Rev. Dr. Dino Rustin

Rev. Dr. Dino Rustin


Dino was called to First Presbyterian Church in 2014 as Lead Pastor. He originally hails from the west coast, being born and raised in San Diego, CA. Dino has been serving in full-time ministry since 1999 and has been ordained since 2009, having completed his Master of Divinity degree at Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary. Since joining First Pres, he has completed his Doctorate of Ministry in Church Leadership at Fuller.

Dino and his wife, Jennifer, have been married since the spring of 2018. Between the two of them, they have four beautiful daughters who keep them very busy playing soccer and swimming in the pool. In their spare time, Dino & Jennifer love going to the beach, watching sports, and taking bike rides together around the neighborhood. Jennifer is a Bradenton native and an equestrian jumper who loves to ride her horse a few times a week. Dino likes to run for exercise, and he plays a variety of instruments with the opportunity to perform locally at times.

They are thrilled to be a part of a church that is growing and thriving, with a great sense of call to serve Jesus from the heart of downtown!

Our Team And Leadership

First Presbyterian Church is led collaboratively by a team of called leaders who work together to ensure we are doing our best to “cultivate hearts for Jesus from the heart of Downtown.” We believe that all ministry (ordained and lay ministry) is a calling that comes from God, who empowers each of us to unique service according to our gifts and personalities. By working together, we maximize the potential of these gifts for Kingdom-building effort!


The Staff are paid individuals with unique gifts who work together to maintain the day-to-day operations of the church. They work together on everything from planning events to keeping the building maintained to organizing worship services & classes to all the behind-the-scenes tasks that keep our congregation moving.
The Session is a group of nine elected lay leaders who represent the church as a spiritual “board of directors.” Each of these elders work on a three-year term within a specific ministry team to ensure our mission and vision goals are being met and implemented. All ministry teams report to the Session via the work of these leaders. The Session meets monthly (or more frequently, if needed), and has the ultimate authority on all church decisions.

Staff members

Dwayne Smith

Dwayne Smith

Operations and Technology Director

Ted Hayes

Ted Hayes

Organist / Director of Music

Doreen Hawkins

Doreen Hawkins

Financial Admin / Connect Groups Director

Session members

 FINANCE – Kaye Butler

FACILITIES – Paul Marziani

PERSONNEL – Ralph Garrison and Kathy Flynn

CONGREGATIONAL CARE  – Kathy Flynn (+ Deacons)


CONNECTIONS – Ralph Garrison

WORSHIP & MUSIC – Maggie Rieniets

FAMILY MINISTRY – Barbara Dittmann

MISSIONS – Audrey Mills

CLERK OF SESSION – Theresa Dahlquist