Meet Our Staff 

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Pastor – Dr. Larry O. Toney

Dr. Toney or Pastor Larry has served with Third Presbyterian Church since December 2019.  His undergraduate degree was granted by Milligan University in history and Greek.  He holds graduate degrees in history from Duquesne University, pastoral counseling from New York Theological Seminary, and mental health counseling from Old Dominion University.  His Doctor of Ministry degree was awarded by Union Presbyterian Seminary. 

He is a retired chaplain from the US Army and deployed three times into combat with Special Forces and Airborne units to Afghanistan and Iraq (twice).  He has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his military deployments.  More recently, he completed a year-long internship with the Virginia Department of Corrections in their Department of Psychology providing for the mental health needs of those who are incarcerated.  He is a National Certified Counselor.  He also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at the VA Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and at the Maryview Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia.  At Maryview, he served in the Palliative Care Unit. 

As a preschooler, Larry lived in Norfolk when his father was a Navy Chief stationed at Little Creek Naval Base.  He and his wife, Peggy, a Registered Nurse (RN), have two children and three grandchildren.  Larry met Peggy while serving as a chaplain intern in a hospital in Peggy’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia.  Peggy loves veterans and was a RN in the VA Medical System.  Larry specialized in counseling and is passionate about teaching and making the Bible relevant to the needs of people today.  His zeal for counseling comes from the pain he has seen in the world.  He also likes laughing, bike riding, looking at the majestic water views in Hampton Roads, spending time with his family and church family, did we mention he likes laughing, and harassing people.  He says he learned to harass people he likes in the Army.  One reason he likes humor is he learned laughing is therapeutic.  The Bibles says laughter is “good medicine” and it is!  

He is excited to be part of Third Presbyterian and super excited about what Jesus is doing in the church and its worship services!  It’s easiest to reach him by email at or text message at 910-257-0308.  He loves people and invites every person to join us on our adventure at Third!    

Secretary – Deborah (Debbie) Platte

Debbie Platte has been employed part-time as Secretary for Third Presbyterian Church since December 2009. 


Debbie was born in Bluefield, West VA and has lived in Norfolk almost all her adult life.

After graduating from high school, she went to work for Virginia National Bank (now Bank of America).  Tired of the bank hours, she took the civil service test and was employed by the Civil Service Board.  She lived in Columbus, Mississippi for 4 years while Ray was in the Air Force as a Jet Mechanic and where she worked on base as a Flight Records Clerk keeping track of the Pilot’s and Student Pilot’s flight time.  She had a career of working with several different government Commands and retired in 2004 with 34 years of service.  Her last position was that of Administrative Assistant for the Comptroller from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic.


She and Ray have been married for 52 years and have two adult children and one granddaughter. She enjoys bike riding and walks with her dog, Molly. 


She has observed over the past 12 years how Third Presbyterian Church has changed and is continually growing.  Debbie can be reached at the church office at 757-587-7576, email at or you can text at 757-448-8714 and leave a message


Organist/Director of Music – Joseph C. Bray III 

Joseph C.  Bray III is a life-long musician who brings a fresh and vibrant perspective to the musical life at Third Presbyterian. 

A native of Virginia Beach and graduate of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy; Joseph majored in instrumental and vocal performance, achieving highest honors statewide.  While there, he studied conducting, advanced musicianship, and pedagogy and was highly involved in the school’s theatre program.  In addition to his vocal studies, Joseph is an award-winning cellist and has studied piano and organ under the direction of Wendy Young and Micheal Reagan. 

In 2005, Joseph joined Symphonicity as the youngest musician to ever be a rostered member.  He has also been an active member of the Virginia Beach Chorale since 2010, serving as a board member, small ensemble conductor, tenor section leader and currently serving as the intern artistic director.  He is a fervent supporter of the arts community of Hampton Roads and is regularly involved in the leadership and participation of local performing arts groups. Joseph served as featured cellist for the Tidewater Opera Initiatives performances of “The Impressario” and “Dido and Aeneas”. Joseph debuted with the Virginia Opera in their procuring of AÏDA. 


Most recently, Joseph debuted as music director with the Williamsburg Players  critically acclaimed production of Elton John’s AIDA. Joseph has also served as music director for Virginia Wesleyan University’s theatre department production of SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical and as accompanist for multiple choruses and small ensembles at the university. 


From an early age, Joseph was involved with church music and the vital role that it plays within the worship service.  From singing in the children’s choir at Pembroke Manor UCC to working as a sound engineer at Freedom Fellowship, later returning to Pembroke Manor UCC as their choir director and then serving as chorister and section leader for Dr. Sandra Billy at Wycliffe Presbyterian, Joseph has continually supported the mission of sacred music in the Church.  Bringing with him a wealth of experience and creativity, Joseph is excited to begin a new chapter as music director at Third Presbyterian.

Sexton – Clara Barnes

Hello my name is Clara.  I'm a wife and mother of three and a grandmother of four (two boys two girls ages 10, 3, 2  and 1.   I am very dedicated to my job by keeping Third Presbyterian Church as clean as possible. 

