The ’60s were a time of change, unrest and turmoil in Richmond and a time of discouragement for many. But a small group of God’s people believed it was also a time of great opportunity. This group met in the home of Bill and Beth York in the fall of 1966. Their desire was to establish a church which would proclaim God’s Word boldly and, at the same time, address the real needs of the world around them. The group had no particular leaning about whether to be independent or seek affiliation with a denomination. After several meetings, much prayer and unproductive contacts, it became apparent that the time was not yet right to establish a new church.
In August 1968, several members of the group which met in 1966 met with Donald J. MacNair, Executive Director of the National Presbyterian Missions of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. With his assistance, their hope to establish a Reformed Presbyterian Church in the Richmond area were revived. Sunday evening meetings for Bible study and prayer were begun in April of 1969.
On June 1, 1969, the first worship service of an as-yet-to-be-named new church was held at Stony Point School with 40 adults and 6 nursery-aged children in attendance. A picnic had been held the day before at Forest Hill Park to give the congregation’s new members a chance to get to know one another and an opportunity to spend time with David and Madge Fleece, the potential minister and his wife.
The group that gathered that first Sunday came from diverse religious backgrounds – Methodist, Baptist, Christian Reformed and Presbyterian. They were also from different racial backgrounds, ethnic cultures and a variety of states. From the beginning, the bond which brought them together was the deeply felt need to worship in a church that provided Biblical distinctives and believed in the inerrancy of the Word of God.
The very first budget of the new church contained a line-item of $27 which was set aside for missions, and the first couple to receive regular financial support from SPC was David and Barbara Cross (pictured above) in September, 1969, just three months after the congregation met for the first time. Their mission was to plant churches in Australia, a mission which eventually led them to plant churches in England.
A few year later, SPC began to support Audrey and George Omerley in Peru (1972), Steve and Sarah Young in Japan (1978), John and Barbara Crane in Chile (1981), Gindy Miley with Operation Mobilization (1982), Will and Judy Traub in Germany (1988) and Chip and Sharon Copper in Uganda (1988). SPC’s first weekend missions conference was held in September 1988, with the Reverend John Oliver, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia, speaking on the theme, “Declare His Glory.”
Fast forward to 2016: SPC now supports 26 local, regional and international missionaries and mission agencies with an annual missions budget that is close to $200,000.
Although the church was referred to as First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Richmond from its first meeting, it wasn’t until November 23, 1969 that the name Stony Point Reformed Presbyterian Church was settled on over other suggestions, including Grace Reformed Presbyterian, Immanuel Presbyterian, Dayspring Church (Presbyterian) and Open Door Reformed Presbyterian. The issue of choosing a name was only one of several issues which confronted the young church.
They called him “Cupid” Aquila — and with good reason. During his six years at Stony Point, the Reverend Dominic A. Aquila conducted 34 marriage ceremonies. He also administered 26 baptisms, the first of which was his own son, Andy, a year from the day Dominic and his wife, Davileen, came to SPC.
Dominic provided dynamic leadership during a time of significant growth in the church. His firm command of Scripture along with his administrative abilities served the church well in its formative years.
In his letter of resignation, having been called to the Cerritos Valley Orthodox Presbyterian Church in California, Dominic wrote:
There is no way that Davileen or I can express our thanksgiving to God and to you for six wonderful years. Our fellowship will always be in the bonds of Christ. We will pray that your love will abound more and more in true knowledge and all discernment so that you will be able to approve the things which are excellent. The grace of the Lord be with you. Sincerely in Christ, Dominic A. Aquila
Dick and Shirley worked tirelessly for SPC from the time they joined Stony Point Church in 1972. Dick was quickly elected an elder and taught adult Sunday School classes which were legendary, moving many to attend and then commit themselves to SPC according to the accounts of those who attended his lessons.
