Pastor: The Reverend Lou Ventura
Pastor Ventura began her ministry at Franklin
Presbyterian Church in September 2013. FPC is her first call, and she brings
with her over 25 years in various roles in the healthcare industry, as well as
an active ministry as a ruling elder and deacon. She is passionate about
congregational nurture and ministering internally to the church as well as
externally to the community. Relating Christís message to life today is a
particular focus of Louís preaching and leadership. She is active at the presbytery
level as Vice Moderator of the Mediation and Reconciliation Subcommittee of the Commission on Ministry.
Lou earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Information
Management from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, in
1986, and her Master of Divinity from Regent University in 2011.
Married to Ron for 23 years, they have
together raised Ronís children from his first marriage, Tammy and RJ, and have
been blessed with three granddaughters. Niece Gaby and nephew Duncan are also a
big part of Louís life. Lou and Ron live in Holland with black Lab Cooper,
yellow Lab Logan, and cats Murphy, and Bella. In what little spare
time is available, Lou loves to read and watch reruns of ďThe Big Bang TheoryĒ and "Modern Family."
Administrative Assistant: Melissa Lewis
Melissa was born in Tennessee and lived there until the age of six when her family moved to Virginia. She grew up in Suffolk and graduated from Forest Glen High School. After living in Stoney Creek, Va. for nine years, she has resided in Franklin since 2002.
She has four children; Wesley (25), Cori (23), Gabby (15), and Michael (13), and was blessed with a beautiful Granddaughter three years ago.
In her spare time Melissa enjoys reading, yard work, cooking, and doing things with her kids. Her favorite TV shows include The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, and Once upon a time. She has one dog, a Chihuahua named Buddy.
Benjamin has been a member of FPC
since 2012. He moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the Franklin area in 2008. He was elected in July 2012 to the position of ruling elder.
In his capacity as Invitation and
Outreach Team Lead on the Session, Benjamin strongly feels the call to carry
Christís mission of compassion and care to all people, and enjoys getting out
and meeting folks in the neighborhood.
Benjamin majored in history and
minored in health, physical education and recreation, earning a Bachelor of
Arts degree from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Benjamin lives with Tiffany,
his high school sweetheart, in Boykins. Married since October 2007, they are
parents to two cats, Bo (named after legendary Michigan football coach Bo
Schembechler), Missy Maize (maize being one of the colors of my beloved Michigan Wolverines) and a dog, Grace, the church puppy (see Graceís story here.)
When heís not at work with the Southampton County Sheriffs Office, Benjamin loves to watch paranormal ghost shows and cartoons on
TV, and is a huge fan of football and hockey (Michigan Wolverines, Detroit
Lions, Detroit Redwings). With the
exception of taking Grace for long walks, he generally enjoys being a homebody.
Director of Music: Cathy Eischeid
Cathy began her tenure as organist at FPC in 1980, and
became organist/choir director in 1990. She joined the church in 1999, and was
ordained an elder in 2000, serving in that capacity several times since, including a
recent election to the active Session in 2014.
Cathy graduated from ODU with a BS in Music Education
in 1989, and has been teaching music ever since in Southampton County Schools,
Franklin City Schools, Isle of Wight County Schools, Southampton Academy, and
PDCCC. For the past 16 years she has been the Music teacher at Carrsville
Elementary School. Since 1978 Cathy has taught private piano lessons, and is a
member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers.
Her vocation is also her avocation: music is not only
her livelihood, but her hobby. She sings with Franklin Community Choir
and has sung with Schola Cantorum, a group based in Norfolk, VA, and with the
Virginia Beach Symphonicity chorus.
Cathy has four grown children and five grandsons.
Church Treasurer: Kathryn Padgett
Kathryn is a long-time member of Franklin Presbyterian Church. She was baptized as an infant and began
attending FPC at the young age of 9 when her family moved to Franklin, VA, from
Lawrence, NJ. She became a full-fledged member
in 1978 upon completion of confirmation classes and publicly professing her
She has served in many capacities at FPC including youth group
leader, ruling elder, choir member, disbursing treasurer, and Clerk of
Session. Although she has lived in
Suffolk, VA, for the past 17 years, she cannot break from the Franklin church that truly is her extended family.
Kathryn earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Old
Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, after previously attending James Madison University
and The Medical College of VA/VCU. She
currently works in Smithfield, VA, in Inside Sales/Customer Care for a folding
carton manufacturer, Carded Graphics, LLC.
She has been married to Frank Padgett for 19 years. She has a stepson, Neil, whom she claims as
her own, along with a daughter-in-law, Gina, and two grandsons, Avery (11) and
Dalton (9). She and Frank like BIG dogs
and have owned multiple Great Danes and are currently entertained by Lexie, a 6
year old Great Dane. In her spare time,
she enjoys reading, puzzles and being a couch potato. At the ripe old age of 50 she challenged
herself to get off the couch and took up running. She has completed a number of 5ks, a 7k, an
8k, and a 10k. Her goal is to one day
complete a half marathon.
Financial Secretary: Carolyn and Bill Boothe,
Vivian and Harry Christie