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At Damascus Road, two of our core values are “keep the main thing the main thing” and "focus on the essentials” as we pursue our mission to proclaim Christ and present everyone mature in Him (Col. 1:28-29). In this pursuit, we realize there are times where increased communication about the life of the church is necessary. We’re in one of those seasons as we grieve the resignation of our Sr. Pastor, Raj Pillai, and begin to plan for the future. Regular updates will be shared here. Trusting together that with Jesus, the best is always yet to come.

Follow the blog for upcoming updates...

Elders' & Pastors' Statement

Download and read the statement that was shared with the congregation on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

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Connect with a Leader

We know that you may have questions during this period of transition. We are here to help you answer some of those. Request a 20-minute phone/zoom meeting with one of DRCC's Elders/Senior Leaders.

  • How will this transition impact weekend services?
    Gratefully, we are blessed to have a strong teaching team of Pastors and Elders, including Roger Record, Paul Foss, Mike Bernoi, Michael Yudt, Michelle Rader, and Blake Dunlevy. We are also blessed to have a tremendous team who serve in preparation for weekend services and who lead us into worship, including Andy Knight, our Worship Director; Daniel Busche, our Tech Director; Darlene Knight, our Director of Welcome Ministries; Marti Horne, our Connections Director; Mendie Gift, our Executive Project Manager; the Communications Team; and a host of other staff who serve in Children’s Ministry, our Haven Special Needs Ministry, and more!
  • Will DRCC hire additional pastoral staff?
    We do plan to hire additional pastoral staff. Prior to embarking on the search for additional staff, the three circles of leadership will support Rajendra with his transition while the elders will simultaneously work with our consultant, Greg Ligon, to facilitate the establishment of processes and structures to enable us to effectively move forward with ministry in this new season. As we prepare to step into the process of searching for a pastoral candidate, leadership will provide real-time updates to the congregation, and we thank you for your continued prayer over this process.
  • How will we honor Rajendra and his family?
    The Pillai family have been a beloved part of the Damascus Road family for close to 20 years. We want to intentionally celebrate how God has worked through them and send them off with a blessing! Thank you to all of you who wrote notes of “thanksgiving” in the lobby, sharing kingdom stories, memories, prayers, and well wishes with Pastor Rajendra, which he greatly appreciates! As he noted, “Letters are precious.” If you did not have the opportunity to share your thoughts and gratitude in writing at that time, akin to Rajendra’s final message to our community in the form of a “letter,” we invite you to write to him to honor and celebrate his contributions to the DRCC community and the ways he and his family have touched your life. Rajendra highlighted the great gift of letters, and he and his family are grateful for your affirming and encouraging words. You can address letters and cards to Rajendra Pillai, c/o Damascus Road Community Church, 12826 Old National Pike, Mount Airy, MD 21771, or you can bring them by the church, and we will ensure that he receives them. Thank you so very much for joining us in celebrating Rajendra’s contributions to the DRCC family!
  • When is Rajendra’s last day at DRCC?
    April 8th will be Rajendra’s last day, and he is working with DRCC staff and leadership to ensure a smooth transition by this date.
  • How does our leadership structure function right now?
    DRCC has a long history of shared leadership, including our Staff, Trustees, and Elders, with multiple additional leadership structures in place: The Pastoral Leadership Council, which includes Jason Earle, Executive Director, and staff Elders Roger Record, Paul Foss, Michael Yudt, and Mike Bernoi. The Joint Leadership Planning Team, which includes members of the Elders, Trustees, and Staff. The Preaching / Teaching Team, which includes members of the Pastoral staff and Elders. These leadership groups have been working together to support Rajendra and will continue their collaborative work through this transition and moving forward with our mission to proclaim Christ and help everyone become mature in Him! (Col. 1:28-29)
  • When and why did the change in leadership occur within the Board of Elders?
    The transition of leadership within the Board of Elders occurred in February of this year for a number of reasons. As the Elders worked with our consultant, Greg Ligon, to review, analyze, and adjust based on their reflection on the last few years with the goal for leadership to continue to grow, one shift included a change of Elder leadership. Michelle Rader has served faithfully as Lead Elder for 8 years through the “perfect storm” of a particularly challenging stretch, and while she will continue to serve on the Board of Elders, she welcomes the change and is grateful for the opportunity for the DRCC community to benefit from the many gifts that Brian Deyaert and Glen Vonk will bring in this new season. Thus, in the spirit of shared leadership, Brian is currently serving as the Acting Lead Elder, and Glenn is serving in the newly created position of Acting Elder Secretary to refine processes and roles as we transition in this new season.
