Staff and Leadership
In the third week of July 2021 we welcomed The Reverend Dr. James F. Kay as our Transitional Pastor. See a bit more about Jim below. Jim will provide a consistent voice in the pulpit for the coming months, as the work of the Pastor Nominating Committee continues in identifying our next called pastor. We are grateful for the service of the cadre of talented ministers, retired and newly minted, who have, when called upon, filled our pulpit and supplied our pastoral needs. You can expect to see these folks from time to time on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, along with elders in the church, leading our "Connect & Reflect" Wednesday gatherings.
If you have pastoral concerns, please use the Contact form for and the church will be happy to help you.
As we seek our next Pastor and Head of Staff, the Mission Information Form that has been prepared by our Pastor Nominating Committee can be downloaded here.
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:
Charlene Bradley, Margaret Ann Butterfield, Brenda Dean (Clerk of Session), Beth Fulda, Sue Getman, Leigh Jefferies-Weinfeld, Rich Morgart, 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
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), Lynn Moody, Larry Peterson, 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 Dr. James Franklin Kay comes to us after having served as Professor of Homiletics (that's the art of preaching sermons) and Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Princeton Theological Seminary. Jim will be serving as transitional pastor and head of staff until the church calls its next installed pastor. Jim was born in Missouri, but raised in California, where he graduated from Pasadena College. He received graduate degrees from Harvard University (MDiv) and Union Theological Seminary (MPhil; PhD). He has served congregations in Minnesota, Australia, and, most recently, the eastern shore of Maryland. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary, retiring in 2018 to Delaware. Jim and his partner live in Wilmington with their two All-American dogs.
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.