Tom Murphy, Pastor
Pastor Tom and his wife Dreanna are natives of Norfolk, Virginia, and both grew up in Epworth United Methodist Church in that city. Together they have three children: Lorrie, Tom III, and Foster. They have five grandchildren.
Pastor Tom was educated at Granby High School in Norfolk; Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia; and Duke Theological Seminary, Durham, North Carolina.
In addition to having served as the District Superintendent of the Charlottesville District of the Virginia Conference, he has served the following churches in the Virginia Conference:
Greene Memorial in Roanoke; St. Marks in Hampton; Otterbein in Harrisonburg; River Road in Richmond; Fort Hill in Lynchburg; Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach; Asbury in Harrisonburg; and Fairfax in the city of Fairfax. In addition he has served as an Intentional Interim Pastor at the Port Republic Church in Port Republic and New Hope Church in New Hope.
Pastor Tom has served as Executive Director of Industrial Commercial Ministries; a Chaplain in the United States Army; helped form the Chaplaincy Ministry at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital; served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, and is presently serving on the Board of Trustees of Eastern Mennonite University. In addition, he is in his fourteenth year as Chaplain of the Harrisonburg Police Department.
Among Pastor Tom’s involvement in the Virginia Conference, the Boards and Agencies he has served are as follows: Chair of the Children’s Home in Richmond; Chair of the Blackstone Assembly Center; Chair of Board of Evangelism; member of the Boards of Missions, Church & Society, Higher Education & Campus Ministries, and the Historical Society. He has been a Jurisdictional Delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdiction seven times and three times as a Delegate to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In Addition Pastor Tom is on the Seminary Committee for Eastern Mennonite University; Chaplin for the Harrisonburg District and a member of the District Council on Ministries.
Dinah Watson, Youth Director
Dinah Watson is a mother of two beautiful children, a wife to her best friend, a daughter to amazing parents, an Aunt to nine nieces and nephews, and an ‘adopted Aunt’ to many others. She loves social time with her friends, hikes, traveling, and dancing. But as she says, it’s not about “who” she is but about “whose” she is! And, just like you, she is a child of God!
Dinah grew up in Port Republic with loving parents and two siblings. In early childhood her home was always full of foster and fresh air kids, cousins, and neighbors. As a teenager, she was a little rowdy. To keep the story short, we’ll say her teenage years (along with a few young adult years) were “colorful”. After graduating high school, she attended Fairfax County Fire Academy and fell in love with the fire service. Her desire to help others – while also seeking the thrills of fighting fire – motivated her to get a job in the fire service. At age 20 she began working for the City of Harrisonburg Fire Department until her dream job came to an abrupt end due to an injury.
During her time of rehabilitation, her personal studies and relationship with the Lord grew deep and meaningful. You’ve probably heard the saying, when God closes one door He opens another. When the door was closed to her career in the fire service, the ministry doors eventually opened. She discovered a new passion participating in youth ministry and other missions. God has done such a work in Dinah’s life that she loves sharing God’s Word, His love, and His grace to others.