His influence in the larger church was extraordinary as well. He twice served as moderator of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Synod, an unusual calling since he wasn’t an ordained pastor, and oversaw the denomination’s decision to merge with the Presbyterian Church in America during his second term. In 1985, he was elected without opposition as Moderator of the PCA, served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Covenant College, authored several books, including Business Ethics in a Changing Culture, and was a regular contributor to the Presbyterian Journal.
But the most important contribution Dick and Shirley made to SPC during their 13 years as members was the informal, around-the-kitchen-table discussions they offered to anyone who needed guidance and help.
Within a year of the first worship service, a building committee was organized and the search for a place to relocate the growing congregation was begun. Some hoped to purchase the school in which the church was meeting, but the ideal property, many believed, would be on Buford Road in Bon Air’s historical area. In 1977, a local realtor told Bob Ranson, then chairman of SPC’s Building Committee, about a house and five-acre property on Buford Road that was for sale. On September 18, 1977, the congregation voted to buy 2330 Buford Road for $150,000.
In January, 1978, an amendment to the SPC By-Laws providing for the election and installation of deaconesses was overwhelmingly approved by the congregation. The first deaconesses were elected soon after on January 29, 1978 and included Sheila Porter, Sylvia Brooks, Linda Cox and Plum Yancey. The Board of Deaconesses was dissolved when the Reformed Presbyterian Church merged with the Presbyterian Church in America in 1986. A Women in the Church Council was established in its place.
Frank Crane was called to be SPC’s pastor in June of 1979 and faithfully served in that capacity for the next 30 years. He was born in the US but spent most of his youth in Chile, South America, where his parents were missionaries. He earned both his Master of Arts and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Covenant Seminary and then served pastorates in Newburgh, New York and Muncie, Indiana, before coming to SPC.
Frank arrived in Richmond when SPC was transitioning from its early years as a tight-knit church, made up of a few middle-aged families and many young couples, to its middle years as an expanding congregation of young families with young children. His gift of ministering to those families was of special value to the life of SPC during his three decades of service. Frank was called home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
In December of 1979, Elizabeth (“Bizzy”) James, daughter of Charles and Kay James, became desperately ill. Before taking her to St. Mary’s Hospital, Charles gathered the transfer team, doctors, nurses and Kay around Elizabeth’s bed, anointed her with oil, and prayed for her.
Five days later, her heart stopped. She was resuscitated and rushed to the Medical College of Virginia Hospital where Charles and Kay were told that her death was imminent. For four long weeks she lay in a coma — and then suddenly awoke and asked for her mother.
Weeks of hospitalization followed, during which SPC’s members prayed, provided food, cleaned house and offered whatever encouragement they could to Charles and Kay. On February 3, 1980, the church bulletin included the following letter:
We feel at a loss for words that will truly express our gratitude for the many ways you have ministered to our family in the last two months. We have felt cradled by your love and protected by your prayers. The Lord has met our spiritual, emotional, financial, and physical needs through the portion of His body here at Stony Point. Thank you for all you have done. In his Name, Charles, Kay, Chuck, Robbie and especially Elizabeth.
In 1988, Elizabeth joined McLean Presbyterian Church, PCA, in McLean, Virginia.
In 1979, a sanctuary and education wing were added to the house that came with the purchase of SPC’s property — affectionately called “the Old House” by SPC veterans. The first service held in the new building was on April 15, 1979, Easter Sunday. In 1988, this original education wing was converted to office use when the first of two additional education wings were constructed. The second, or Front Education Wing, was built in 1993, along with an addition to the original sanctuary.
Stony Point Church began as a mission church of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES). In May of 1981 the Synod of the RPCES took up an invitation to become a part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The RPCES and the PCA were in agreement about several areas of vital importance including the inerrancy of the Bible, doctrinal beliefs and reformed theology, governing principles, ministerial goals and dedication to the purity of the church.
