Staff & Leadership


The Rev. James T. Said

Jim (he/him/his) joined Good Samaritan September 12, 2022, as the Vicar-in-Charge. Jim is passionate and excited about seeking and serving Christ in everyone, loving your neighbor as yourself, striving for justice and peace, and respecting the dignity of every human being while proclaiming the inclusive Good News of God in Christ.

A cradle Episcopalian, Jim comes from a family of preachers and teachers. His father was also ordained in the Diocese of Indianapolis. Both were ordained to the Diaconate at Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle only fifty-three years apart! When Jim was six, his family was sent to be missionaries in Brazil, South America through Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis. Jim’s father was later elected the first Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Jim grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from both Ben Davis High School and Indiana University. From Indiana University, he received a BA in Spanish with an outside field in Business Administration. He received his Master in Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary. At VTS, Jim was awarded the Ford Chair which is given each year to a member of the graduating class who has exhibited a strong commitment to the community life and mission of the seminary.

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After seminary, Jim’s first call (curacy) was to the Diocese of Texas at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, where he later became the Associate Rector and pastored the congregation through the illness and death of their beloved Rector, The Rev. Dr. Rhoda Montgomery. He was then called to the Diocese of Georgia as the Rector of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Augusta where he pastored from 2016-2022. In each case, the congregations grew significantly under Jim’s leadership.

Prior to being ordained, Jim most recently was the Regional Vice President of a manufacturing company which assisted companies in making their business plans by offering web-enabled, automated dispensing solutions that controlled inventory, managed indirect material costs while providing easy access to needed equipment and supplies.

In 1981, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Kim (Todd) Said from Speedway. They met in church, while Jim’s father was at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Speedway. Jim and Kim have two married daughters as well as four grandchildren. Before Jim’s ordination, the Saids were very active members of St. Francis-in-the Field Episcopal Church in Zionsville for over 20 years.

Both were Senior Wardens, delegates to convention, and participated wholeheartedly in the building of the community of faith. As a lay person, Jim was Senior Warden when St. Francis attained parish status and was the Chaplain for their last building campaign.

Kim has supported Jim’s ministry every step of the way first by being their main provider while Jim attended seminary. Kim has served as a preschool teacher and a yoga instructor as well as working to implement “Invite Welcome Connect” while always seeking and serving Christ in all persons.

Jim and Kim are very excited to be part of the inclusive ministry of Good Sam’s and to be back in Indiana. They live in Brownsburg and especially enjoy their spiritual practice of hiking and photographing God’s creation with their dog Luna!


The Rev. Dr. Amy Lindeman Allen

Amy (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Indianapolis. She describes herself as a scholar-practitioner, meaning that she is interested in the ways that close study of the Bible effects the life of the Church, and close living of the Gospel (to which Christ’s Church is called) effects the reading of biblical texts.

She is especially interested in the place and roles of children in Scripture and the Church. Her two books, For Theirs is the Kingdom: Inclusion and Participation of Children in the Gospel According to Luke (Fortress/Lexington Press, 2019) and The Gifts They Bring: How Children in the Gospels Can Shape Inclusive Ministry (Westminster John Knox Press, August 2023) reflect this passion.

Amy is ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a full communion partner of the Episcopal Church USA. In addition to her service at Good Sam’s and CTS, Amy currently serves as Internship Supervisor for a Lutheran Deacon-in-training at  First Trinity Lutheran Church in Indianapolis and teaches in lay ministry extension programs for local Lutheran and United Methodist Churches. She has previously served as lead pastor at  The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (Reno, NV) and  First Lutheran Church (Leechburg, PA), and adjunct professor at  Columbia Theological Seminary (Atlanta, GA) and  Lexington Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY).

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Amy and her spouse Erik met in seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and currently live in Brownsburg together with their three children, Becca, Joanna, and William; two dogs, Max and Nala; and three guinea pigs, Starburst, Toffee, and Mozart. Erik serves a Lutheran congregation in Brownsburg just down the road, and all three children attend the Brownsburg Community School Corporation, where Amy is an active advocate for diversity and equity.

Amy has been connected with Good Sam’s practically since her family arrived in Brownsburg, sharing good food and theological conversation together with “Theology on Tap” and “Doubters and Skeptics” numerous times before she and the children began attending regularly during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Good Sam’s has been a place of spiritual growth and nurture for Amy because of the authenticity she’s found is this community, in all its imperfections, seeking to live out the Gospel in our community and world. Though, perhaps, she has been a closet Episcopalian for awhile now, having been certified in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, an experiential based Christian Education program for children ages 2-12, through training programs at St. George Episcopal Church (Nashville, TN) in 2012 and St. Catherine Episcopal Church (Marietta, GA) in 2015. When asked at a recent church picnic to fill in the blank, “You know you’re an Episcopalian if______,” her then seven-year-old answered, “If you love everyone!” and Amy knew she was home.


