The congregation has approved these covenant partners to serve in leadership roles at First Pres.

The Nominating Committee is presenting a slate of elders and deacons. The elders will serve a three-year term starting in January 2020. Because we are restarting the office of deacon, the deacons are serving various terms to create three classes of several deacons each. Here are the candidates.

These leaders will be trained this fall and be confirmed by Session in November.

Elders (Class of 2022)

Jim Dye

Jim, a covenant partner of First Pres for about 18 years, has served as a Sunday school teacher for most of those years and served a part term as Elder. Jim serves on the Global Missions Committee and recently traveled to Central Asia on a mission trip. Jim grew up near Winchester and later Roanoke, attended Roanoke College for later grad school at UVA, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth (MDiv), and Southern Methodist University in Dallas (MBA). He has worked in the software industry and in the defense industry, where he now works for Lockheed Martin Aerospace. He enjoys enjoy raising a garden, working on old cars, cycling, hiking and playing the organ, which he calls his “passion.” “I firmly believe that when God places challenges, people, or situations in our path,” he says, “God expects us to apply ourselves in obedience and faith to those situations.”

Lila Gardner

Lila, who has been at First Pres since the late 1970s, reared she and husband Doug’s two children here. They are now grown, living in Richmond. God has added a daughter-in-law and grandson to their family. Lila teaches the Tuesday Ladies Bible Study, where she says she prays “that the Holy Spirit is our teacher, not me.”

Lila believes, as Brother Lawrence believed, “that everything should be done in the name of Christ” as she cares for home, family and the church (Colossians 3:17).

Lila says she hopes to provide “some institutional memory and wisdom in my role as a Session member.”

Brad Jenkins

Brad and his family have been covenant partners for about five years. Brad has served on the Youth Team and the Communications Team. He enjoys using his background as a journalist and educator in his roles at church.

He and his wife, Melissa, have three children. Brad works at JMU with students who produce student media and he teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor. Melissa homeschools and works part-time doing customer service for

Brad is currently working on finishing his training to be a Commissioned Lay Pastor through ECO, and especially enjoys discipleship and mentoring/counseling ministries. He is completing a term on Session at the end of this year and is eager to continue serving.

John Myers

John and wife Linda have been attending First Pres for about four years after worshipping at another church for 27 years. “We found First Pres to be very welcoming and alive with its many good programs,” John says. “We find the preaching to be very motivating and Bible-based…and the worship music is wonderful!”

John spent 40+ years working as a Ford dealer, the family business. He also spent time teaching and coaching. He and Linda have been married 52 years and they have four married children and nine grandchildren. Aside from spending time with family, John is involved in Rotary and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

His favorite Bible passage is the Psalm 23 because of its simple yet powerful message that God is always with us.

Jeff Stapel

Jeff and wife Valerie have been attending First Pres for a little more than two years after spending more than 20 years at Covenant Presbyterian in Harrisonburg, where he came to know Christ personally and later served in various roles, including as a deacon.

Jeff says his “life verse” has been Proverbs 3:5-6. “It has been a life-long journey learning what it means to trust in and lean on God and not myself,” he says. “I am not there yet by far. God is continuing to show me the depth of my need of Him through of my sinfulness and depravity. The more I learn about myself and God, the larger what Christ did on the Cross means to me.”

Jeff works in human resources at Shickel Corporation in Bridgewater. “My daily ministry is to care for those who are a part of our company and those who I come in contact through it to be a light in darkness of a fallen world and an ambassador for Christ,” he says.

Valerie and Jeff have four adult children (three sons and a daughter).

“I will endeavor to serve with an open heart, mind and hands so as to be open to where the Lord is leading me and FPC,” says Jeff, who serves on the Local Missions and Personnel committees.


Amy Werner (Class of 2022)

Amy Werner and her husband, Patrick, are active covenant partners at First Pres, where they both have been involved in recent mission work in Cuba.

Amy is an interpreter for Spanish-speaking families at Thomas Harrison Middle School.

She is currently completing training to be a Commissioned Lay Pastor in ECO.

One of her favorite passages of scripture is, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  Be reconciled to God” ( 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Scott Dove (Class of 2022)

Scott Dove and his wife, Loree, have been attending First Presbyterian Church on Court Square since 2010. Scott is a faithful Sunday school teacher. He also is working on training to be a Commissioned Lay Pastor in ECO.

A verse that Scott says he has never gotten over is Isaiah 57:15: “For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”

About his service as a deacon, he says, “I love my church family and am eager to serve them anyway that I can in this role.”

Frank Sprinkel (Class of 2021)

Frank grew up in Rockingham County, graduated from Turner Ashby High and Madison College with a degree in biology. He worked at Merck for 37 years until he retired in 2017.

Frank professed Christ as Lord and Savior when he was 14. In 1977, he married Annette; they have two children, Katie Hylton and Jennifer Parrish, and four grandchildren.

He has been a deacon, Sunday school teacher and missions chairman at previous churches.

Frank says his favorite scriptures are Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. “In these verses, Jesus provides powerful insights, instructions and life lessons for living Christian lives,” he says.

June Hosaflook (Class of 2021)

June is a lifelong covenant partner at First Pres. Her parents came separately to Harrisonburg from New Jersey and Massachusetts to work for Merck & Co. They married and chose First Pres as their church home, and it’s where June was baptized. “The pastors and people of First Pres have directed, nurtured and strengthened my faith through seven decades,” she says.

She claims Hebrews 6:19 as her “life scripture:” “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”

Now retired, June volunteers in the First Pres office one morning every week and assists the committees of Congregational Care, Worship and Children’s Ministry. She also plays handbells with the Court Square Ringers. Outside church, she is interested in bicycling, knitting and staying physically active.

June is married to Myron, also retired. They have one son and one grandson who live in the area.

“I don’t expect being a Deacon to change my involvement at First Pres very much,” she says. “I simply pray I am able to continue being an active covenant partner for many years to come. “

Doug Gardner (Class of 2020)

Doug began calling First Pres his church home in 1977 after moving to Harrisonburg. He and wife Lila have two adult sons and a grandson.

Doug previously served as a deacon in the late 1980s and helped oversee the church facilities. “Since that time I have sensed and worked at responding to God’s placing me in the community and FPC where I could be of help to those in need,” he says. That includes working closely with local missions efforts.

He cites Luke 12:48 as guiding his ministry. There, Jesus says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.”

Mary Scott (Class of 2020)

Mary has been a member of First Presbyterian Church for more than 50 years. She is married to Charlie, and they are the parents to two children who grew up at First Pres.

After joining the church in 1968, Mary became active in a variety of activities at the church including in the college parent program, as a Sunday school teacher, in youth activities and at Bible School.

Mary retired from teaching middle school at Thomas Harrison after 34 years and remained active in church activities. She has served as an elder and became involved with the Local Missions committee. She is active in the Soup Kitchen and Open Doors homeless shelter programs.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 guide her ministry. There, he said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Janice Pence (Class of 2020)

Janice and her husband joined First Pres in 2006. Now retired from a vocation in teaching, Janice volunteers at the hospital and church, spends time with grandchildren, walks regularly and attends a women’s club.

At First Pres, Janice is part of a small group and serves on the Local Missions committee. She also volunteers at Soup Kitchen and in other areas.

She says two Scriptures in particular are special to her. One is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” The other is Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Janice has two married sons, six granddaughters, two grandsons and a grand-daughter-in-law.

“I look forward to serving in this new role as the Holy Spirit leads me,” she says.

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