Believing that the merger of the two bodies would tangibly demonstrate Christian unity to a watching world and bring praise to the Lord, the RPCES voted overwhelmingly to join the PCA on June 12, 1982. with Dr. Richard Chewning, an SPC elder, presiding as moderator of the Synod which took up this motion and approved the merger. Soon after, SPC became a congregation of the PCA.
With the encouragement of pastor Frank Crane and her elder, Greg Brooks, Gindy Miley resumed her work as an Operation Mobilization missionary in the summer of 1982. She subsequently served in India and Pakistan with SPC’s financial help over the span of two decades. From 2002 until 2007 she helped Mission to the World, our denomination’s mission, in its efforts to care for Third Culture Kids (TCKs), the children of PCA missionaries. Since leaving MTW in 2007, Gindy has regularly visited Woodstock School, where she labored in India from 1994 until 2002 as a teacher and administer, and has faithfully served on SPC’s missions committee.
From its beginning, SPC was committed to sharing God’s love in word and deed both locally and globally. At the local level, SPC members were instrumental in founding Richmond’s Pregnancy Resource Center. Long-standing support has been provided to other local ministries including Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Young Life, Needle’s Eye Ministries, Cross-Over Ministry, CHAT and Church Hill Academy, the Center for Christian Counseling, STEP, and the Reformed University Fellowship of the PCA. Relatively recent additions are the Richmond Center for Christian Study and Elijah House Academy. SPC also lends support to ten college and high school missions.
As early as October 1975, consideration was given to the possibility of calling an associate pastor who would plant a daughter church in the Richmond area when SPC’s adult membership reached 250 people. The plan was put into action with the calling of Howard Griffith as associate pastor in December 1982. For 18 months the congregation prayed and planned until, on June 24, 1984, Pastor Griffith and 50 adult members of SPC held the first worship service of what was to become All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church on Grove Avenue near the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
In early 1985, Bob Ranson, one of SPC’s founding members, accepted a call from James River Presbytery to become its coordinator of church development. He later served as the presbytery’s moderator and chairman of the Mission to North America Committee of the PCA General Assembly.
If ever anyone should be given the title, “Mr. Stony Point,” that person would be Bob Ranson. Bob was a vital participant in the discussions which led to the formation of SPC. Faced with many obstacles and frustrations, he held fast to the conviction that the Lord wanted a Reformed church established in Richmond and was admired for his ability to work cooperatively with others in seeing that the vision was realized. He also played a major role in establishing SPC’s daughter churches, All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church and West End Presbyterian Church.
Bob’s wife, Joyce, was likewise used by God in the establishment of SPC through the exercise of her teaching, counseling and hospitality gifts. Everyone who visited her home was important to her and she spoke the truth in love to all who called on her for help.
Recognizing a need to improve the music and worship ministry, the congregation began praying in the mid 80’s that the Lord would bring willing and gifted musicians to SPC. Larry and Kathy Julian joined in 1986. They were followed by the Maroon, Holmes, Cox and Keltonic families (John Keltonic is pictured above). Many experienced and talented musicians now serve each Sunday under the leadership of Michael Bryant, joyfully leading SPC in the singing of classic hymns and contemporary worship songs.
Some years after SPC planted All Saints Church in Richmond’s Fan district, Bob Ranson began to talk about the need for a second church plant in the West End. As neither the Willey Bridge or Route 288 had been built at the time, it was difficult for people to travel from the West End to the South Side in order to attend Stony Point. And so, the thinking went, why not plant a church on the West End for the people who live on that side of the James River?
Steve Shelby, SPC’s Associate Pastor for Christian Education, was called to be the new work’s organizing pastor and, with the help of a core group from SPC, West End Presbyterian Church held its first worship service in October of 1993. They met in what was then the chorus room of Byrd Middle School until December of 2000, when WEPC relocated to the former Best Products building on Quioccasin Road. WEPC has since grown to a body of more than 600 worshipers on Sunday mornings.
