Vestry Statements, Photos

Note: These statements were written in the years these members were nominated to the Vestry. Return to Vestry Page.

Tom Angell (2018-2021)

I was born in California in 1942 and was raised there, close to Stanford University, where my family regularly attended the non-denominational Memorial Church on campus. I left for college in 1959 and, for the next decade, studied first in Harvard College, where I was active in Memorial Church, serving finally, as Head Usher. There we were treated to annual visits of important preachers like Reinhold Neibhur and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After earning advanced degrees at the University of Michigan, I came to Newark, Delaware in 1969 where I have taught Mathematics and helped to raise four children, all of whom now reside in California. I joined the congregation of the Cathedral Church of St. John in Wilmington, where I served on the Altar Guild and as an usher. There I also served, for several years, on the Vestry, and in the final two years as Senior Warden. When the Cathedral closed in 2012, I was grateful for the invitation to come to the Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew which, in so many ways, continues to carry out the ministries that were such an integral part of the Cathedral mission. Here at SsAM, I briefly served a partial term on the Vestry and have helped with both the Liturgy Committee as well as with the preparation of Lectors. I look forward to serving a full term as a Vestry member and to helping our congregation continue its vibrant and important mission in the community as we carry our message of love in Christ to our to our own congregation, to our community, and, beyond, to the world.

Jennifer Christy photoJenna Christy (2016-2020)

I’ve been a member of SsAM since I moved to Wilmington in 2002. I truly do feel that I have a family here at SsAM. I’m a cradle Episcopalian and have served on a vestry while I lived in Connecticut and also previously here at SsAM. I am interested in shepherding SsAM through our 20th anniversary and beyond. I am a long-time biology teacher and have a deep appreciation for the natural world and environmental issues. I’ve been lucky to travel with family and often with students to many fascinating places around the globe. I’m a gardener and an avid birder. When my husband and I travel, it is either to visit family or to bird and explore new habitats. Did you know that Central Park in New York and Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge are right up there with Costa Rica and Kenya as birding hot spots? Here at SsAM, Patty Greene and I are heading up the Usher Ministry and we look forward to strengthening the welcome that everyone feels as they arrive for the service. I also am in the Drumming Circle and enjoy being part of an active SsAM dinner group.  I see great value in the one-and-done type of commitments: clean-up days for both inside and out the building, making wreaths for greening the church at Christmas, and creating  banners. I feel quite honored to be a candidate for the Vestry at SsAM again. [Jenna graciously agreed to serve out the term of Andre DeCos, who needed to step down after two years service.]

Norwood J. Coleman, Sr. (2017-2020)

I have been an Episcopalian since the seventh grade when Father Wilson of St. Matthews PE Church and his wife, my principal at Elbert School in South Wilmington, invited me to attend St. Matthews and sing in the choir. I attended the Cathedral Church of St. John from 1968 until it closed. I served on the vestry at St. John and served as Senior Warden for one year. I served on the Diocesan Council for three years, the last of which I transferred my membership from the Cathedral to SsAM. My wife, Alice, and I attend the 8:00 a.m. service. I have participated in race relations discussions at the church and I lead the Diocese of Delaware’s Diversity Committee for several years at the invitation of Bishop Wright. I also served on the Diocesan Reconciliation Committee which resulted in the Diocesan Service of Apology for its Participation in Slavery. For many years, I was a member of the Pilot Congregation. I graduated from Howard HS in Wilmington, Delaware State University with a B.S. in music education, Virginia Commonwealth University with a M.S. in rehabilitation counseling, and I have completed all but the dissertation for a Ph.D. in social and behavioral science at Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work and Social Research. I am a retired diversity administrator from the State of Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. I was an Assistant Professor of Human Services at Lincoln University (PA) for almost 30 years. Currently, I take classes at the University of Delaware’s Osher Institute for Life Long Learning and I coordinate all performing arts participation classes at Osher. I also play the trumpet in the Osher Concert Band, Osher Jazz Band and Osher Jazz Ensemble. I teach a class at Osher called US History as Viewed by African Americans – from 1503 to the present. This is a two-semester course. I play with the Lukens Steel Company Band in Coatesville, PA. Alice and I serve on the Governor’s Council for Vocational Rehabilitation. I would be honored to serve on the vestry of SSAM.

Laura Eisenman, School of Education.

