Welcome! | Words From the Pastor
Welcome from Hamp
I’m glad you found our website! And I hope the you will join us for one of the many activities that go on in our congregation. We worship together every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
While I am one person among many in this congregation, people usually want to know something about the minister, so let me introduce myself. I have been the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Vallejo for 24 years. Before coming here, I was the associate minister in downtown Oakland for 6 years. I grew up in the South, in Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida. I studied engineering at Princeton University and worked as an engineer for a natural gas pipeline for 3 years before going to Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Between my second and final year of seminary I did an internship in Seattle, Washington, where I discovered the first girl I ever asked out in high school happened to be living. She and I started dating in Seattle, got married my final semester of seminary and now have four grown children. In 2009 I received my Doctorate from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo.
I am a student of the Bible, theology and spirituality. I love to learn and share what I’ve learned with others. My formal title as a Presbyterian minister is “Teaching Elder,” and I take that very seriously. As you look through this website you will see that I teach many classes. Recent classes have included ones on Contemplative Prayer, the Apostle Paul, and an overview of Islam. I substitute teach occasionally at Vallejo High School, and I join some of our members every Wednesday in tutoring math at Hogan Middle School. If you are interested in learning, this congregation is the place for you!
In my “spare” time I like to take long rides on my bicycle. Every summer I go backpacking in the Sierras. When the kids were younger I coached each them in soccer. In 2015 I had a sabbatical and learned how to make marbled paper, which is an ancient art. Since then I have set up a marbled paper studio in our garage and spend many hours in the evening making marbled paper, which I use to cover journals. If you’ve never seen marbled paper, Google it. It’s beautiful! If you’d like to see some I’ve made, just ask. I also like to read, which I do almost every day.
About 8 years ago I “discovered” a form of contemplative prayer known as Centering Prayer. I have now practiced this little-known form of prayer daily for 8 years. It has transformed my life in many ways. Every Monday and Tuesday I lead a class on Centering Prayer and teach it to others. For the last 5 summers I have attended a 10-day silent retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. Because I’m an extrovert, the first silent retreat I attended people in the congregation took bets about whether or not I could remain silent that long! (I can.) I also attend other retreats in the Bay Area periodically. On Thursdays, I drive to Stockton to go into a State Prison to teach and lead a Centering Prayer group for prisoners. If you would like to know more about this ancient, but little-known form of prayer, please ask me.
I would love to meet you and talk with you. I consider getting to know people one of the great gifts of being a minister. If you have questions about our congregation, the Bible, Spirituality, God or want to discuss your life, please give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you!
Grace & Peace,
Pastor: Rev. Dr. Hampton Deck
Office Hours: 10:30AM-3:00PM Monday - Thursday
1350 Amador Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
Worship: 10:30 a.m.
Sunday child care provided
Communion is the 1st Sunday of the month.