The Rev. Dr. Calvin Brandenburg

The Reverend Dr. Calvin Brandenburg is a sixth-generation ordained pastor, including his great, great, great, great grandmother, a corncob pipe- smoking Kentucky preacher-woman. Calvin was born in Evansville, grew up in Bedford, Indiana, and Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Indiana Central, now the University of Indianapolis, where he later served on the Board of Trustees. Cal served a local church while he was at Indiana Central, before receiving a Masters in Divinity at United Theological Seminary in Dayton.

Receiving a doctorate in counseling from Christian Theological Seminary, he taught summer pastoral counseling classes at DePauw, where he also was on the Board of Trustees. Calvin was a United Methodist pastor in Straughn, Dunkirk, Wesley United Methodist, Meridian Street in Indianapolis, and was pastor of Sandy Hook United Methodist in Columbus as it relocated and built a new building.

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As a District Superintendent he supervised 96 Indiana churches, assigning pastors and guiding them and local congregations in ministry, service, and outreach. For 10 years as a Health Care Administrator, he guided staff in helping Elders with dementia find creative and legacy living opportunities, expanding value for their lives and for their families.

Cal and Yvonne enjoy world traveling, experiencing various world religions and cultures in over 40 countries. They enjoy visiting their families in Indianapolis, Columbus, Dallas, Texas, and the Quad Cities. Their family continues to grow, now including eleven grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. To these they’ve added families-of-choice, now privileged to have the people and ministry of Good Samaritan Episcopal in their lives.


The Rev. Yvonne Brandenburg

The Reverend Yvonne Brandenburg was born in Shelburn, Indiana, did her undergraduate work in Elementary Education at Indiana State University and studied Curriculum Development at Michigan State prior to attending Methodist Theological School in Ohio where she was a student pastor during seminary. Upon ordination she was appointed to start a new United Methodist church in Carmel, serving there for 13 years, as well as traveling as a consultant in New Church Development and Redevelopment.

 Following several years as a county seat pastor she became a District Superintendent of 51 churches in and around Indianapolis.

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Both she and Calvin have enjoyed decades working alongside Muslim and Jewish Communities. Her ministry included working with Indianapolis’ four Care Coordinating Centers, assisting those with HIV/AIDS. Her advocacy leadership includes working with children and youth, LGBTQ+ Rights, Elder Rights, Peace and Justice, and the building of new lives for immigrants. Coming to Good Samaritan in its first weeks, Yvonne found her retirement call in worship, encouraging the lives of children and youth, assisting in pastoral care, and walking with Good Samaritan’s many outreach projects. She and Calvin have represented Good Samaritan since its inception in the Brownsburg High School’s Equality Alliance Club and as the church representative with the Brownsburg Police Department.

“What does the Lord require of thee but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” (Knowing, you are of great value—and everyone else is, too!) Micah 6:8

“We are all just walking each other home.” Ram Dass

“Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Rumi

Director of Children’s & Family Ministries

Barbie Russell

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 and Bryon coach their children’s sports teams and volunteer at their children’s elementary school, but her true passion is ministering children in the open and affirming atmosphere of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church. 

“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.”

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Barbie started with Good Samaritan in 2015. Working closely with our founding Vicar, The Very Rev. Gray Lesesne, and lay ministry leaders, Good Sam’s Kids launched regular meetings in 2016, and has grown to include:

-Good Sam’s Littles, the nursery and PreK/Kdg. group

-Good Sam’s Kids, the 1st  through 4th grade group

-Good Sam’s Explorers, the 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.

Musical Artist-in-Residence & Director of Music

Kendall Ludwig

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.

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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.

To Kendall, 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 daughters Juniper Rose and Elowen, and their boxador dog, Lucy.

Parish Administrator

Brianna Bleiler

Brianna works from home Mondays-Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Brianna’s passion is helping people in any way she can. She has several years of working with large Fortune 500 companies in roles ranging from Customer Service and Administration to Human Resources. Most recently, Brianna worked as an RBT doing Behavior Therapy with children, teens, and young adults on the Autism Spectrum. She and her husband, Brian live downtown Indianapolis with their daughter, Blaise. Brianna has many gifts for ministry, including organization, compassion, and a desire to be a part of a church that focuses on loving and serving. While we don’t see her most Sundays since her job is working with our priest and ministry leaders, she is always glad to answer your emails and calls!

Good Samaritan’s Governing Body

Bishop’s Committee

The Bishop’s Committee is Good Samaritan’s governing body of lay people and our priest. Members of the Committee are elected by the congregation at our Annual Meeting. We normally meet on the third Wednesday of each month after worship. Meetings are open to members of the congregation and all are welcome to attend. You can send feedback or concerns to all of the Bishop’s Committee members anytime by email.

Our current members (and their term expirations) are:

Mike Kennedy (Senior Warden; 2026)

Katy Hilts (Junior Warden; 2025)

Susan Burt (2025)

Tim Grino (2026)

John Morrison (2027)

Christa Nierzwick (2027)

Melinda Sowers (Treasurer)

Ann Lovko (Secretary)

In-person worship is at 10 a.m. on Sundays at Harris Academy. Learn more about our in person & live-stream options here!Learn more about how to worship with us