Our Pastor - David Whitten
I have not always been a pastor. In fact, the first twenty-two years of my working career I worked in construction and farmed. It was not until a born-again experience in my mid-30's did I become an active Christian. I grew up in a Christian home and was baptized into the Church of the Brethren. However, in high school and following, I became disillusioned with the church and became a skeptic. The Lord was faithful, however, and stayed with me. I sensed his call when I turned forty. Whether God had always been calling and I was not listening or God did not call me until God knew I was ready. At forty, I entered seminary at Eastern Mennonite University. At the same time, the Shenandoah District of the Church of the Brethren licensed me to the ministry. I graduated four years later with a Masters of Divinity and became ordained at the age of forty-five. I have served the church as pastor and missionary for twenty-two years.
I met my wife Judith when I served in Nigeria as the Brethren Mission Coordinator in Nigeria from 2006-2009. Together, we have a wonderful daughter named Zherina. She is currently in the 2nd grade. Judith is from Jos, Nigeria. She is a nurse and sees her job caring for the elderly as a mission and ministry.
I also have three adult children and four wonderful grandchildren from a previous marriage. My son, Matthew and his wife, Iva, have two sons, Jacob and Dominic. They live in Prague, Czech Republic where Matthew is vice-principal at the Prague British School. My daughter, Darcy, and husband, Kevin, have twin girls, Meara and Finley. They live in Brunswick, Maine. Kevin is a builder and Darcy is a full-time mom. My son, Samuel, lives in Prague as well. He teaches English as a foreign language.
I love to preach! I work hard bringing life to Scripture that is applicable for daily living. I often use current affairs to bring awareness that God’s Word is quite revealing and quite relevant for our day and age. I also love to play guitar and try to incorporate it into our already fantastic music program. Our worship offers an eclectic array of musical genre, including classical, traditional hymns, gospel, country, bluegrass and contemporary music!
I find it rewarding to serve in a smaller congregation. I know everyone and everyone knows me. We are readily available to and responsible for one another. We truly are a community of faith.
My vision of church is in Revelation 7:9 where the great multitude, from every nation, tribe, people and language worship before the throne of God. I am passionate about inter-cultural ministry and envision a wonderfully diverse church family.
When not doing ministry, I am with my family, hiking, exploring, traveling and visiting extended family. We are an international family and we spend as much time as we can visiting family in Nigeria, Prague, Czech Republic, and Maine.
Our Administrative Assistant - Barbara Beers
Barbara, raised in Pennsylvania's Valley Forge area, commenced her church journey as Choir Director at Green Tree Church of the Brethren in the 1980s. Following marriage, she served as Church Secretary. Relocating to Virginia in '97, Barbara sought part-time work in sync with her daughters' school schedule. Joining the staff in 2000, she continued through her daughters' growth into mothers. After nineteen years, Barbara temporarily stepped away, returning in November 2020 with renewed vigor. Delighted to have husband Kevin and youngest daughter Sarah on staff, she embraces her role.
Our Minister of Music - D. Vanessa Morton
Born in Elizabeth City, NC and graduated with a BS in Music Education from Elizabeth City State University. In 1981, hired as the first Director of Music Education at Saint Paul’s Baptist Church under Rev. James E. Leary in Richmond Virginia.
Serving the Department of Defense from 1983 to 2012, from Defense Supply Center Richmond to Quantico Marine Base, Quantico, Virginia.
Composer, songwriter/arranger, voice and piano instructor , director of choirs and concert artist, aspiring recording artist, concert bell ringer and a director of local bell choir, and experienced in theatre/musicals.
Currently, Office manager for Sacient ACP, LLC.
Mother of three, Michelle, Michael Jr., and Sabrina.
Jesus Christ, Yeshua The Messiah is my Lord and Savior, Redeemer and Friend. Doing His will and being motivated by His Provision and Love is my daily portion. John 15:1-17.
Our Director of Children's Ministry - Sarah Hartman
Sarah grew up at WRCOB and has now taken the lead in youth and children’s ministries as of 2022. While you might see her playing the flute or singing in the first part of the church service, she frequently takes the younger participants of the church into their separate location for alternative Christ-based fun and social enrichment.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Music Education and Master’s in the Art of Teaching (2012-2013), Sarah has demonstrated her passion for child development through public education as well as early childhood education. She is married to her husband, Jonathan, who have two kids in their blended family: Ava and Emma.
When she’s not busy with kids, you can find Sarah participating in some form of art: painting by number, yoga, or playing/dancing to music.
Our Preschool Director - Jackie Allgood
Jackie is the Director of Hilltop Preschool. She joined the preschool in 2014 as a Lead Teacher and went on to fill in and eventually take over the Director position the following school year.
Jackie is a native Minnesotan. She began her love of working with young people over 30 years ago for the Children and Youth Group Programs at Coon Rapids Evangelical Free Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.
After transplanting with her family to Virginia, she continued working in various areas with preschoolers at Mount Vernon Baptist, Shady Grove United Methodist, Lakeside Presbyterian, and Trinity Lutheran Churches.
While raising her own six children and working with others over the years, Jackie also worked in professional capacities in the Real Estate industry, Mortgage Banking, Corporate Tax, Licensing, and Personal Property.
Jackie and her husband, Jeff, are still keeping busy with their two teenage sons at their home in Hanover. When they are not volunteering with the Patrick Henry Marching at band performances and competitions, biting their nails at travel-baseball tournaments, or cheering from the stands near the band at high school football games (never missed one!), Jackie and her family enjoy traveling, riding four-wheelers through their backyard woods, or just hanging out with their rescued fur babies; two yellow labs and three spoiled cats.
Our Director of Technology and Media - Kevin Beers
Hailing from Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, Kevin's 40+ year journey in computing began as a hardware technician and analyst. For the last 24 years in Richmond, he's been a software engineer, while running a digital marketing agency, excelling in Facebook and Google ads, and website development. "Being able to use my technical skills for the church has been a true blessing."
Family is paramount to Kevin. Married 35+ years, he cherishes his two daughters, both strong and independent. With two amazing sons-in-law, plus the sweetest grandson and granddaughter. He also guides an "adopted" grandson for the last 9 years, seeing him grow into a remarkable young man. "My family means everything to me."