SPC’s leadership adopted a more intentional and zealous ministry to children and youth in the late 90’s when the Session called Michael Bryant to serve as Coordinator of Youth and Children’s Ministries. He mobilized gifted SPC members to serve the young in a vibrant inter-generational ministry which included both children and youth in almost every aspect of congregational life.
In his current role, Michael heads a team of talented musicians as they lead the congregation in worship each Sunday.
Inspired by a missionary to Uganda, John Keltonic led the first summer missionary team to Uganda in June, 2000. Our original Uganda connection was with the Canaan Children Home through Global Outreach, which represented and supported Canaan at the time.
During our years of ministry at Canaan, SPC helped to fund a primary school, a clinic, and an administration building. Thanks to the generous contributions of many, we were able to provide books for the home’s library (and organize it on one of our summer trips), medical supplies, “and a ton of other random stuff,” according to John.
Under the leadership of John and his wife, Anita, SPC summer teams held conferences for pastors, youth conferences, women’s conferences, medical conferences, Bible clubs and did medical work in over 2 dozen villages and cities all across Uganda including Jinja, Fort Portal Mbarrara, Palissa, Iganga, Moyo, Gulu, Mukono, Kakira, Kireka, Kayunga, Seata, and Adjumani (aSudanese Refugee Camp). Partnerships were fostered with local churches in each town in order to encourage follow up.
In 2001, SPC summer team missionaries started to bring ten to twenty 50-pound trunks filled with medical supplies on their trips to Uganda. The first 40-foot container was shipped in 2010. And in July 2016, we shipped our 15th and 16th 40-foot container. Each container carried about 26 tons of medical supplies, so our best guess is that we have shipped about 417 tons of medical supplies to Uganda over the years.
“Almost heaven, West Virginia…” It was a well known John Denver song but its words were most fitting for what became an annual SPC mission trip to Fairmont, West Virginia starting in the summer of 2002. One participant, Leslie Kolmer, had this to say about the 2010 project:
“Morning and evening there are birds singing and people heading off for personal devotions. Seeing Hugh anad Ian Arthur doing devotions together is a prime example of the rich fellowship we share. Even hosts appreciate this aspect. Just yesterday, Thelma (a host) and her friend said they were looking forward to Friday evening when the host families come to Day Spring for a meal and sharing. Personally, I’ve been blessed by the fact that when we ascend the hill to Hamilton Street I can glimpse my grandmother’s house. On Sunday evening, before we began our work, we were encouraged by the staff ‘to take care of grandma’. I could readily see these host women as grandmas. Coming back to camp in the evening we’re treated to views of farms and properties near Day Spring. After dinner we have worship and teaching from the book of Ruth. Last night, we settled together before a big bonfire until lights out. It’s not that our time is without the usual struggles; it’s not been perfect. But surrounded by God’s creation, worshiping him, living in close fellowship with each other, and serving the Lord have made it almost heaven for me.“
Lynn Lile’s addition to the SPC staff brought much needed attention to detail about everything related to Stony Point’s expanding congregational life. Whether answering phones, producing the weekly bulletin, maintaining the church calendar, casting a watchful eye over the church building, staying on top of facility maintenance, assigning rooms, keeping the books, tracking visitors and members, or helping the pastoral staff with their schedules and responsibilities, Lynn’s professionalism, steadiness and good cheer is always front and center.
Lynn was born and raised in Norfolk. She graduated from VCU in ’74 with a degree in Interior Design and then worked for various design firms, banks, and office furniture companies as an interior designer and facility planner before she joined SPC as the Administrative Assistant. She has served as a Children’s Sunday School Superintendent, continues to serve on a nursery team, and is now our Office Administrator. Lynn has two grown children – Austin and Leigh.
