Dr. Stephen W. Gentle – Senior Pastor
Stephen Gentle became the eighth senior pastor at National City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and president of its Foundation in January 2006. As senior pastor, Dr. Gentle leads a unique multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, open and affirming congregation that is located five blocks from the White House in Washington, D.C. As president of the National City Christian Church Foundation, he is in ministry with church leaders from across the United States, to care for the multi-million dollar facility and property held in trust for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada.
Before coming to National City, Dr. Gentle was the senior pastor of Central Christian Church in Orlando for 14 years and preacher of the Central Florida Drive-in Worship Service. Dr. Gentle has taught seminary courses as associate professor of Pastoral Ministry, Florida Center for Theological Studies. He has served the wider church as member of the Administrative Committee and the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada, Time and Place Committee for the General Assembly, and the Christian Church Foundation Board. As a youth, he was the first moderator of the General Youth Council and later the youth ministry intern in Homeland Ministries for two years.Dr. Gentle has degrees from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, Vanderbilt Univerisity Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee, and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He is married to Miriam Oropesa of Miami, Florida, a professional harpist and practitioner in therapeutic arts. They have three children, Wesley, Ana-Elisa, and Phillip.
Rev. Noemi P. Mena – Pastor for Hispanic Minisitries
Noemi Mena began her ministry at National City Christian Church as Pastor of Hispanic ministries and Director of the residency program, Transition into Ministry, in February of 2003.
She was born in Spanish Harlem in NYC and at the age of twelve moved with her family to Puerto Rico, the home of her ancestors. In light of this she claims she is both a Newyorican and a ”Puertoriqueña”.
She received a Bachelor of Arts from the Universidad de Puerto Rico. She graduated with honors from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis where she received the Master of Divinity Degree.
While in seminary she co-founded Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana, the first Hispanic Disciples of Christ Church in Indianapolis. While there, she also worked as a hospital Chaplain and provided pastoral support to Hispanics in an outreach program of the United Methodist Church in Frankfurt Indiana.
Reverend Mena was on active duty for 7-1/2 years serving as a Chaplain in the United States Navy. She was stationed in California, Texas and Virginia.
Before coming to National City she was collaborating at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ where her husband the Rev. Graylan S. Hagler is the Senior pastor. She has one son, Hector Manuel Méndez.
Rev. Beverly Goines – Assistant Pastor
Rev. Goines was called to National City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as a Lilly Endowment Resident Pastor in 2003 and began serving as Assistant Pastor in 2006. She provides Pastoral Care and Counseling to the congregation, serves as the staff liaison to the Young Adult Ministry, and provides worship leadership.
Rev. Goines is a native of the Washington metropolitan area. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After completing this degree, she returned to the DC region to work in the public and private sector as a technical writer, program manager, and project manager. Rev. Goines has also worked in the financial services industry, holding four insurance licenses and two National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) licenses.
Accepting her call to ministry, she matriculated at Howard University, receiving a Master of Divinity, and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2001. Rev. Goines is now completing her Ph.D. in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America.
Rev. Beau Underwood – Assistant Pastor
Rev. Underwood has served as an Assistant Pastor at National City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since October of 2011. His role involves facilitating new member classes, serving as NCCC’s clergy representative to the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), and assisting in the planning and leading of both worship and Christian education.
Originally from Illinois, he is a 2006 graduate of Disciples-related Eureka College. He went on to complete a Master of Divinity and a Master of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where he was a Disciples Divinity House Scholar. Ordained in 2010, he has held a variety of leadership position within the denomination and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Charles Miller – Minister for Music
Charles Miller was called to be Minister of Music at National City Christian Church in August 2006. He comes to NCCC an accomplished and broadly experienced church musician, bringing to the position his training as concert organist, choral and instrumental conductor and tenor. His music ministry is firmly based in his belief that music and art, in all forms, is a window to the presence of God. Mr. Miller’s tenure at NCCC follows five years of musical leadership as Associate Minister of Music and Organist at Asylum Hill Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Hartford, Connecticut.
At National City Christian Church, Mr. Miller serves as principal organist and conductor of the 24-voice, semi-professional Sanctuary Choir. He serves as artistic director of the church’s “Magical, Mystical, Musical Machine” Noon-time Pipe Organ Recital and Demonstration concert series and other major concert events, oversees worship planning and multi-cultural arts development throughout the church, and performs upon and guides the maintenance and ongoing renovation of the church’s nationally known, 5-manual, 7,000-pipe Möller pipe organ.
