The Leadership Team consists of nine lay members serving in rotating three-year terms, plus the Lead Pastor, the Associate Pastor and the Executive Director.  The Leadership Team holds the following responsibilities:

  • Providing spiritual and strategic leadership to the ministries of the church ensuring that the work of the church is aligned with the mission and vision of Culpeper UMC.

  • Providing oversight and counsel for the day-to-day operations of the church including issues related to staff.

  • Monitoring the finances of the church and recommending an annual budget to be approved by the Church Conference.

  • Completing annual evaluations for the Lead Pastor and Associate Pastor.


John Hemming - Lead Pastor

Lauren Wright - Associate Pastor

Kelly Weiss - Executive Director

Melanie Cohen (2020) has served in ministry as a greeter, family ministry, Cuba Mission Team 2018, finance team, small group leader, YES sponsor and confirmation table leader.  Melanie's professional experience includes healthcard management as x-ray technician supervisor, human resources, problem solver for hospital departments, communicator and coach.  Melanie attends the 9:29am service and her spiritual gifts are compassion, showing mercy and giving.

Jan Fitts (2021)  has served in ministry through connect team, women's ministry, Naomi's fellowship, small group leader, choir, Kelsey's Big Give, expansion team, stewardship team, child/youth protection policy team, confirmation mentor, and speaker for events. Jan's professional experience includes licensed social worker, public speaker, serves on social work boards, executive director for Community Action organization, assisted in non-profit startups and has served on local and state non-profit boards.  Jan attends the 11:00am service and her spiritual gifts are administration, shepherding and giving.

Lois Ford (2020) has served in ministry as choir member, covenant group leader, women's bible study lead, spiritual direction leader, prayer team, teacher for classes for adults and children, multiple international mission trips, speaker at women's conferences, former lay leader of Faith Landmark in Richmond and member of International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.  Lois' professional experience includes multiple years as paralegal with emphasis on patent prosecution.  She is well versed in human resources, legal contracts and research.  Lois transports/counsels families in critical care 2x a week at Georgetown Hospital and John Hopkins.  Lois attends the 11:00am service and her spiritual gifts are Faith, Word of Wisdom and Discerning of Spirits.

Shane Hedrick (2019) has served in ministry as trustee, operations, covenant group leader, multiple missions projects and Wesleyan building brothers.  Shane's professional experience includes small business owner, former EMT/Fire personnel and leadership instructor.  Shane attends the 9:29am service and his spiritual gifts are faith, pastor, showing mercy.

Jim Jewett (2021) has served in ministry as finance chairman, expansion team, congregational care, missions, elder and youth leader.  Jim's professional experience includes economic management and strategic planning, IT and Business consultant, business analytics, business owner of Madison Farms, network architect for charities, former lecturer in CIS - Cybersecurity for JMU and former professor for Piedmont VCC.  Jim attends the 8:00am service and his spiritual gifts are administration, serving and giving.

Joe Keesee (2019) has served in ministry on the Trustee Committee, Finance Committee and Council of Ministries.  Joe graduated from Virginia Tech, and worked 40 years in the banking industry for community banks.  He has one child and three grandchildren.  Joe attends the 11:00am service.

Teresa Murnock (2019) has served in youth ministries for over six years, S.O.S., Kelsey's Big Give, and the Ministry Roundtable.  Teresa is a radiographer at Culpeper Medical Center and has worked as a MRI technologist.  She has served as the clinical instructor to the x-ray students and has a passion for training, organization, and leadership.  She also ran a professional cake business, Heavenly Scent Cupcakes and Cakes, where she used her talents for art and design.  She carries her faith into her professional world sharing about God and praying over patients, co-workers and customers.  She strives to honor God in all areas of her work.  Her family attends the 9:29am service and her spiritual gifts are evangelism, shepherding and administration.

Elvin Smythers (2021) has served in ministry in choir, manna team, Sunday School superintendent, trustees chairman, mentor to youth, YES sponsor, finance chair for Billy Graham Crusades, senior's mentor, finance chair for former ministry center, lay leader and Emmaus Walk.  Elvin's professional experience includes executive for Merchant's Grocery overseeing 185 associates in multiple locations, chairman for NC Wholesalers and chairs several national committees.  Elvin attends the 11:00am service and his spiritual gifts are administration, giving and service.

George C. Valletti III (2019) began serving in the field of ministry as a youth council treasurer and praise band member.  His ministry services have included audio/visual technician, volunteer for Carpenter's for Christ and Love Inc., church grounds and maintenance team member, and most recently volunteer for Flame Café ministries.  George's professional experience consists of educational research, STEM education, K-12 teacher, school leadership team, and administrative coordinatorship, as well as curriculum development and program manager.  George and his family attend the 9:29am service and his spiritual gifts are shepherding, serving/teaching and administration.

 1233 Oaklawn Dr, Culpeper, VA 22701 | (540) 825 - 0764
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