2024 Officer Nominees

Meet Your Elders, Deacons, and Nominating Committee Nominees!

January 18, 2024

Class of 2027

Kayla Craddock

Kayla was born and raised in Martinsville, Virginia but has lived and loved in Richmond since 2014. A job in public health led her to Richmond, but the community, friends and family she found here were unexpected and life-giving. She has been active in her faith journey while in Richmond from getting baptized as an adult, completing a fellowship in the Richmond Christian Leadership Initiative (℅ 2018), participating and leading mission trips to Vietnam, and leading/participating in numerous small groups. Kayla is so thankful to an early friendship with Nicole Ball that led her to join a Lenten small group at First Pres. The kindness and care FPC has shown her is unmatched and she cannot wait to serve and grow in this capacity. When not attending Women on Zoom or morning services you can find Kayla cooking a new recipe or playing volleyball. She is all to happy to tell you about her tuxedo cat, Whiskey, if you have the time.

Jim Irby

I am a native of Martinsville, VA and a Graduate of the University of Virginia, School of Architecture. Sandy and I joined FPC shortly after our marriage in 1984 and have been active members since joining. I have served as Deacon and Elder, a board member of the Weekday School Ministry, chair of Stewardship and the Mission Outreach Committees, and as a Trustee of the Endowment. Over the past 10 years, I have been a member of the FPC/RISC Justice Ministry Team working for positive solutions for systemic problems in the Metro Richmond Area. Sandy and I have raised three children in the church. One of them has gone on to be an ordained Minister in the PC USA. I practice architecture in the Fan District and am the owner of Irby Architects, PC. I enjoy regularly playing Squash, and am up for a game with anyone who wants to play orb learn the game.

Foster Jennings

I have lived in Richmond my entire life, except for 12 years of education in other cities. When I went to Davidson College, the Presbyterian church felt like a breath of fresh air compared to my Episcopalian upbringing. When I married Lally, a lifelong Presbyterian, we found our way to FPC. Our 2 children, Mac and Lacy, were here for baptism, preschool, and confirmation. Most recently, Lacy was married by Mary Kay. My favorite activities here have been small group studies: Sandy Irby's and Rosalind's classes, Alpha, and Amy's bible study group. I got my medical education at UVA and MCV. I practiced cardiology for 33 years and made lifelong friends with patients and some brilliant colleagues. I do not know where my term as an Elder will lead, but I feel that it's time to do my part to repay for decades of leadership by prior members.

Christina Luxon

I grew up in Chapel Hill, NC where I sang in the youth choir at University Presbyterian Church (mostly to hang out with my friends). I moved to Richmond to attend the University of Richmond, and while there I was in the Presbyterian campus ministry and joined FPC's chancel choir to cure my homesickness. After graduating with majors in math and physics, I began pursuing a career in software development. I returned to FPC around 2019, rejoining the choir and transferring my membership. Since then I've served on the Finance and Membership Committees, discovered that I'm not quite as bad at handbells as I originally thought, enjoyed the Young Adults Group (mostly to hang out with my friends), gotten married, and bought a house in Northside. I find the FPC community energizing and meaningful, and I hope to return the favor.

LaMont Noble

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in El Paso, Texas, and Los Angeles, California. I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in Physics and received my master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University. I served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) as an Electronic Countermeasures Officer and Communications Countermeasures Officer, stationed in the United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, Germany, Thailand, and the Philippines. After retiring from the USAF, I was a building energy analyst with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in Washington, DC. After three years at the EPA, I left to work for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) as a project manager. Retiring from JHU/APL in 2007, I worked for Lockheed Martin as a lead engineer in Ballistic Missile Defense, finally retiring for good in 2016. My wife Judith and I will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary in September of this year. We have six children (3 boys, 3 girls), and two great-grandchildren. I have had the privilege of serving as an Elder, a member of the Outreach Council, volunteering at Henry Marsh Elementary School, and an in-class Algebra tutor at MLK Middle School.