A native of Traverse City, Michigan, Mr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from the University of Michigan as a student of Robert Glasgow. He completed his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Connecticut in 2007 where his principal teacher was Dr. Peter Bagley. Additional choral conducting coaching has been with Richard Coffey, Alan Harler, and Dennis Keene.
He made his Washington D.C. debut in an organ recital at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts while a high school student at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. He continues to perform nationally and internationally. Past performance opportunities have taken him to York Minister and St. Paul’s Cathedral (London) in England, St. Thomas Church, New York City, the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA, the Washington National Cathedral, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., and twice for the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. His 1995 Spoleto performance was featured on National Public Radio’s ”Pipedreams” program.
Mr. Miller’s involvement with the American Guild of Organists is extensive, having served on the executive board of the Hartford Chapter AGO as registrar and as coordinator of the 2005 Region I (New England) convention held in Hartford. He was invited to perform as worship leader and organist at the 2001 Region I convention in Portland, ME. He was the Performances Chair of the 2010 AGO national convention and is currently the Dean of the District of Columbia Chapter AGO.
Aside from his work at National City Christian Church, he enjoys hiking, reading, learning about Benedictine monasticism, and using the culinary skills he acquired while working as a chef during his college years.
As Minister of Music, Mr. Miller’s foremost goal is to help people be as passionate as possible about service with and for God’s people through music and the arts. He encourages and welcomes new persons of any age and experience into his musical ensembles.
Dr. Peter Morgan – Historian in Residence
Peter M. Morgan was born in New York City in 1939. He was reared by his mother and grandmother in Princeton, West Virginia where the family was active in First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Peter MorganPeter prepared for ministry at Bethany College, the College of the Bible (now Lexington Theological Seminary) and in service as interim minister at Belmont Christian Church, Roanoke, Virginia.
Peter Morgan has continued a strong academic interest. Among his named lectureships are the inaugural Kirkpatrick Lecture of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and the Peter Ainslie Lecture given at National City in October 2004.
He has taught worship as guest faculty at Lexington Theological Seminary. His publications, audio and videotapes now number more than fifty titles. Among his six books are Disciples Eldership/A Quest for Identity and Ministry, and Story Weaving. Disciples Eldership has been the leading resource in its field for 23 years. It was updated and republished in 2003. Story Weaving/Using Stories to Transform Your Congregation has sold out three printings. He was awarded the Doctor of Humanities degree by Bethany College.
He began his ministry as pastor of Marion (Iowa) Christian Church and served there from 1965 through 1975. That ministry was climaxed by the creation of Linnhaven, a multi-million dollar residential and service agency for mentally retarded adults. Morgan has been honored as Linnhaven’s founder.
In 1975 he was called to the program staff of the Division of Homeland Ministries where he created the evangelism program, “The Order of Andrew.” He later turned his creative attention to worship and the spiritual formation of leaders. He became best known for his retreats and seminars with elders. According to one accolade, “Peter Morgan has done more for the spiritual formation of elders than anyone since Alexander Campbell.” He represented Homeland Ministries in the creation of Chalice Hymnal to which he brought the resources of Disciples heritage and advocacy of the hymnal as the “people’s prayer book.”
In December of 1995, Dr. Morgan was called to be president of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. His leadership at the Society was a partnership venture with his wife Lynne who first served as volunteer and for five years was Director of Operations. The Historical Society has seen significant progress under their leadership. The most advanced library and archival technology has been implemented. The Society has become better known through the publication of the newsletter “We’re History,” through the video “History Alive!”, through it s new internet site and through Dr. Morgan’s public speaking. The Thomas W. Phillips Memorial has been refurbished, including a redesigned museum, the dedication of the Eva Jean Wrather study, and the dedication of the Fiers Lecture Hall which contains the Society’s exhibit of missionary artifacts. The biennial Stalcup Seminar has been established for local historians as well as the Ketcherside Scholars program for Ph.D. students. Five books have been published by the Society including the first encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. During Dr. Morgan’s tenure the Society’s endowment grew from just over one million dollars to 3.3 millions dollars.
Dr. and Mrs. Morgan began retirement by moving to Washington and National City in October 2004 where they serve as historian and archivist of the church.
Kathleen Swihart – Associate for Senior Adult Ministries
Valeria Foster – Director, Gospel Choir
Colleen Walsh – Program Manager
Wes Strotman – Facilities Chair
Morris “Mo” Jackson – Building Supervisor
Mike Dula – Maintenance Assistant
Roy Hatton – Maintenance Assistant