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About Us

Our Staff

Dr. Jim Abernathy

Senior Pastor

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Dr. Abernathy began his ministry as Senior Pastor at Westwood in August 2001. He received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, the Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Bachelor of Church Music degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Before coming to Westwood, Jim served at several churches in Kentucky.

A gifted communicator, Jim shares the story of Christ as teacher, pastor, soloist, and friend. A focal point of his ministry is being an encourager who seeks to empower others to listen for and respond to the calling of Christ to discipleship and service.

Jim's wife, Cindy, is an elementary music teacher and is active in the music ministry at Westwood. They have one son, Clayton.

Dr. Abernathy is retiring from Westwood Baptist Church and full-time ministry effective April 30, 2017.

Rev. Stephen Gray

Associate Pastor for Spiritual Development and Administration

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Rev. Gray began his ministry as Associate Pastor at Westwood in May 2004. He received the Master of Divinity degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Before coming to Westwood, Stephen served at several churches in Texas.

As Associate Pastor, Stephen helps the congregation grow in faith. He has a passion for seeing people grow to be more like Christ and for empowering others to use their gifts in ministry.

Stephen's wife, Randa, teaches English Composition at Northern Virginia Community College. They have three daughters, Annie, Allison, and Ainsley.

Pat Close

Minister of Music

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Pat Close has been the Minister of Music at Westwood since September 1997. She received the Master of Church Music degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Before coming to Westwood, Pat was the Youth and Children's Choir Director at John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, Virginia.

At the Minister of Music, Pat glorifies God and edifies believers and seekers through a wonderful program of musical theatre, dancing, and song. She uses choirs, guest artists, Orff instruments, and chimes in her ministry.

Rebecca Larson

Director of Preschool & Children's Ministries

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Rebecca Larson began serving as the Director of Preschool & Children's Ministries on an interim basis in December 2014 and on a permanent basis in September 2015. She holds a BS in Music Industry from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. She has worked in marketing research for a variety of organizations in the entertainment and electronics industries. Over the years, she has served the Westwood community in numerous ways - as a Deacon, singer, FunDay School teacher and VBS volunteer.

Rebecca is a local Northern Virginian and has attended Westwood Baptist since she was nine years old. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and four children.

Rev. Will Clapp

Interim Minister with Youth

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Will is a native Texan, a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University with a B.A. in Bible, and a graduate of Logsdon Seminary with a Master of Divinity. He has served churches in Texas, as well as in Bali, and also has served as a chaplain resident. Will's wife Meg serves as Pastor to Youth and Young Adults at McLean Baptist Church.

Rev. Donna Hill

Financial Administrator

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Rev. Hill began her ministry as Financial Administrator at Westwood in September 2010. She received the Master of Theological Studies degree from John Leland Seminary in Arlington, VA, and the Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University in Fairfax VA. Before assuming this position, Donna was Westwood’s webmaster from 2003-2010.

As Financial Administrator, Donna helps oversee the financial management of the church and assists each of the ministry areas to operate efficiently. With over 40 years experience as an accountant, Donna brings a high degree of personal integrity and organizational skills to Westwood. She has a passion to encourage others to follow the example of Jesus.

Donna has one son, Jason, and a beautiful daughter-in law, Laura, and twin granddaughters, Natalie and Madison.

Martha Newman

Ministry Assistant/Office Manager

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Martha Newman joined the staff of Westwood in May 2012 as our Office Manager. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English/Secondary Education. After teaching high school English for several years, she became a legal secretary in the Federal government and in various law firms in Washington, D.C. She worked as a church administrator in three Northern Virginia churches before coming to Westwood.

Martha is married to Ed Newman who works for a scientific society in Bethesda, Maryland. Martha and Ed have one daughter, Katharine.

Martha's interests include reading, book collecting, writing, sewing, embroidery, and quilt making.

Olga Teutler


Olga has served as our church organist and choir accompanist since Fall 1998. She holds a Master degree of Piano Performance and Teaching from State Musical Pedagogical Institute in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, a Bachelor of Piano Performance, Stavropol, Russia, and the Service Playing Certification from American Guild of Organists.

Olga glorifies God with her playing at Westwood's worship services and believes that the Spirit of the Living God comes to us through the music.

In addition to serving at Westwood, Olga and her husband, Alexander, teach piano at their private studio. They have one daughter, Margarita.

Greisy Acosta


Greisy has been involved with taking care of our church facilities since 2001. She assumed the role of full-time Custodian in 2008. She (and her family) has helped to make the facilities at Westwood an inviting place for members and guests to meet and to worship. Her husband, Jose (Amilcar) Montoya, also works in the custodial field. They have two daughters, Keiry and Jineth.

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