Laura Eisenman (2016-2019)

As a regular at the 10:30 a.m. service, I appreciate the opportunity to serve as a lector and to experience the variety of worship music. I support activities of the Community Advocacy Committee and I join in Sunday morning adult education discussions as I am able. I have been a professor of special education and disability studies at the University of Delaware since 1997. Christian education has been a lifelong theme for me. In elementary school that meant traditional Sunday School supplemented by learning about the history and liturgy of the church as a member of the junior altar guild and children’s choir. Later in life, it was completing EFM – the Education for Ministry program. In between it was a mix of formal and informal opportunities including being a youth group leader. I’ve been a member of several different flavors of Episcopal churches – in Florida, the suburbs of Los Angeles, downtown Nashville, and in 1997 to the City of Wilmington where I was thrilled to discover that the Cathedral Church of St. John with its diverse membership and beautiful music was my neighborhood church. When the Cathedral closed, I was pleased to be adopted by SsAM with its commitment to being an inclusive Christian community. It would be a privilege to serve this community as a member of the vestry and continue to support its community advocacy and education ministries.

Rachel Gaskell (2018-2021)

Originally from New York City, I have been living and working in the Wilmington area for the last 26 years. Married to Paul Gaskell, I am raising two spirited children, both baptized at SsAM. I was originally introduced to the SsAM community by my mother, Lucia Robinson, in the early 2000s. The kids have roles within the church as an acolyte and an usher. Professionally, I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years, most recently as the Director and Department Head of Clinical Operations and Biometrics, AstraZeneca Antibiotics Business Unit. My proven track record in leading drug development programs and assembling high performing teams, has led to the submission and approval of multiple drugs, including orphan and novel antibiotics.

Patty Greene (2018-2021)

My name is Tesa-Patrice Greene, better known as Patty. I was born in Antigua, which is a beautiful island in the Caribbean. I am a cradle Anglican with a Catholic education. In Antigua, I was a member of the St. Andrew’s church, which is why I initially chose SsAM as my new church home. I customarily attend the 10:30 am service with my active and vast family. Since we’re heavily involved in sports, nearly every weekend requires us to be on the road. The church played an active and important role during my formative years in Antigua. Whether for school or my home life, I was an always an active member. So it made sense that I was actively involved at SsAM. Jenna Christy and I currently lead the Usher ministry. As the head doorkeepers to this wonderful church, we look forward to strengthening, improving and growing this important ministry. I have dual MBAs in Finance and Marketing with over ten years of higher education experience working in the areas of Student Affairs and Athletics at Wilmington University. I’m also the Student United Way advisor there. Our service projects have impacted more than 500 adults and 2,000 children within the community. I also oversaw the implementation of the Education through Peace Initiative which consisted of an interactive program that addressed bullying and behavioral issues affecting elementary students (K-5); and won the 2015 Student United Way Worldwide Promising Practice Education Award for our volunteer work in the Education through Peace Initiative. I chose SsAM because of its name but I stayed because of its mission. The Anglican Church has not always been welcoming to everyone, but SsAM is on a mission to find ways to relate to the plurality of cultures within our community. I want to help foster that change. It is an honor to be considered for the Vestry.

StevenJonesSsAM_1605_3339_130x190pxSteven Jones (2016-2019)

Initially my wife and I attended Sts. Andrew and Matthew beginning in 1996. Both our sons were baptized at SsAM by Canon Casson. For awhile we moved from Delaware to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and attended Shrewsbury Parish Church in Kennedyville, Maryland. To me what makes SsAM special is its position, initiatives and diversity. This is a faith-driven institution taking action to address community challenges which are also national in scope. I believe SsAM is an important source of the Good News in Wilmington which must be strengthened. Professionally, I am the Founder and Director of an analytical consultancy specializing in regional economic impact assessments for non-profits. It is in this capacity, along with other insights, that I can offer my talents to assist the Vestry, to augment the church’s financial position, music program, community outreach, and its Youth and Young Families initiatives. These are vital programs which have social and spiritual impact. I have worked in a range of fields — from the financial industry, to land preservation, to education. I have a BA from Hampshire College and a MS from the University of Delaware. Born in Brooklyn, New York, I served on Trinity Church’s Resources Committee and volunteered at St. Paul’s (Chapel) Shelter. I was past director of Project City Kids (New York), served on the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy board (Maryland), and currently serve as an advisor to the Working Harbor Committee (New York).

Sam Lamptey (2018-2021)

My name is Sam Lamptey and I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. After graduation from high school, I was fortunate to obtain a ‘Swiss Government Technical Aid’ scholarship to study Culinary Arts at the Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi, Kenya. I earned an Associate Degree in Food Production and I then moved to London, England, for the opportunity gain more culinary flair and experience. I returned to this region in 2003 and was hired by Nutrition Management Services Company (NMSC), Kimberton, PA as Director of Dining Services and later District Manager. I have held similar positions with the Compass Group’s Morrison Senior Living, Sodexo and Acts Retirement-Life Communities. I was able to complete requirements for Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Management) from Widener University, Chester, PA.
As we say in Ghana that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’, I have been fortunate to marry the love of my life who in addition to giving me love, treats me to good food all time. She is also from Ghana and we are blessed with our daughter. My baptism and confirmation into the Anglican Church in Accra, Ghana, make me feel so much at home at SsAM. The contribution I can make to SsAM’s vestry stems from my life and work experience. I have been able to use my background to prepare meals for YYF and SsAM events over the past few years. I have trained and mentored scores of chefs and hospitality service personnel for thirty years. I am confident I can make immense contribution to SsAM’s vestry.

