Meet Our Staff

Rajendra Pillai Executive Pastor
Roger Record Youth Pastor
Jaymz Drury Assistant Youth Director
Debbie Lawrence Director of Administration
Sallie Fredericks Congregational Care Director
Jeannie Foss Children's Ministry Director
Nancy Fay Children's Ministry
Marti Horne Director of Connections
Nancy Ertel Office Manager
Richard Fredericks Ph. D.
Senior Pastor

What's your biggest challenge?
Maintaining my internal integrity as a loving, Christ-centered, joyful and pure man of God. After 38 years of commitment to Jesus, that is still a daily battle that requires me telling the guy I see in the mirror each morning: There is a God and it is not you!...then surrendering my day, actions, thoughts and reactive impulses to the Holy Spirit. Thank God for His grace in Jesus Christ!

What are you reading right now?
I am just finishing Homer’s The Iliad. Before that is was the Autobiography of G. K. Chesterton, a Guide to the Uffizi Art Gallery [in Florence] and After You Believe by my favorite new theologian, N. T. Wright (anything by him is superb and thought-provoking). Next up: Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage.

What inspires you?
The God who suffered and died on a Cross bearing the guilt of our sins, rather than let go of us—that IS what inspires me above all else. It is what motivates me and guides me. Then Sallie inspires me to stay healthy because she is buff and beautiful and deserves my best. My children inspire me to keep reading because they have all passed me up in most areas of mutual interest already. This congregation inspires me with its openness, unity and willingness to serve and give sacrificially. Our elders inspire me in their commitment to keep the spiritual health of our congregation secure—and our trustees the same for our financial integrity. The staff inspires me in the way they always go the extra mile in ministry as their normal mode of operating.

What famous person do people tell you that you look like?
Mother Teresa…I think it is the height thing.

What place you would like to visit before you die...and why?
Too many places are firmly fixed on my bucket list and that’s the problem or rather the challenge, since travel is my favorite thing in life apart from family and ministry. I am working with a tour company to lead overseas Biblical Studies teaching/ traveling tours each October. Possible places are the Aegean Island, Northern Italy, the Alps, the Holy Land, and a river tour of the Reformation countries of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Holland.

Favorite food?
Food is fuel. I love it all in moderation. Fresh fish tops the long list.

Your first job?
When I was 12 years old, for the summer, I ran a little grocery store—both the register and stocking, pretty much solo for 8-10 hours a day at below minimum wage. It is a wonder we never got robbed or busted by the Child Protection Agency…maybe that didn’t even exist back then!

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
The path to deep intimacy and friendship is through conflict managed well. It is also the only path to a unified church of very diverse people.

What's on your iPod, Zune, or car stereo right now?
U-2’s Greatest Hits, Beethoven’s 6th Symphony and his Violin Concerto in D [the two greatest pieces of music ever composed in my opinion], lots of Ralph Vaughn Williams and also great film soundtracks such as Gladiator, Lord of the Rings or Last of the Mohicans.

What was your childhood ambition?
First to be a baseball player, then a basketball player, then to dance with Laurie Jones in 7th grade, then to be a teacher and see the world.

Family:
Sallie and I have been married since 1978 (she ages just like fine wine). Our oldest son, Matthew (b 1984) received a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and serves as an Associate Pastor at Union Interdenominational Church in Hong Kong. Our middle son, Luke (b 1986), served for two years in West Africa in the Peace Corps and is at NYU law school. He is married to Rhiannon who just finished her class work for her Ph.D. in Russian Studies at Berkeley. Our daughter Natasha ( b 1988) is doing a Masters in Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School and is engaged to Jordan.

Your role at Damascus Road?
Servant of Jesus Christ, founding and Senior Pastor of Damascus Road Community Church.

Rajendra Pillai
Executive Pastor

What's your biggest challenge?
Creating uncluttered white spaces in my life.

What are you reading right now?
Other than the Bible, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen; Whispers by Bill Hybels; Linchpin by Seth Godin; and Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.

