LEADERSHIP & STAFF
We have a passionate and loving team at Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church and Preschool. From blossoming our youth to spreading His word, God is using our leadership and staff to do amazing things. Meet some of our key members, below.
REVEREND DR. LISA FARRELL
Rev. Dr. Lisa C. Farrell was born and raised on the Main Line. She attended Franklin and Marshall College and won an Andrew Mutch Scholarship to attend the University of Edinburgh for her junior year. Lisa felt called to the ministry as a freshman in college but kept this to herself. Having grown up Presbyterian, she rebelled and became an atheist as a teenager, and coming to faith in her freshman year the thought of ministry was still quite alien. It was a male dominated field and Lisa had never met any women ministers. While at Edinburgh University she decided to take a class in New Testament to test her sense of call. She was permitted to do so only because she was an “Andrew Mutch Scholar.” The providence of God not only provided the means to study in Scotland, but it opened doors that would otherwise have been closed. By the end of the year she had transferred from Franklin and Marshall to the University of Edinburgh to do a joint B.A. B.D. degree. A B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity) is the Scottish equivalent of an M.Div.
Lisa met and later married a fellow seminary student she met at the University of Edinburgh. They had three children, Anna, Mark, and Paul. For a number of years she was a highly qualified full-time minister’s wife. The marriage unfortunately ended in 1990, and Lisa returned to her family home in Wynnewood. At this low point in her life it was time to seek God’s guidance once more, and once more God said “Ministry.” Having already graduated from seminary in Scotland she came under care of the Philadelphia Presbytery, completed additional requirements for the PCUSA, and worked part-time at a church in Northeast Philadelphia. She was installed as the pastor of Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church in 1995. In 2013 she completed a further course of study at the Lutheran Seminary of Philadelphia earning a Masters in Sacred Theology and a Doctor of Ministry.
Lisa is passionate about the need to approach scripture in its historical context. Without a correct understanding of context many scriptures are misunderstood. Translation is also a challenge, and human bias can affect the outcome. Her Master’s Thesis completed in 2013 is on “Translation Bias in the Texts Relating to Homosexuality.” Lisa believes that the Word of God in scripture is inspired, but it is the living Word of God, Jesus, who we worship. The bible points to God. It should never be placed above God.
On November 25, 2017 Lisa married the love of her life, Vicki Darring, with the blessing and support of the Session of the Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church. Rev. Kevin Porter, the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Philadelphia presided. They currently live in Drexel Hill with their three dogs Blue, Emily and Sweet Pea.
As the Church Administrator Heather oversees all aspects of the church office including bookkeeping, managing vendors and contractors, scheduling and community communications as well as providing general support to the Pastor. Along with Rob Berley, Clerk of Session, Heather is also the genius behind our front lawn signs. In addition to church operations Heather is heavily involved in pastoral care as well as occasional preaching. Heather is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary’s Urban Theological Institute with a certification in Christian Ministry.
Assistant Music Director and
Chelsea is a professional musician and music educator born and raised in Philadelphia! She has spent over 20 years working on her craft, performing at various venues throughout the city and collaborating with talented musicians both on and off the stage. She has received both a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Jazz Performance and Master’s degree in Music Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she spent her time studying the styles and teachings of Classical, Jazz, Sacred, Musical Theater, RnB, Rock, Motown, and Soul music.
Sunday School Director
Melissa grew up attending Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church and started assisting in Sunday School when she was 13. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from West Chester University and is a first grade teacher at Frederick Douglass Christian School. As Sunday School director, Melissa oversees the weekly lessons and has helped to costume angels in every pageant the church has produced. Outside of church, Melissa is a proud Aunt to Anora (above) and enjoys writing science fiction stories. She looks forward to welcoming all children 5th grade and younger to Sunday School.
PWPC School Director
Liese has a Master of Education from Cabrini College and an B.S. from Southeast Missouri State University. She has Special Education K-12 and K-6 Elementary Education Certifications. Liese was a teacher for 6 years and the Assistant Director of the Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church School for 3 years before becoming the director in 2017.
Clerk of Session
Rob grew up in the Media area and has been a member of Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church since 2008. He has a B.A. from Cornell, a M.B.A. from Wharton, and a M.D. from Jefferson Medical College. Prior to his retirement, Rob worked in Family Medicine in northern Delaware and was the Medical Director at the Health Care Center at Christiana. When he is not serving at PWPC, Rob enjoy spending time antiquing with his wife and helping at his sons' ice cream and candy businesses, The Franklin Fountain & Shane's Confectionery.
Treasurer of Session
Leslie grew up on the west coast and started moving east after graduating from college. After several years in the Midwest, she came to Pennsylvania expecting to stay only two or three years. The community she found at Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church is one of the reasons she's still here decades later. When she isn't watching over the church's financial records, Leslie is a librarian at a local university.