The Pastor Nominating Committee is pleased to introduce the Rev. Susan Louise Ennis (Pastor Susi). We praise God that He guided our steps to find each other, and look forward to her joining us at First Presbyterian Church in the near future!
She was raised in Fairfax County, Virginia, and attended Radford University. It was there that she realized how much the love of the triune God infuses one’s life.
She grew in her faith while at Radford and was very active at the United Campus Chapel, which was a joint ministry of the Presbyterian Church and the Episcopal Church. She was asked to serve on the Chapel Council, and she credits that experience for deepening her faith and learning what it meant to share the love of God.
She returned to Northern Virginia after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and found a home at Knox Presbyterian Church. An educator at heart, she taught elementary Sunday school, and led the Christian Education Committee. She later served as the moderator of Presbyterian Women at Knox.
Susi relocated to the Philadelphia suburbs, pursuing a successful career in various managerial and supervisory roles with AT&T and later Nextel Communications. She continued to serve in leadership roles at Manoa Presbyterian Church, as well as Youth Director and elder commissioner to National Capital Presbytery.
Feeling God’s call to the ministry, Susi enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. Her field work site was First Presbyterian Church of Annandale. It was there that she learned to be a pastoral presence. The congregation asked that she stay on at FPCA following the formal end of her field work, and she preached once each month, deepening her faith and practice of ministry.
Susi received a call to First Presbyterian Church in Poplar, Montana, in 2011. For the past 9 years she immersed herself in God’s call as pastor to a largely Native American population, and to serve in various leadership roles within the Yellowstone Presbytery. She served on both the Pastoral Ministry Team and the Leadership Cabinet, and also served as Vice-Moderator and Moderator of the Presbytery. She has been actively involved with the Executive Presbyter to provide training at meetings of the Presbytery, focusing on how the church can adapt and thrive in a changing world.
On a personal note, Susi is the proud mother of two adult children, Traci and Scott, and the grandmother of 2-year-old William. Her hobbies include knitting, crocheting, sewing, and cross-stitch. She enjoys reading for leisure and also for study. Susi loves to camp with her extended family. (Douthat State Park is one of her favorite places!) Her cat Rachel is a faithful companion.
Pastor Susi will join us late in November, and will reside in a home she has found in downtown Covington.
We also wanted to share just a few of the quotes and comments we recorded ourselves during interviews, and also from talking with her references:
“… values tradition yet open to new ways of being the church and engaging community.”
“… has all the skills to be successful in guiding us to discern our future.”
“…a natural leader; she cited examples in her past about being President or Moderator and leading an organization, like PW, and a community board .…”
“She will help your members become better disciples.”
“… delegates and collaborates; listens and helps
people discern gifts.”
“She doesn’t shy away from being the mediator in a conflict.”
“…her sermons are well-prepared, well-researched, meaningful, memorable ….”
“ … would enjoy interacting with members to lead adult Sunday School, fellowship events, organize outreach activities …”
“…well organized … sermons have a message that sticks with you.”
“…very genuine, easy to relate to.”
“Loves sermon preparation .…”
“She’s a giver … her faith is deep ….”
“I think she would actively engage with local area ministers … and members of the local community, in all positive ways.”
“… she would approach the challenges of helping us determine our future plans; a consistent theme was that we need to think in terms of ‘building relationships.’”
“… help us discover our strengths and ‘equip us’ to be more comfortable in discussions with others about attending events and worship services.”
“Not a ‘game player’ – very straight forward, stable, reliable.”
“… so much energy in her voice as she told me about the possibilities, opportunities, with your congregation, your building, and the community.”
“Kids love her; she is so genuine and real.”
“… embraced the opportunities we have been given by this virus”
“has ‘team taught’ …’Holy Experiments’ – how to help congregations ‘ease into new ways of being a church.’”
“… very active in the community .…”
“Chosen to grow; she’s very teachable .…”
“She is often requested as a mentor.”
“She doesn’t shy away from tough things to deal with.”
She sees “the potential we have .…”
“A good fit!”