Executive & Lay Staff


John Hemming

Lead Pastor

Karen and I celebrate 17 years of marriage on July 20, 2019. We are blessed with three children: Luke (12), Aaron (10), and Anna (5). Culpeper UMC is the third church we have served. The journey began at Cave Spring UMC (2008-2012) and our second appointment was Powhatan UMC (2012-2019). It's been a joy to work alongside others, striving to build God's Kingdom. To be sure, Christ has shown up in amazing ways, helping me understand my role as a pastor and challenging people to BE disciples of Jesus in order to MAKE disciples of Jesus. Spiritual disciplines are vital to my daily life, reminding me that I am a follower first and foremost. The Hemming family is excited about our next stage of ministry at Culpeper UMC. Without a doubt, God is already on the move at Culpeper UMC and I look forward to building onto the wonderful legacy left by Pastor Randy.


Lauren Wright

Associate Pastor

Hi Friends! I’m Lauren Wright, Associate Pastor here at Culpeper UMC! I was appointed to Culpeper UMC in July of 2018. I grew up outside of Richmond, Virginia (where my family still lives), and went to undergrad at Virginia Tech (I studied biology!)  before going to Duke for seminary. I’m currently a licensed local pastor, hoping to be an ordained elder in the UMC. I’m passionate about missions, making meaningful connections with others, and discipleship. In my role as associate pastor, I strive to help people find their place in the church (which we often call our calling), which, in the words of Frederick Beuchner is “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”


When I’m not at the church, you’ll likely find me walking my dachshund, Myrtle, at Yowell Meadow Park, drinking coffee and listening to a podcast at Raven’s Nest, or reading a good book.


Kelly Weiss

Executive Director

Hi, I’m Kelly Weiss, the Executive Director at Culpeper United Methodist Church.  I joined Culpeper UMC in January 2018 after I heard God’s call to join this beautiful church in its mission, and I became a professing member of the church in February 2018.  I have been blessed to work for Culpeper UMC, to be part of this community, and to be involved with the many wonderful ways in which Culpeper UMC helps out in the community.  

Prior to joining Culpeper UMC, I spent 17 years at ATIS – the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions in Washington, D.C. where I was the Vice President of Finance and Operations.  I have also worked for law firms in Washington, D.C., for the Alaska Department of Revenue, and in the U.S. Senate for an Alaskan Senator. I received my Master of Public Administration from The American University, and my undergraduate degree from the University of Washington (go Huskies!).

I have been married to my lovely wife Maria, who works as a Network Engineer for the Culpeper County Public Schools, since 1999, and have two amazing daughters, Hailey and Caitlin, who attend Culpeper County Public Schools.  Our other family members include our two Pugs and our five (!) cats.

Jean Wood-Kobert

Director of Music Ministry

Jean Wood-Kobert received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia, with an emphasis in piano performance, and also studied organ, voice, conducting and music education. She received additional training in music education in the areas of Musikgarten, Orff Schulwerk, Kodaly and Dalcroze methods of teaching music to children. She has taught music in public and private elementary schools, as well as taught private piano lessons in Virginia, Maryland and Florida. When living in Maryland, she taught courses in music education, fundamentals of music and accompanied vocal and instrumental students at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD.

Betsy Smith

Director of Family Ministry

As a native of Culpeper, I have to say, I love this community!  I graduated from ODU in 1986 and after working in the business world for a few years God called me to ministry. I completed a MDIV – Pastoral Counseling and Family Ministry in 1993.  I’ve served in Children’s and Family Ministry since 1990.  I was excited to join the staff of CUMC in 2015.  

Whitney Simpson

Preschool Director

Hi! I am Whitney Simpson! I am the Director of Culpeper United Methodist Preschool!  I truly believe I answered God’s calling in 2009 to start a Preschool Ministry here at Culpeper UMC. I know this because our preschool has been truly blessed each and every day since it’s beginning.



Jean Krueger

Administrator of Congregational Life and Event Planning

Jean Krueger has volunteered in many areas of CUMC before joining the CUMC staff family in June 2016. She has been married to Paul Krueger IV since October 1988 and they have three great kids, Paul Carl V & Colin Michael, twins born in Dec 1993 and Keely Morgan born in July 2000. Jean loves to read and dig deeper into the Bible and is also passionate about youth and youth ministry where she has been a volunteer small group leader for many years.

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