River Road Presbyterian Church is in the Presbytery of the James, part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Leadership of the local church consists of 18 Elders making up the Church Session and 12 Deacons who care for the Congregation as well as Trustees who oversee the financial operations of the church. The work of the church is carried out by designated Church Ministries: Christian Education, Congregational Care, Fellowship and Hospitality, Growth and Outreach, Leadership Development, Mission and Service, Personnel, Property, Stewardship and Finance, and Worship and Music.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff that works to carry out the important work of the church on a daily basis.
Dr. Raymond R. Roberts, Pastor/Head of Staff
Dr. Ray Roberts grew up in Farmington, Missouri. He received his B.A. in Economics from Westminster College, his M.Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, and his Ph.D. in History and Theology from Union/PSCE. In 1984, Ray was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA). Ray serves as co-chair of the Advisory Committee for Social Witness Policy for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. Ray and his wife, Sallie, met while he was at Columbia and she was at Agnes Scott College. They have two children, Harrison and Katherine, and one grandchild. Ray enjoys writing music, playing music, gardening, and exercising. Ray came to serve as Pastor/Head of Staff for RRPC in August of 2015.
Rev. Andrew P. Whitehead, Associate Pastor
Rev. Andrew Whitehead grew up primarily in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Masters of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary and previously earned a Masters in Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Presbyterian College. While at Union, Andrew completed his Clinical Pastoral Education at Greenville Memorial Hospital and his parish internship at Southminster Presbyterian Church. In these ministries, he was able to pursue his interests in pastoral care, inter-generational dialogue, and young adult ministry. He was awarded the Martha and Fred Stair Fellowship, a grant given in recognition of promise for pastoral ministry, by the Union faculty. Andrew and his wife, Olivia, enjoy volunteering at the SPCA, exploring Richmond, and cooking for friends at their home.
Contact Andrew Whitehead
Landry J. Duvall, Director of Music
Landry Duvall has served as the Director of Music at River Road Presbyterian Church since January of 2018, overseeing all aspects of musical programming and direction. He completed the Master of Music Degree in Church Music and Choral Conducting at Baylor University in 2015. There, he served as Graduate Assistant Conductor to the Baylor University Concert Choir and Baylor Bella Voce Select Women's Ensemble. In addition, he also assisted in lecture with undergraduate Choral Conducting and served as organist for the George W. Truett Theological Seminary. A native Tennessean, Mr. Duvall holds the Bachelor of Music Degree in Church Music and Organ Performance from Carson-Newman University near Knoxville, Tennessee. He has served churches in Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Susan G. Hockman, Director of Operations
Susan Hockman is a native Richmonder. She is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College and has been with River Road Presbyterian Church since 2001. Her responsibilities include managing the overall operation of the church; developing and coordinating church communications, working with our members and ministries, and handling personnel/payroll needs. Susan and her husband, Bill, have two children, Hillary (married to Lt. Col. William Brooks) and Jack, as well as a granddaughter. In her spare time, Susan is an avid reader and enjoys volunteering in the community, cheering for Alabama football (Roll Tide!), and spending time with her family.
Dr. Shelly Barrick Parsons, Director of Children and Family Ministries
Shelly grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has a BA in Psychology from Meredith College in Raleigh. Shelly earned a M.Div, M.A.C.E., and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. While in graduate school, she worked with the Presbytery of the James Youth Council, Project Burning Bush, and Southminster Presbyterian Church. Shelly served as Presbyterian Campus Pastor at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. She worked to establish the Harless Center, a center for ecumenical and interfaith fellowship, conversation, and reflection serving as Executive Director. In college, Shelly met her husband, Chet, at the Presbyterian Campus Ministry at N.C. State. They have two children, Harrison and Ellie Grace. They enjoy getting outside as much as possible - hiking, paddle boarding, skiing (cross country/downhill), and playing soccer. They also enjoy cooking, watching college football, and driving their children to various activities. Shelly is energized in ministry by helping folks connect their story to the story of God’s gracious work in the world.
Russell M. Lee, Director of Youth
Rusty Lee grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. He earned a BS in Textile Engineering from Clemson University in 1991. Rusty earned a M.Div. from Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond in 2011. Rusty met his wife, Darie, while serving as a youth director at Mauldin FBC. They have three children, Abby, Zach, and Jonathan. Their family enjoys fostering kittens through the RSPCA. Along with driving a bus for HCPS, Rusty also serves with Rise Against Hunger. Rusty finds great joy in helping the next generation of young people connect their stories to God’s story.
Dr. Christopher L. Reed, Assistant Director of Music
Christopher Reed is an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond and recently received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music where he was highly active as a recitalist and Assistant conductor for Eastman Opera Theater. A student of Dr. Jean Barr, Christopher is a two-time prize winner of the Jesse Kneisel Lieder competition, and also served as a graduate opera coach for Eastman Opera Theater. Active as a recitalist, Christopher regularly performs with vocal partners across the United States. Most recently, he has presented recitals at Colorado State University, Columbus State University, Missouri Southern State University, Portland State University, and the University of Alabama, as well as recitals across various locations in the Los Angeles area. Additionally, he has given master classes at Missouri Southern State University and The University of Alabama. In the past summers, Christopher has been on faculty as a pianist and coach at the Taos Opera Institute as well as the Vocal Arts Festival in Colorado Springs. Christopher was selected as a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow for Songfest where he had the privilege of working with pianists Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, and Margo Garrett. He has also worked as a vocal coach with Wichita Grand Opera. Christopher received his Masters in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from Eastman, and his Bachelors in Piano Performance from Oklahoma State University where he was a student of Dr. Thomas Lanners.
