Christian Discipleship


The Christian Discipleship Ministry Team is responsible for many aspects of our Christian life. They oversee the education of all, from birth through adulthood. A Lenten Study takes place during Lent each spring. Typically spanning multiple weeks, the evenings begin with a light … Continue reading

200th Anniversary Concert


  Our 200th Anniversary Concert was a great success!  Click any of the links below to view the program or listen to selections from the concert.  Thanks to all of the musicians who shared their talents with us on this … Continue reading

Veronique Hart-Saxton

My_Life_In_Pictures 005cMy name is Veronique Hart-Saxton and I have been called as the new Discipleship Ministry Coordinator. You may know me as Nique (pronounced “Nicky”), a nickname my parents have used for as long as I can remember. I started attending First Presbyterian in November 2014 and could not have asked for a warmer welcome. Within a month, I joined the Chancel Choir and can often be seen among the teal and white robes during worship services. I have also had the opportunity to help with children’s events such as Vacation Bible School and First Friday as well as join in the excitement of the 200th anniversary.

As for my spiritual journey, I was born in Oregon and since elementary school I have felt God’s call. I had never been to church, not even on holidays, when in third grade I told my mother that I wanted to go. Soon after my family attended a Presbyterian church and from the moment I walked into the sanctuary, I knew I was home. After my family relocated to New York State to be closer to our extended family, we joined a United Church of Christ congregation. These are the years that my light truly began to shine. Through volunteering as a Sunday School Teacher during my high school years, to attending the United Church of Christ Global Partnership Mission Trip to Puerto Rico, to being selected as a New York State Youth Delegate for the United Church of Christ General Synods in 2003 and 2005, my calling was confirmed and strengthened. While my life has presented me with many opportunities to give back, I am excited to do more and embrace the call God has placed within me.

I cannot wait to begin my new role and work with the Christian Discipleship committee to continue to grow our educational ministries. I look forward to continuing programs such as First Fridays that blossomed and flourished under Mike’s direction and start new adventures such as a youth group for our ever-growing middle school and high school members. If you or someone you know would like to help with any of our current or future endeavors, please let me know. I would love the opportunity to speak with you!

“God. He is the one guiding you through… He controls all of your steps no matter where they lead you… God is always with us and always will be.” – Me, excerpts from Puerto Rico sermon, age 18

John Morrison

John Morrison is the Music Director and Organist of First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont, WV.

John conducts the Chancel Choir and Cambridge Handbell Choirs and plays the church’s beautiful Moller pipe organ for worship services. He has been on the First Presbyterian staff since August of 2009.

In the summer of 2013, John attended the Montreat Music and Worship Conference in North Carolina, an exciting and enriching experience.

John is also on the music faculty of Fairmont State University as an instructor of piano and strings and accompanist. At Fairmont State, John has music directed “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, “South Pacific”, and “Little Women”.

In 2012, John was selected to receive the “Excellence in Music” award from the City of Fairmont Arts and Humanities Council. John is a WVU graduate where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance and French, and Masters Degree in Piano Performance.

Elise Renee Neal

Elise was born on May 28, 1979 in the small town of Philippi, WV where she was raised by her parents Frank & Suzann (Sue) Murphy. Four years later her younger brother Colin was born. Elise was baptized in the Philippi Presbyterian Church by her grandfather, Rev. Robert C. Steele on August 26, 1979. Elise remained an active member of the Philippi Presbyterian Church until she graduated from Philip Barbour High School in 1997. Elise went on to attend Marshall University, graduating in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development. During her time at Marshall she was very active in PROWL (People Reaching Out With Love), which is a ministry of the Presbytery of WV.Neal Family

After graduating from college, Elise moved to Lumberton, North Carolina to teach kindergarten at Magnolia Elementary/Middle School. During her time in North Carolina Elise worked part-time as the Youth Director and Christian Educator at the First Presbyterian Church in Lumberton. In 2003, Elise moved to Richmond, VA to pursue her call into the ministry. She graduated from Union-PSCE in May 2007 with a Masters of Divinity degree. During her time at seminary, Elise worked at several different Presbyterian churches in the Richmond area. Prior to graduating from seminary, Elise worked as the full-time Director of Christian Learning at Chester Presbyterian Church in Chester, VA and continued in that role until she received the call to ordained ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Sioux City, IA in June 2009. Elise served as the Associate Pastor in Sioux City until December 2011.

Elise is married to her husband Ryan and will be celebrating seven years of marriage in August of this year. Together they have three children, daughter Kaylen Rose, son Knox Levin and son Terryn Alexander. Elise and her family are looking forward to their new home and her call in ministry as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont, West Virginia.