A faithful presence of love in the absences of our city.



Justin Edgar Portrait

Justin Edgar

Justin came to our church as an apprentice for church planting with the hopes of starting a church in Albuquerque within two years. However, our church went through a time of transition as God called our founding pastor, Mike McLaughlin, home to Missouri. Justin has served as our Lead Pastor since his election during the Fall of 2013. Justin and his wife Danette are from Albuquerque, and they have five children, Jedidiah, Blakley, Jadyn, Judson, and Deacon. We are thankful for Justin and his family, and the way God has used them to lead our church. 



Brian Whippo 

Brian has been serving as Worship Director since August 2013 and as a deacon since July 2014. He and his wife Rachel have been married since May 2014 and have one son named Augustine. Brian is currently in school to become a Physician's Assistant and also works as a paramedic. 



Emily Leslie 

Emily and her husband Michael moved to Albuquerque in the summer of 2015 and were excited to find a church like City Pres! Both were involved in the RUF Campus Ministry at New Mexico State University where they met. They were married in 2014 & spent a quick year in Los Alamos, NM before moving to Abq for Michael to attend Medical School. Emily began working as the director of communication for the church in the Summer of 2016, and then transitioned to admin in the Spring. Emily is currently studying to become a counselor at UNM. 



Richard Jackson Portrait

Richard Jackson

Richard is a 4th generation Albuquerque native who left for college (Texas Tech University) in 1991. After living in Texas for a number of years and Franklin, TN for 4 years, he finally returned home in 2009. Richard met his wife, Rebecca, on of the first days on campus at Texas Tech, and finally convinced her to marry him a few years later. We are blessed with 3 children; one born in each of the states where we have lived. One of the things that drew me home to New Mexico is my love for the outdoors ... Skiing, camping, fishing, hiking and biking. I'm thankful that my kids are getting old enough to enjoy outdoor pursuits with me.  



Arlen Biersgreen

Arlen is a native Santa Fean who made his way to Albuquerque after living in Washington State and Texas for several years. He and his wife, Elizabeth, found City Presbyterian in 2013 and joined as members in 2014. It is a new experience for both of them to be part of a small congregation/large denomination family, and they have enjoyed learning the joys and challenges that come with both of those aspects of the church identity. Arlen served as a deacon prior to becoming a church elder in August of 2016. 



Daniel Gettemy 

Daniel's family includes his wife Karen, his daughter Sameayah, and Bella (their golden retriever). Daniel and Karen found City Pres online. Daniel church-shopped via the internet from Washington State in the months prior to moving to Albuquerque. City Pres was the first church on their list to visit. They visited, and then never went anywhere else. The liturgy, the preaching, the people; they really had a sense of God working in and through this congregation and wanted to stay and be a part of it!

Daniel loves that our church has a heart to serve our city and see our neighbors flourish to the glory of God. Each week we receive the call to go out and serve our neighbors in our daily lives and vocations. Daniel is excited that we’re learning how to do that and look forward to seeing how God intends to use our church in the future!



Charlie Bursi

Charlie was born in Memphis, Tennessee.  He grew up in an Audubon Park neighborhood, just a short walk away from where Elvis Presley lived prior to Graceland. Charlie was married to Teresa for forty years when the Lord called her home to glory.  He has three amazing daughters, three wonderful sons-in-law, and has been blessed with six grandchildren. Charlie and his family moved to the metro Atlanta area in 1991, where he finished his career in Information Technology and Consulting.  Charlie served as a ruling elder at Midway Presbyterian Church and on the Northwest Georgia Presbytery Ordination Committee.  He moved to Albuquerque in 2016 and joined City Pres in 2017.    

Charlie is an avid University of Tennessee sports fanatic. He enjoys Memphis style barbecue, green chiles on hamburgers, watching Everybody Loves Raymond, and spending time with his grandchildren. 





Rebecca Jackson

Rebecca oversees our benevolence ministry. She and her husband Richard have been at City Presbyterian since they moved here in 2009. They have three children. Rebecca enjoys her job as mom and co-teacher to her kids as she home schools them part-time. She loves spending time outdoors with her family, especially now that they all ski. Rebecca also loves using her gifts to sing on the worship team at City Presbyterian.


Trevor Riggs 

Trevor oversee our mercy ministry. Trevor and his wife Denise have been a part of City Presbyterian since the summer of 2011. They have one one son, Kyper. Both Trevor and Denise work with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) at UNM. In his free time he enjoys kicking the ball around with his son, supporting Lobo athletics, and traditional woodworking.


Ryan Smith

Ryan has been involved with City Presbyterian since winter 2013, and his area of service lies in communications with missionaries both local and abroad. He studies Linguistics at the University of New Mexico, and ultimately hopes to pursue a career in teaching and research. A native of Albuquerque, his passions lie in writing music and short stories, and investing in the quality of education in our city.


Daniela Byers

Daniela, who is from the Pacific Northwest, became a Christian in college and grew in her faith through Cru at the University of Washington. She worked with Cru for 8 years as a campus minister and in research&development for the campus ministry. She loves investing in the lives of others and longs for believers to grow in their faith. She especially hopes to see this to happen as women learn to be their true selves, okay with the fact "that we're human, we're not perfect, and God chose us anyway!" She and her husband have three quirky kids whom she educates at home. You will often find them "home" schooling at coffee shops.