have a relationship with God and others. We are led by our Session who are the elected Elders of the congregation, and served by our Board of Deacons.

About the Staff

Rev. Cynthia Towle Kephart
Pastor Cindy was called by the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Alameda in January 2020. She greatly enjoys interacting with members, friends, and neighbors of the church, and worshipping in the historic sanctuary of First Pres. Her greatest joy is studying the Bible with others and gaining new insight into Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father.

Pastor Cindy is a member of the Presbytery of San Francisco and a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA). She was ordained by the Presbytery of Stockton serving as the interim pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church. Before ordination, Cindy was a long-time member of Park Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Oakland.

Cindy graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. She interned was at the First Presbyterian Church of Richmond, CA with Rev. Jim Wheeler. With a focus on the Khmu congregation. She completed a one-year chaplaincy residency at the UC San Francisco Medical Center and worked as a staff chaplain at California Pacific Medical Center. She created and led worship services for residents at Lake Park Retirement Community in Oakland and Manor Care Health Services in Walnut Creek.

Cindy earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at Cal and graduated with a BS in Applied Math from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. She was a Peace Corps volunteer, living in the Philippines for two years. After moving to San Francisco, she worked at Wells Fargo Bank as an industrial engineer and systems analyst. During this time, she volunteered in the Tenderloin, teaching English to refugees from Laos.

Cindy and her husband, Murray, have three adult children who live nearby. Cindy and Murray retain close ties to family members and the many friends they have made during the various seasons of their lives. They enjoy hosting people in their home, walking on the trails in the Bay Area, and interacting with neighbors where they live in Lafayette. Cindy returns to visit family in Massachusetts whenever possible.


naOffice Administrator
Mark Munoa joined the staff after he graduated from Augsburg University with a BA in Business Administration and Economics. He is an Alameda native who graduated from Alameda High in 2016.  Mark played four years of collegiate football and currently coaches the Alameda High School football team.



Cynthia Hovermale has been a part of the FPCA staff since 2006 and attends our church.  She lives in Alameda with her husband, Mark and their two children.

Music Director
Barbara Acosta was raised in Alameda. She began her musical training at Porter School by studying the flute, and later the piccolo. In high school, she studied piano and voice with the late Elizabeth Curtis. She has been a member or the Distaff Singers since 1980, the Alameda Community Chorus since 1991, and the choir at First Presbyterian Church since 1992, where she performed the role of the mother in Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," directed by the late Bonnie Horlbeck.

She has participated in the Holiday Home Tour, Memorial Day Ceremonies, the Mayor's Fourth of July Parade, Alameda Community Band and several musicals at Encinal High School. She is a continuing supporter of the Encinal High School Music Boosters. Barbara is an honor graduate of Diablo Valley College, where she received her AA degree in Liberal Studies. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Armand, and they have three daughters and sons-in-law, six grandsons and two granddaughters.

Merrill Organist
Merrill Collins, brings her musical expertise, exuberance, and professionalism to Bay Area and Los Angeles audiences in need of meditation, harmonization, reflection, inspiration, and joy. With classical training and a master's degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, Merrill excels at creating harmonious atmospheres, and working closely with clients to produce emotionally sculptured events. Merrill also enjoys teaching improvisation.