Louise Jennings, Founder & Executive Director
Board of Directors
Louise Jennings, Executive Director
Rev. Vicki Barb, President
Jeanne Carter, Vice-President
Sandy Pless, Secretary
Louise Jennings, Executive Director
Louise was raised in Chesapeake, VA, graduated from Deep Creek High School, and graduated from Chowan University in 1956. She worked a variety of jobs over the years, and had two daughters. Her first marriage ended in divorce due to drugs and alcohol abuse. Jesus saved Louise in 1975, gave her a second chance with a new husband and five stepchildren, and moved the family to the Shenandoah Valley.
In 1977 Louise and her husband Shel answered an altar call in a little United Methodist Church, and started going into Camp 8 Prison with the minister. In 1983 Louise and Shel chartered Kingsway Prison and Family Outreach. Louise has been volunteering ever since.
Rev. Vicki Barb, President
Vicki was born and raised in Shenandoah County, and went into the ministry in 2007. It was at this time that Vicki met Louise Jennings at the United Methodist Church Annual Conference in Roanoke. We were introduced by Rev. Glen Early. In 2012, a fellowship was formed, of which Vicki was a part, and it was then that Louise asked Vicki to become a Board member for Kingsway.
Jeanne Carter Vice-President
Jeanne Elisabeth Carter is a manager at SunTrust Mortgage. She was initially impacted by Kingsway Outreach more than 15 years ago. That’s the first time her ex-husband went to prison and her life changed. She found herself struggling to pay the bills and keep her family together. Little extras like money for school field trips or pictures was not going to happen without help. Jeanne went to People Helping People and asked for assistance with a utility bill. They were able to pay the bill but they also gave her some priceless information because she fell into a unique category. She was working a full-time job so that meant her income was over the limit for most assistance programs from social services. They told her about a local organization that was run by a couple in Rockingham County called Kingsway. She had never heard of them, but she was willing to reach out to anyone who could help in her time of need. She called Louise and Shel Jennings and told them that her husband was currently incarcerated and their 5 children would really appreciate any help she could provide. Her daughter had an upcoming field trip to the circus in Richmond and to a restaurant for lunch afterward. Kingsway gladly covered that cost and even made food donations to her family on a regular basis. Jeanne would get a phone call anytime and be given instructions to come to the Kingsway office to pick up boxes of non-perishable items. What a tremendous blessing! Many years later, now that her children are adults, Jeanne is anxious to share with others the joy that Kingsway provided for her family. Many organizations are willing to help those who are incarcerated but not everyone remembers the spouses and children that are also affected by that person being removed from the household. Kingsway Outreach helps those families in their time of greatest need and Jeanne is proud to now be in a position to help others in that same situation.
Sandy Pless, Secretary
Sandy grew up in and spent most of her adult life in Northern Virginia. She and her husband, Pappy Pless, were married in 2011, and were blessed with the chance to move into a pastoral log house in the Shenandoah Valley in 2012, which they now share with two adult daughters, 6 cats, and a Lab Retriever. Sandy’s 30-year career was as a Licensed Veterinary Technician, working in emergency medicine, private practice, and most recently in the clinic of a local SPCA. She is currently driving a school bus for Augusta County. Sandy started serving in prison ministry after Pappy became involved with the Kairos ministry after moving to Staunton. Sandy and Pappy met Louise Jennings at an Emmaus monthly reunion in 2012, and eventually became more involved with Kingsway. Together they serve at Kingsway church services and other events at Augusta Correctional Center, and at Coffeewood Correctional Center when time allows. Sandy has also served at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women with the Kairos ministry.
Jeanne Conley was born in North Carolina and accepted Christ as a child. She and her family moved to Virginia, and started a singing ministry. She attended Blue Ridge Community College and JMU, and has been working for the US Postal Service since 1992. She and Murdock married in 1996, and together raised their son Daniel. As a team, they have shared music, taken courses with the International Critical Stress Foundation (including Emotional & Spiritual Care, Grief Following Trauma, Suicide Prevention & Survivor Support), as well as volunteered in many capacities in prisons, detention centers, and assisted living facilities in Virginia. With Kingsway, they have participated in some evening studies with re-entry groups, as well as with distribution for the Inmate Christmas gift program at Augusta Correctional Center, and the Apple Tree Christmas Project.
Murdock Conley is a native of Virginia and a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division. He and his wife, Jeanne Conley, formed One Another Ministries in 2013, a hands-up ministry to those needing spiritual direction. In approximately 2012, they started volunteering with Kingsway Outreach with those incarcerated in Virginia, and those justice-involved individuals and their families upon re-entering the community. Murdock is a Peer Recovery Specialist working with the Virginia Department of Corrections Community Corrections Alternative Program (CCAP).
