Get to Know Your Leaders: The Next Class of Elders and Deacons

One of the unique things about the Presbyterian church is our commitment to electing leadership from within our church family. They serve alongside our members, staff and pastoral team in a number of ways: our Elders provide leadership and prayerful direction as stewards of the church’s vision, and our Deacons provide nurture, care and support to our church family. Both roles are essential in the life of the church.

September 22, 2019 there is a Congregational Meeting to elect the 2022 class of Elders & Deacons, listed below.Training occurs throughout the Fall and culminates in their ordination and/or installation during worship in January 2020.

Get to know our leaders

For the office of Elder:

Bo Morgan
Bo is the son of Chris and Dianna Morgan and was born and raised in Central Florida. Bo has been attending FPCO for over 20 years, during which time he has taught Sunday School and been involved in Youth ministry. Bo and his wife Lauren were married at FPCO in 2007. Bo and Lauren, have two daughters; Carter (6) and Caroline (4). Bo is a managing partner at Goehring and Morgan Construction and Total Care of Orlando.

Ellen Arnold
Ellen has been a member of FPCO for 25 years, and raised her 3 daughters in the church. She was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia and moved to Orlando after graduating from UNC at Chapel Hill. She worked in investment management then became a stay-at-home mom. She is currently active in the anti-trafficking ministry, Samaritan Village and has served on their Board of Directors for the last 6 years. She is a member of an FPCO Life Group that began back in 2011.

John Caplan
John has been a FPCO member for over 20 years. His wife and their two sons, Wesley and Chris have been FPCO members since birth. John is a recently retired Engineering Manager from Lockheed Martin. He currently is a church usher and volunteer at the Compassion Corner Ministry.

Kurt Wood
Kurt has been attending FPCO for 28 years and a member for 25. He taught youth Sunday school with his wife Karin, served as Commissioner of Upward Basketball for 3 long years, currently serves on the FPCO Nominating Committee and as an Elder in the late 2000's. He and Karin will have been married 30 years this October. They have 3 children, Ryan (26), Ellie (23), and Walker (20). Kurt has worked in the Institutional Investment business his entire career. He has served on a number of civic and professional boards and currently is a Trustee of the Winter Park Health Foundation.

Erin Lindblad
Erin will be part of the Officer Class of 2021, as she steps in to fill an unexpired term for a previous Elder. Erin Lindblad and her husband, Lars, have been members of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando since moving to Winter Park in 2008. They have two sons, Logan and Palmer. Erin received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The University of Illinois and is a small animal veterinarian in the area. Erin has been connected to FPCO since becoming a member through Discipleship classes, Life Community Group, Marriage Retreats, Women’s Ministry Bible studies and has served as the lay-leader for Women’s Ministry. Erin enjoys spending time with her family, neighbors and friends, and watching Alabama football.

Greg Burden
Greg Burden has been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 2010. He is married to his lovely bride Beth Ann and has two children, Garrett (25) and Sarah Beth (23). Greg is currently a member of the 2019 Class of Deacons and he also serves on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board for Orange County. He has worked for VaxCare, an Orlando based company for the last 9 years and currently leads their Training and Development Team.

For the office of Deacon:

Helen McRight
Helen was born in Orlando, but did not grow up attending church. A friend brought her to First Presbyterian Church, where she was introduced to the church through the divorce recovery program, and Pastor Jim Cook's early morning Bible study. She was baptized in 1992. Helen served as a nurse for 43 years, and is currently a part-time massage therapist. She has also served as a youth leaders for 7th-8th grade girls at Great Escape, Eagle Rock, Tex-Mex & Sunday School.

Dale A. Leavy
Dale first met Jesus at the age of three, here on the campus of First Presbyterian Church. He is the proud father of four children, Jessica, Tom, DeDi, and Ginny and five grandchildren, Lillith, Joey, Kyla, Brayden, and Ann. He and his wife Michele were married in 2017 by Rev. Becky Davis in Reformation Chapel, and you will find Dale each Sunday in one of the front pews at the early church service – often accompanied by his youngest grandchild, Ann. He is also one of the founders of The Christ School and has served at First Presbyterian Church in various lay leader ministry areas. Dale served in the Air Force and currently works for the Navy engineering flight simulators. He is looking forward to being a deacon at FPCO and continuing to serve and glorify God.