Steve was born and raised in England. After becoming a Christian in his early teens, Steve got involved in Christian student ministry in school and then university. In the mid-80’s he arrived in the US pursuing his dream of becoming a scholar of Shakespeare and also pursuing his American girlfriend whom he’d met in her junior year abroad from Georgetown University. Four years into graduate school, and helping with the local InterVarsity chapter, Steve and his former-girlfriend now-wife, Barb, concluded that Shakespeare should be left to greater mortals and that God was calling them to seminary (Trinity Evangelical) in Chicago.
In 1992 Steve graduated from seminary, was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (PCA) and began serving a church in suburban Chicago as its first associate pastor. In the late 90’s Steve and Barb moved back to the UK where he served for a brief stint as pastor at the International Presbyterian Church in London. From there they returned to a PCA church in rural upstate New York until 2004 when they moved to Richmond to serve at SPC. Along the way the Constables had a little Constabulary – four children: Ben, Chrissy, Johnny, and Emma.
Under Steve Constable’s leadership, City Church of Richmond — SPC’s third daughter church — was planted in the fall of 2006. The mission of City Church, which held its first services in a beautiful, downtown synagogue, is to “foster a community which not only sings and hears of God’s glory, but shows His mercy and power in feeding the poor and in presenting the message of rescue in Christ to the people of Richmond.”
In early 2007, Steve Constable, with the full support of SPC’s leadership, shared a new purpose statement and mission vision with the SPC congregation. Our aim, he said, was “to liberate Greater Richmond with the transforming power of the Gospel, beginning with us.” And then he went on to explain the heart of this vision:
Our express purpose is to offer the people of Richmond the hope of the gospel, which in Christ will transform their lives to God’s glory. Let us suggest, on reflection – if that is our purpose – that it will not cost us nor motivate us to risk or to change or to do anything if all we do is maintain an even keel and survive. Any store can offer people something. But Christ calls us to step out in faith and claim enemy territory, depending upon him and using all the resources and gifts He gives us. After all, what did he say to Peter? (The Message translation of Matthew 16:16-18 puts it best):
Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
What is a suitably big vision for such a Gospel but to transform Richmond with the Gospel – to see our broken, divided, self-sufficient, and sinful community won for Christ?! We believe intellectually that the Gospel (which is changing us) can change anyone, anywhere – but do we believe that for our city and our immediate community? It is a big vision, the transformation of an entire city – it is not something we can do without the great God on whom we depend and on our wholehearted and risking willingness to follow Him where he might lead us.
In 2008, SPC called Zac Collins to join the SPC staff as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Blessed with unique gifts and vision, Zac is building successfully on the foundation laid by Michal Bryant. Zac, a Richmonder, sensed a call to ministry in high school while on a mission trip to Costa Rica and went through undergraduate and graduate work preparing for that call. Zac absolutely loves student ministries and has been in full-time ministry since 2001. He joined the staff at SPC in 2008 as the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries and now serves in that position as an Assistant Pastor. Zac and his wife Bethany have two boys, Sam and Drew. Their family life is filled with outdoor activities with friends, woodworking, gardening, chickens, honey bees, and a lot of time on the soccer field.
SPC’s Emergency Food Pantry Team opened its doors in 2008 and has ever since provided groceries to our neighbors in need every Tuesday. Team members serve by picking up and stocking groceries from Richmond’s Food Bank and nearby supermarkets on weekdays, packing and handing bags of groceries to our guests, talking with and praying for guests while they wait to be served and helping to keep the pantry neat and clean. To join the team, contact Brenda Robinson at 275-8246 or George Masiello at 804-426-0121.
On the evening of October 17, 2009, the first Awakening, a night of evangelistic worship, encouragement and fellowship for students, was held. Young people from all over Richmond gathered at SPC from various ministries and backgrounds, and many brought friends with them, some of whom professed faith in Jesus for the first time.
In 2011, Alan Lee answered the call to join SPC as the Assistant Pastor, where he served joyfully and faithfully for almost a decade. Alan grew up in a Jewish home in Pittsburgh and became a Christian while a student at Duquesne University, where the Catholic campus chaplains led him to faith in Christ. Two years after graduation, he attended Westminster Theological Seminary where he met his wife, Sally. He served as a church planter in Uganda, the organizing and senior pastor of a PCA church in Philadelphia, and as a pastoral counselor in the US and Ghana, before joining the SPC staff.
