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 18 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 2008. Gray comes to us after serving from 2008-2015 as a Canon and Senior Associate at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, the mother church of the Diocese. 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 previously 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 Indianapolis.

Barbie Russell is our Director of Children’s Ministries.

Barbie lives in Avon with her husband, Bryon and their two kids, Anna and Joshua. She also has two adult children, Tyler and Zach, who live in Houston and Chicago. 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.”

Barbie started with Good Samaritan in 2015. Working closely with Gray and lay ministry leaders, Good Sam’s Kids launched regular meetings in 2016, and has since grown to Good Sam’s Littles, our nursery and PreK/Kdg. group; Good Sam’s Kids, our 1st through 4th grade group; and Good Sam’s Explorers, our 5th and 6th grade group. Both of Barbie’s children take part as a Good Sam Explorer and a Good Sam Kid. “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.”

Barbie is dedicated to families at Good Samaritan. She is happy to meet with families to talk about their unique spiritual journeys at their convenience. She can be reached via email at

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, baby Elowen, and their boxador dog, Lucy.

Erina Ludwig is our Director of Youth Ministries.

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, baby Elowen, and their boxador dog, Lucy.


Astrid Caruso-Lynch joined Good Samaritan’s staff on August 1, 2019 as our new Administrator. She works in our office at Elevate Brownsburg on Tuesdays-Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Astrid comes to us with a variety of ministry experiences, including prior service as Administrator at St. Luke’s~San Lucas Episcopal Church in Vancouver, Washington. She and her husband Chris recently relocated to Indianapolis after an overseas jaunt in Christchurch, New Zealand. Astrid is also a church musician, and comes with many gifts for ministry, including organization, energy, collaboratively, and a desire to be a part of a church that focuses on loving and serving. While we won’t see her most Sundays since her job will working with our priest and ministry leaders, she will be glad to see you in the office or answer your calls!

Rachel Lawson is our Nursery Director.