What inspires you?
A rock solid faith in the midst of crisis. My wife and daughters. Seeing people at our church giving of themselves so selflessly. Also, every time I watch or read a story about someone who beat unbelievable odds, every time I get a hug, note or a compliment from my family, every time I stop to think how reckless God is in doling out something as priceless as grace - these things inspire me.

What place you would like to visit before you die...and why?
Too many to enumerate, but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Italy, Ireland, Hawaii, France, Fiji Islands, Austria, Rajasthan, New Zealand, and the Holy Land!

Favorite food?
Curry. Other than that seafood, lentils, spicy eggplant, and Indian flatbread are all great.

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
I keep getting surprised by grace, how overwhelming, amazing, remarkable, incredible, and stunning God’s grace really is…

What's on your iPod, Zune, or car stereo right now?
Kirk Franklin and Bollywood music.

What was your childhood ambition?
It varied between cricket player, film-maker, ice cream shop owner, and author

Family:
Love of my life: Erika; Daughters: Elizabeth, Ashlynne, Ayanna, and Amber (five of the coolest people I know on planet Earth)

Your role at Damascus Road?
Executive & Teaching Pastor

Roger Record
Youth Pastor / Missions Director

Your most recent purchase?
A pair of American eagle jeans

What is something most people don't know about you?
I am claustrophobic, but still love to do some intense spelunking (caving). I know way too much about cars.

What inspires you?
A great mix of Worship Music played loudly all the while with the Holy Spirit being present.

What famous person do people tell you that you look like?
George Michael, Michael W. Smith, Jon Bonjovi, “That guy on lost”, "That guy" on American idol season 10, Uncle Jesse on Full House

What's your dream car...and why?
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with underpinnings of a 2012 Mustang

Your first job?
Janitor.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Vanilla.

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
That when I look at another church and think maybe they could do something better, I stop and pray about what I could do better.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a car designer.

What's your definition of a retreat?
Middle School and High School prayer retreats. are you kidding? Prayer and paintball!

Family:
Wife Lori and sons Jordan 7 and Luke 5.

Your role at Damascus Road?
Youth Pastor / Missions Director.

Jaymz Drury
Assistant Youth Director

What was your most recent purchase?
Gas

What's your biggest challenge?
Walking on water

What is something most people don't know about you?
I am left-handed

What are you reading right now?
This question

If you had no limits, what would be your dream vacation?A trip to Jerusalem

What inspires you?
Sallie Fredericks

What famous person do people tell you that you look like?
The only real famous person is Jesus Christ and I think I'm looking more and more like Him every day

What place you would like to visit before you die...and why?
My childhood home. It would bring back memories

Favorite food?
Any/All

What's your dream car...and why?
Does it have to be a car?

Your first job?
Camp counselor

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip

What's one of your proudest moments?
I almost drank a gallon of milk in an hour

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
He is in every detail

Your greatest indulgence?
The Gold Rush Sandwich from Roy Rogers

What's on your iPod, Zune, or car stereo right now?
The new White Flag album. We will be playing their worship songs by next year. I guarantee it.

What was your childhood ambition?
I didn't want to grow up, I wanted to be a Toys 'R Us kid

What's your definition of a retreat?
Fleeing from your enemy

Family:
My wife Sara

Your role at Damascus Road?
Assistant Director for Youth Ministries

Debbie Lawrence
Director of Administration

What's your biggest challenge?
Gravity.

If you had no limits, what would be your dream vacation?
Four open-ended round trip plane tickets with unlimited Eurail passes and no fixed itinerary.

What inspires you?
People who have a passion for a social justice cause and use all their time, energy, talents and resources to make a difference.

What famous person do people tell you that you look like?
Barbra Streisand (same Jewish nose; no resemblance to the voice!)

What's your dream car...and why?
1960 VW Beetle – it was my first car and had such a little, simple engine I could troubleshoot and repair it myself.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Dulce de leche.

