Church Staff

Ministers – The people of this church

Patti Snyder, Senior Pastor

Patti Snyder has been the senior pastor at University Presbyterian since spring of 2002. Her years here have been rich with adventure, joy, and the beginning of many shared ministries including our tradition of Taize style worship services, our Katrina shelter and the subsequent opening of the dorm for visiting work teams, our involvement with Together Baton Rouge, and the recent redevelopment of our campus in order to make it better express the hospitality and welcome of this congregation. Coming here from Rochester, NY, Patti has also served congregations in Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia and spent some time as a college chaplain. She is happily married to Jim Hanifen and unabashedly proud of her two daughters (Anna and Jane), and her son-in-law (Anna’s husband, (Kevin). She is an avid cook and gardener and would love to find new ways to return to her love of singing and theatre. All suggestions welcome!

Betsy Irvine, Temporary Part-time Pastor Associate

Betsy Irvine is a minister member of the Presbytery of South Louisiana serving as a “Member-at-large,” (a somewhat peculiar title for one who preaches and moderates the sessions of small churches with no permanent pastor). For close to 20 years, Betsy’s day job has been as Director of an Americorps program. After eight weeks of “retirement” from community work, she was overjoyed to be asked to assist Patti and other UPC leaders during this time of leadership transition. As Temporary Part-time Pastor Associate, Betsy’s job is to assist with the pastoral leadership of UPC. She will provide staff support to several committees (notably, Christian Education and Youth Fellowship, University Outreach, and Fellowship), occasional preaching, and assist with pastoral calls as needed.

Caralyn Durham, Office Manager

Caralyn was born in Rochester, NY and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. She is a graduate of Baton Rouge High School and LSU where she earned a BFA in Graphic Design. After a successful career as a designer and by divine intervention, she joined the staff of UPC in 2001 as Administrative Secretary. She is an avid LSU football fan, enjoys traveling, and in her spare time paints and draws.

Caralyn’s hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30 – 3:30 and Friday 8:30 – 2:30

Courtney Dumas, Interim Director of Children and Youth Ministry

Courtney has served over ten years as a teacher in both primary and middle school classrooms in the Baton Rouge area. She was born and raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Elementary Education from LSU. Courtney also has a minor in Religious Studies from LSU. She and her wife, Miranda, have three children, two of which have recently been adopted from the foster care system (the third one is to be adopted soon). Courtney loves spending time with members of the next generation because she finds their energy and passion to be contagious.

David Walters, Choir Director

David comes to UPC from Portland, Oregon. For over 10 years, he served as the assistant conductor of the ISing Choir, raising over $350,000 in support of local non-profit organizations. During that time, he also served as the music director at First Presbyterian Church of McMinnville, along with several Methodist congregations. He is a former member of the Portland State Chamber Choir and holds both an master’s in choral conducting and a bachelor’s in music composition from Portland State University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in choral conducting from LSU. 

“I am so proud to be joining the rich tradition of music and ministry at UPC!”

Anne Maverick, Organist

Anne Maverick is our organist. She came to us first as a substitute on several occasions and was attracted by the warmth of the congregation, the welcome theology, and the wonderful camaraderie of the choir. She has enjoyed getting back in touch with her musical self, and finds it a joy to play for people who sing!

In case you can’t tell by the way she talks, she is from the midwest, born in Milwaukee and raised there and St. Louis. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music and master’s in English and library science. She is a retired school librarian, and has also worked as an organ builder, music teacher, English teacher, technical writer and, of course, church musician.

She met her husband Andy in the Bach Society chorus in St. Louis. They were blessed with two beautiful children late in life. James is an aspiring opera coach and choral conductor; Emily is a graduate student in biomedical sciences. Anne and Andy take pleasure in hiking and camping in the Colorado mountains, reading, playing bridge, traveling, and each other’s company.

Terry Iyasere, Day School Director

Terry G. Iyasere, was born in Newport News, VA. She is the third of seven children. Her family moved to Louisiana in her early elementary years. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design with a minor in Child Development from Southern University A&M College, post education credits from the Louisiana State University and Master of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. Terry has many years of experience working with children, including raising four of her own. She has twenty years of varied classroom experience working with preschool and elementary school age children and nine years of administration experience and leadership. In February of 2006, she joined the University Presbyterian Church Staff as the Day School Director. Her goal along with the staff is to always provide a safe, loving, happy and prepared environment in which each child can develop to their fullest potential. She is married to Sonny O. Iyasere and is the mother to four wonderful children. She is active in her church and a variety of civic and cultural organizations and clubs. Outside of professional interests, Terry likes to read, travel, dance, and spend time with family.

Robert Gourgues, Custodian

Robert was born and raised in Plaquemine, Louisiana. He grew up across the street from St. John Catholic Church where he served as an altar boy for many years. He is the youngest of seven siblings, two of which are deceased. Robert is a diehard LSU football fan and has been working as a ticket taker for several years now, and was recently promoted to gate captain. Robert has worn many hats during this journey called life such as Boy Scout Master Troop 38, member of Dow Advisory Panel, Finance manager, restaurant manager and many others. His greatest blessings are his children, his grandchildren, and UPC. Robert has a son, Robb, and two daughters, Morgan and Jenna. He has two granddaughters, Kaci & Kaylie. Robert and his wife enjoy travelling, and although they don’t travel as often as they would like, they look forward to many travels in the future.



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A message from the Worship Committee

Sunday Bulletin

Sunday Announcements

September 2020 Newsletter


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