Pastor Chip Jurskis, Lead Minister
Chip Jurskis grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia. Although he started off intending to earn a degree in International Business, he found that his true calling was religion, and he proudly graduated with a B.A. in Religion from the smallest academic program on campus. After a summer in youth ministry, he went on to attend Emmanual Christian Seminary at Milligan in Johnson City, Tennessee where he earned a Masters of Arts of Religion.
Upon graduation, Chip returned to Atlanta and established one of the first campus ministries of the independent Christian Church on the campus of a private university at Emory. After 9/11, he transformed this ministry into Bread Coffee House, establishing a new model for relational and service-driven outreach rooted in his love of small local coffee houses and live music venues,
Chip joined the ministry team at JupiterFIRST in 2012, starting off as the Minister of Family Life and was unanimously called to be our Lead Minister in February 2023. He does not miss Atlanta traffic.
Chip has been happily married to Amy (an English teacher and school administrator) since 1992. They are incredibly proud of their two adult children: Arden and Lily.
Pastor David Cowen, Minister of Music & Worship
David came to us from the crazy Orlando music scene in 1995 with really long hair. His now short and gray hair (chuckle) is a definite indicator of his longevity here. He’s a musician, writer, composer, arranger, conductor, director, producer, and all around tech-guy. David is also a true person of faith and was ordained at JupiterFIRST Church in 2005.
We are happy he found his true calling at JFC, which is evident by the thoughtful manner in which he leads worship on Sunday mornings or produces one of our ever-memorable Christmas Eve services. The music ministry at JupiterFIRST thrives because of the commitment of each of the JupiterFIRST Singers who volunteer their time to serve our congregation. Some of them have been around almost as long as he has!
David enjoys art, non-fiction, and good conversation. You might even see him out walking or riding his bike. He and his wife, Francie, have two adult daughters, Haley and Marin, and one high school son, Levi (please keep them in your prayers on this one).
Marthe Hjortshoj, Director of Children’s Ministries
Sherlyn Burnham-Kuehn, Director of Youth Ministries
Sherlyn Burnham-Kuehn, our new Director of Youth Ministries, joined our staff family December 19, 2021. Sheryln is a fourth generation, born and raised Floridian from Tampa. She graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Music back in 2000. She continued at PBA, receiving her Master of Arts in Theology in 2003. She, her husband Henry, and their two daughters, Lili and Helen, began JupiterFIRST in late 2016 and over the last few years she has participated in the JupiterFIRST Singers, our Children’s Ministries and momsFIRST. She has also served one term on the nominating committee.
You may be surprised to know that her background is actually in Student Ministries. For many years prior to having her daughters, (now 11 and nearly 8), she coordinated programming at Christian Education for youth as well as college students, led middle and high school bands, and organized outreach efforts for students at home and abroad. Sherlyn facilitated teams and cooperated with many individuals and organizations with the goal of showing and teaching kids how deeply they are loved by God and inspiring them to follow Christ with their hearts, minds and actions. God called her to serve in Youth Ministry over 20 years ago and she is thrilled to get to answer that call once again.
When she is not taking care of her family and playing with her daughters, Sherlyn loves playing the piano, reading – everything from self-help, to spy novels, to memoirs – and taking walks with Celeste, her terrier mix fur baby.
Michelle Premuto, Director of Operations
Michelle joined our church family and staff November 1, 2021. She moved from Holiday, Florida where she spent the last 36 years of her life. Michelle graduated from Stetson University in Deland, Florida with a bachelor degree in Business Administration and a major in Finance and Accounting.
Her accounting and administration experiences began in the medical and legal fields where she held the following positions: Controller, Director of Material Management, Director of Information Services, Senior Accountant and Firm Business Administrator. In 2011, she moved into non-profit business when she accepted the position of Business Administrator of First United Methodist Church of Clearwater. From there, she went on to be the Finance Manager of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church where she managed the business ministry of the church.
