Pastors & Music Directors

The Rev. Dr. Scott Herr

Senior Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Scott Herr, Senior PastorScott was born in Lancaster, PA, and from the age of 10 grew up in Portland, OR, graduating from Lewis and Clark College during which time he studied in Guilin, China for a semester. He then worked in Kanazawa, Japan, and from there went to Princeton, NJ, where he received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. During his years at PTS he served at an inner city Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, and traveled through Central America which put him in contact with the Union Evangelical Church in Mexico City, where after his ordination in the PCUSA he served from 1987 - 1993. It was in Mexico City where he met and was married to his wife Kimberly. As Scott was called to serve the International Protestant Church of Zurich, they moved to Switzerland where they lived for six years and where their first three children were born. They then moved to Fort Collins, CO, where he served the First Presbyterian Church for nine years and where their youngest son was born. Scott has eclectic interests, and enjoys various genres of music, art, reading, movies, cycling, skiing, and good food! Scott's favorite Scripture is Philippians chapter 2. His favorite quote is: "I am a weak man in the hands of a strong God!"

The Rev. Timothy Vance

Associate Pastor

The Rev. Timothy Vance, Associate Pastor

Tim was born and raised in Hornell, NY with an older sister and two younger brothers. He attended Houghton College in Western New York where he played college basketball and graduated with a liberal arts degree in Biblical Studies and Educational Ministries. While at Houghton he studied abroad in London, Paris and Madrid.

After graduation in 1999, Tim moved across the country to Bellevue, WA to work with high school students at Bellevue Presbyterian Church. It was here that Tim met his future in-laws, who eventually introduced him to their daughter, Maija. After many years of pretending to not be interested in each other, Tim and Maija started dating and then got married on December 30, 2004.

In 2006 Tim graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California with a Master of Divinity degree. A year later their first child, Noah, was born. Their daughter, Sophia, was born in 2010 and their second son, Ezra, was born in 2014.

For the last six years Tim has been serving as Associate Pastor at Gateway Presbyterian Church in The Dalles, Oregon. He is also a volunteer justice speaker for International Justice Mission, which works to address issues of slavery and injustice that disproportionately impact the world’s poor.

Tim is a New York Yankees fan and a long-suffering Buffalo Bills fan. His hobbies include basketball and cycling. His favorite Bible verses are Micah 6:8 and Acts 17:28. Tim, Maija and the kids are very excited about the possibility of moving to Paris and being a part of this beautifully diverse ACP community.

The Rev. Jodi Fondell and The Rev. Doug Fondell

Interim Youth and Young Adults Pastors

Jodi and Doug Fondell

Jodi and Doug have been active in International Church ministry since 1998. Their first call abroad was to Immanuel International in Stockholm, Sweden where a 3 year call yielded 17 years of fruitful and meaningful ministry. Most recently they served as co-pastor interims at the American Church in London, England.

Prior to moving to Europe, Doug served as associate pastor in the Chicago area where his responsibilities included ministry to youth and young adults along with preaching, leading worship, working with the Christian Education board, teaching Sunday School and directing Vacation Bible School programs. Jodi served as Chaplain of North Park University, a Christian liberal arts college in Chicago where she was engaged with college-age students through pastoral care, leading and planning chapel services, and building campus ministry teams. Both Jodi and Doug have extensive experience in leading mission trips both in the US and abroad.

After leaving Sweden, they returned to Jodi's home state of California to establish their US base in the Palm Springs area of California. Golf, tennis, and water aerobics fill their free time. Doug has a passion for landscape and interior design while Jodi spends more of her free time reading and writing.

Both are excited to return to Europe and join the incredible ministry of ACP and look forward to being involved in ministry with a focus on young people while participating in the varied and wonderful ministries of the whole church.

The Rev. Lewis Poag

Visiting Pastor

In the summer of 1990 Pat and I moved to Paris where Pat’s employer, American Airlines, was engaged in a project for SNCF. As a computer programmer, she began working on a new reservation system for the upcoming launch of the Eurostar. Meanwhile, after 18 years of local church ministry, I was assuming a new position as “house-husband” at our apartment in the 16th arrondissement.

Both of us jumped into our new jobs with enthusiasm, as we did with our new city. We began exploring the wonderful museums, restaurants, gardens and fabled tourist sights of Paris, but also started looking for a place to worship. We decided to try the American Church in Paris. After one visit we stopped looking. The ACP became our church home in France. It remained so until our return to the US in February 1996.

