Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Statesville since 1998, Steve grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where his family has deep roots. He earned a B.A. at Vanderbilt University and an M.Div. from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to FPC, he served churches in Orange Park, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Moncks Corner, South Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia.
Steve, along with others in the congregation, was active in the formation of Iredell Christian Ministries, which he served as president for four years. In addition, he was active in S.T.A.R. (Standing Together Against Racism) and had the honor of keynoting the community Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in 2006. Steve’s involvement with Salem Presbytery includes service as moderator for 2016 and as a member of the Permanent Judicial Commission, as well as past service on the Commission on Ministry for a number of years (co-moderator for much of that time). He represented the presbytery at the General Assembly in 2006 and again in 2016.
Steve and his wife, Laurie Brandon Scott, have two children, Elizabeth Scott LaBonte (married to Harry LaBonte), and Will Scott (married to Katie Mohr Scott), and two grandchildren, Ellie and Margaret. Elizabeth is assistant director of the counseling center at Notre Dame University of Maryland, and Will is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dalton, Georgia.
Director of Christian Education
Wes grew up in Atlanta, GA, and attended Queens University of Charlotte, where he received a B.A. in History with a concentration in Human Rights. In college he was involved with organizations such as the Queens Chapel, Room in the Inn, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, and Queens Theater.
After college graduation, Wes decided to work overseas and taught English to children ages 3-14 in Dongtan, South Korea. Upon his return to the U.S., he settled in Atlanta and worked for a time assisting adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness find and maintain employment, and then spent 10 months in service through AmeriCorps.
It was during his time in AmeriCorps that he began again to feel a call to ministry (a feeling he had been ignoring since high school). Wes moved to Chicago to pursue theological education from McCormick Theological Seminary. He graduated with an M.Div. in May, 2014. While at McCormick he had the great pleasure of serving as co-moderator for the student Session, serving on the Board of Trustees, and was awarded the George Tressler Scott Fellowship in Practical Theology.
Wes is married to Liz Whittington. They have two adorable dogs, Norae and Sunae, which they adopted while living in South Korea. He enjoys cooking, running, listening to NPR, cheering for the Atlanta Braves, and watching Netflix.
Director of Music
Melody brings an extensive musical background to her ministry as Director of Music at FPC. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in flute and a Master of Music degree in voice from Winthrop University, where she studied with voice professor, Jerry Helton. Melody continued her studies with Jane Rolandi prior to moving to New York, where she studied with JoAnna Levy, Patricia Sage, and Frances Wilson. Her professional operatic debut was with the National Opera Company.
In addition to singing professionally, Melody has served as music director for churches throughout her career. She has had opportunities to observe and glean from renowned directors and clinicians, and brings that knowledge to her work as a choral conductor for singers of all ages. At FPC, Melody conducts the Sanctuary, Youth, Junior, Cherub, and Handbell choirs, and organizes instrumental ensembles for special services. Melody also maintains a private studio for voice, flute, and piano students.
Melody and her husband, Thomas, have two daughters. Violet attends South Iredell High School and Lilli attends Northview IB School.
Neal became the organist at FPC in 2017. He is grateful for the opportunity to make music on FPC’s historic, 35-rank Casavant organ, which was built in 1925 and renovated in 2016. His broad experience as a church musician includes work for churches in Blissfield, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; and Davidson, North Carolina. He also teaches private lessons in organ, piano, and harpsichord. Neal holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Wittenberg University, and he is pursuing graduate study in organ in the Master of Music program at Salem College.
Neal also is a practicing attorney with experience in copyright, trademark, labor, and employment law. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia. Outside work, he enjoys travel, tennis, and learning languages.
Falon became the Director of FPC Preschool in July 2014. A native of Statesville, she attended Statesville High School and UNC-Charlotte. She earned her B.A. in Communication Studies and Journalism and her M.Ed. from UNC-Charlotte. In between her undergraduate and graduate studies, Falon worked in the non-profit sector for four years.
Prior to coming to FPC Preschool, Falon taught kindergarten in Iredell-Statesville Schools for two years and then took a year off to stay at home after the birth of her daughter. She brings to her ministry at the preschool a strong background in education and a passion for helping young children grow and learn.
Falon and her husband, Clay, are members at FPC. They live downtown with their five-year old, Harper (who attended FPC Preschool), their 6-month old, Hattie, and their old black lab, CJ.
Serving on staff at FPC as the office administrator marks the third time Cheryl has been connected with the PC(USA). A B.A. in History from Presbyterian College and summer employment at Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center were her first two relationships with the Presbyterian Church. Serving in ministry through office hospitality, worship bulletin and newsletter preparation, website management, and record keeping are a great match with Cheryl’s personality and skill set.
After growing up in Jacksonville, FL, and working in Clemson and Columbia, SC; Atlanta and Columbus, GA; and Birmingham, AL; Cheryl moved to Statesville in 2001 with her husband, Robert, when he took a position with J.C. Steele & Sons. Their son, Parker (a ninth grader at South Iredell High School), was born just a few months later. A member of Broad Street United Methodist Church, Cheryl plays in the handbell choir, is involved with United Methodist Women, and teaches the high school Sunday school class. The Maner household also includes Elly, the family cat, and Milo, a Boykin Spaniel.