Tony Brooks, Field Strategist, Southside Region; Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist – Baptist General Association of Virginia
Since May 1, 2011, Dr. Tony Brooks has been a Field Strategist for the BGAV for approximately 177 churches in Appomattox, Concord, Dan River, Lynchburg, Pittsylvania, Southside and Staunton River associations along with two churches in Georgia. He is also the Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist for the BGAV.
Before that date Tony had served churches in: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia in positions of Associate Pastor-Education & Youth, Senior Pastor and Co-Pastor. He has been married to his wife and partner in ministry, Katrina, for 35 years as of June 1st.
They are blessed to have two children: Tara Brooks, born May 11, 1990, who graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor’s Degree and a Masters of Divinity from Mercer, and lives in Florida, and Joe Brooks, born July 2, 1992, who was a former football player at Maryville College, near Knoxville, TN, and is an accountant with G.E. in Cincinnati
Tony is a graduate of: Samford University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.
As far as hobbies, Tony loves to read, fish, play tennis, golf and basketball. He is an avid sports fan, but his favorite teams are: Auburn football and Duke basketball. Football has been his favorite sport, since his high schools days where he was a starting offensive and defensive lineman for an Alabama State Championship team.
Frances Farmer, occupational therapist
Frances grew up in South Carolina and received her undergraduate degree from Wofford College. After being exposed to the holistic nature of occupational therapy, she pursued a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Frances is a NBCOT-certified, registered and licensed occupational therapist with experience across the lifespan. In and out of the clinic, she has enjoyed working with children and adults with a variety of abilities in many settings, including horseback riding. Specifically, she has experience working with children with Autism spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD, sensory processing disorders, learning disabilities, and motor planning disorders. Additionally, she enjoys working with schools and community programs to educate and share knowledge on sensory processing disorder. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, baking, traveling, and riding her horse.
Claire George, Minister of Families – Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church
Claire George is the Minister of Families at Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. She married her college sweetheart, Charles George, and together they had one son, Thomas Kenneth George, II. Claire earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at The Baptist Theological Seminary in grief care after she and her husband lost their only son to congenital heart disease. The title of her final project was “Equipping the Deacon Team of a Local Church with a Grief Care Workshop.” She received a Master of Theology degree and a Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary.
Josh Hayden, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Ashland
Josh loves helping people discover the hope and meaning that God has for our shared life together. He studied leadership and organizational change while writing “Creative Destruction: Towards a Theology of Institutions” to receive his Doctor of Ministry at Duke Divinity School. He’s the author of “Sacred Hope”, a book designed to foster conversation about the role of hope in our lives. Josh also studied at The John Leland Center for Theological Studies (M.Div) and James Madison University (B.A. English). Josh currently serves on the Board of Directors for: V3 Church Planting Movement, Fresh Expressions US, and Spence Network. He finds delight in his marriage with Shéy and enjoys exploring the world with his two boys Rowan & Eli and dog Izzie. He also loves to read, run, and coach soccer.
Matthew Hensley, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Mission – Huguenot Road Baptist Church
Matthew Hensley is Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Mission at Huguenot Road Baptist Church. He was born and raised in Spartanburg, SC, the son of a pastor and English teacher. In his work, he carries on their love of serving and empowering others. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications. He holds an M.Div. degree with a concentration in Christian Education from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.
Matthew desires to see each person recognize and respond to God’s call to follow God both inwardly in relationship and outwardly as a witness to God’s transforming power. Matthew’s passion is helping people recognize where God is at work in the world and empowering them to join God’s Mission. He is grateful that he has been able to travel abroad, experiencing God’s work among God’s people in Argentina, South Africa and Slovakia. In his free time Matthew enjoys music, running, baseball and SEC football. He and his wife of over 15 years, Beth, are parents of three children, Jack, Reese and Haley.
Greg LeMaster, Associate Pastor of Education & Outreach
The Reverend Greg LeMaster is a native of Roanoke, VA. Since becoming a member of Graceland Baptist church in 1992, Greg has served in many area of ministry such as Deacon, Teacher, and in Outreach to mention a few.
He completed his Associate Degree in Business Administration at Virginia Western Community College located in Roanoke, VA as well as graduated from Seminary Extension in Pastoral Studies located in Nashville, TN.
Greg has also served previously as the Principal of Love Covenant Christian School as well as Math/Bible teacher there. In addition, he has previously held his Real Estate Licenses and Insurance Licenses during his tenure in other vocations.
Greg was ordained into the gospel ministry in September of 2014 and has been active I church planning of house churches and Fresh Expression Fellowship since July of 2010. He is currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Education and Outreach at Graceland.
