meet our staff
WE HOPE YOU TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME AND GET TO KNOW SOME OF OUR BEULAH STAFF BELOW.
Rev. Don Gibson
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 six children- Karis, Luke, Claire, Isaiah, Chance, and Emma.
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.
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!”
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Zachary Cooke is from Bronx, New York and relocated to Richmond, VA with his parents as a child. He has found love and passion for Christ in teaching, leading, and directing music, performing, playing piano, singing, and participating in many bible study groups. Zachary and his lovely wife, Kathleen are so excited to be a part of Beulah United Methodist Church and to discover the new blessings and opportunities ahead. Zachary graduated from Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi in December of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education. He has furthered his education by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education at Northern State University in South Dakota, and will graduate in May 2021.
After graduating from Delta State University, Zachary became a full-time teacher in Richmond, VA. He has taught at Brookland Middle School and Elko Middle School, and currently teaches at Thomas Jefferson High School and John Marshall High School. Prior to becoming the Director of Music at Beulah UMC, Zachary was the Director of Music at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church in Ashland, VA.
Zachary and Kathleen met at DSU in the music department and got married in July of 2020. They enjoy spending their time together by traveling, eating delicious food, and playing with their two fluffy kitty cats, Marceline and Pharaoh. Zachary also enjoys playing basketball, working out, kayaking, whitewater rafting, playing video games, and watching great shows on Hulu and Netflix. Zachary and his wife look forward to meeting everyone and bringing a joyful noise to the Beulah United Methodist Church Community.
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!
korrany more espinal
Koranny is from Dominican Republic. She is currently studying Health Sciences (Nursing) at John Tyler Community College and plans to transfer to VCU to complete her nursing degree. Koranny loves to be with her 2 sisters. In her free time, she likes to listen to music, and watch baseball (Go Yankees!!!) and basketball.
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.