Meet Our Staff

Rev. Dr. MJ Romano, Pastor

MJ is excited to have served the First Pres family since 2004.  Her passions in ministry are in worship leadership and family ministry, and she loves a good potluck (maybe too much!).  Her husband Chris Ludwig teaches science at La Junta High School, and they have two children, Elly and Karl.  MJ stays active in the community through the Ministerial Association, Associated Charities, Wake Up Breakfast Committee, Fire Department chaplaincy, , plus various school activities with her children.  She also teaches philosophy and ethics at Otero Junior College.

Email MJ



Dean Rees, Organist

Dean is the organist for the church and is a music teacher at Washington Primary School in Rocky Ford. He is active in many musical events throughout the valley including Picketwire Players productions, Grand Theatre productions, and is the director for the OJC Student and Community Choir.



Matthew Beard, Chancel Choir Director

A graduate of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, Matthew teaches band and art at La Junta Jr/Sr High School. He comes to us with a wealth of energy and imagination, as he seeks to serve Christ by enriching the musical gifts of our Chancel Choir and musicians.



Arah Minck, Children's Evangelist

Arah is a faithful member of the church and a mother of four beautiful children. She is also an active rancher with love and respect for all of God's creatures. In her spare time her hobbies include crafting, crocheting, and spending time with her husband and kids.




Toni Cook, Treasurer

Toni has been a member of the church since 1976. She is a retired elementary teacher and elementary school principal. She loves to spend time with her family, travel and play bridge.



Aricka Hulsey, Secretary

Caulin Hulsey, Janitorial Engineer

Aricka has been a member of the church since she was born. She met her husband Caulin while attending college in Pueblo and then later graduated with a Dental Assisting Degree and they moved to Colorado Springs. They later started their family and welcomed a girl, Kaydie in January of 2018. Caulin then graduated with his EMT certification and then got a job with the La Junta Fire Department as an EMS provider. Aricka and Caulin along with their daughter Kaydie love the outdoors; camping, hiking and just hanging out. They also love to go out on the trails with their orange Jeep.



Christina Mackey, Child Care Coordinator

Christina Mackey has been with the church since childhood. She is an active member and loves spending time with kids. Her family consists of her husband David, daughters, Brittney, Alyssa, Elizzabeth, and her son David II. She is currently attending OJC and stays busy with her kids and all of their activities. She enjoys reading, puzzles and spending time with her family.



Azucena Estrada, Bookeeper

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Azucena comes with a wealth of experience in finance and human resources.  She has a BA in Business Administration from Adams State University and currently serves the City of Rocky Ford as Finance & HR Director.  She’s engaged to Matthew Holland of Swink and is the proud mom of son John Rocha III.


Ministry Staff

Pictured left to right: Chris Ludwig; Praise Band Leader, Jerry Chambers; Fellowship Coordinator, Marilyn Chambers; Worship Arts Director, Lindy Bay; Compassion Coordinator, Kristin Bickel; Congregational Care Coordinator, Kristen Elwood; Youth Ministries Coordinator, and Joey Gacnik; Assimilation Director. Our Ministry Staff works hard to spread their faith in many ways.