Jim Wood - Senior Pastor
Our Senior Pastor since 1999, Jim is graduate of the University of South Carolina, Princeton Theological Seminary and Drew University. He is currently a PhD. candidate in Global Leadership at Regent University. Jim’s passion for sharing Christ is lived out through his preaching and teaching, pastoral care and his love for outreach. Having led dozens of mission teams (in Russia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Sudan, among others), his commitment to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed is deeply felt and long-term. Jim and his wife, Sheryl, have three grown children - Ross, Adam and Zach.
Valena Hoy - Associate Pastor for Worship and Pastoral Care
Vaelna has enjoyed being in ministry at FPC since 2000. She loves Jesus and desires to create spaces and experiences where people can encounter his grace and love. A graduate of Converse College in South Carolina, Valena earned an MDiv and MA for Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA and also has a Certificate in Spiritual Direction.
Valena is married to James, a wonderful husband and Chaplain at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. They have a daughter, Abigail, who was placed in their arms in China in 2006. She has served the larger church through mission work in Jamaica, Brazil, Central America, particularly: Guatemala and Nicaragua, and most recently with Tree of Lives in Kenya. She has a great love for the Joy Village…it's like walking into the Kingdom of God...
Our Parish Associate
Rev. Frank Drake
Frank graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in 1969 and a Th.M. in 1984. His first ministry after seminary was five years in Theological Education in Indonesia, 1970-75, under the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Frank served Corfu Presbyterian Church, Corfu New York 1977-78, Stone Church Presbyterian Church in Bergen, New York 1978-79, First Presbyterian Church, Portsmouth Virginia 1979-80, and Willowwood Presbyterian Church, Norfolk VA from 1980 until 2009, where he retired.
Frank now works full-time teaching. He has recently focused his efforts largely in Indonesia where he equips pastors and church leaders to shepherd their flocks with the power of the Holy Spirit. He has also worked extensively with the Dunamis prayer ministry, both at FPC and in retreats around Virginia and North Carolina. Frank is married to Chris, an ODU professor.
Theologian in residence
Dr. Antipas Harris
Antipas is no stranger to First Presbyterian. A professor in the School of Divinity at Regent University, Antipas leads and teaches students in the area of practical theology and urban ministry. We enjoy his presence in our pulpit and in the Wednesday Evening Classes that he and Jim Wood co-lead throughout the year. He joined our staffas Theologian in Residence to help coordinate weekly adult discipleship classes and initiate ongoing connections between our community, city and other churches, positioning FPC as a leader in ministry efforts that cross-section the diverse resources in our area. He brings exciting new possibilities to our family of faith as we experience transformation together in Jesus Christ!