Rev. Dr. Kristin Adkins Whitesides
Rev. Dr. Kristin Adkins Whitesides is a native of Martinsville, Virginia. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond, Duke Divinity School, and received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She was ordained at Starling Avenue Baptist Church on June 19, 2005 where her father was pastor for 38 years. Before coming to First Baptist Church in 2005 as the Associate Pastor and Minister to Youth, Kristin worked as a chaplain intern at Duke Hospital, and as a pastoral intern at Baptist and Methodist churches in North Carolina and Virginia.
Kristin was a 2010-2011 member of the Lewis Fellows Outstanding Young Clergy Program through Wesley Seminary, was a recipient of a grant from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s College of Pastoral Leaders, and is a grant recipient of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Seminary.
Kristin has taught as an adjunct professor in the religion department at Shenandoah University. Additionally, she has served as the 2013-2014 president of the National Alumni Council of Duke Divinity School, and on the steering committees for the Virginia Baptist Women in Ministry, and the Valley Interfaith Council Steering Committee, serving as president from 2016 to 2020.
Kristin was called as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, Virginia in the Spring of 2017 and feels blessed to be a part of a congregation that seeks to love God and love their neighbors through worship, service, and study.
Rev. Ethan Hughes
Youth & Young Adult Pastor
Rev. Ethan Hughes hails from the mountains of Western North Carolina. A graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies and a Master of Divinity. Ethan has served in many different types of ministries, from working with local social services agencies as a social worker for aging adults to teaching and assisting teachers in special needs classrooms. Ethan also served as the associate campus minister at Western Carolina University and as a chaplain intern at the Veterans Hospital in Asheville North Carolina. Ethan enjoys playing music, hiking, reading, and enjoying the latest comic book or Star Wars news. Ethan was ordained by Ecclesia Baptist Church in Asheville, NC September of 2020 and is grateful and excited to serve as the Youth and Young Adult Pastor at First Baptist.
Lori Ann Horne
Minister of Music & Senior Adults
Lori Ann Horne is originally from Newport News, Va. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance from Shenandoah University, with additional studies in Opera, at the University of Urbania, Italy, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, Co. She is a former Miss Hampton/ Newport News 1989 and Miss Apple Blossom 1991 and won the Talent Competition at the Miss Virginia Pageant both years, also placing as the third runner up. She sang with Denver Opera Company for their 1992-1993 Season.
Early on she studied piano, flute, violin, and solo handbells. She was an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Shenandoah University, as well as conducted several Choral ensembles there for 12 years. She studied conducting with Grammy award winning conductor, Robert Shafer, as well as conducted his choirs at Shenandoah University while he was on Sabbatical in 2004.
She is a life- long Church Musician, having worked at Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville, Va., Braddock St. United Methodist Church, Winchester, Va. and First Presbyterian Church, Winchester, Va. prior to leading in Ministry at First Baptist Church, Winchester, Va. since 1996. She is the Minister of Music and Minister to Senior Adults and has focused on this ministry full-time since 2006.
While serving at First Baptist, she has created a thriving program for Senior Adults which includes a Senior Choir who range in age from 62-99. They have just presented annual concerts since 2000 with great response from the church and community.
She also has a Senior Handbell Choir and arranges trips for Senior Adults at First Baptist. Lori serves on Shenandoah University’s Conservatory Alumni Board. She shares a home with her parents and their two Persian cats. She enjoys running, Pilates, cooking, and gardening.
Director of First Baptist Children’s Ministry & SonShine Learning Center
Alison Wright became First Baptist’s Director of Children’s Ministry in September 2013. Alison has lived in Winchester since the fall of 2007 when she started school at Shenandoah Conservatory. She graduated in the spring of 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.
In January of 2022 Alison was also hired as the Director of SonShine Learning Center, First Baptist’s preschool.
Alison works to engage children and families in spiritual growth together, building a community where children feel safe and loved, while parents feel supported.
Alison and her husband Mason met as students at SU and were married in April 2013. They welcomed their first child, Clara, in February 2016 and their son, Felix, in July 2019. Mason and Alison fill their home with music, laughter and family time.
John is a native of Loudoun County, Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from Madison College, and a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree from James Madison University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
John is a retired Associate Professor of Accounting, with thirty-two years of teaching experience. He also worked forty-seven years in public accounting on a full or part-time basis.
A member of First Baptist Church since 1998, John joined the church office staff as Financial Secretary on July 1, 2019.
Before joining the staff, he served as First Baptist’s Treasurer for twenty and one-half years.
John is married, and he and his wife Laura have three adult children and five grandchildren. He enjoys spending time at his family farm, where he has a collection of antique farm tractors. He also collects farm toys and memorabilia.
Office & Communications Manger
Originally from the Coal Fields of Southern West Virginia, Shannon Strickler graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia State University, and then again in 2021 with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice with a forensics certification from the same university.
In between earning the two bachelors degrees, she moved west and served as the Ministry Assistant at Open Bible Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, CO. After serving at OBBC in Colorado, she settled back into West Virginia as she and her family moved east after her husband’s military contract ended.
In 2020 she moved to the West Virginia Panhandle where she continued to work in ministry for an additional three years in Winchester, VA. She is also currently working on her Masters in Forensic Pattern Analysis at Loyola Univerity Maryland.
Shannon currently resides in Martinsburg, WV with her husband Christian, and their two boys Ephraim and Atlas. She has years of experience in many areas that includes ministry to media and everything in between.
Beverly Clark is a native of Parkersburg, WV, where she studied both piano and organ. Dr. Marie Boette, who taught at West Virginia Wesleyan College, was her organ instructor. Graduating from Parkersburg High School, she was granted a music scholarship to West Virginia University where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Organ Performance in May, 1958. In May, 1998,she graduated from Shenandoah University with a Master’s degree in Organ Performance.
While at school and at present, she accompanies numerous college musical groups and has performed solo work during the school’s Bach/Handel weekend. In the year 2000, she passed the American Guild of Organist Colleague Examination.
She has held numerous church Music Director positions: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Morgantown, WV; Baptist Temple and St. Paul’s UMC, PArkersburg; Grace uMC, Middletown, VA, and recently retired after 36 years from the Front Royal Presbyterian Church.
She has enjoyed filling vacancies throughout the area, sharing her talents with other churches. She has also served as accompanist for Parkersburg Choral Society, Front Royal Oratorio Society, Piedmont Chorus, Middleburg, VA, and currently is accompanying the Loudoun Chorale, Leesburg, VA. She was invited to play in a memorial concert for her former teacher at West Virginia University, Dr. Clyde English.
She and her husband are the proud parents of three children and six grandchildren. They reside in White Post, VA.