Mike Phillips
Mike has been a covenant partner at FPCO for 21 years and has been involved with young adult ministry, bus ministry, Sunday school, youth ministry, and various Bible studies. He has served as Deacon and helped with the planting of Nación Santa Church in Haines City. Mike has worked in civil engineering in the Orlando area for the past 22 years and is currently working on the I-4 “Beyond the Ultimate” project as well as the Daryl Carter Pkwy Interim interchange, as part of the I-4 BTU project. Mike is looking forward to helping the church grow and getting a new perspective this time around as Deacon, and looking forward to serving alongside his Bible study leader, Bob Ek.

Cyndi Hayes
Cyndi, a lifelong Presbyterian, was born (and baptized) in Charleston, WV and raised in State College, PA from the age of 3. She came to Christ as a teen while a student in Young Life. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in 1991, as well as post graduate certificate from the Philadelphia Institute of Paralegal Training in 1993. She worked in the Atlanta, GA area for 10 years, where she met and married Doug Hayes in 1997, and moved to Florida in 2003. They have two sons, Justin (19) and Christopher (9), and have been members of FPCO since 2005. She volunteers in school, Scouts, and church, where she has briefly sung in the choir, volunteers for the children’s ministry, as well as church administrative projects, attends Crossroads/Servants in the Son Sunday School, loves LifeFest in the spring, and is involved in a small group.

Ben Kennerly
Ben is a native of North Carolina, and has been a resident of Winter Park for 30 years. He is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather - wife, Ginny: daughter, Amanda, of Smithfield, NC; three beautiful children - Alexis Grace - 10, Logan Elizabeth - 8, Campbell Anderson - 3. He has been a Stephen Minister for 3 years, and a Group Leader at Bible Study Fellowship for 7 years. He hosted a small group at FPCO and was leader at Serve Day at the Christian Service Center. He is a licensed General Contractor and Realtor.

Avery Marlett
Avery has been married to her husband, Jeff, for 26 years. They have two children, Reid (19) who currently attends the University of Florida and Addie (17) who is finishing her last year at Boone High School. Avery is currently employed by Celgene Pharmaceuticals, specializing in the field of Multiple Myeloma. She has been a member of FPCO since 1993.

Sam Spears
Sam was raised in Orlando and grew up a part of the FPCO family. Shortly after moving back to Orlando following his time at Auburn University, Sam once again made FPCO his church. Sam got married to his amazing wife, Layne Spears, at FPCO in 2012, and they have two little girls, Meg (3) and Kate (2), who attend and will be attending Week Day School at FPCO. Sam works for a private equity real estate firm in Winter Park, FL.

Sarah Parkhouse
Sarah began attending FPCO in 2004. She is married to Robin, is a mother of two, and is "Nana" to three grandchildren, Harrison, Hamilton, and Helen Grace White. Sarah has served as a deacon, a Stephen Minister, and participates in the prayer shawl ministry, Holy Stitches. She helps out with FPCO's monthly Communion service in the health center of the Westminster Towers, and plays piano for the Young at Heart group of First Pres. Sarah attends the Basics/Foundations Sunday school class.

Robert “Bob” Ek
Bob was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned a B.S. degree from FSU and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia. He taught business courses at Seminole State College for thirty years. He and his wife, Patricia, have been married for over 46 years. He has two adult children: Lisa and Mike, and four grandchildren: Emily, Noah, Carson, and Henrik.

Carolyn Caplan
Carolyn has been at FPCO since birth. She and her husband, John, have 2 grown boys, Wesley and Chris, and a new daughter-in-law, Ashton, who is married to Wesley. When the kids were growing up, Carolyn was involved in Children's Ministry, Student Ministry, WDS, and The Christ School. More recently, Carolyn has served as a deacon, was on the Women Engaged Leadership team, and currently leads a women's small group Bible Study.

Grace Brown
Grace is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She and her husband, Jeff, moved to Orlando in 2015. They have 3 children: Martha Mayes (6), Allie (4), and David (2). Grace taught high school English in Atlanta and is currently teaching SAT and ACT prep classes for The College Map. Grace and Jeff have been attending FPCO since they moved in 2015 and have been involved in the Fellows program, Gotham ministries, and Women Engaged.

Katherine Davis
Katherine Davis has been a member of FPCO all her life. She is married to Bob Davis and they have three grown children, Jim Davis, Whit Davis and Katie Lednar, and 6 grandchildren. God has blessed her with the gift of loving art, especially watercolor. She is honored by being able to serve as a deacon.

Current Elders & Deacons