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
How to refresh myself in Him when depleted physically and/or emotionally wrapped around the axle about something.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be taller than my Bubbe (grandmother in Yiddish.) She was 4’ 10”. Mission accomplished – just barely :)

What's your definition of a retreat?
Sitting quietly in the sunshine by a body of water with a good book (and my reading glasses.)

Family:
Husband, Glen, married since 1991 who, if I had to do it all over again, I would marry again even sooner than before. Two unbelievably wonderful children - Mary and Eric, and Timmy, the dog, who keeps us all entertained.

Your role at Damascus Road?
Director of Administration

Sallie Fredericks
Congregational Care Director

What's your biggest challenge?
To keep my mind's gaze on the smile of God in Christ, to steadily drink in the liquid joy of His love instead of being submerged in the never ending flow of responsibilities and problems natural to life.

What are you reading right now?
Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie and Abba by Evelyn Underhill and The Cross of Christ by John Stott and via audio, George Elliot’s Middle March

If you had no limits, what would be your dream vacation?
I crave an understanding of this world and it’s amazing people. A dream vacation (emphasis on dream!) would be a tour of the world searching out these 3 subjects: 1) the most beautiful places where the mountains cascade down into the ocean such as Cape town, Hong Kong, Norway, Vietnam, Alaska, etc. 2) the most famous art and architecture representing a peoples' culture and expressions of what is beautiful to them, and 3) the worship of Jesus in all different languages, songs, structures (huts to cathedrals), and communities.

What inspires you?
Daily reading the incredible story of God’s redeeming love through Jesus revealed to us in Scripture; the stories around me and in history of the challenges others have overcome to serve humankind and be faithful to God; my husband's life.

What place you would like to visit before you die...and why?
Our sister church in Calcutta, because of the connection I experienced with Raju and Rupa (the pastor and his wife) and with the community there. The life, faith and mission of our sister church is incredibly inspiring!

Favorite food?
Fresh fruit, French pastry

What's your dream car...and why?
Cars are divided into 2 groups for me: ones that run well and ones that don’t. So I don’t care about cars but I do dream of wings – something like hang gliding or wind surfing. Any possibility of flying would do – helicopter, plane, hot air balloon!

Your first job?
Working in a hospital while in nursing school, I was a RN the month after I turned 20.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
What flavor do I not like?

What's one of your proudest moments?
When our children are being the hands and feet of Jesus – Matthew in an inner city classroom for Teach for America or in the Youth class of his church; Tasha tutoring underprivileged children in New Haven CT; and Luke once or twice a week teaching prisoners in San Quentin.

Family:
Next to accepting God’s embrace as my Father when I was 17 years old, the greatest day of my life was the day I married Richard Fredericks 33 years ago. God blessed us with Matthew in 1984, Luke in 1986 (and he gave us Rhiannon as our daughter-in-love when they married in 2009) and Tasha in 1988.

Your role at Damascus Road?
Congregational Care and First Impressions Director

Jeannie Foss
Children's Ministry Director

What's your biggest challenge?
Getting older. I love the calmness and self honesty that comes with it, but hate the way you can hurt yourself BY SLEEPING!!!

What is something most people don't know about you?
I only have an “off” and an “on” switch. When I’m at home, I’m either “on” and busy or I’m asleep. No middle switch.

What place you would like to visit before you die...and why?
Hawaii. It has everything I love. Blue sky, ocean, clear blue water, palm trees, pink sunrise and sunsets…

Your first job?
Snack Shop. Do I have stories!!!

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate Almond

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
He’s delighted with me. Even when I make big mistakes, as long as I run to Him, He’s delighted. Just like I loved seeing my kids run to me and throw themselves into my arms, God loves it when I run toward Him with my joys, sorrows, questions and mistakes. We love being with each other.

Your greatest indulgence?
Shopping - and finding hot pink in unexpected places…especially if it’s soft.

