The URC brings people from all avenues of life together. Our team is made up of clergy, professors, and community organizers; grass-roots campaigners, designers and editors, creative thinkers and on-the-ground workers.

 
 

Admin Team

 
Antipas L. Harris   Our Founder.  Antipas is no stranger to First Presbyterian. Throughout his time as an associate professor in the School of Divinity at Regent University, Antipas lead and taught students in the area of practical theology and urban ministry. We enjoy his presence in our pulpit and in the Wednesday Evening Classes that he and Jim Wood co-lead throughout the year. He joined our staff as Theologian in Residence to help coordinate weekly adult discipleship classes and initiate ongoing connections between our community, city and other churches, positioning FPC as a leader in ministry efforts that cross-section the diverse resources in our area. He brings exciting new possibilities to our family of faith as we experience transformation together in Jesus Christ!

Antipas L. Harris

Our Founder.

Antipas is no stranger to First Presbyterian. Throughout his time as an associate professor in the School of Divinity at Regent University, Antipas lead and taught students in the area of practical theology and urban ministry. We enjoy his presence in our pulpit and in the Wednesday Evening Classes that he and Jim Wood co-lead throughout the year. He joined our staff as Theologian in Residence to help coordinate weekly adult discipleship classes and initiate ongoing connections between our community, city and other churches, positioning FPC as a leader in ministry efforts that cross-section the diverse resources in our area. He brings exciting new possibilities to our family of faith as we experience transformation together in Jesus Christ!

Jim Wood    First Presbyterian’s  Senior Pastor since 1999, Jim has a passion for sharing Christ with the world. Through his preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and local and global outreach, he seeks to bring His grace to the least, the last, and the lost.  In 2003, he co-founded Tree of Lives, a non-profit group that works in partnership with Nazareth Mission Hospital near Nairobi to serve the poorest of the poor. Tree of Lives supports HIV/AIDS services, food and nutrition counseling, medical and educational funding, and programs designed to strengthen the African family. The organization also operates an orphanage, which provides a loving home to 59 Kenyan children. Jim leads pilgrimages to Kenya three times a year. He has also previously led mission teams in Russia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Sudan.  Locally, he is most excited by the growth of the Urban Renewal Center, a non-profit created at FPC to bring conciliation and transformation to our community through conversation, education, and relationship-building.  Jim is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Princeton Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Sheryl, have three grown sons, Ross, Adam and Zach.

Jim Wood

First Presbyterian’s Senior Pastor since 1999, Jim has a passion for sharing Christ with the world. Through his preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and local and global outreach, he seeks to bring His grace to the least, the last, and the lost.

In 2003, he co-founded Tree of Lives, a non-profit group that works in partnership with Nazareth Mission Hospital near Nairobi to serve the poorest of the poor. Tree of Lives supports HIV/AIDS services, food and nutrition counseling, medical and educational funding, and programs designed to strengthen the African family. The organization also operates an orphanage, which provides a loving home to 59 Kenyan children. Jim leads pilgrimages to Kenya three times a year. He has also previously led mission teams in Russia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

Locally, he is most excited by the growth of the Urban Renewal Center, a non-profit created at FPC to bring conciliation and transformation to our community through conversation, education, and relationship-building.

Jim is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Princeton Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Sheryl, have three grown sons, Ross, Adam and Zach.

Alexander C. Fella   Our Coordinator.  And Writer. And Web Editor. Alexander studied at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Yale University where he holds a Master’s in Philosophy of Religion. Previously, Alex led a Medicare grant to research how Alzheimer's patients navigate their homes. Now, he pursues a career studying how people interact with sacred land as a PhD student. He has spoken at the American Academy of Religion, Duke University, and Yale University on sacred land in "Qoheleth;" exilic literature; and cucumber sacrifice. Alex brings his passions for land justice and urbanism to the URC. Before moving to Norfolk, Alex previously lived in Spain, Italy, China, and Mongolia where he was conducting research on sacred land and urbanization. For more check out the URC  Research Institute

Alexander C. Fella

Our Coordinator.

And Writer. And Web Editor. Alexander studied at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Yale University where he holds a Master’s in Philosophy of Religion. Previously, Alex led a Medicare grant to research how Alzheimer's patients navigate their homes. Now, he pursues a career studying how people interact with sacred land as a PhD student. He has spoken at the American Academy of Religion, Duke University, and Yale University on sacred land in "Qoheleth;" exilic literature; and cucumber sacrifice. Alex brings his passions for land justice and urbanism to the URC. Before moving to Norfolk, Alex previously lived in Spain, Italy, China, and Mongolia where he was conducting research on sacred land and urbanization. For more check out the URC Research Institute

 

Contributors

IMPACT Homework Club Organizer   A native of New Jersey, Joel has lived in in Virginia Beach since 2004 when he joined the Navy and was stationed at NAS Oceana. In 2009 he left the Navy to return to school and in 2012 graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.A. in German. Joel, his wife Amy and his daughter Marisa are active members at FPC where he enjoys volunteering for service and outreach projects, teaching Sunday school and working with the youth group.

IMPACT Homework Club Organizer

A native of New Jersey, Joel has lived in in Virginia Beach since 2004 when he joined the Navy and was stationed at NAS Oceana. In 2009 he left the Navy to return to school and in 2012 graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.A. in German. Joel, his wife Amy and his daughter Marisa are active members at FPC where he enjoys volunteering for service and outreach projects, teaching Sunday school and working with the youth group.

Writer   Rachel writes what she wishes the pulpits would address more. She addresses the issues that divide America, such as racism and immigration – the kind of stuff the principles of the gospel speaks to! Rachel offers thought-provoking words of wisdom on these and other issues from a Christian perspective.  Rachel holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and Regent University.

Writer

Rachel writes what she wishes the pulpits would address more. She addresses the issues that divide America, such as racism and immigration – the kind of stuff the principles of the gospel speaks to! Rachel offers thought-provoking words of wisdom on these and other issues from a Christian perspective.

Rachel holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and Regent University.

Writer   Sarah’s passion for the disenfranchised sprung up from the mountains of Nicaragua where she went on missions trips with First Presbyterian Church as a teenager. Her desire to reach those without access to healthcare was born in the makeshift clinic rooms strewn together by tattered blankets hanging from the ceilings; where she translated in broken Spanish from doctor to patient.  Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and writes on the challenges of access to healthcare from the perspective of a nurse and a patient with chronic illness. When she is not writing, you can find her drinking freshly roasted coffee by Vessel Craft Coffee, a small business she founded and owns.

Writer

Sarah’s passion for the disenfranchised sprung up from the mountains of Nicaragua where she went on missions trips with First Presbyterian Church as a teenager. Her desire to reach those without access to healthcare was born in the makeshift clinic rooms strewn together by tattered blankets hanging from the ceilings; where she translated in broken Spanish from doctor to patient.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and writes on the challenges of access to healthcare from the perspective of a nurse and a patient with chronic illness. When she is not writing, you can find her drinking freshly roasted coffee by Vessel Craft Coffee, a small business she founded and owns.

 
 


 

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