Staff and Leadership
In May of 2022, The Pastor Nominating Committee brought the Reverend Laura Schmidt Viau (pronounced VEE-oh) to our pulpit, and the congregation overwhelmingly approved in calling her as our next pastor. She begins service in July, 2022.
In June of 2022 we bid adieu to The Reverend Dr. James F. Kay, who had served for one year as our Transitional Pastor. Jim provided a consistent voice in the pulpit, as the work of the Pastor Nominating Committee continued seeking our next called pastor. We are also grateful for the service of the cadre of talented ministers, retired and newly minted, who had, when called upon, filled our pulpit and supplied our pastoral needs.
If you have pastoral concerns, please use the Contact form for and the church will be happy to help you.
A Presbyterian church is governed by its Session, a body of elders, with the Pastor serving as moderator. (The word "presbyter" means "elder of the church.") These members of the church are elected for three-year terms, renewable for up to six years' continuous service.
First & Central's current Session are:
Ruth Arias, Charlene Bradley, Margaret Ann Butterfield, Brenda Dean (Clerk of Session), Beth Fulda, Leigh Jefferies-Weinfeld, Ellen Oiler, Ellen Roberts (Treasurer), David Teager, Noble Thompson, and Karl Zipf.
The Book of Order, the governing document of the PC-USA, provides this definition of elders:
As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session. When elected as commissioners to higher councils, ruling elders participate and vote with the same authority as ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and they are eligible for any office.
Session Meeting on Zoom
Deacons serve the church by ministering to its members. Often, this involves food! These members of the Board of Deacons are also elected for three-year terms, renewable for up to six years' continuous service.
First & Central's current Board of Deacons includes:
Connie Beattie (chair), Larry Peterson, Herc Pierce, Nancy Rosario, Jean Wakefield and Rob Wieman.
The Book of Order provides this definition of deacons:
The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion, and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry.
The Reverend Laura Schmidt Viau brought her southern charm to Delaware in July, 2022. She most recently served as a transitional pastor in coastal North Carolina, where she regularly got to preach on the beach! Laura recently celebrated the seventh anniversary of her ordination as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, but she has been doing God's work for much of her life.
She will be living in Wilmington's Haynes Park neighborhood. Stay tuned for an invitation to her service of installation.
David's passion for music and faith in God make him a true Minister of Music. His remarkable talents for playing, directing, and composing are such a gift to F&C and this community. Under his direction, F&C's choir is comprised of some of the most talented musicians in the area. He studied music at The Ohio State University, received a Masters of Music from Eastman School of Music, and has pursued post-graduate education from Syracuse University.