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.

E-Mail: pastor@fairmontfirst.net


The Outreach Ministry Team leads the church in its ministry of witness, service and benevolence to the community of Fairmont. The team is composed of elders and lay persons of the church.

SFKThe team’s biggest commitment is the long-running Shoes for Kids program. This program provides shoes for underprivileged children in Fairmont and surrounding communities. The funding for this program comes largely from the sale of apple butter which church members make themselves at an annual Apple Butter Day. This “work day” is more fun than work and provides a wonderful opportunity for fellowship.

The Outreach Ministry Team helps support the following community organizations and programs:applebutterday

  • Union Mission – a Christian shelter for homeless men, women and children
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • HOPE – a shelter for abused and battered women and their children
  • Soup Opera – a local kitchen which provides meals for those in need
  • Connecting Link – helps those in need pay their utility bills
  • Scott Place – a shelter for the homeless
  • Food Pantry – provides food for the underprivileged

The Outreach Ministry Team supports the Presbyterian Coffee Project: “Good coffee for a good cause.”

The Presbyterian Coffee Project offers a special link between congregations and communities around the world. Churches can now reach out to neighbors overseas not only with the prayers and offerings we give, but with the goods and products we purchase. A warm cup of coffee (or tea) in our hands is perhaps the most tangible daily connection we have with farmers around the world. It represents warmth, hospitality, fellowship, hard work and life’s pleasures both fine and simple. Buying fair trade through the Presbyterian Coffee Project ensures that more of the money we spend on coffee reaches the hardworking farmers who actually grow it.

The Outreach Ministry Team also sponsors numerous special offerings throughout the year. These include:

  • Cents-Ability Offering – helps support hunger relief in the community
  • One Great Hour of Sharing-supporting ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities
  • Pentecost Offering- It provides a direct way to meet the needs of children at risk, youth, and young adults
  • Peacemaking Offering- A way to renew commitments to peacemaking as part of your calling as a follower of Christ, who not only taught us the ways of peace but is our peace.
  • Christmas Joy Offering- Is distributed equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to support student scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

The church congregation is made aware of the purpose of these special offerings through Minute for Mission talks, church bulletin inserts and The Chimes newsletter articles.


The Administrative Ministry Team is responsible for the employment, supervision, and evaluation of the church staff, i.e; the secretary, sexton, and Director of Music. This is accomplished in cooperation with the pastor and the session. The team is also responsible for the employment of nursery attendants. Specific responsibilities in this area include evaluating all staff members on a yearly basis and making recommendations to session for salary and benefits; designating a liaison from the team for each staff member; revise job descriptions as needed; recommend to Session the hiring and firing of employees.

Additionally, the team is responsible for working with the treasurer on the church budget, and for planning and implementing the annual Fall Stewardship Campaign, and scheduling meetings of the Coordinating Committee.

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

Worship Committee

The Worship and Music Ministry Team oversees the Sunday worship service and other special worship services. The team recruits volunteers to prepare the sanctuary each Sunday for worship, as well as to serve as Liturgist, ushers, and communion servers. Reservations … Continue reading