Michelle owns Angel Tax Services and has run this “side” business since 1995. She provides tax preparation services to 200 businesses and individuals. She also provides accounting counsel and bookkeeping services for small businesses.
In addition to her managerial and finance gifts, Michelle loves to knit and crochet. She also, we are told, loves to sing and has choir experience…. We know two ministries who would love to welcome her! We are so happy she chose JupiterFIRST as her new church home. For Michelle’s full bio, click here.
Susie Smith, Executive Assistant
Susie joined JupiterFIRST Church in 1991. That’s 30 years ago, yikes! She has been the Executive Assistant for over ten years and is in charge of just about everything. You’ll find Susie in the front office making sure JFC runs like a well-oiled machine… with a smile on her face! She’s a mom to two beautiful, adult daughters and is a serious healthy living and fun advocate, all the while living out her faith.
Donna Totino, Senior Ministries Director
Donna, our ‘church lady’ has been around JupiterFIRST for over 25 years. She joined in 1993 and was welcomed to the staff as a part-time assistant to the Executive Minister in 1996. Donna was instrumental in initiating Disciple classes and taught for many years.
In 2001, Donna began her calling as our Director of Senior Ministries. She has a genuine passion for serving senior adults. Her compassion for others, along with her gigantic heart, enables her to interact with our seniors on a personal level to help them feel welcome and needed in this place.
A love of karaoke is her biggest secret (shhhhh, don’t let her know you know). She loves the beach, poker and Mahjong – a great combination, don’t you think? Donna’s biggest joy, however, is being able to help care for her two beautiful granddaughters. She’s “terrible with homework, but the best Grandma ever.”
Francie Cowen, Media/Communications
Originally from Lake Bluff, Illinois, Francie has been serving JupiterFIRST since 1986 (yes, 37 years ago!). She began working part time at JFC in 1998 creating the weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. The position morphed into producing the worship graphics for the screens on Sunday mornings, updating the church’s website and posting on social media. Francie and David Cowen met at church and were married in 2001… they actually sang their vows!
Francie’s ‘real’ job, since 2002, is with her company called MaxaVision Technologies. MaxaVision is a distributor for the US Government, federal, state and local law enforcement. Crazy, right?
Francie enjoys walking, running, kayaking, Pilates, and entertaining. You’ll also find her hanging out with David, their two adult daughters, Haley and Marin and, 15 year old son, Levi.
John Corsi, Custodian
John has been on the JupiterFIRST staff since 2016. The upkeep of our beautiful building and campus fall in his lap, and it’s no small task. If you can’t find him, he’s either in our kitchen cooking or on the golf course.
Barbara Smith, Administrative Assistant
Barbie moved to Jupiter from Connecticut with her husband in 2015. Prior to that, she worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional in the Clinton, Connecticut Public School system for 21 years. In addition to working in the front office, Barbie is one of our child care providers when our Mornings with MomsFIRST group meets in person. Barbie has been a member of JupiterFIRST Church since 2017 and in addition to loving children, she loves music, the ocean, biking and gardening. She is also waiting patiently to board a plane to visit her family….. in the meantime you can find her swimming with sea turtles.
Mary Griffith, Bookkeeper
Mary, our newest member of our JupiterFIRST staff, joined us in May 2023. She was born and raised in North Palm Beach and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance from Florida Atlantic University, but is a “Nole” at heart. Why? We’re glad you asked! Mary’s husband and kids all went to FSU and she shares a birthday with the late, great, Bobby Bowden, previous long time FSU head football coach. Mary has three adult children with her husband of 30+ years, Ron; twin sons, Kyle and Casey, who attended JupiterFIRST Preschool 1997-1999, and their daughter Carly who came along nearly 7 years later. Mary has been a stay at home mom (which is a full-time job!), but worked part time on and off through the years. She loves reading, college football, and cool weather but wonders how she has been in South Florida her entire life – must be the air conditioning! She’ll tell you she’s a decent cook and is known for her delicious homemade Caesar salad dressing.