Ali Thompson, Children’s Director 

Ali_ThompsonREVAli is a native of Gainesville and is a graduate of Gainesville High School. Before coming to FPC, Ali worked with children as a volunteer Sunday School Teacher, Chapel Teacher for FUMC Preschool and staff member at a local Church helping to care for children while assisting in preparing both the Sunday and Wednesday night children’s programs.

Ali received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University. She worked for 4 years as a Sales Representative for Yellow Book, and a short while as a Customer Service Representative for Regions Bank before retiring to be a full-time mother.

Ali is married to Zack Thompson who is also a Gainesville native and an owner of Pro-Touch Landscapes. They have two delightful young girls, Page and Ashley, who keep them both in shape mentally, physically, and spiritually. Ali would like to express her delight and honor to work with the children and families our wonderful church.


Benji Stegner, Choir Director/Organist

Benji Stegner is Organist/Music Director at First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, GA where he plays the III-manual, 42-rank Op. 11 Parkey pipe organ and oversees all aspects of the music program. He has served a number of congregations, including St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (Waco, TX) All Souls’ Episcopal Church (Oklahoma City, OK), and First Baptist Church (Toccoa, GA). Benji is currently pursuing the D.M.A. in church music at Baylor University, studying organ with Isabelle Demers and holds degrees from Oklahoma City University and Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. His research interests focus on 20th-century American composers of church music, particularly that of Calvin Hampton. In March, he presented research on Hampton’s hymn tunes as part of the Syracuse Legacies Conference at Syracuse University. From 2015-2017, he held a position as Instructor of Music at Piedmont College, where, in addition to teaching, he worked as a collaborative pianist and organist. While at Piedmont, he collaborated regularly with the theatre department, composing original music for Hush: An Interview with America and musically directing Chicago, Merrily We Roll Along, and 9 to 5: the Musical. In addition to music, Benji loves movies, dogs, and coffee.