Vicki Warren

My husband Scott and I joined First Presbyterian in 1982, shortly after we married. We raised our two sons, Bill and Sam, in the church as well as the Preschool. First Presbyterian has been a blessing in our lives and I've participated in many small groups, prayer groups, and in the Chancel Choir for a number of years. I became an Elder in the 1990's and look forward to active service again. I've served on or chaired/co-chaired Stewardship, Worship, 125th Anniversary Celebration as well as other committees and teams. I'm currently a volunteer at Henry Marsh and enjoy helping two young boys learn to read. My other interests extend to fitness; I've been a Half Marathon training team coach for Sportsbackers for a number of years. I'm also an Executive in Residence at the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business since retiring 18 months ago. It's a privilege to serve as an Elder and to support FPC's mission and values.

Class of 2027

Tyler Ball

I grew up in Russell County, Virginia, and moved to the Richmond area in 2004 to attend Randolph Macon College. There I met my wife, Nicole, and we currently live in Hanover with our 3 kids, Stella, Waylon, and Wyatt. I have been practicing dentistry in Mechanicsville for 10 years now. My hobbies and interests include football, BBQ, bourbon chasing, and anything Star Wars. I truly have so much to be thankful and grateful for. I grew up Baptist, but my wife and I fell in love with FPC during her stint as an intern here. In 2011, we became members. We were married here in 2013 and all three of our children were baptized here as well.

Jon Chase

I moved to Richmond in 1981, a few years after graduating from W&M. Liesel and I joined FPC in 1986 and were married the following year. We were blessed with four daughters; all were baptized and confirmed at FPC. When the girls were young, I enjoyed teaching Sunday School. Over the years, I have served as an usher, on the Session, the Nominating Committee and Brothers in Christ. I retired in 2019 after 35 years in medical packaging.

Karen Edwards

Karen moved to Richmond with her husband, Kelley, in the fall of 2019 and joined FPC Richmond in 2022. Karen is a member of PW Circle 7 and is currently serving as the Historian on the PW Council. Additionally, she volunteers at Henry Marsh Elementary School and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Karen grew up in Hartsville, SC, and attended Converse College in Spartanburg SC with majors in History and Accounting. Upon graduating Karen remained in Spartanburg where she had a 25-year career with Milliken & Co., met and married her husband, and raised two children. She was a member of FPC Spartanburg serving as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, Cub Scout leader, and Flower Guild member, along with other support positions. One of her favorite areas of service was with CAST, a service to support children and families who live in motels. Additionally, she volunteered at other service organizations Karen is honored to have been nominated to serve as a Deacon at FPC Richmond and looks forward to serving in ministry for and with the members of FPC Richmond.

Rick Fay

I am honored to be asked to serve on the diaconate. I view this as both an opportunity and a calling to be able to serve as a voice for our members, including our online and remote members who appreciate the ability to participate at First Presbyterian Church, especially over the last 4 years. I’m a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Virginia School of Law. I’m married to Beth (Smart), and I joined First Presbyterian when Beth rejoined in 2021. Along with our two irascible canines, we live out in the country in Caroline County. We’re both retired Army officers, and I continue to teach International Humanitarian Law to our partner nations' defense forces, principally in Eastern Europe and Southern Africa. I was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal church and remained a member for almost 30 years. I became a member at Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina while living there in the late 1980s and running an environmental law practice. I served on several church committees during my time in Charlotte, including the preschool and co-chairing the usher committee. I was also the deputy managing partner of our 400 attorneys international law firm. I am looking forward to continuing to develop our online ministry and creating new opportunities for both our members and visitors to participate meaningfully at First Presbyterian!

Connie Gottwald

I am a lifelong Presbyterian who moved to Richmond from the Boston area in 9th grade. I graduated from Duke University and met my husband Biil while working as a nurse at (then) MCV. We have 4 children and 7 grandchildren and have been members of FPC since 1987. Thanks to our community of caring members, wise and focused leadership and staff, relevant and interesting small groups, and varied opportunities for outreach, I consider FPC my second family. A church trip to Belarus in 1995 has greatly influenced my life - ask me about it sometime. Monday morning Bible study and Russian language classes are an important part of each week, and I also enjoy playing the piano, reading (especially audiobooks), and knitting.

Ashby Horner

Ashby joined our church with his parents, Kathy and Jack Horner when Dr Jim Jones was our pastor. He was a FPC confirmand, active in youth group and attended Summer Bible camp during Dr Jack Sadler’s tenure. Ashby has enjoyed serving the church as an Open Door Band member and on the Worship Committee. Ashby is currently serving in the Usher’s Guild. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Ashby works in the Healthcare Industry as the Principal of a Medical Device company based in Richmond. Ashby’s family is deeply connected to our church. His wife, Melanie, taught pre school at FPC off and on for 17 years; and daughters Brittany, Breen, and Katie attended pre school and are members of our wonderful congregation.

