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.
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.