Pastor Don Gibson is the Senior Pastor of Beulah UMC. Don was born and raised in south-central Tennessee however, now considers himself a Virginian. After receiving his Masters of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary he was ordained in the Virginia Conference of the UMC. Don has served in a variety of short-term missionary settings including the Philippine Islands, Guatemala, St. Lucia, and longer-term appointments in Ecuador and Costa Rica. Don most recently served Basic UMC in Waynesboro, VA for 13 yrs. Don’s passions include working on the family farm in Churchville, VA and asset based community development. Don and his wife Christy have been married for 29 years and have 6 children- Karis, Luke, Claire, Isaiah, Chance and Emma.
Next Generation Ministry and Outreach
“I grew up in Chester and graduated from Thomas Dale High School in 2012. I went on to Virginia Wesleyan to run Cross Country/Track and Field and study Religious Studies. I am married to my beautiful wife, Faith, and we have been doing ministry together with college students for the past two years. We are very excited to jump into ministry at Beulah UMC. We can’t wait to move in and be a part of this amazing church!”
Suzanne grew up locally in Chester and a graduate from Thomas Dale. She came to work at Beulah in May of 2016. Her passion for God, people, and the creative arts can be found in her work. She enjoys writing, photography, graphic arts, and keeping things organized. In her free time she can be found in the kitchen cooking, in pursuit of her passion for the arts, or with her family. Her favorite bible verse is Hosea 14:5 “I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots: his shoots will grow.” She believes that like the cedar we can only grow as strong, as our roots grow deep into our relationship with God.
Anita E. Adkins has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Gardner-Webb University and a Global Masters in Business Administration from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. A native of Roanoke, Virginia, she has accompanied many musicals and choirs during her career as a pianist. Anita’s professional career in non-profit work began in North Carolina, and she currently works in development for Westminster Canterbury Richmond. In Anita’s spare time, she can be found in her kitchen where she enjoys cooking, baking and eating all types of foods. She lives in Chesterfield with her husband Fred and their Scottish terrier, Dexter.
Billy has served behinds the scenes as our custodian for many years. He is best known for his willingness to help out on projects or lend a hand if he sees someone in need. He loves basketball and is an avid Tarheel fan
Rev. Jon Poarch
Pastor of Discipleship
Jonathan grew up in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska, and is a lifelong United Methodist. Through experiences in youth group and on mission trips, he discerned his call to ministry in high school. Jonathan graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015 where he studied Geography and Religious Studies, but more importantly, it’s the place he met his beautiful wife, Vanessa.
After graduating from Nebraska, Jonathan went to Duke Divinity School in preparation for ministry in the United Methodist Church and graduated in 2018. Jonathan is particularly passionate about evangelism, community building, and social justice through the local church.
Jonathan and Vanessa got married in October 2017 and have an adorable, 12-pound dog named Toto. Jonathan and Vanessa are huge Nebraska football fans and love working out together, hiking and exploring the outdoors, and playing music. Jonathan and Vanessa have been blessed by starting their journey of full-time ministry with the community at Beulah United Methodist Church!
Director of Adult Music and Organist
Sherrie Lizarraga completed a Bachelor of Music degree and earned a teaching fellowship to complete her Masters of Music degree in Vocal Performance at Pacific Union College in Northern California. Post-graduate work included the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where she studied with the legendary Robert Shaw. She began her ministry with Beulah in January of 2002. Ms. Lizarraga directs the Sanctuary Choir, Cantata Choir (Christmas), Men’s Chorus, Beulah Land Quartet, and the Bells of Praise adult handbell choir. In her spare time, she enjoys taking classes in graphite drawing, watercolor and acrylic painting, and colored pencils.
My husband, Mike, and I have been married for 30 years, and we've been members at Beulah since the early '90s. We have one daughter, Ashton, who is a senior at Longwood University. I've been employed with the City of Colonial Heights Public Schools as a teaching assistant for 15 years. I primarily work with students in grades K-5 who have learning disabilities. When I'm not at work, I love spending time with my family and friends. Some things we love to do are biking, kayaking, spending time at the river, exploring antique shops, and going to car shows. I also enjoy photography, and I especially love taking pictures of things in nature. It's just a hobby, and I am definitely an amateur, but it's so amazing to capture on film the beauty that God created.
Audio / Visual Technician
Parker O'Keefe has recently joined our staff here as our audio and visual technician. It has been a joy to have him here with us and serving in our midst.
thank you for taking the time to getting to know us and a bit of our heart, we look forward to seeing you soon!