Mary Lynn Lunn

Mary Lynn grew up in the First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. She enjoyed being an active part of the youth group there and going to summer camp in Montreat, NC. Mary Lynn and her husband, Dr. William Lunn, moved to Richmond in January of 2020 from New Orleans, LA where they were active members (teaching Sunday School, helping with the youth group, and ushering) of Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church. They joined the First Presbyterian Church of Richmond in 2021. Mary Lynn and William have three daughters: Elizabeth (25), Emma (23), and Mary Aliene (18). Currently, Mary Lynn teaches in the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. She also teaches Human Resource Management for VCU’s MHA program. In addition, she teaches a Healthcare Policy course for Tulane University’s MD/MBA program. Her dissertation research examined the relationship between leadership, employee engagement, and patient experience in acute-care hospitals. Prior to earning her Ph.D. in Human Resource Development (HRD) through the University of Texas system, Mary Lynn worked for Andersen Consulting, Bankers Trust, and Conoco. She has a B.A. in Business from Baylor University and a M.A. in HRD from the University of Texas at Austin. Mary Lynn also enjoys volunteering in the community with CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, the American Heart Association, the Jr. League, and at her daughter’s school (St. Catherine’s). In addition, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing tennis, boating, and traveling.

Sherry May

The Church has always been an important part of my life. I grew up the daughter of a First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister. My husband Steve and I married in 1976, moved to Pittsburgh, PA, and continued our church membership and service. I have a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. I was a project manager for Westinghouse Electric Corp, Nuclear Division until deciding to resign and raise our three children. I have always been grateful for this time to be at home. This also gave me time to volunteer in various programs including a docent at Lehigh Valley Art Museum, and work on issues such as public-school funding and church programs. I was an elder, taught Sunday School, served on the board of the Division of Homeland Ministries, and was a state chairperson for a national capital campaign for FCC denomination. We retired to Richmond in 2016. All three of our children are married and as of September of last year, all now live in Richmond! We have three grandchildren. Henry is 3, Molly is 1 and Madelyn is 10 months. Steve and I keep them 2 days a week. I am blessed to be a part of this congregation and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as a deacon.

Ashley Raggi

I am originally from Richmond, but I grew up in the Episcopal Church at St. Mary’s in Goochland. I have so many fond memories of youth group and church events that finding a vibrant church or our family was a top priority. FPC checked all the boxes and I instantly felt at home when we started worshiping here. We became members in 2018. Since then, I have loved serving as a deacon and a volunteer at Henry Marsh Elementary and participating in RISC. My husband, Matt, and I met at the University of Richmond. We have three children, James (10), Hannah (8), and Caroline (5). For the last three and a half years I was the Richmond Program Director at Little Hands Virginia. On the weekends you can usually find me at a youth sports activity, but in my free time, I love to go to read, take long walks with our golden retriever, and spend time at Anna Julia Cooper School with my lunch buddies! I am excited to serve a second term as a Deacon for FPC.

Kathy Smallwood

I am originally from Charlottesville, where I graduated from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. After completing my residency at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, I joined a local medical group here in Richmond, where I practiced Internal Medicine for 34 years prior to my retirement. My husband, Butch Gottschalk, and I have been members of FPC since 2009. I've served on the PW Coordinating Council, have enjoyed my fellowship with friends in Circle 7, and I am happy to have the opportunity to serve a second term as Deacon. I enjoy traveling, reading, watching UVA sports (Wahoowa!!), and our two rescue dogs, Lizzie and Poppi.

Mary Lu Stephens

Cincinnati, Ohio has been my home for 38 years before moving to Richmond. I taught school for 30 years in the community where my husband and I raised our three daughters. My oldest daughter graduated from Washington and Lee University, my youngest from William and Mary, and our middle child graduated from our alma mater, Ohio University. The Presbyterian Church has been a big part of my life from childhood Youth Club dinners every Wednesday night to today as I look forward to getting more involved in FPC. My daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Jeff Dunnington, were married in this church, and my grandchildren, Molly and Will Dunnington were baptized here as well. Healey, my yellow lab, and I are part of the Dogs on Call Therapy program at VCU Hospital. I enjoy traveling, walking, bridge, jigsaw puzzles, reading, pickleball, and spending time with friends and family.