Alan’s preaching and counseling gifts, along with his passion, devotion, and humility, were great gifts to the church body. During a time of significant growth, the Lord used Alan’s ministry to profoundly impact the lives of many. Alan retired in March 2019. He and Sally now live in Pittsburgh near their children and grandchildren.
Jennie was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and accepted Christ at a young age. She met her husband, Mark, at Auburn University where she received a degree in secondary math education. After teaching math to seventh graders for five years, she began the harder work of raising their three children: Parker, Maryn, and Emma. In 2011, they moved to Midlothian where Jennie added math tutoring to her schedule. She feels blessed for the opportunity to express her love of Jesus, kids and teaching as SPC’s Children’s Ministry Director.
From its formation in 1969, SPC understood itself to be a church gathered for worship, prayer, fellowship, and discipleship on Sundays and a church sent forth in Gospel service and witness to our neighbors — wherever we may encounter them — during the week. Our commitment to that founding vision remained strong, but we needed more room for gathering, especially for inviting our neighbors to gather with us.
In 2010, SPC’s leaders began to dream some really big dreams and to make some really big plans. And in the fall of 2013, the congregation took some very big first steps — by faith — toward seeing those dreams and plans become a reality.
The plan was to expand and improve SPC’s facilities by:
- Constructing a new, 500-seat sanctuary
- Creating a clear and welcoming main entrance and gathering spaces
- Converting our current sanctuary into a fellowship hall and kitchen
- Updating and improving our restrooms
- Installing an elevator to improve access to our education wing
- And re-configuring our administrative office spaces
SPC’s strategy for raising the funds necessary to update our facilities was dubbed TRANSFORM. But ultimately, TRANSFORM wasn’t about the building; it was about asking God to transform us — to grow and strengthen our faith in Jesus, our sense of generosity, and our Gospel witness to our neighbors.
And so, on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, we met together for a special evening of worship. As we began this journey of faith, we bolstered our faith by remembering how God had worked His good will in and through us in the past.
Goodbye, old friend…
Sunday School and study groups were canceled but the nurseries were open for business when SPC took this next big step in its ongoing TRANSFORM project in between the worship services on July 20, 2014.
On December 6, 2015, the TRANSFORM vision was realized, and Stony Point worshiped in the long-awaited sanctuary. Thanks to the labors and donations of many, and architectural and design talents both within and outside the church, Stony Point held its first worship service in its new home.
The weather was perfect, the sanctuary was beautiful, the worship was sublime, the preaching was gracious, the lunch was delicious, guests were well-loved by dozens of volunteers who served with joy, and the Lord our God was honored and praised throughout. “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1).
Andy and Millie Rice started to attend SPC on June 8, 1969, the second Sunday that the church met for worship. Millie began to teach children’s Sunday School soon after that — and then kept right on teaching for 40 years until June 5, 2016 when she taught her last class. And while Millie was teaching Sunday School, Andy served as the congregation’s treasurer until 2019.
Growing up in a military family, Liz Boenau lived for a time in Mississippi, Idaho, New York, Norfolk, and Northern Virginia, all before the age of 18. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 1999. After working in human resources at the Boeing Company, Liz began raising her amazing boys, Drew and Aaron, who are now teenagers. In 2005 Liz became a member of Stony Point Church, where she served as a volunteer for many years in both children’s ministry and women’s ministry. She began working part time at the church in 2017. She enjoys long walks and spending time with her boys and good friends.