SharonLeyhow_130x190Sharon Leyhow (2015-2019)

I am a “cradle Episcopalian” and attended St. Matthew’s church from the time I moved to the Wilmington area in 1990. I was asked to represent St. Matthew as founding member of Delaware Futures with Trinity Parish. I have continued to attend SsAM since St. Matthew and St. Andrew churches combined. For the last two years, I have been co-chair of SsAM’s Member Development Ministry, a member of the Finance Committee and am serving a 1-year term on the Vestry for a departed vestry member. I am deeply interested in retaining our current membership and in growing the membership of SsAM to ensure long-term stability. The focus of my work with the Member Development Ministry has been to maintain and enhance a welcoming environment for current and potential parishioners to SsAM and to reclaim inactive members. We want to build relations with people inside and outside SsAM by sharing with them the many benefits of being an active member of SsAM. I have a BA degree in psychology from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, D.C. I recently retired from DuPont Legal Department. I serve on several non-profit boards, including: Delaware Hospice (Board Vice-Chair), Trustee for the Loomis Chaffee School, and Board Member for World Affairs Council of Wilmington. [Ms. Leyhow served for one year in 2015-2016 and then elected in 2016 to a three-year term.]

Nana Soto (2017-2020)

Nana Sarpongmaa Soto is a wife, mother and co-founder of My-StarRadio. Born and raised as a Methodist Christian in West-Africa Ghana, had her secondary education at Tema Methodist Day Secondary School, Gh. Studied Business Information Technology (BIT) Gh, and Stradford Career Institute. Moved from Ghana to the USA in September 1999. She is passionate about serving people. Her love for humanity made it easy to join SsAM and got confirmed in June 2016. She loves jogging, traveling, enjoying good food, listening to good classical music, and socializing. Nana is a self-motivated woman who loves to pass on her positive energy to every person she meets. Two of her favorite quotes are: “Whatever you do big or small, do it right or not at all.” and “Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit and the voice of hope that says … All things are possible.”

Carol Scott

Carol Scott has 25 years professional experience administering and facilitating youth and parenting programming in a variety of community, school, and faith-based settings. As a non-profit administrator, her primary focus is developing innovative programs to serve children and families in at-risk, urban communities. Her work includes facilitating parenting workshops in a statewide family service agency, YWCA racial justice programming, and intergenerational mentoring at Debnam House Community Center. Currently she is working at the University of Delaware leading afterschool learning center programs in elementary and middle schools throughout the county. A member of SsAM for fourteen years, Carol has served in many capacities.

Linda Whiteside, Vestry Member, Saints Andrew and Matthew Episcopal Church, Wilmington, DelawareLinda Whitehead (2017-2019)

My name is Linda Whitehead and I typically attend the 8:00 am service. I have been attending SsAM for about three years, ever since the Cathedral Church of Saint John closed. My father was a Lutheran minister, so I grew up fully immersed in the Lutheran church which has many similarities to the Episcopal Church. About 15 years ago, I was ready to make a change in my spiritual life believing that diversity enriches each of our lives. I went in search of a more diverse church life and found the Cathedral. I attended the Cathedral for over 10 years, serving twice on the Vestry. After the Cathedral closed, it was so refreshing to become part of the vibrant community which is SsAM. At SsAM, I serve as a lector and attend Environmental Justice meetings. I am passionate about ending racism, stopping climate change and supporting parents and young families. I recently semi-retired. Prior to that, I was VP of Education and Development for an early education company. I was responsible for children’s curriculum and family communications. I’m now a senior advisor working one day a week. (Ms. Whitehead is serving out the term of Queon Jackson.)

About Vestry Elections

Vestry Members are elected at our Annual Meeting, held in June. The annual meeting includes reports from the Vestry and others of general issues and critical concerns. The meeting usually includes the Celebration of the Eucharist. The meeting is open to all members and friends of the parish. However, those eligible to vote in the elections and on actions before the meeting are those who meet the requirements set forth in Article 6 of the Parish By-Laws: qualified voters are persons who are baptized, at least 16 years of age, and have been an active and contributing member for at least the six months prior to the meeting.