Meet Our Staff

Pastor/Head of Staff

Taylor Haley

Pastor, Taylor Haley
Phone: 608.784.4248 ex. 204

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Taylor Haley is Senior Pastor/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church, La Crosse, WI.  A graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, he completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at McCormick Seminary in Chicago.

He grew up in the Church, the son of dedicated Christian parents, yet pulled away during his teen years.  The song I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2 powerfully expressed Taylor’s experience as a college student, until he met Bill Romanowski (professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College), someone whose faith impacted every area of his life.  It was a faith that modeled our commitment at First Pres to be “more than just Sunday morning.”  Excited that his Christian faith could really matter seven days a week, Taylor began meeting with a local pastor who mentored him, then as a college graduate trained and served as a campus minister with the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach), reaching out to college students with the same Good News he had found.

Taylor serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Transforming Center in Wheaton, Illinois, a community that seeks to shape and care for the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings.  Locally he serves on the board of Wafer which, “Responding to God’s love, provides food and works to eliminate hunger” and the Mayoral Prayer Breakfast Executive Committee.  In addition, he serves on the Committee on Ministry of the John Knox Presbytery.

Taylor has lived and served in La Crosse since 2002 with his wife, Cami, and children, Jessica, Chet and Hudson.  He loves the out of doors and enjoys swimming, biking and running.



Director of Children's Ministry

Cindi Kyte

Cindi Kyte, Director of Children’s Ministry
Phone: 608.784.4248 ex. 211

Cindi moved to La Crosse in 2000 with her husband Rick and two sons Ian and Evan.  They joined the First Pres community shortly after arriving and have been actively involved ever since. Cindi began working at the church in 2004 as the director of children’s ministries after being a case manager at Big Brothers Big Sister of La Crosse.  Cindi was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where she earned her bachelors degree in Psychology and Religion.  She later attended the University of Maryland and received a master degree in Social Work.

“I do Children’s Ministries because I am very committed to helping children see Jesus as the Lord and savior of their life.  As a child growing up in a faithful community of believers myself, I learned about Jesus and how knowing Him gave purpose and perspective to my life. My hope is to share this with the children and families I have the great honor to work with at First Pres Church.”



Sue Walby

Director of Music Ministry, Sue Walby

Sue Fortney Walby is a graduate of Lawrence University where she majored in piano pedagogy and music theory. She maintains a private piano teaching studio in her home in Viroqua, Wisconsin. She currently serves as Dean of the Riverland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is on the board of the Viroqua Fine Arts Association, an organization which sponsors concerts and master classes including both talented local musicians and nationally known performers.

In addition to her musical activities, Sue is a Director on the Viroqua Housing Authority. Sue and her husband, Peter, have three children Catherine, Chad and Joan, daughter-in-law Susie, son-in-law Nick, two grand-dogs and five beloved house cats.



Emily Thomas-Harned

Emily Thomas-Harned

Administrative Assistant, Emily Thomas-Harned
Phone: 608.784.4248 ex. 201

Emily is originally from Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State University. She and her husband, Ric, lived in several states during Ric’s naval career and she practiced Landscape Architecture as the family moved around the country. She earned in M.S. from George Mason University.  After Ric’s retirement they returned to the Midwest with their two children, Jon and Erin. Emily joined the church staff in 2002. She works to make all who visit the church feel welcomed and to help move  the ministries of the church forward.  She also volunteers with Bible Study Fellowship.





Choir Director

Steve Koch

Choir Director, Steve Koch

44 years. That’s how long Steve has taught voice, choir and related subjects.  Steve earned a B.A in Music from the University of Richmond, Virginia and a Masters in Voice Performance from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. He spent 7 years teaching at public high schools in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as 14 years teaching college, including 12 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  Steve retired from teaching in 2011.   “I loved teaching because it allows me to pass on to new generations my passion and knowledge of vocal music”  A favorite piece of his is “O Rest in the Lord” from Elijah”, he says “because it speaks to being able to rely wholly on God.”



Alex Jerve

Alex Jerve

Director of Youth Ministry, Alex Jerve

Phone: 608;784-4248

Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburbs, Alex first came to La Crosse in 2009 to attend UW – La Crosse. While at UW-L, Alex majored in Exercise & Sport Science, with a second major in Spanish. He was very active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a campus Christian organization, serving on the Chapter Leadership Team and as a Bible Study Leader and Large Group Emcee. Through his experience in InterVarsity, Alex became interested in exploring opportunities in ministry. After graduating from UW-L in May of 2013, Alex moved to Covenant Pines Bible Camp in Aitkin County, MN to serve as a full-time ministry intern for a year. Camp revealed Alex’s true, genuine passion in working with and mentoring youth in a Christian context. Thus, Alex was very excited to move back to La Crosse in June of 2014 to become the Director of Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church.

In his free time, Alex enjoys running, hiking, cooking, watching TV shows, and texting funny lines/ quotes from TV shows back-and-forth with his brother, Ryan. He loves being goofy and creative, and is happy to use the youth program as his outlet for his bizarre sense of humor. Characters that Alex has played over the years include: Dr. Paws for VBS (crazy zoologist), a British pseudo-pop star, Si from “Duck Dynasty”, the lead singer for an 80’s hair-band, and many, many more.


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Contact Us

First Presbyterian Church
233 West Ave South
La Crosse WI 54601

Phone: 608.784.4248
Fax: 608.784.1091

Email us:

Office Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00am – 4:00pm

(September – May)

Sunday Worship

8:30am Chapel Worship

9:30am Education Hour

10:30am Sanctuary Worship