Curt Kenney, Assistant Pastor, Community Groups
Curt grew up in Yorktown, VA and studied Finance and International Business at James Madison University, where he met his wife Catherine through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He worked in micro-finance in Chicago, Charlottesville, and Kenya before completing an M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. Prior to joining Stony Point Church as the Assistant Pastor for Community Groups, he served as a pastoral intern at Citylife Presbyterian Church of Boston and the Youth and Family Pastor at Virginia Beach Community Chapel. Curt is a fan of Starbucks French Roast, snowboarding, soccer, reading, and spending days off with Catherine and his 4 daughters Caroline, Julia, Elizabeth, and Frances. He also happens to be a moderately skilled corn-hole player.
Dawn James, Director of Women’s Ministry
Dawn grew up in Ohio and became a Christian at a young age. After graduating from Asbury University with a degree in Education, she taught high Social Studies for 4 years. She met her husband, Chuck, while attending graduate school at Regent University. After completing her masters degree in Public Policy, she served as a political appointee in Washington D.C. in several government agencies. She and Chuck have 2 children, Madeline and Charles (C.J.). She loves to read, cook, walk and spend time with her family. Working with the women at Stony Point is a blessing.
Janice Bilger, Counseling and Support
Janice has an MA in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University and a BBA from Texas A&M University. She is a certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional, PREPARE/ENRICH premarital counseling administrator, and addiction recovery specialist. She also has experience working with family mediation, marital counseling, grief counseling, divorce recovery, and depression. In addition to individual counseling, Janice oversees our Lay Counseling program and the support groups active at SPC. She is grateful to our loving God for allowing her to come to faith at a young age. She has served as a leader in Bible Study Fellowship, and a Bible teacher at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission where she counseled. Janice lives on Lake Chesdin with her husband, Mark, and special needs son, Jesse. She views her role at SPC as someone who comes alongside of those in need while God speaks into their situation and life.
Jen Hopkins, Website and Media
A west-coast native, Jen spent most of her early life in the Seattle area of Washington state. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California and Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, before teaching in Los Angeles for several years. In 1997, she married Fred, and they landed in Richmond, Virginia. She then served as the Media Specialist at First Baptist Church, Richmond, before she and Fred became parents to Layne, Ben, and Sam, who are now teenagers. After several years of freelance graphic design, Jen began working at the church in 2019. She loves spending time in nature and with her family, gardening, raising chickens, mushroom hunting, and writing an occasional poem.
Mary Ruth Topham, Finance
Mary Ruth was born and raised in Richmond and came to know the Lord at a young age. She graduated from VCU with a degree in business and worked in marketing for several years before marrying Joe and raising their two children, Fleet and Dorothy. In 2019 she started working part time at the church. When she is not cutting checks, Mary Ruth enjoys hosting neighbors and friends, gardening and working on house projects. She and Joe lead a community group in Bon Air.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9 (ESV)
September 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of our church’s founding. SPC members and friends from the past and present joined together for a weekend of celebration which included a family dinner, a Bible conference with speaker Sam Lamerson, and a concert featuring Andrew Peterson. The culmination of the weekend was our gathering together to rejoice in God’s faithfulness and work among us over these past 50 years. He, after all, is the cause of all our celebrations for the past, the present, and the future. The 50th Anniversary Impact Fund was established to contribute to the ongoing work of our partners in mission in greater Richmond.
Virginia grew up in Beavercreek, OH (outside of Dayton) and met her wonderful husband, Lorenzo, in the Dominican Republic where she spent her gap year studying Spanish. They married in Ohio, lived a couple of years in the DR, moved several times up and down I95, collected a couple of amazing kids along the way, and finally settled in Richmond in 2001. It took her nearly 20 years and 5 educational institutions, but Virginia eventually completed an AAS in Systems Analysis from Delaware Tech, a BA in Spanish from VCU and an MA in Linguistics from UVA. She worked at VCU for 14 years in various teaching and administrative capacities until God nudged her out the door and down the road to Stony Point in 2021, where she is thrilled to be serving the staff and congregation as the DCO. Virginia loves reading, family game nights, throwing pots, and all things spreadsheet.