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Louise Jennings, the founder and Executive Director of Kingsway Prison and Family Outreach, is responsible for changing my life. Before I heard her speak at a multi-church dinner in Rockingham County, I was content to live my retirement life doing what I felt like, when I felt like it. Of course I thought I knew the Lord’s purpose for my life, and retirement was it, along with “whatever my hand found to do.” Then I heard Louise, or rather I heard Jesus, say, “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” From that day forward, I was no longer content in my idle retirement. I decided to find a way to visit Jesus in prison. Thankfully, Louise gave me the opportunity to go with her into Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women and assist in leading a Bible study there. As a result, I enrolled in a Certificate in Correctional Ministries Certification course through Christian University Globalnet, and have completed 18 hours in their chaplaincy course. During the time that Louise and I visited FCCW, I also had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with some of the Fluvanna ladies as a lay counselor. I am currently a Virginia statewide volunteer with Kingsway Prison and Family Outreach. Because of my statewide volunteer status, I was also offered the opportunity to facilitate DOC-contracted “How to Handle Conflict” classes under the auspices of the Virginia Center for Restorative Justice. Of course, all of that is halted now during the quarantine. But I am eager to return to VCCW as soon as the state of Virginia lifts the restrictions.
When I was not going inside FCCW, teaching, or counseling, I was raising Labrador Retrievers. Sadly, Covid-19 has restricted my prison visits, but it has enhanced the puppy business, so right now I have 17 dogs at my house: four Labs, one poodle, one very expectant Labradoodle, along with eleven Fox Red Labrador Retriever puppies. Oh yes, I also have four happily married children, seventeen grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and two great grandchildren on the way!
Before prison and puppies, I was a high school math teacher. I taught in both public school and private Christian schools. My undergrad degree is a BA in Business Administration from Liberty University with a Masters in Teaching from George Mason University. I am grateful that the Lord has given me the opportunity to use some of that education in lesson prep and instruction at the prison. Strangely, though, no one ever asks me to help them with their algebra!
Pappy was born and raised in Georgia. After graduating from Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, he attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. After that, he joined the US Navy, and then worked as a civilian for the Navy for 30 years. After retiring in 1997, he worked as Maintenance Engineer for Camp Highroad, a Christian camp in Middleburg, VA, and then for Leisure World of Virginia in Lansdowne, VA.
Pappy became involved in prison ministry after his Walk to Emmaus. He first served with OAR (Offender Aid & Restoration) at the Fairfax Detention Center, and later with Epiphany at the Juvenile Detention center near Culpepper, VA. After moving to Staunton, VA, with his wife, Sandy, he began serving with Kairos at the Augusta Correctional Center. In 2015, he became webmaster for the kairosva.org website. During this time, Pappy and Sandy began serving with Kingsway at church services inside Augusta. In 2018, he was elected to the Kingsway Board of Directors, and is now serving as webmaster for the kingswayoutreach.org website.
My name is Pam Presgrave. I was introduced to Kingsway in 2016 by my sister. I joined at the time the Apple Tree Project and Christmas gifts for the inmates were going on, and have been there ever since. I have served with the Kairos Outside Support Team at ACC, and have been to the closing service inside, and am waiting for the next time to go back in. I have learned so much at Kingsway, and have made some awesome friends whom I call My Kingsway Family. I've written cards for 6000 inmates, I have done the newsletters, and I am still learning lots of things. I'm looking forward to the next couple years at Kingsway.
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Alvin was born in Ohio, but spent his childhood years growing up on his family’s dairy farm in Oakland, MD. His parents moved to a poultry farm in the Shenandoah Valley when he was 14. Alvin was first introduced to prison ministry when volunteers were needed to assist with Bible studies and church services at several local prisons. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s Alvin was involved in one-on-one visitation with the men in special housing at Augusta Correctional Center. He also assisted with handing out the Christmas packages that were prepared by Kingsway, having no idea of what the future held – that one day he would be serving on the Board of Kingsway!
Alvin changed his membership to another church and slowly began drifting away from God and his family. His reckless and foolish choices landed him on the other side of the razor wire and bars, thus becoming the one being ministered to by the volunteers who came into the prisons to share with “the least of these.” Alvin’s choices resulted in his losing his business and eventually his marriage. While in prison, he decided to use his time to learn how to become the kind of man he should have been.
After his release, he sought out Kingsway, and they became his church and lifeline until he was allowed by the Probation Officer to begin attending church services again. He was asked and gladly agreed to serve on the Board of Kingsway, where he finds joy in helping others returning to society after spending time in prison.