It has been a real delight to serve the Lord in one place since graduating from Seminary! In 1982 Mary and I came to a mission work that had been started by Al baker in 1980, named for Sycamore Square, the center of Midlothian, now a growing suburb of Richmond, VA. We bought property just down from Sycamore Square in 1983, organized as a church in 1984, met in Gordon Elementary School until 1989, began to develop staff in 1993, and most recently we have planted two daughter churches, Spring Run Presbyterian and Evergreen Community. Though we have stayed in one place, we have experienced a rich diversity of ministry stages over the years and have the benefit now of having raised our family and developing real roots in friendship and community here in Midlothian.
I am originally from Chattanooga, TN, where my father, George Long, was the pastor of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. I met my wife, Mary, at Wheaton College and we were married in 1976. After Mary’s graduation in 1977, I served as youth director at Central Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga for two years before we headed off to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with one child in tow, Davison, and one on the way, Margaret. Our third, James was born here in 1984. Now they are all married, living nearby with a total of 7 grandchildren thus far.
I actually find a straight forward, first person bio hard to write. Plain facts are boring, jokes somehow seem inappropriate, accomplishments seem like bragging, difficulties too complex to explain (and failures too painful), our best stories too long to tell, and the central character in a church is not the pastor, anyway, but rather God who makes things quite exciting in his own time and way.
I think you should just come give us a visit, see what God is doing, pull up a chair and study the Bible with us, make friends and be friends. Our greatest needs are not met by the church, but by the God whom we worship, in the Lord Jesus who gave himself for us, and by the Holy Spirit whose power changes us. I think I’d rather talk about him than me!
Director, Youth Ministry
I was born and raised in The Commonwealth of Virginia. I remember fondly hunting and fishing with my father in Dinwiddie county, and lunch with him at the Dixie Diner in Petersburg (I still enjoy those pursuits today.) I graduated from Colonial Heights High School, and then received my undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech, a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in History and Religion. After graduation I moved to Norfolk, VA and worked in wholesale distribution for a mutual fund company. During this time I married my college sweet heart, Meredith. She moved to Norfolk with me and was a teacher in the public school system of Chesapeake, VA. I eventually grew tired of the financial industry and found myself spending more of my time planning and leading the youth ministry of the church I was attending. Eventually it was this work and the session of Trinity Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, VA that lead me to pursue my M. Div. from Covenant Seminary. After seminary Meredith and I took a call to serve as Dir. of Student Ministries at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, FL. The Lord though has called us back to Virginia and we are very excited to now be serving the youth and families of Sycamore.
Meredith and I have 1 daughter, Hatley-Grace. As a family, we enjoy Virginia Tech sports, art, movies, good food and drink, reading, walks together, baking, music, dance parties, and more. We are excited to be here and looking forward to growing along side the families of Sycamore.
Director, Children's Ministry
It has been a true blessing to serve the church I have attended since I was a child. Sycamore has been a second home and family for most of my life. It is such a joy to serve the Lord by providing a loving, supportive environment for children and parents that points to Christ’s perfect, unconditional love.
I was born in Elkridge, Maryland and moved to Midlothian at four years old. Shortly after attending Sycamore I became a member and continued to grow in the church. I graduated from J. Sargeant Reynolds with a degree in Early Childhood Development while teaching preschool at The Goddard School on Robious Road. I have also enjoyed serving as a Sunday School teacher for elementary age children and a Discipleship Group leader for Middle and High School girls. The past five years I worked at Trans States Airlines (United/U.S. Airways regional airline) as a flight attendant. My second year at the company I became a check flight attendant, where I trained and tested new flight attendants to operate the aircraft. It has been wonderful to see God’s hand in my life using education all along the way … even as a flight attendant!
Sycamore has been a loving, supportive, Christ-centered church while growing up, and I pray to continue providing that same sense of family as the Childen’s Ministry Director.
Director, Music Ministry
A native of Richmond, VA, Michael began working at Sycamore in 2009 as Music Director. Michael enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, entertaining, laughing, anything computers, and anything music. He plays guitar, piano, trumpet, and sings. He, his wife Megan, and sons Peter (2 1/2 years old in picture) and Joseph (2 weeks old in picture) are excited to be at Sycamore to fellowship with part of God's church in Midlothian.
Director of Administration/Bookkeeper
I was born and raised in Grove City, Pennsylvania. In 1983, I married Terry and moved to Virginia Beach until Terry graduated from CBN University (now Regent University). We moved to Richmond in 1985 and began attending Sycamore Presbyterian Church while they were meeting at Gordon Elementary School. I have had the privilege of serving in many ministries over the years. Some of the ways I have been involved include teaching Sunday school, children’s programs, bell choir, choir, angel tree, mission committee, and going on mission trips.
For the past 26 years, I worked at a manufacturing company as an accounting and administrative manager. Terry and I have two grown daughters. Carre works with African refugees alongside a church plant in Nashville, Tennessee and Cathryn is currently serving in the Air Force as a dental assistant in Washington, D.C.
Youth Intern/Administrative Assistant
I am so excited God has brought me to Sycamore and to the beautiful city of Richmond, Virginia to serve Him. I moved here in September of 2016 from Orlando, Florida where I was studying Psychology at the University of Central Florida. After Christ revealed His love to me when I was 16, He gave me a heart to share His love to those around me, especially to those younger than me. Since then I have volunteered in youth groups, and participated in youth ministry internships- learning how to better minister to middle and high school students. It was during a summer internship at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto, Florida, that I felt a calling to youth ministry full time. Soon after, I received a call from my former boss, Marty Cates, notifying me of an opening position at the church he was serving at- Sycamore. A few weeks later I headed up “north” and it has been such a joy to be here ever since.
I enjoy playing and watching sports, surfing, reading, and petting dogs. I normally don’t have the attention span to sit through a movie unless it’s Disney. I’d much rather run into a foot wide spider than a regular sized cockroach. I was born in New Orleans, LA, and though only lived there for 6th months, will always cheer on the Saints. My favorite thing about Virginia so far is there are no alligators.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and received a BA in History and Religion from Grove City College. I met my savior, Jesus Christ, at a Young Life camp in 1991 and have been pursuing Him since that time! After college, I moved to Northern Virginia where I worked at a Risk Assessment firm as an administrative assistant and private investigator. I have been married to Brad Maguire for 22 years and have been blessed with four children Matt, Sam, Joey and Lucy. After a few years living in New Jersey, we moved to the Midlothian area in October 2012 and are happy to be back in the South! Over the years I have worked and served in a variety of ways – primarily at Community Bible Study, where I served as Children’s Director. I have a passion for God’s word and His people! I am excited to see what God is doing at Sycamore, and am thrilled to be a part of this ministry team!
I was born and raised in Midlothian and have always loved the area. My family first came to Sycamore in 2001 and I became a member in the year following. I am a recent graduate of Regent University, and hold my degree in Government and Business. In March I married the love of my life Kirk, we both look forward to serving God in whatever way he leads us.
It is a joy to be able to serve with the church that has dilligently taught me the Gospel from a young age.