Dr. Jim Abernathy
Dr. Abernathy began his ministry as Senior Pastor at Westwood in August 2001. He received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, the Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Bachelor of Church Music degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Before coming to Westwood, Jim served at several churches in Kentucky.
A gifted communicator, Jim shares the story of Christ as teacher, pastor, soloist, and friend. A focal point of his ministry is being an encourager who seeks to empower others to listen for and respond to the calling of Christ to discipleship and service.
Jim's wife, Cindy, is an elementary music teacher and is active in the music ministry at Westwood. They have one son, Clayton.
Rev. Stephen Gray
Associate Pastor for Spiritual Development and Administration
Rev. Gray began his ministry as Associate Pastor at Westwood in May 2004. He received the Master of Divinity degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Before coming to Westwood, Stephen served at several churches in Texas.
As Associate Pastor, Stephen helps the congregation grow in faith. He has a passion for seeing people grow to be more like Christ and for empowering others to use their gifts in ministry.
Stephen's wife, Randa, teaches Developmental English at Northern Virginia Community College. They have three daughters, Annie, Allison, and Ainsley.
Minister of Music
Pat Close has been the Minister of Music at Westwood since September 1997. She received the Master of Church Music degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Before coming to Westwood, Pat was the Youth and Children's Choir Director at John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, Virginia.
At the Minister of Music, Pat glorifies God and edifies believers and seekers through a wonderful program of musical theatre, dancing, and song. She uses choirs, guest artists, Orff instruments, and chimes in her ministry.
Director of Preschool and Children's Ministries
Holly Bryant has been a member of Westwood for 20 years. She holds English and law degrees from the College of William & Mary. Before joining Westwood's staff recently, she was as an active duty officer of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for eight years; she is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and of the legal recruiting wars. Her previous work includes lots of non-profit service and work with Virginia Baptist Campus Ministries and the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs.
Holly's passions are her family, serving others, finding creative ways to help children encounter the Word, reading everything, and any current legal or public policy debate. She loves her Westwood family because they share these passions. Her current non-church obsessions vary widely, but she always embraces shoes and color.
Holly met her husband in Westwood's youth group; they have two spirited preschool-aged children.
Director of Youth Ministries
Andre began his ministry at Westwood as Director of Youth Ministries in September 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, holds graduate degrees from Wayland Baptist University and The George Washington University and is pursing a Master of Divinity degree at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies. Prior to coming to Westwood, Andre served at churches in Virginia and Hawaii.
As the Director of Youth Ministries, Andre helps youth and their families explore, develop and live out their faith in an increasingly religiously plural, globally connected and multicultural society.
Andre is a 20+ year military veteran where he spent most of his time as a Search and Rescue pilot with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Andre’s wife, Shondelyn, is a Cooperate Trainer and Consultant. They have three children.
Rev. Donna Hill
Rev. Hill began her ministry as Financial Administrator at Westwood in September 2010. She received the Master of Theological Studies degree from John Leland Seminary in Arlington, VA, and the Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University in Fairfax VA. Before assuming this position, Donna was Westwood’s webmaster from 2003-2010.
As Financial Administrator, Donna helps oversee the financial management of the church and assists each of the ministry areas to operate efficiently. With over 40 years experience as an accountant, Donna brings a high degree of personal integrity and organizational skills to Westwood. She has a passion to encourage others to follow the example of Jesus.
Donna has one son, Jason, and a beautiful daughter-in law, Laura, and twin granddaughters, Natalie and Madison.
Ministry Assistant/Office Manager
Martha Newman joined the staff of Westwood in May 2012 as our Office Manager. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English/Secondary Education. After teaching high school English for several years, she became a legal secretary in the Federal government and in various law firms in Washington, D.C. She worked as a church administrator in three Northern Virginia churches before coming to Westwood.
Martha is married to Ed Newman who works for a scientific society in Bethesda, Maryland. Martha and Ed have one daughter, Katharine, who is a graduate student in International Relations at Boston University.
Martha is active at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Burke. She has worked with children’s choirs and vacation Bible school and is presently a Sunday School teacher for 3rd and 4th graders. She has sung with and accompanied the women’s Maranatha choir. She is the recording secretary for the church’s Administrative Board and the Church Council, and she coordinates a calendar of 40 readers who read scriptures at the St. Stephen’s three Sunday morning services.
Martha interests include reading, book collecting, writing, sewing, embroidery, and quilt making.
Olga has served as our church organist and choir accompanist since Fall 1998. She holds a Master degree of Piano Performance and Teaching from State Musical Pedagogical Institute in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, a Bachelor of Piano Performance, Stavropol, Russia, and the Service Playing Certification from American Guild of Organists.
Olga glorifies God with her playing at Westwood's worship services and believes that the Spirit of the Living God comes to us through the music.
In addition to serving at Westwood, Olga and her husband, Alexander, teach piano at their private studio. They have one daughter, Margarita.
Greisy has been involved with taking care of our church facilities since 2001. She assumed the role of full-time Custodian in 2008. She (and her family) has helped to make the facilities at Westwood an inviting place for members and guests to meet and to worship. Her husband, Jose (Amilcar) Montoya, also works in the custodial field. They have two daughters, Keiry and Jineth.