About Us:

The two steeples of First Presbyterian Church rise above the quaint town of Mount Dora, Florida, nestled under giant oak trees and overlooking beautiful Lake Dora.  We are a part of Central Florida Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Officially organized by the North Florida Presbytery in May 1954 with 18 members, Dr. Charles A. Carriel served as our first pastor. Rev. Kenneth W. Book pastored between 1962 through his retirement in 1984. We have steadily grown through three pastorates to approximately 450 members today. Our current pastor, Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Biery came to us in 1986.

In 2003 we completed a $1.7 million campus expansion adding a beautiful chapel, large fellowship hall, spacious youth room, administrative offices, central courtyard, and renovated Sunday School classrooms.  This augments our beautiful Sanctuary, which was renovated in 2000. Groundbreaking was held in September 2001 and we moved into our new facilities in October 2002. The Dedication Worship Service took place on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2003.

We reached our Golden Anniversary in 2004 and celebrated with a Founder’s Day Homecoming and 50th Anniversary Celebration. On Sunday May 16th during 50th Anniversary Worship Service, we remembered and celebrated those people and events which began our journey as First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora. Other activities included an historic display of church items at the W. T. Bland Public Library, and the sale of commemorative items at the church and the Founder’s Day Cookout.

In 2005 we opened our top rated Preschool as a mission/ministry to young families in our community.

God has blessed us with a rich history, a beautiful location and church campus, and with a faithful and friendly congregation that seeks to worship and serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

About Our Pastor:

Rev. Dr. Thomas J. BieryTom Biery began his ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora, Florida in 1986 and is now in his 28th year as pastor there. Tom was born in Ohio and grew up in Orlando, Florida and belonged to the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. His wife, Bryan, born in Washington, D.C., was reared in Cocoa Beach, Florida. They have two grown children: Bryanna, an assistant principal in New York City, and Jeffrey, a high school math teacher in Orlando, Florida.

In 1972, Tom graduated from Florida Southern College with a B.A. in Social Science.  After graduation Tom worked as a youth counselor and as an administrator with the Florida Division of Youth Services. In 1981, Tom graduated from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree. On September 20, 1981, he was ordained at The First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach, Florida, where he served until coming to Mount Dora. Tom is an active participant in Mount Dora and area community activities. His ministry includes services to Central Florida Presbytery where he has been a member of the Committee on Ministry, chair of the Mission & Evangelism Committee, Global Mission Committee, Presbytery Council, Executive Presbyter Search Committee and served as a delegate to the General Assembly.He recently served as Moderator of Central Florida Presbytery.  Tom has been on short-term mission trips to Nicaragua, Mexico and Mozambique, Africa.

Tom also is an avid sports fan, especially baseball, basketball and football. He enjoys hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, skiing and is an amateur photographer and drummer.

About Our Assistant Pastor:

Cynthia Howland deVos

 Cynthia Howland deVos is a native of New England. She and husband Peter moved to Florida for the first time in 1973. Cynthia felt the call to the ministry in her youth, but as a young adult she put her aspirations on hold to raise her family. This also included many moves with husband and twin sons, as he pursued the opportunities in his career in non-profit management. With her sons fully grown, Cynthia returned to school at the Washington Business College and embarked on a career of her own. In 1997, Cynthia gave up her career as customer service representative at the national office of the National Captioning Institute and she and Peter moved to Mount Dora.

With the support and encouragement of her husband, she entered the Central Florida Presbyterian Lay Pastor Academy in 1998 for three years of intense studies. Cynthia was certified and commissioned as a pastor in 2001 to serve First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora and other churches in the Presbytery as a guest pastor. On February 1, 2005, she left the business sector and was called to the staff of the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora as Assistant Pastor.

Cynthia is currently serving as President of the Mount Dora Ministerial Association. She is a member of the Permanent Judicial Committee of Central Florida Presbytery as well as other committees within the Presbytery.  She has also served on Boards within the community.  She was commissioned by Central Florida Presbytery to serve as a Commissioner to General Assembly to be held June 15 – 22, 2006 in Birmingham, AL.  Cynthia is a sports fan and enjoys biking, gardening and writing.


Worship & Music

Carolyn Parsons Cutler
Director of Music & Programs

Carolyn Parsons Cutler has been the Director of Music and Worship Arts at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora since 1995. She studied voice at Florida State University School of Music and traveled throughout the US, Canada, theCaribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe as soloist with Continental Singers.  Carolyn has performed at many community events, conferences and conventions in Central Florida.  As director of the music and arts ministry, she oversees chancel choir, praise team, ensembles, handbells, media, drama, and dance.  She lives in Orlando with her husband, Ken Cutler, who is also a musician.

Chancel Choir-  Open to any adult who enjoys singing.  The Chancel choir meets in the sanctuary on  Wednesdays at 7:15  (from mid August through early July).  The Chancel choir provides music for the majority of our worship services.  Ensembles –  There is often opportunity to participate in vocal or instrumental ensembles.  Contact me if you are interested.   Handbells –  We have a three octave handbell set and currently have three groups of ringers.  If you would like to try out the bells, please let me hear from you.
Drama and Interpretive Movement – There are many opportunities for individuals to participate in a dramatic role such as during one of the choir musicals, the Christmas Odyssey or other special presentations.  If your star is rising, please give me a call.

Instruments – Instrumentalists are often needed for special anthems and programs.  We’re fortunate to have several members share their talents with us.  If you play an instrument and would like to be a part of our music ministry, please let us know.

Praise Team Ministry – Band members and vocalists are always welcome to become a part of our worship team for “The Well” Café Style Worship.  This special service meets on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.  The worship team rehearses weekly.

Nursing Home Ministry On the second Tuesday of each month, the Tuesday Troubadours meet in the chapel.  After a short rehearsal, we travel to one or more of the area nursing homes to sing for the residents.  Our repertoire ranges from favorites like “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” to “Blessed Assurance.”  This group is open to anyone who likes to sing and would enjoy sharing some joy with local seniors.

Come join the fun and let everything that hath breath Praise The Lord!

What we believe:

Please download our full doctrinal statement.