What's on your iPod, Zune, or car stereo right now?
I LOVE happy Christian kidz tunz. I also love happy "bubble gum" music from the 70’s.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a teacher. I considered being a nurse so I could wear the uniform and hat but when they discontinued that, it was teaching all the way

Family:
Paul, Jodi, Jill, Brandon, Brittany, Monte, Tametra, Nicklas

Your role at Damascus Road?
Director, Children’s Ministry and general confuser of things.

Nancy Fay
Children's Ministry
Marti Horne
Director of Connections

What is something most people don't know about you?
I was in a documentary made for the Discovery Channel called Plato’s Republic.  It was a LOT of work, much more than I thought it would be; makeup, costume, take after take after take, and lots of waiting around which was really exhausting since my 2 youngest children (at the time were 6 months and 4) were in it as well. Thereafter we coined a phrase. When my husband or I had an especially hard day we would say, “Today I made a movie”!

What inspires you?
My husband Chris’ leadership,  mountains, beautiful gardens,  listening to an orchestra in a concert hall, visiting an art gallery

What place you would like to visit before you die...and why?
The land of my ancestors-Wales

Your first job?
I was an entrepreneur and formed my own business with my 6th grade childhood friend, Karen, selling vegetables and fruits from my dad’s garden. We would get on my his  red tractor with quarts of green beans or tomatoes and drive through the neighborhood ringing my granddad's old school bell shouting, “ Mar-Kar vegetables and fruits”.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
All hand dipped ice cream, even lobster!

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
Trust in Him because He knows the beginning and the end.

What's on your iPod, Zune, or car stereo right now?
Classical, Christian, Jazz, Show tunes.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a Olympic gymnast like Nadia Comaneci

What's your definition of a retreat?
Hiking to the top of a mountain and enjoying the silence, The Lord, the view and the breeze.

Family:
Husband Chris, to whom I’ve been married to for 29 years; the second best decision I’ve ever made (the first is deciding to follow Christ!), remarkable children Meredith and her husband Robert, Josh and fiancé Deirdre, Jon, and Melissa.

Your role at Damascus Road?
Director of Connections. Help each person get connected to the Lord and each other.

Nancy Ertel
Office Manager

What's your biggest challenge?
Really trusting everyday that God will give me the desires of my heart as I delight myself in Him (Psalms 37:4).

What is something most people don't know about you?
I’m the sixth born and first of two daughters in a family of ten children. In the years I lived at home, there was always a teenager, a preschooler, a few pets and sometimes a grandparent or great-grandparent… and we never had more than one bathroom.

If you had no limits, what would be your dream vacation?
Anywhere with breathtaking beauty in the mountains or on a beach in the company of family or friends.

What place would you like to visit before you die...and why?
I’d like to drive across northwest USA and tour the National Parks… Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Redwoods. I’ve been in most of the USA except the northwest.

What's your dream car...and why?
Toyota, dependable and good gas mileage

Your first job?
In boarding high school I worked as a girl’s dorm janitor my freshman year and then an office helper in the Registrar’s Office to pay my tuition (part of my job involved preparing the church bulletin). The first job where I brought a check home was pumping gas which I did for just a few weeks before getting hired to work at an American Indian Cultural Center.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Black Raspberry

What's something new that God's been teaching you lately?
Over the past decade He’s been teaching me how to trust and grow in grace and peace through brokenness and loss.

What's on your iPod, Zune, or car stereo right now?
Johnny Cash Story Songs

What's your definition of a retreat?
Quietly exploring nature. Wandering around my late Dad’s farm photographing spring flowers or the turtles sunning on a log in the pond.

Family:
At home I’m greeted daily by four cats. Weekends often find me traveling to see one of my siblings and/or a special niece or nephew. I’m also part of an even larger family that includes those who bow their knee at the foot of the cross.

Your role at Damascus Road?
Office Manager (including bulletin production, member database management, and church receptionist), Central American Missions Administrator (Honduras & Nicaragua), Oversight of the Message Recording and CD Resource Team.

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