  • When did Rajendra resign?
    Rajendra initiated his resignation on March 7th, and submitted his letter of resignation on March 11th. Rajendra initiated his resignation on March 7th, and he submitted his letter of resignation on March 11th.
  • What is the plan for DRCC going forward?
    The elders, trustees, and staff continue to be energized and aligned around our mission to proclaim Christ and present everyone mature in Him! (Colossians 1:28) We will continue to share the gospel through our vision of being “a Community of Light by the Power of the LORD Jesus Christ.” We are grateful and blessed to have a long tradition of shared leadership between the Staff, Elders, and Trustees, as well as the multiple leadership structures including The Pastoral Leadership Council, The Joint Leadership Planning Team, and the Preaching and Teaching Team. The Staff, Elders, and Trustees are looking forward to continual collaboration in ministry together centered around the theme of “HEAL” with the heart and mind to serve as ambassadors of healing and reconciliation in our homes, schools, workplace and neighborhoods. With regard to future plans for campus development, we will continue to move forward prayerfully and collaboratively, and we look forward to sharing updates with you throughout this process. We will also keep you apprised of developments with our formal search for additional pastoral staff.
  • Why is Rajendra stepping away from leadership at DRCC?
    Rajendra has faithfully served the DRCC community as Senior Pastor through a challenging and historically unprecedented time that was characterized by many complexities and challenges. Over the last few months, he and Erika have felt an increasing sense that the chapter of their lives at DRCC is coming to a close. While they are working to process this transition, they are grateful for the many kingdom stories they share with the DRCC community, and the way the DRCC community has impacted their lives and blessed them.
  • How can I ask additional questions along the way?
    The leadership of Damascus Road welcomes your questions as we enter this new season together, and we encourage you to reach out to us; we will be available to process with you on an ongoing basis. You can request a time to connect with one of the elders for a 20 minute phone call or Zoom meeting to ask any additional questions that you might have. Please feel free to connect with someone at one of the upcoming evenings of prayer and worship as well. As always, you can also reach out to us through email at . We thank each member of the Damascus Road Community for your presence and your prayers. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve in ministry with you, and we continue to pray for you and for God’s leading for each one of you, as we move forward together in Christ.
  • Who is our consultant?
    Our leadership teams have been working with Greg Ligon of The Ligon Group ( ). Greg has worked with medium, large and mega churches across the country in navigating the complexities of COVID, leadership development and change management. As a former pastor and Chief Operating Officer, Greg brings an executive’s mind with a pastor’s heart. We first worked with Greg from fall 2021-spring 2022 on reshaping our ALL IN plans after we realized that the impact of COVID required that we rethink our building project. He became such a valued and trusted advisor to our leadership teams, he was unanimously selected by Rajendra and the Elders in December 2022 to assist the Elder Board. He will be facilitating our efforts into the summer as we learn from the past few years and put structures in place to continue to strengthen our shared leadership culture.
  • How is DRCC supporting Pastor Rajendra and his family as they make this transition?
    The Elders and Trustees are providing the Pillai family with generous provisions to provide them with time and space to discern God’s leading into this next season. Please join with DRCC and the Pillai family in continuing to pray over God’s calling on their lives.
  • What is Rajendra planning to do next?
    While Rajendra and Erika have prayerfully made the decision to step away from ministry at DRCC, they have not yet made definitive plans for the future. However, they are praying for discernment as to where God will lead them next. They are grateful for our prayers in this new season. Let’s join together and lift their future up in prayer!
  • What do you have for children?
    Learn all about DRKids children's program here:
  • What time are your Sunday services?
    We meet at 9:30 and 11:15am with a children's program running concurrently.
  • Where can I find out about your offerings for youth?
    Check it out at:
  • Where can I learn about upcoming events?
    Events can be found at
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