Staff

Pastor Reverend David Lord

Pastor Reverend David Lord - Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Pastor Reverend David Lord
has been in the ministry for 30+ years, serving churches in the districts of Farmville, Charlottesville, Richmond, Harrisonburg and Staunton, VA. He and his wife, Cheryl, both grew up in Tifton, Georgia. Mrs. Lord is a speech/language pathologist. They have one son, Mitch, who lives in Colorado.
"I consider some of my gifts to be preaching, mission work, teaching and general pastoral ministry. I feel privileged to be at Bethlehem during an exciting time in the church’s history."

Reverend Susan Hughes

Susan Hughes


Reverend Susan Hughes
 serves as the Associate Pastor here at Bethlehem.  Following a career in engineering and 20 years as a stay home mom, she felt called to ministry as a connector between the church and the community, specifically the poor.  She has been in ministry for 6 years, most recently serving as a Minister of Outreach in Franklin County.  Susan grew up in Baltimore, Maryland but has been at home in the Smith Mountain Lake area since 2000.  She is also very proud of her four grown children.

 

Maegan Mitchell


Maegan Mitchell
earned her B.A. in Religion with an emphasis in Christian Ministries at Ferrum College and earned her Certificate in Youth Ministry and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Maegan has served children, youth, families, and young adults in ministry for the last 14 years. She lives in Franklin County with her husband, Brandon, and daughter Madilynne

 

Robert Downy

Robert-Downey- Music Director Bethlehem United Methodist Church

 

Music Director and Organist Robert Downy studied music at Roanoke College where he pursued a Fine Arts major in music. At the age of 18, he directed his first Easter cantata. From choir director at West End Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, he moved to Fort Lewis Baptist Church and then to Bethlehem, where he has been organist since 1999 and choir director since 2003.

 

Robin Zimmerman

Pianist Robin Zimmerman - Bethlehem United Methodist Church

 

Pianist Robin Zimmerman graduated with a BA in Music Education from Milligan College in Tennessee with a major in voice and minors in piano and K-12 education. Robin is a resident of Bedford.

Lynette Braun

Lynette Braun - Church Secretary - Bethlehem United Methodist Church

 

Church Secretary Lynette Braun comes to us from the Harrisburg, PA area, where she had 35 years of executive and office management experience. She retired from her full-time job in April 2008 after 31 years, moved to Moneta. Lynette was born and raised in Mocksville, North Carolina.

Amber Scott

Amber Scott- Nursery Care Leader - Bethlehem United Methodist Church

 

Nursery Care Leader Amber Scott provides care for newborns and children up to age 2 on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings so their parents can attend church and/or classes without interruption. Amber grew up in Meadville, PA close to Lake Erie.  She earned her AS in Business at the local community college.

Kara Sensenig


Director for Bethlehem Preschool, Kara Sensenig earned her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from James Madison University.  In addition to classroom experience, she was also Director of Stepping Stones Preschool at MSUMC for over ten years.  She has worked with Smart Beginnings and Virginia Quality, which is committed to Quality in Early Learning and is also a Certified Pre-K CLASS observer.  Mrs. S loves providing a foundation for children’s education, while creating a fun, hands-on learning environment and instilling a love for learning new things each day.

Billie Jean Elmer

Pre-K Lead Teacher Billie Jean Elmer has a B.S. and M.Ed. in Education from VA Tech and Virginia State University, respectively.  Along with classroom teaching experience, she has over 16 years of experience as a 4-H Youth Development Agent.  Mrs. Elmer has extensive experience in traditional and non-formal education, with a strong background in curriculum and instruction. She is a member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church and sings and plays in the vocal and bell choirs, as well as serving in various church leadership positions. Mrs. Elmer has taught Pre-K at Bethlehem UM Preschool for over 4 years and loves to find many different ways of educating children on all of God’s creations in our outdoor environment.

Brittany Malicoat


Pre K Assistant Teacher Brittany Malicoat is a graduate of Brookville High School in Lynchburg and attended Central VA Community College. Early in her career, she earned her CNA license, and she continues to work as time permits assisting clients as a Home Health Aid. Mrs. Malicoat taught the two year old class for five years at Rebecca’s Rainbow in Lynchburg, and has been at Bethlehem for the past two years.  She loves spending one on one time with the children and working in small groups on various different projects and activities.

Karen Smith

Thrilling Three’s Lead Teacher Karen Smith has a B.S. in Education from Monmouth University and a Masters degree in Education from William Patterson College. She is certified in Nursery School and Elementary Education, kindergarten through 6th grade in multiple states, and has extended coursework in pre-K education.  She is a certified National Validator for the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has examined and validated schools across the east coast for 8 years.  Mrs. Smith has been a classroom teacher from pre-school to second grade and a Director of several preschools over the past thirty years. She loves to bring hands-on creative science exploration and investigations to her class, in addition to all other areas of learning.

Melissa Gray


Assistant Teacher for Three’s, Melissa Gray 
is a Licensed Practical Nurse.  She served as a school nurse for Bedford County Public Schools for over 11 years for children from preschool to fifth grade.  Her responsibilities included caring medically for children with illnesses and injuries, administering daily medications, doing screenings, teaching student and staff health related subjects, and having parent conferences. Not only does Mrs. Gray bring health awareness to our team, but also loves to teach Bible stories to the children in class each day. Mrs. Gray has been with Bethlehem for over 4 years.

Tricia Wilkens


Terrific Two’s Class’ Lead Teacher Tricia Wilkens has her teaching certificate in Early Childhood from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and a teaching credential from Child Development Education Alliance (CDEA).  She has been teaching Early Childhood Education for over 20 years.  Mrs. Wilkens creates a warm and positive classroom, promotes friendship among her students, and loves creative art experiences.  She also served on the Preschool Council for Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Haymarket, VA.

Stacy Bresson 

Stacy Breeson
Terrific Two’s Class Assistant Teacher Stacy Bresson 
graduated from Lynchburg College and majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Special  Education.  Throughout college she volunteered with Special Olympics.  She also works part time as a caregiver for an adorable three year old with Down Syndrome since his birth.  Watching him grow mentally and educationally has inspired her to have a passion working with young children in a preschool setting. Miss Bresson gives individual care and attention to all of her students, depending on what the need is each day.