INTERIM PASTOR â€” DAVID BOUMGARDEN
David Boumgarden is an ordained pastor in one of Americaâ€™s historic denominations â€“ the Presbyterian Church (USA). He grew up in Illinois but lived in Arkansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Ohio before returning to Illinois in the mid-80s to start a new churchâ€”River Glen Presbyterian Churchâ€”in Naperville, Illinois, for his denomination.
After thirty-two years serving as River Glenâ€™s pastor, he moved into an interim pastor role to help churches prepare themselves for transitioning to a new pastor. This is his calling to First Presbyterian of Chicago, and it was his calling to Winnetka Presbyterian Church before coming to First.
Davidâ€™s family grew up in Naperville, Illinois, during his three decades of service to River Glen Church. His wife, Jane, is a college professor and a therapist, and his children are also educators â€”Lindsey, an elementary school principal; Peter, a college professor; and John, an educational consultant. In his free time, David enjoys reading and biking and watching a good movie or TV series with Jane. He is also passionate about seeing local churches thrive, expressing faithful witness to Godâ€™s presence in their midst.
DHILANTHI FERNANDO, MUSIC DIRECTOR
Though born in Sri Lanka, Dhilanthi has spent most of her adult life in the Chicago area which she calls home. A resident of the Hyde Park neighborhood, she is a classically trained pianist with a masterâ€™s degree in musicology from the University of Chicago. With an entrepreneur spirit, Dhilanthi started Le Cantanti di Chicago, a womenâ€™s choir based in Hyde Park which is entering its 5th season. One of the choirâ€™s highlights was to perform at the Kennedy Center in 2017.
Coming from a family of church musicians, Dhilanthi expresses her faith best through music, which is evident in the many roles she has played as a church musician in four countries. At First Church, Dhilanthi works with the pastor to plan the musical dimensions of the worship service and equips those wishing to sing as part of a team, to accompany the service offering musical leadership and various types of special music.
She is married to Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, President, OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership and has 3 children: Charith, a musician based in the Bay Area, and founder of Classical Revolution; Devaka, who teaches religion and anthropology at Emory University, and Amali, a string music teacher in the Greenwich CT public school system.
Whenever possible, Dhilanthi sneaks away to Atlanta and Greenwich to spoil her four grandchildren.