Ken Woodley was the editor for twenty-four years of the Farmville Herald in Prince Edward County, Virginia. When he went to work at the family-owned newspaper twelve years earlier, he did not know its segregation-boosting history in the 1950s and 1960s. The paper was still owned by the same family, with the same publisher/editorial writer in place. Rather than leave, Woodley chose to spend his entire career there, lending his voice to racial healing and reconciliation. In 2003, he proposed and led the successful fight for a state-funded scholarship program for the casualties of county-wide local public school closings from 1959-1964. In 2006, the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented Woodley with the George Mason Award “for demonstrating that a community newspaper and a principled editor are relevant and vital parts of civic leadership and that the importance of journalism is not defined by the size of the community or the circulation of the newspaper.
Woodley is a licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal Church and has published daily spiritual meditations Forward Day By Day. He has also written half a dozen stories for elementary-aged children and is looking for the right publishing home for these. During his daily rambles over fields and through forests, Woodley finds himself “astonished by the way God reaches out to us through the smallest details.” When he’s not writing, volunteering at an after-school program for at-risk children, or reading with his dog, Pugsley, in his lap, Woodley enjoys listening to half a dozen beautiful notes played slowly on an electric guitar rather than fifty played too fast to appreciate them. And he loves his wife, Kim.