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.

The Rev. Erin Hougland, M.Div., is our Associate Pastor and Pathways to Vitality Deacon.

Erin Hougland is a transitional deacon and is preparing for ordination to the Episcopal priesthood in late 2017. As our Pathways to Vitality Deacon, she is focusing on strengthening Good Samaritan’s capacity for generosity and leadership development among our lay leaders.  She received her Master of Divinity degree from Earlham School of Religion in 2014. She is currently working to obtain her Anglican Studies Diploma at Bexley-Seabury Seminary in Chicago.  Erin is a lifelong Episcopalian with a passion for social and environmental justice, creative spiritual formation and developing fellowship in community.

Before her work at Good Samaritan, Erin was the Volunteer Coordinator at the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic nonprofit organization in Indianapolis and served at the Interim Director of Children’s Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. Erin believes the Episcopal Church is in the unique position to unite people from different walks of life around the work of Jesus. Her ministry work is grounded in empowering others to be beacons of Christ in the world through service to others, open arms and minds, and the creative beauty of worship.

Erin is a Kentucky native and has lived in both Japan and Turkey where she taught English. She received her BA in Theological Studies from Hanover College in 2008. She enjoys writing, being outside as much as possible, teaching Tai Chi and reading books to her two boys.

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, their two-year old daughter, Juniper Rose, and their boxador dog, Lucy.