Lynda Starr

FPC has been our church home since my husband John and I moved to Richmond in April 2020. What a warm and welcoming community we found here. I have been active in church life for many years and served at our previous church, Second Presbyterian, Roanoke as an elder, as a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, choir member, circle chairman, and on many committees. I also sang in the choir and served as co-chair of the deacons at Church of the Covenant, Cleveland. Since moving to Richmond I have enjoyed being involved with FPC's flower ministry, PW, and the choir. The Centering Prayer group is a source of blessing and spiritual nourishment every week. Although we both grew up in Georgia John and I met at Duke Medical Center where he was a medical student and I was an R.N. We moved to Roanoke in 1977 where we raised our children and had our careers. My careers included nursing, music therapy, and counseling psychotherapy. I enjoyed each in its turn but my favorite has been mothering our 3 wonderful children and their spouses and grandmothering our 7 delightful grandchildren. I enjoy music, traveling, reading, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. I very much look forward to serving FPC as a Deacon.

Nominating Committee

Ken Horton

I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in business administration. I served four years in U.S. Army Intelligence as a Korean Linguist/Cryptanalyst, having been stationed in Korea and Japan. After obtaining my CPA, I worked a number of years as an accountant, starting at the Cooper’s and Lybrand CPA firm and then spending almost twenty years at the James River Corporation in various controllership positions. I also served as controller of the Defense Enterprise Fund, participating in the formation of joint ventures between the U.S. and the former USSR. My last position until retirement was as VP-CFO at KSB Inc. In my almost ten years at FPC, I have had the privilege of serving on the Deaconate and the Session. I have also served in the usher’s guild, finance committee (as FPC Treasurer), and as an Endowment Fund board member. My wife Suzanne and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary last year. We have a son Matthew (daughter-in-law Tonia), a daughter Megan (son-in-law Justin), and three wonderful grandchildren.

Hayley Mathews

I grew up in Richmond and First Presbyterian Church. My mom’s family joined this church in 1963 and my parents were married here. I have been involved at FPC for most of my life and was an active member of the Youth Group and Youth Choir during my teenage years. I graduated from George Mason University in 2011 with a degree in Communications and moved back to Richmond afterward. As an adult, I continue to stay involved at church as a member of our wonderful Chancel Choir, and incredible Young Adult Group. I currently work as a Medical Education Coordinator at VCU’s School of Medicine and will graduate with my Master's degree in May. When not at work, I enjoy going to the movies, hanging out with my rescue dog, and knitting!

Steve Mintz

Steve Mintz has three wonderful children, an even better wife, and a perfect dog. He was baptized in and worshiped at a little country Methodist church until he became a Presbyterian when he was a student at William and Mary. He has called Virginia home his entire life, he has called the Richmond area home for 33 years, and he has called FPC home for nearly 30 years.

Lauren Neal

I became a member of FPC when my family moved across Cary when I was two. My family was very active in many aspects of the church but music was my favorite. I learned to love singing in a choir with Michael Grant and carried that through my life, culminating in a degree in vocal performance with a concentration in elementary education from Hollins University. I served as director of the preschool/kindergarten choir for 13 years, was a member of the worship committee for 10 years, served as memorial flowers chair for 4 years, and worked with the Preschool for 10 years. In my free time, I enjoy my garden club, needlepoint, and being a member of the Junior Board of Children's Hospital Foundation.

Missy Ryan

I have been a longtime member of FPC together with my husband Jim. We joined the church soon after we were married and so enjoy being a part of it and its volunteering opportunities. I have served as a deacon and an elder. I have also sat on the New Members Committee and am presently on the PW Council, the FPC Outreach Council, the Community Grants Committee and The First Fund Committee and a member of Covenant Class. I have served on the Faith In Action Capital Campaign, Associate Minister Search Committee and chair of the Communion Preparation Committee. I have served as a mentor for FPC confirmands. I am also one of the wedding coordinators for FPC and a volunteer for RISC. Am retired from a banking career. Enjoy the beach with family and friends, cooking, reading a good cookbook, & cheering for the HOOS! I have been very active as an Advisory Board member with VCU Massey Cancer Center. Also enjoy volunteer work with Maymont and CARITAS.

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