The Rev. Dr. Gray Lesesne is our Pastor.

Gray (whose last name is pronounced LE-sayne) is the founding pastor and Vicar (meaning pastor appointed by the Bishop) of Good Samaritan. He’s an energetic Episcopal priest with more than 16 years of experience in growing communities of faith and helping followers of Christ connect with God and each other.

A South Carolina native, you can occasionally hear the “twang” in Gray’s accent, though he has now fully acclimated to the Hoosier dialect and culture, having lived here since 2009. Gray comes to us after serving as a Canon and Senior Associate at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, the mother church of the Diocese. Active in the local theatre scene along Mass Ave, Gray brings a flair of the dramatic to his lively sermons and leading of worship. A believer in the ministry of all Christians, Gray never refers to himself as “the minister,” because he believes that all of us are ministers. His role as a priest is to empower us all for ministry.

Gray holds Master in Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Virginia Theological Seminary, and completed his undergraduate work at Presbyterian College. He served as Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Glen Rock, New Jersey from 2003-2008 and as Assistant Rector of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in North Augusta, South Carolina from 2001-2003. He is married to Ethan, and they live in downtown Indianapolis.

The Reverend Patrick Burke is our Curate and Assistant Pastor.

From July to December 2018, Patrick Burke will be with us as our Curate. (As a Curate, Patrick is ordained as a transitional deacon, preparing for ordination as a priest. He is learning the art and craft of ministry with us in an intensive internship setting for 10 hours a week.)

Patrick is currently a student at Bexley-Seabury Seminary and was recently ordained as a Transitional Deacon while he pursues ordination to the priesthood.  Patrick’s sponsoring congregation is Holy Family, Fishers where he was previously the Director of Youth Ministry before being called to ordained ministry.  Most recently he was a seminary intern at All Saints, Indianapolis, where for the last two years he focused on liturgical ministries, community organizing, and leadership development around new and innovative ministries.

Patrick earned two degrees in music performance from Indiana University, Bloomington and has been married to his wife Cheryl for 18 years.  Together they have a daughter, Lexi, who will be entering seventh grade in the fall.  They have lived in Fishers for the last 14 years.  Patrick enjoys learning at Good Samaritan where he can participate in a community that is focused on service and mutual transformation while completing his seminary education.

Barbie Russell is our Director of Children’s Ministries.

Barbie RussellBarbie lives in Avon with her husband, Bryon and their two kids, Anna and Joshua. She also has two “big” kids, Tyler and Zach, who are both in college. Barbie works part-time to help support her true passion, which is ministering to children. “Kids are full of passion, energy, and creativity, and they’re also incredibly funny,” she says. “There is never a time in their lives where they are the most themselves as when they are children. I love watching them grow and learn.”

During the week, Barbie is a HOSTS mentor at Robey Elementary and volunteers in her daughter’s classroom. In the in-between times, she’s been working with Gray and Erin to start a children’s ministry for Good Samaritan. “It’s incredibly important to me that my kids grow in a community amongst diversity and acceptance, where they know they are loved by God for who they are, and they in turn love others for who they are,” says Barbie. “And just as important, I want to be a part of an open-minded community of parents like me, who want for their families what Jesus wants from all of us: Love God and love one another.”

Kendall Ludwig is our Musical Artist-in-Residence and Director of Music.

Kendall is lead vocalist, songwriter, and manager of The Yellow Kites, an Indianapolis-based band described as “Americana meets well-traveled folk music with closely melded harmonies.” In addition to his band music, Kendall has served as a choir member and instrumentalist at St. Michael’s Church in London, and as a worship leader at Trinity Church in Indianapolis.

He blends old-favorite church hymns, Gospel spirituals, and classics in his classical guitar style and with the beautiful lap dulcimer. His style is contemplative, beautiful, and rich with sound!

Kendall has been playing original music for the last 14 years. Whether with band mates in college, a lap dulcimer duo called Stories of Clockwork, rootsy folk with his wife in Europe or in an Americana band right here in Indianapolis, penning songs and capturing new sounds and expressions has been his heart’s aim. It’s his simple and focused determination that has allowed him to tour across the U.S., Canada, Europe and South Korea, sharing his music and love of guitar, lap dulcimer and Asian lutes. In 2011, he and his wife, Erina Ludwig, made their first two-month North American tour with their band, The Yellow Kites. When they toured their sophomore album, ‘Alchemy’ in 2013, it was Kendall’s idea to do it in a 1980 Mercedes-Benz which ran on used vegetable oil in order to be kinder to the environment.

And it’s this that sets Kendall apart from so many of his peers. To him music is not only an expression, but also an extension of all creation. To play music, is to be part of something bigger. This is the earnestness that can be heard in his songs and performances, and it’s this that will continue to peel back more of his talents: “Everything that’s good comes from God, and if you take part in music, you’re taking part in God.”

He lives in Indianapolis with his wife Erina (who happens to be our director of Youth Ministries), their three-year old daughter, Juniper Rose, and their boxador dog, Lucy.

Erina Ludwig is our Director of Youth Ministries and our Parish Administrator.

Erina is originally from London, U.K.; she spent her twenties volunteering as a youth leader in her local church. She brings with her eclectic work experience from youth ministry in London to teaching, to writing about social justice, and assisting in church music. Her experiences offer a diverse readiness for youth ministry. “I find young people both fascinating and still able to teach me how much our love and confidence in them is what can make all the difference,” she says.

In her work as a youth leader, she learned how to be a guide to teens and an ear for them, whether they were dealing with self-esteem issues, homelessness, or how do come to terms with family life after their parents’ divorce.

At her heart, she is a writer. In 2011, she authored: Unnoticed Neighbors: A pilgrimage into the Social Justice storya subject still very close to her heart. She shares anecdotes and real-life tips on how we can be a real part of our communities and help them thrive. In this way, she brings to Good Sam’s a perfect blend of passion for and experience with young people and a heart for serving others.

She taught ESL for over 12 years, working on curriculum, creating courses and devising new strategies to engage young learners (8-12 year olds). She’s also coordinated with several nonprofits who are working together to develop and improve Indianapolis.

She lives in Indianapolis with her spouse Kendall (who also happens to be our Musician-in-Residence), their three-year old daughter, Juniper Rose, and their boxador dog, Lucy.

Erica Ridderman is our Intern for Discipleship and Spiritual Formation.

Erica is a recent graduate of Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, where she studied things like the Bible, church history, theology, spirituality, and preaching. She particularly loves theology (as simply “talk about God”) because it relates the entire world and all of our lives back to God. A few years ago, she fell in love with Anglican tradition (while falling re- in love with Jesus) and joined the Episcopal Church during divinity school. In Durham, she was a part of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, a tiny church downtown that took care of each other and their homeless neighbors. Now she’s excited to begin life as a seminary-trained lay person in the church, hoping to use her love of learning to help people know and love God and each other more deeply. Erica returns home to the Hoosier state, where she was born and resided until divinity school. While in undergrad at Indiana University, Erica studied philosophy, ran on the cross country and track & field teams, and got to know the best ice cream joints in Bloomington. She still runs (much more moderately), enjoys watching college basketball, and would welcome local ice cream suggestions. She is excited to be part of the Good Samaritan community and to get to know each member!

Rachel Lawson is our Nursery Director.