Worship Leader – Amy Griffin, Elder

Amy has attended Third Presbyterian Church since she was three years old and confirmed as a youth.  She has served in many aspects of the church to include Sunday School Teacher, Youth Leader, Committee Member on many different church committees (you know how many committees Presbyterians can have), Choir Member and as an Elder.

While serving as an Elder, Amy has worked on various committees of the Session, but her passion is serving on the Worship Committee. Amy assists with putting together the weekly liturgy and leading worship on Sunday mornings.


During the week, in her “real” life, Amy has been a registered nurse for over 25 years and works for Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) as the Lead District School Nurse and has served as the primary school nurse at Mary Calcott Elementary School for the last 23 years. Amy thoroughly enjoys taking care of the physical and mental health care needs of children and is well in to her second generation of families in NPS.


Amy grew up with her family in Norfolk where she went to school and earned her nursing diploma from DePaul School of Nursing. She met her husband, Dennis, while working at a youth conference and summer camp at Makemie Woods (PEVA’s former camp ministry). Together, they have raised two sons, Brandon (Laura) and Carter, whose lives have also been shaped by the ministry at Third Presbyterian. When Amy is not working or taking care of her family, she likes to take walks in many of the natural settings and historical areas in our region. Spending time with her family is very important to her.


Family is not just her blood relatives, but her family has also become the members of Third Church. Like so many others, Third is Amy’s extended family and more than just brothers and sisters in Christ. Amy is excited to be part of Third Presbyterian and to see all of the amazing things that God is doing amongst and through the church!  It’s easiest to reach her by cellphone at 757-618-3006 or by email at


Worship Leader - Carol Maxwell, Elder

Hi, my name is Carol A Maxwell and I'm one of the Worship Leaders here at Third. I am married to Thomas Maxwell, and we have three children, Brenda and Lauren (twins),who live in New York and Cedric who lives in Richmond.  I was raised in the Big Apple or Gotham or New York City, where they have the best pizza in the world!

I work for Norfolk Public Schools as an Interventionist. If you're wondering what an interventionist is, we are the ones that work with the students that need extra help to get them to where they need to be.

My family and I have been a part of Third Presbyterian since 2001. We moved to Norfolk in the Fall of 1995. This was our third move in as many years but being a military family, we were kind of use to that. We moved into the neighborhood in July of 2000. We were attending a different church at the time. One Sunday I  decided to visit Third. I immediately felt welcomed. I've always felt that that was one of Third’s strength. This ability to make a stranger feel at home. We joined the church in 2001 and have been attending since then.


Aside from being one of the Worship leaders, I also sing in the choir. I love music and I love singing; something I've been doing for a long time. 

There's a lot of things I love about Third. If I had to choose it would be the fact that the Church is ever evolving to meet the needs of the congregation and community. We're always willing to try things that we feel will bring people closer to God. 

The best way to reach me would be by email. Although I will confess, I'm not always good about checking it. I've gotten much better:) My email address is

IT Facilitator - Lexi White

Lexi started attending worship services at Third Presbyterian Church in 2017 upon the recommendation of her friend. Being far from family, Lexi was searching for a community and musical outlet and Third ended up being the perfect fit! Lexi sang in the choir for several years as a mischievous Alto who dabbled in Soprano territory and occasionally accompanied the choir by flute. Lexi is thankful for her time at Third and all the amazing people she met. She was baptized in 2018 at Third Presbyterian Church. 

After graduating from Old Dominion University in 2019 Lexi moved to Florida and missed the community she had found in Norfolk. At the start of the pandemic, Lexi was asked to assist with the start of Third’s virtual worship services and was happy to be reconnected. Although you may not see Lexi each Sunday, she works to convert the bulletin each week into a PowerPoint that is displayed on your computer screen, control the flow of worship, and help with technology challenges that are possible remotely. Lexi also helps manage our Facebook page, virtual signs, and some website updates.


When Lexi isn’t prepping for Sunday’s worship services, she can often be found outside chasing ticks for work, where she lives on Long Island in New York, visiting her parents in Maine, or playing video games. Lexi is an entomologist who studies vector-borne diseases in mosquitoes and ticks. Lexi and her partner live with their awkward little dog, two guinea pigs, leopard gecko, and several house plants. She is thankful for her church family and their support throughout her time in Virginia and even now states away. 


“I grew up a Christian but was anxious initially about joining Third in worship as I wasn’t familiar with church service and didn’t know anyone. Everyone at Third was welcoming and supportive. From the start you can tell Third Presbyterian Church genuinely cares about all people no matter what. As Pastor Larry says, “We are Team Third.””


If you want to contact Lexi, you are welcome to email her at

Meet Our Session

  • Building & Grounds

    • Tom Maxwell

  • Stewardship

    • Nancy Babor

  • Witness & Outreach 

  • Worship

    • Teri Howard

  • Administration & Personnel

    • Dennis Griffin

    • Jim Rudiger

    • Stacy Apelt

  • Clerk of Session

    • Teri Howard

  • Presbyterian Women

    • Nancy Babor, Monday Night Circle

    • Dolores Ominski, Tuesday Morning Circle

  • Presbyterian Men

    • Tom Maxwell, President

    • Fred Holtz, Vice-president

    • Jim daSilva, Secretary/Treasurer

  • Memorial Committee

    • Nancy Babor