Honesty Brackett Liller, CEO – McShin Foundation
Honesty Liller is a woman in long-term recovery from a Substance Use Disorder since May 27, 2007. She is the Chief Executive Officer of The McShin Foundation, a non-profit peer-to-peer Recovery Community Organization (RCO), that serves individuals and families with Substance Use Disorders. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of McShin as well as community and advocacy events. Honesty serves as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking recovery from addiction, works with participants to develop individual and personalized plans for recovery, provides problem solving and life skills as well. Honesty’s mission as CEO is firmly rooted in community outreach and involvement. She spends each day connecting with individuals and families who have been touched by addiction. The McShin recovery residential program offers 175 residential recovery beds. Participants can enter into community, intensive, or extended recovery residency programs. All are welcome from the community who have a Substance Use Disorder. Honesty works tirelessly in the community to help individuals and families heal from addiction. She campaigns for individuals with a SUD to put the shame and pain of addiction behind them. Honesty leads a peer system of care and recovery through recovery coaching, providing support groups, navigating court cases, and job coaching. Also, she was on the Enforcement Workgroup for Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Prescription Drug & Heroin Task Force and is a founding board member of Addiction Recovery Political Action Committee (ARPAC). She is the recipient of the Vernon Johnson Award given by Faces and Voices of Recovery in 2015. In 2016 she was awarded the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Great Boss. She was also featured on Face The Nation discussing addiction & recovery in America. In addition, she was awarded the Stettinius Fund honor from The Community Foundation. She was influential in the SAMHSA Recovery Month Award process for McShin for three years. As well as the Faces and Voices of Recovery Joel Hernandez Award for McShin. From 2008-2012, she led the Recovery Voices Count Campaign. Recovery has given her an amazing life. To spend time with her husband and 2 children is a gift that keeps giving!!
Maria Lynn, consultant
Maria is an advocate for training congregational leaders and volunteers in addressing the missional issues in their communities. Maria’s connection with the opioid crisis is a result of her recent role as Interim Pastor of Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church. Maria has served in ministry for more than 25 years as a Mission Consultant for WMU of Virginia, Church planter, and Minister of Education. She recently received her Doctor of Ministry related to developing cultural intelligence in cross-cultural mission engagement.
Randy Rains, Senior Pastor – Black Creek Baptist Church
Randy Rains is the Senior Pastor of Black Creek Baptist Church… one of the oldest churches in Mechanicsville, VA having been established in 1776. Randy hails from Western KY and is married to Betty who is from Alabama. Randy and Betty have three children, Heather, Heath, and Josh, as well as six wonderful grandchildren.
After serving as Journeyman from 1977 -1979, Randy attended and graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1982 with an emphasis on Pastoral Care. Randy and Betty served overseas as missionaries for 16 years in Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Australia. Returning the States, Randy began working for the home office of the International Mission Board here in Richmond, eventually becoming the Associate Vice President of Missionary Personnel, serving his last six years at the IMB as Associate Vice President of Spiritual Life and Formation.
Randy completed a two year training with Renovare’s Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation where he had the opportunity to study under Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, as well as many others who are a part of the current focus on Spiritual Formation. Randy’s extended training in spiritual formation and vast experience in leading retreats has created a passion to share what he is learning with others.
William Shaw, Associate Pastor of Worship and Administration, Corinth Baptist Church
William Shaw is a graduate of Valdosta State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served churches in the Southeast as a minister in the areas of Worship, Administration, Education, Youth, College and as a Church Plant Pastor. Currently, William is in his 4th year serving as Associate Pastor of Worship and Administration at Corinth Baptist Church in New Kent.
Gannon Sims, Director of Ministry Formation & Virginia Regional Coordinator, Fresh Expressions US
Gannon serves as Director of Ministry Formation, developing our cross denominational networks, The Amore Project (Church at Home) and the Ananias Project (Prayer Ministry). He also coordinates the Fresh Expressions efforts of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, an association of 1400 churches in Virginia and 16 other states.
He earned the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baylor University and the Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. Prior to entering seminary, Gannon worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate and as a public affairs officer in the anti-human trafficking office at the U.S. State Department. He has served in various roles at several churches, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Anglican.
Gannon is married to Carey, who also is a graduate of Duke Divinity School. Together they help foster fresh expressions of church through The Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Tom Stocks, Minister in Residence, Deacon Ministry – Baptist General Association of Virginia
Dr. Tom Stocks is Senior Pastor of Bon Air Baptist Church and serves as a Minister in Residence for the BGAV specializing in Deacon Ministry. He has previously served as the Field Strategist for BGAV in the Roanoke and Valley Region and served as Senior Pastor of the Rosalind Hills Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA.
Ron Wyatt, Senior Pastor, Graceland Baptist Church
The Reverend Doctor Ronald E. Wyatt, Jr. is a native of Aberdeen, Md. whose family roots come out of Virginia and North Carolina. Since graduating high school in 1978 he has attended schools and served churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. He received his BA from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN., where he also met his lovely wife Terri.
Dr. Wyatt received his Masters of Divinity with languages from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forrest, N.C. and his Doctorate of Ministry in pastoral counseling from the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. Ron has served Graceland as senior pastor since July 1, 2004.
He and Terri have three wonderful children, Jeremy, Rachael, and Luke, as well as a daughter-in-law, Sarah, and a granddaughter, Abby.
Jesse Wysocki, COO – McShin Foundation
Jesse Wysocki is the Chief Operating Officer of The McShin Foundation. Born in Suffolk, VA, his childhood was spent following his Dad’s Navy career until moving to Chesterfield and graduating from L.C. Bird High School. Previously, he worked as a Human Resource Director at The Towers Retirement & Assistant Living Community and was the Transition Peer Mentor and Overnight monitor at The Healing Place. Jesse is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Peer Recovery Coach who has been featured on “Hero’s Among Us” Segment of WTVR Channel 6 and the “Faith That Works” segment of WWBT Channel 12. He has been recognized as an outstanding motivational speaker for Sussex I Prison and been the keynote speaker for numerous Department of Corrections facilities, while also being featured on panel discussions for Substance Use Disorder for local and state organizations. Jesse lost his oldest son to a Substance Use Disorder, and now takes pride being a beacon for those struggling through the darkest of nights. His clean date is January 10, 2012. Jesse resides in Chesterfield where he proudly parents his five children.