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G.A. Co-Moderators




images of the co-moderators. photos by Rich Copley


Meet the Co-Moderators

Teaching Elders Shavon Starling-Louis and Ruth Santana-Grace stand together as candidates for Co-Moderators of the 225th General Assembly (2022) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace

Ruth Santana-Grace

The Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace began serving as Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Philadelphia in February 2014, making her the first woman and person of color to be installed in their more than 300-year history.

Since joining Philadelphia, Ruth has been committed to reinvesting resources back into the local congregation — using proceeds from church closures or tragedies to replant, reinvest or revitalize transformative possibilities in communities faithfully leaning into this moment in time. Soon after arriving, Ruth launched the Ministry and Leadership Incubator — the umbrella equipping arm of the presbytery focused on strengthening congregational leaders and their ministries. She brings a deep conviction that God is creatively at work in our midst.

Prior to pursuing ordained ministry as Minister of Word and Sacrament, Ruth received a Masters in Public Administration and used her gifts as a “bridge builder” for more than 15 years — serving in Washington, D.C., and Rome, Italy. During this season of her life, she brought council members, mayors, governors and other state and municipal leaders together with their counterparts in Europe to discuss issues of mutual concern such as education, employment and economic development.

After graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1994, she served as Associate Pastor for Adult Discipleship at First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she connected the teachings of Jesus to the challenges and realities of daily life. In 2005, her call to ministry would pivot as she embarked on a new kind of bridge-building, serving as Executive Presbyter of San Gabriel Presbytery in Southern California. She had the privilege of walking alongside 44 churches officially worshiping in 11 languages in the eastern-most region of Los Angeles County.

Ruth has been described as linguistically trilingual (speaking English, Spanish and Italian) and theologically bilingual, embodying a commitment to bringing people together of different cultures and theological perspectives. She serves the larger church on two national boards: Princeton Theological Seminary and The Presbyterian Foundation.

A lover of writing, Ruth is the author of “Spirit Soundings” — regular reflections sent out to the presbytery. She was one of the featured women in Princeton’s published book “Faith of our Mothers, Living Still: Princeton Seminary Women Redefining Ministry.” She has also authored articles for commentaries and is an invited preacher and speaker to conferences and retreats. When Ruth is not working, she can be found swimming in her pool or walking the beach — a spiritual discipline that has sustained her for more than a decade.

She is married to the Rev. Dr. Edward Santana-Grace and they are parents to two sons — Dakota, who works for an international management consulting firm, and David, who works in the fitness industry in Italy. They are grandparents to Mia, 11, and Sophia, 7, who live in Virginia with their mom, Lani; and Talia, 9 months, who lives in Italy with her parents, David and Benedetta.

The Rev. Shavon starling-louis

Shavon Starling-Louis

The Rev. Shavon Starling-Louis was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is the daughter of Trinity and Lakeview Presbyterian Churches. She graduated from St. Leo University with a degree in Psychology.

Shavon discovered her call to ministry while working as a church office administrator, campus ministry intern and ecumenical community organizing office administrator. She received her Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary with Honors in Practical Theology.

She has served as a pastor or co-pastor of several churches, including First Presbyterian Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, Meadowlake Presbyterian Church in North Carolina and Providence Presbyterian Church in Rhode Island. Shavon is a minister member of Charlotte Presbytery.   

Shavon organized the establishment of The SPACE (Sanctuary for Prayer and Creative Expression) and has been active in national leadership roles in the denomination. She served on the Leadership Innovation Team for the Presbyterian Mission Agency – NEXT Church, the National Committee for the Self-Development of People and as co-creative director for GA225 Worship.

She has written numerous articles and faith formation curriculum for Christian publications, served as church leadership consultant, facilitated workshops and collaborative learning spaces, and is a certified antiracism facilitator. Shavon is also in demand as a conference preacher, having participated in Montreat’s Youth Conference as well as MoRanch Women’s Conference.

She is married to Kirk Louis and shares two children, Sariah and Kamden.