The Rev. Dr. Roy Howard, Pastor
Psalm 126:2 (New International Version)
2: Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations,”The LORD has done great things for them.”
Roy has been the pastor of Saint Mark since 2001. Prior to coming to Saint Mark, he served as Associate Pastor of Second Presbyterian in Lexington, Kentucky and Pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Staunton, Virginia. He also serves as the Book Editor of The Presbyterian Outlook.
His pastoral vision and congregational leadership leads to living the gospel in the community. In Staunton, he served a theater group reaching disadvantaged young people. In Lexington, he was a founding member of Canaan House, an ecumenical residence for mentally ill, homeless persons. He has served with Prisoner Visitation and Support, an ecumenical ministry of visiting prisoners in federal and military prisons. In Maryland, he has been involved with efforts to prevent gun violence, end the death penalty and improve the lives of the poor in Montgomery County. Roy’s pastoral ministry and worship leadership are shaped by a theology grounded in God’s grace that compels us to love God and love neighbors as an expression of Christian discipleship. He teaches that following Jesus takes from our places of comfort to be with those in need of God’s love embodied in our caring. At Saint Mark, we call this the practice of Spirituality and Service. Faith and practice combine to bring a wholehearted life, lived in community.
Over the years, Roy has led congregational trips to Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mexico, Jamaica, Israel, West Virginia, and Haiti. At Saint Mark, he joined with a Rabbi to establish a vibrant Jewish Christian dialogue group with a neighboring Jewish congregation. This relationship resulted in an interfaith mission to Israel and the West Bank, as well as an ongoing monthly dialogue.
Prior to pastoral ministry, Roy was a social worker having completed his MSW at Florida State University. In Tallahassee he served people with mental illness. In 1984, he was called to combine pastoral ministry with social work in congregational settings. He graduated from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta where he received his Master of Divinity (Magna Cum Laude) in 1987. In 2001, he completed his Doctorate in Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary. His project was titled “Drop the Rock, Break the Bread: Conflict Transformation Skills for Congregational Leaders”. His love for theology is reflected in his post-doctoral work with the Center of Theological Inquiry and his numerous writings.
He is married to Claudia Howard. They have two adult daughters, Rachel and Rebecca, and Patrick the Beloved dog. When Roy is not working he is likely to be running or walking in the woods with his camera (if he not reading theology and poetry.)
The Reverend Shelby Etheridge Harasty
Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
The Rev. Shelby Etheridge Harasty was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor on September 22, 2013.
Shelby recently completed her Masters of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. where she received the President’s Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate.
She came to Richmond from the Asheville area of Western North Carolina. Shelby grew up in Florida and earned a Bachelors of Science in Journalism at the University of Florida.
She has served as a small group leader and planning team member for the Montreat Youth Conferences, a support staffer for Montreat College Conference and the Blaze, a conference for youth leaders, and she has participated in other youth programs in the Presbytery of James (in Richmond, VA). Shelby is on the Montreat Youth Conference Planning team for 2014. She also served as an intern at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond.
Her ministry interests include helping youth to grow in faithful discipleship, learning with people of all ages and life circumstances, and working with scripture to determine God’s call for the future of the church. She is convinced of God’s call on our lives to be good stewards of the earth and our resources. She loves exploring creative ways to worship God, which help us discover different ways to be in relationship with God and with one another.
In Shelby’s words:
“I believe I am gifted to serve the Church because I am gifted with a faith that grows in community. As Christians we are fed when we meet Christ at the Lord’s Table, and we are also fed when we gather around simple meals at potlucks and in Bible studies, just as Jesus did with his disciples and Paul did with the people in the early church.
My dedication to discipleship begins within. It is in my commitment to my spiritual disciplines that I am filled with God’s light, so that I can bring that light out to world. As I go out in my ministry, I seek to continue to feed neighbors, enemies and friends, acting on my spiritual disciplines, which lead me to discipleship.”
The Rev. Dr. James Macdonell
Jeffrey J. Doenges
Director of Music, Email Jeff
Jeffrey Doenges earned a Master of Music in Church Music from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, and a Bachelor of Music in education from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University. He has served as Music Director for congregations in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and in the Washington, DC area. Jeff also teaches private piano.
General Contractor, Email Ron