We are pleased to inform you of First Presbyterian Church of Peoria’s newly appointed Elders; Mr. Seth O’Kelly and Mrs. Shannon Langston. Please read each of their biographies below and on the following page. We look forward to and welcome their dedication and commitments as our Elders.
Seth O’Kelly was born in Dallas and grew up in McAllen, Texas. There he became very active at First Presbyterian Church. He attended camps at Mo Ranch near Kerrville, and Summer Place in Port Aransas for several years and has many fond memories of his time at camp. In high school he was honored to be a Youth Advisory Delegate to the General Assembly in 1993.
He graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Industrial Distribution. He moved to Glendale in 1999 to begin working for Cameron Ashley Building Products which later was acquired by ABC Supply Co, an exterior building products distributor. He is an Outside Salesperson.
Seth and Lisa O’Kelly have been married since 2000. They have two children, Megan and Parker and they keep him very busy. In his spare time, Seth enjoys watching sports, especially college football and his beloved Texas Aggies. He also likes to experiment with foods on his smoker, which he bought for his birthday last year.
For those of you who may not already know me, my name is Shannon Langston. This summer AJ & I will have been married 16 years. We have two great kids; Lizzie (almost 11), and Tommy (9 ½). Family is important to me. I’ve always felt that taking care of my family is my number one job. God comes first of course, then family… Church, work, etc. comes next.
Because of some medical issues I don’t hold a full time job. This allowed me to be with my kids and to help the church more! I was baptized and raised Lutheran, but left the church in my late teens. AJ grew up coming here with Alan & Cathy on and off. When Alan had some of his surgeries about 13 years ago, I was introduced to First Presbyterian Church of Peoria. It was amazing to see how the people here had such an outpour of love and concern over him and his family. At some point I felt God drawing me toward the church. The community and friendship here, is like nowhere I had seen.
I was asked to help with Sunday school as soon as they heard I had some teaching experience. In 2006/2007, I became the Sunday School Superintendent. This allowed me to help choose and implement the children’s curriculum with the guidance and assistance of the Pastor. I had also agreed to direct VBS that year. Six years ago I sat with Pat and the chair of Christian Ed, and agreed to coordinate all the education, from youth to adults for the church and was given the title of Christian Education Coordinator. I now research, choose, train on and implement the kids Sunday school and youth group programs. Continue directing VBS, and work with the Pastor on choosing and teaching adult Bible & book studies, as well as adult Sunday school.
Being part of the education of this church and the community here as a whole has had a profound effect on who I am and what I want to be when I grow up; it is my passion! In January 2015, I began taking classes for a Certificate in Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX online. Each class is 10 weeks long & I must have 7-8 classes to complete it. Once I am done, my goal is to eventually become a Commissioned Ruling Elder (used to be called a Commissioned Lay Pastor). This process can take a long time, and I am hoping to be done in about 2 years. This education and process really aligns with my passions.
I am also involved at the Presbytery level. In August 2015, I was asked to sit on the Congregational Resources Team Committee for our Presbytery. In short, this team helps to review grant applications, review recommendations for possible new worshipping communities (aka: new churches or outreach worshipping), leadership training in the Presbytery, and others.
My dream with all of this is to further assist in the life and growth of our church, the life and growth of the Presbytery and to spread the message of God by doing so.
Thank you for taking your time to learn more about me and your ongoing prayers and support!