Brian M. Mahne, Assistant Director of Music (Contemporary) and
Brian Mahne has been a working musician in the Richmond area for over 15 years and serves as an Assistant to the Music Director at River Road. He has performed in venues up and down the east coast with a variety of ensembles and holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from VCU. Brian has served as acting Music Director for show band, Big Ray and the Kool Kats, since 2013. Other groups with which Brian has been seen performing around Richmond include the VCU Jazz Orchestras 1 and 2, the RVA Big Band, the DJ Williams Projekt, and various other small groups. Brian leads RiverSound in our contemporary Informal Worship service and manages our A/V tech team. In addition, Brian serves as our part-time administrative assistant in the church office.
Larry E. Coleman, Sexton
Larry Coleman is not only the longest tenured present member of our staff; he has worked for the church longer than anyone during its entire existence. In helping maintain the church as a suitable place for the Lord’s work to be done, Larry’s contributions are an extremely important and valuable part of the work and service of the church. He helps to maintain our buildings and grounds while also providing setup and take-down for the many events held at River Road Presbyterian. In his spare time, Larry enjoys spending time with family and gardening.
Amanda L. Owen, Director of Childcare Center
Amanda Owen joined our staff on November 1, 2018, most recently serving as director at Imagination Station Childcare and Preschool in Elma, New York. Amanda received a BA in Education (Early Childhood K-6) from Charles Sturt University in NSW, Australia with additional studies in Drama and Gifted Education. An experienced educator, she taught grades K -6 in Australia prior to moving to the U.S. where she was a classroom and lead pre-K teacher in Richmond area childcare centers. Additionally, Amanda authored and published the children’s book, A Race To Save The Australian Outback. Amanda is happy to be back in Richmond and at RRPC.
Moderator of Session - Dr. Raymond R. Roberts
Clerk of Session - Linda Thomas
Treasurer - Linwood Cobb
Assistant Treasurers - Cheryl Duff and Sharon Cherry
Christian Education Ministry
The Christian Education Ministry provides opportunities for members of all ages to encounter and study the Bible, to consider the basic tenets of the Christian faith, to improve their understanding of God, and to participate in activities that reinforce the ministry of the church. The current chair of the Christian Education Ministry is Bob Spicknall with vice-chair, Jane Sewell.
Fellowship and Hospitality Ministry
The Fellowship and Hospitality Ministry is an integral part of our church family life. This hard-working group organizes Wednesday Night Suppers, Small Group Fellowship, Free Birds, the Annual Picnic, Celebration Sunday Brunch, and so much more. The current chair of the Fellowship and Hospitality Ministry is Brooke Hearn with vice-chair, Cheryl Duff.
Growth and Outreach Ministry
The Growth and Outreach Ministry seeks to welcome all visitors to our church and inform them of the many opportunities and programs available. This ministry provides guidance in the process of becoming members of RRPC and helps new members to become assimilated into the life of the church. The current chair of the Growth and Outreach Ministry is John Blauvelt with vice-chair, T. J. Childress. Elder Kelly Pledger also serves on this ministry.
Leadership Development Ministry
The Leadership Development Ministry is tasked with finding individuals to serve in leadership positions within the church. Regular Nominating Committee meetings are held to fill officer vacancies and also to match the right person with the many volunteer needs of the church. The current chair of the Leadership Development Ministry is Patricia A. Avery with vice-chair, Jim Stewart.
Mission and Service Ministry
The Mission and Service Ministry directs mission work throughout our region and the world. Mission work is a priority in our congregation as we are guided by Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves. The current chair of the Mission and Service Ministry is Lesley Glotzl with vice-chair, Dan Murray.
The Personnel Ministry serves as the human resources team for church staff. It undertakes tasks such as coordinating staffing strategies and hiring efforts as well as providing individual staff evaluations and direction for personnel related issues as guided by the Session and Pastor/Head of Staff. Each member of the church staff is important and valued by this ministry. The current chair of the Personnel Ministry is Shel Thomas with vice-chair, Curt Manchester.
The Property Ministry is charged with the care and maintenance of our facilities and grounds. The current chair of the Property Ministry is Cory Rayfield with vice-chair, Lee Branch.
Stewardship and Finance Ministry
The Stewardship and Finance Ministry leads the annual stewardship campaign, develops and recommends yearly budgets to the Session, and monitors the current operating budget. This ministry is also involved in long-term planning as aligned with the vision of the church. The current chair of the Stewardship and Finance Ministry is Kristen Raper with vice-chair, John Simpson.
Worship and Music Ministry
The Worship and Music Ministry provides and guides worship opportunities in the Reformed Tradition of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Our worship experiences inspire and encourage all to deepen and strengthen their faith and to share this faith with others. The current chair of the Worship and Music Ministry is Ellen Guinther with vice-chair, Sherry Scudder.
If a ministry needs to speak during worship to communicate a Ministry Focus, please request time using this form.
Endowment Fund Trustees
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Our new Sexual Misconduct Policy was adopted by the Session of the Church on October 23, 2016. You may read and download a copy of this policy here.