Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Rice, Pastor
The Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Rice joined us as Pastor on November 1, 2004, coming from
Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from
Dr. Rice served as an intern at the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton, New York, immediately after seminary. He then served as Associate Pastor and Campus Minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church in
Tom has led mission trips to the
Matt Nickel serves with youth and young adult ministries. He also serves as a caring presence to the congregation with the Deacons and is enthusiastic about mission, teaching, and preaching. He is always up for conversations about faith over a cup of coffee.
Matt graduated with his Master of Divinity Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College in Holland, MI. Before FPCRO, he served at First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor as a Resident Minister.
Matt is married to Emma, also a pastor in the Presbytery of Detroit. They are continually looking to discover Michigan’s many natural wonders and love to cook delicious food. An avid reader, Matt particularly enjoys books about adventure and the outdoors, novels, and a good book of poetry. When not at work, you’ll find him running, cycling, or playing hockey.
Rev. Elizabeth Rice, Parish Associate
Betsy, as our Parish Associate, serves our congregation 10 hours per week, visiting church members in their homes,in the hospital, nursing home or rehabilitation center. She also periodically helps lead the congregation in worship and works with our Stephen Ministers.
Betsy is a graduate of the University of Michigan (with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics). She received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, where in her senior year she was a teaching assistant in Biblical Greek. She was ordained at Northbrook Presbyterian Church in Beverly Hills, Michigan (the church where she grew up) and she served as an Associate Pastor at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva, IL, before moving back to Michigan. She is co-chair of Detroit Presbytery's Committee on the Preparation for Ministry, and she is a trained Stephen Ministry Leader. Betsy is frequently invited to preach at churches in our area when the pastor is sick or on vacation.
Betsy is married to Rev. Dr. Thomas Rice and they have two children, Daniel and Andrew.
Donald A. Daniels, Director of Music Ministry
As Director of Music Ministries, Donald is responsible for managing the music team and the implementation of the music ministry program. He is the conductor of the Chancel Choir, which participates in weekly worship as well as performing major choral works during the church year. Don also conducts the King’s Men, Grace Notes, and Jubilate Bells Choirs. Additionally, he chairs the Luttrell Performing Arts Recital Series. He has served as a church musician for over thirty years and just celebrated his tenth anniversary serving at First Presbyterian Church Royal Oak. Prior to this appointment, Donald was the Chancel Choir Conductor at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, as well as serving as their Principal Tenor Soloist. After years of teaching, Donald recently retired as the Choral Director at Novi High School, in the Novi Community School District. He received his B.A. from Olivet College and his M.A. in Choral Music Education from Eastern Michigan University.
Don enjoys renovating his Pleasant Ridge home, and landscaping projects.
Joseph Jackson, Organist / Music Associate
Joseph holds degrees in Church Music and Organ Performance from McKendree College and The University of Michigan. He has also served as Organist/Choir Director at The First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was responsible for conducting the Chancel Choir, music leadership, and developing an extensive church concert/recital series. He has also served as Organist / Choir Director at Wayne Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, as well as The First Presbyterian Church of Detroit, Michigan, and Littlefield Presbyterian Church in Dearborn, Michigan.
This exceptionally talented organist has an impressive resume of solo recitals throughout the United States. Joseph has been a featured soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Lake St. Clair Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. Joseph has been featured on National Public Radio’s “The First Art” with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia and with The Music Group of Philadelphia and as a soloist on NPR’s “Pipe Dreams”. Additionally, Joseph served as Assistant Organist on the famed John Wannamaker Organ in the Grand Court of Philadelphia’s Lord and Taylor. This gifted musician also has two professional recordings to his credit. Philadelphia Gothic features works by Liszt, Whitlock, and Karg-Elert, played on the four manual, 80 rank, Reuter Organ at First Presbyterian Church Philadelphia. Joseph was also the organist for the recording of the Howard Hanson Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Harp with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra available on the British label Naxos.
In addition to his work at FPCRO, Joseph is a touring artist for Michigan Opera Theater, accompanist for the Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Chorus and the Rackham Symphony Choir, and pianist for the Birmingham Temple.
Dr. Carmel Tinnes has served as Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak since 2006. She began teaching in the church in her teens, immediately after Confirmation. Carmel spent years teaching communication and theatre arts at universities and serving as an artist in residence in public schools before realizing a call to educational ministry. She received her Doctorate in Christian Education from Union-PSCE in Richmond, VA, and taught there as adjunct faculty, served as an educator in churches in Connecticut and Kansas, and teaches classes occasionally at Memphis Theological Seminary (Cumberland Presbyterian) and at Union-PSCE’s campus in Charlotte, NC. At FPCRO, Carmel is responsible for the educational programming for children, infants through fifth grade, and also teaches classes for adults. She loves nothing more than planning creative worship, especially while including all ages in leadership. In her spare time, Carmel restores her 1918 Craftsman bungalow, paints, writes poetry, reads, gardens, and cooks.