During the intervening years, we became deeply involved in the church’s ministries, first as active members. Then, following an unexpected staff departure, I became the Interim Associate Pastor. Later, after that position was filled, I served as Moderator of the Church Council. When Sr. Pastor Tom Duggan announced his return to the mission field in Thailand, I was asked to fill in until the search for a new pastor was completed. Working with the talented staff and enthusiastic congregational leadership proved to be a great privilege. It was also a blessing to be in ministry with the diverse body of Christians who made up the church membership. We truly believe that the Spirit was at work in our experience at the American Church.

Of course much has changed since the 90s, except for the excellence of Fred Gramann’s 40 years of musical leadership which we celebrated with you in 2016. The ACP’s ministries have grown, with more programming, outreach, and staff than ever before. Most of the congregation will be new to us, as well as the staff. All of which feeds our excitement about coming to serve among you again, in the role of Visiting Pastor. We are looking forward to seeing you very soon.

Lewis and Pat

Allison Wheeler

Director of Children's Ministry

Allison Wheeler Allison attended Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating with degrees in Religion and Theatre in 2008. After graduation Allison remained in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, teaching theater classes for children and teens at various institutions and working as a Volunteer Management Intern for the Available Light Theatre Co. During this time she was also heavily involved in the youth program at Northwest Christian Church.

Allison and her husband, Jonathan, came to Paris in January of 2011 after he accepted a post-doctorate research position in physics here. Since that time she has been involved in both the youth and Children’s Worship ministries at ACP. She also began work towards her Masters of Divinity at Phillips Theological Seminary in the fall of 2011.

Allison and Jonathan are the proud parents of Josephine and Benjamin.

In her free time Allison enjoys exploring Paris’ beautiful museums, parks, and churches, as well as cooking, reading, and singing (although these days it’s mostly rounds of “Old MacDonald” to keep the baby entertained). She also enjoys spending time with her family travelling and seeking new adventures.

You can contact Allison here.

Jake Van Asten

Youth and Young Adult Intern, 2017-18

Jake and Tricia Van Asten Jake and Tricia Van Asten are from Princeton, New Jersey. Jake is currently working on his Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, and Tricia works as a graphic designer. They have been married for two years and most recently moved from Austin, Texas, where Tricia worked as graphic designer for a start-up and Jake worked for a small software company. They have both been active leaders in Young Life, which is a ministry for high school students. In Princeton, they work for Christian Union which ministers to undergraduates at Princeton University. Jake and Tricia enjoy being outside, eating good food, reading, exploring new places, and hanging out with people.

Fred Gramann

Music Director

Fred_024"I highly value providing leadership for the music ministry at ACP which strives to reinforce the spoken word by providing a complementary spiritual avenue in our quest to experience God."

Fred is a native of Washington state where he began organ studies with Dr. Edward Hansen of Seattle. He earned organ performance degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Michigan, moving to Paris in 1972 for organ study with Marie-Claire Alain and Maurice Duruflé. Since 1976, he has been Director of Music at the American Church in Paris where he is organist and conducts the Adult Choir, the ACP Bronze Ringers, and the Celebration Ringers. Fred also organizes the weekly Sunday evening classical concert series. He has numerous choral and handbell works published in the United States and is the Honorary Associate Director of the Raleigh Ringers of North Carolina as well as co-conductor for the yearly European Handbell Festival.

Natalie Raynal

Contemporary Music Director

NLM"Leading worship brings together everything I love and value most; it's an opportunity to testify to who God is and what he has done, in fellowship with other musicians, through music that I love. 'Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you…with singing lips my mouth will praise you.'"

Natalie is a native of Richmond, Virginia who came to Paris after 7 years in Milan, Italy. After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory of Music with a Bachelors of Music in voice performance under Phylis Bryn-Julson, she continued her vocal studies with Renato Cazzaniga of La Scala. In Milan she performed in classical and jazz concerts and lead worship at the Milan Bible Church. Natalie has lead the Contemporary Service since it began in 2008, and joined the ACP staff as Contemporary Music Director in 2009. "I love the diversity of what we can do as a worship team at the ACP.  The extraordinary diversity of our backgrounds and blend of classically and self-trained musicians allows each of us add our own unique style and faith experience to the blend."

Sara Barton

Director of Children’s and Youth Music Ministries

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Sara was raised in Miami, Florida. Her first experience in music was playing the xylophone for a school play at age 5, and piano lessons soon followed. She studied both piano and later the organ, and became organist at a local church at age 15. Sara earned a BA from St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge where she studied English Literature and served as Organ Scholar. She then returned to Miami and served as organist and handbell director first at Christ the King Lutheran Church (1999-2006), and later at Coral Gables Congregational Church (2006-2008). While in Miami she obtained a Master of Music from Florida International University, whilst also serving as an adjunct professor. Sara has been a music teacher for many years, and currently teaches at École Jeannine Manuel for students at collège level. Sara has lived in France since 2008, and resides in Villejuif with her family.