Meet Our Staff
The Rev. Dr. Kendra Grams
Pastor Kendra Grams was born and raised in Hastings, Nebraska. A life-long Presbyterian, Kendra credits her parents and grandparents as well as numerous pastors, colleagues, and congregants for nurturing her in Christian faith and servant leadership.
Before coming to First Presbyterian Church of Hudson in 2018, Kendra served as Associate Pastor for Family Ministries at Potomac Presbyterian Church, in Potomac, Maryland (in suburban Washington, D.C.), where she provided overall pastoral leadership during multiple pastoral transitions; led the revitalization and expansion of children’s, youth, and family ministries; launched new mission programs; created diverse and spiritually-inspiring worship experiences; and collaborated with pastoral and lay colleagues to establish and implement a strategic vision and plan for the congregation. Kendra has also served as a pastoral intern at congregations in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Chicago, Illinois; and as a chaplain at hospitals in Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.
Kendra’s husband Ted Carroll (a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a high school Spanish teacher. Kendra and Ted live in North Hudson with their two young children, Toby and Anika. As a family, their current passions include bike rides, coloring, building towers, singing silly songs, and reading. Once there are fewer diapers to change, Kendra looks forward to family camping trips and morning runs.
Kendra holds a Bachelor of Arts from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with majors in Biology and German Studies and a minor in Religion; a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois; and a Doctorate of Ministry in Church Leadership Excellence from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Her doctoral thesis project explored how to build partnerships between congregations and social service agencies to move families caught in the cycle of intergenerational poverty toward self-sufficiency.
Director of Music and Liturgical Arts
Jody Branson has served as Director of Music and Liturgical Arts at First Presbyterian since 1990. She accompanies all congregational singing and all choirs, directs the bell choir, and provides leadership for all the music and arts ministries of the congregation.
Jody is an experienced church musician having played organ, piano, and other instruments in diverse worship settings. She is also a gifted artist who cultivates Spirit-filled worship spaces using various mediums. She deeply enjoys the opportunity to nurture creative and diverse worship experiences for the congregation and draws energy from the congregation’s open embrace of worship and the arts. Jody also deeply appreciates how the congregation is welcoming of all people and supportive of the wider community.
Jody has lived in the Hudson area since 1986. In her free time, Jody loves hap-hazard gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.
Dr. James Schuppener
Dr. James (Jamie) Schuppener has served as the Choir Director at First Presbyterian since 2015. Before coming to First Presbyterian, he served numerous churches in Texas, Kansas, Illinois, and Wisconsin. He has 44 years of experience teaching at the college level. Upon retirement, Jamie and his wife (Louise) moved to St. Paul to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. Jamie enjoys helping choirs reach their potential to enhance the musical life of the church. The choir is a group of extremely talented and dedicated singers, and Jamie enjoys working with them in such a warm and caring community.
Cathy Harter has served as the Office Administrator of First Presbyterian Church since 2009. She has multiple duties and responsibilities including church finances, producing weekly worship media, updating the website, sending out weekly notices, and assisting the pastor, committee chairs, and members as needed.
What Cathy most enjoys about her work at First Presbyterian is how everything—including her daily duties, the members and friends of the First Presbyterian family, the mission and service programs of the church, and the role of the church in the community—continually grows and changes.
Cathy grew up in River Falls and received an Associate’s Degree in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her work history includes business management, client services, and accounting. Her spare time is filled with gardening, home improvement projects, and watching her seven exceptional grandchildren grow.
Anna Senty began serving as the Nursery Attendant at First Presbyterian Church in October 2019. She enjoys caring for and nurturing the young children of the congregation during worship and other church events. During the week, Anna works at a childcare center in Stillwater and is pursuing a degree in early childhood education at WITC. Anna is trained in first aid, AED use, and CPR.