Reverend Andre Amaral, Pastor, Portuguese Language Ministry
Pr. Andre Amaral married to Alessandra Amaral, father of Andre Gabriel, Ana Leticia and Ana Gabriele, God has reached then with his grace as they grew and were formed in the Christian Baptist environment where their missionary call was planted and nourished. In 1993 he graduated in Systems Analysis, in 2004 he held a bachelor’s degree in Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, specialist in Business Management and Projects for non-profit organizations. He was examined in a council promoted by Orla Rio Baptist Church, and approved for the ministry of the Word by the same church. His wife Alessandra, graduated in Letters, postgraduate in School Supervision, postgraduate in Management of Distance Education and Master of Science Politics.
Since they were young they have worked in the Christian service in the ministry of the Word, teaching, worship, evangelism and missions. The couple has been involved as students, volunteers or as teachers at Youth With a Mission, YWAM Discipleship Schools since 1995. For the last 17 years, Pr Andre has been working with the churches in Brazil in the areas of missionary mobilization and financial management in missionary organizations. The couple has participated in the ministerial team of the churches where they have gone and participated planting some churches too.
Doctor Mary Beth Bennett, Organist
Dr. Mary Beth Bennett, Organist at Second Baptist, is a nationally recognized performer, composer and improviser who also serves on the music faculty of the University of Richmond. Having held various positions in Washington, D.C., including at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and as Ceremonial Organist for the United States Department of Defense, she holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Stetson University, the Staatliche Hochschüle für Musik (Cologne, Germany), and the University of Southern California. Her organ teachers have included David Craighead, Paul Jenkins, Paul Manz, Michael Schneider, Ladd Thomas and Cherry Rhodes, and her primary composition teacher has been James F. Hopkins. The winner of nine national and regional prizes in performance and composition, she is a frequent recitalist and clinician. This year she won the American Guild of Organists AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition. Bennett’s performances and compositions have been featured multiple times on APM’s Pipe Dreams radio program with Michael Barone. Her compositions are published by E. C. Schirmer, Augsburg-Fortress, Concordia, Broadman, National, Hope, World Library, G. I. A., Selah, and Oxford University Press publishing companies. At Second, she enjoys playing for Sunday worship services, Wednesday choir rehearsals, and other services. Mary Beth lives in Midlothian with her husband Mark Bowersox, and their exceptional dog, Roxy. Find out more about our world-reknown organist on her website, marybethbennett.com
Rev. Dr. Benjamin D. Brown, Minister of Students
Ben Brown is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He has two degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University: a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and a Masters in Patient Counseling.
Ben earned his Master of Divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) and graduated from Union Presbyterian Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry in 2023. Ben has served as a Chaplain Intern at VCU Health System earning 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and was ordained into Gospel Ministry at Derbyshire Baptist Church in 2014.
Ben is married to Courtney Brown. Courtney and Ben enjoy cooking together, watching college basketball, drinking coffee, and having family time with their sons, Carter and Harrison.
At Second, Ben guides youth and their families in the sacred space that is spiritual formation and student ministry. He believes that God calls all students, and God has a plan for each of them. Ben is passionate about developing student leaders and giving students new opportunities to see God working in their everyday lives.
Lisa Davis, Financial Administrator
Lisa is an Ashland native who graduated from Randolph-Macon College. An avid lover of knitting & Crocheting, she founded the prayer shawl ministry at her church, Duncan Memorial United Methodist. She has two grown children and five grandchildren (four boys & one girl). She is passionate about serving her community, volunteering with Hanover’s Community Emergency Response Team and the American Red Cross.
Lisa has 30 years of accounting experience to share with Second. She loves chasing numbers as well as storms! She has been storm chasing with an experienced tour group for the past four years, seeing her first tornados in 2019.
Patty Dimowski, Administrative Secretary
Kathy Driver, Office Manager
Kathy is a graduate of Park Ridge High School, in Park Ridge, NJ. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and majored in Theatre Arts. She has lived in Richmond over 40 years. Kathy is married to Graham and they have four sons. She joined the staff at Second Baptist on August 1, 2006.
Ainsleigh Gaskins, Director of Creative Learning Center
Ainsleigh started attending Second Baptist when she met her husband Thomas in 2006, and is active in many areas of church life including Sunday School, Bible Study and Children’s Ministry in addition to her role at CLC. She and Thomas have two children, Kate and Jameson.
Ainsleigh holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) and an M.Ed. in Reading from Virginia Commonwealth University. She worked as a preschool teacher in Hanover County and as a Literacy Coach for several early literacy grants through VCU before joining CLC as Assistant Director in the summer of 2014 and Director in summer of 2020. She is thankful to have a job that combines her faith and a desire to provide an excellent preschool experience for young children and their families.
Karin Goude, Worship Leader, The Well
Karin Goude moved to Richmond in 2016 and became a member of Second Baptist shortly afterward. As a co-Worship Leader in The Well, she desires to create a culture of fellowship among bandmates and an authenticity in our posture of worship and music as a gift to the Lord and His people.
Stephen Green, Facilities Assistant
Stephen began as our Custodian Spring of 2022. Stephen and his wife, Tara, were married at Second Baptist and have been members for the past decade. Their daughter, Stella, attends the Creative Learning Center. A native of northern Virginia, he enjoys working outdoors and watching Washington Capitals hockey.
Joshua Hartgrove, Director of Administration
Joshua Hartgrove serves as the Director of Administration at Second Baptist Church, providing oversight of church operations. He offers guidance and supervision to our administrative and logistical staff and coordinates closely with our ministers regarding facilities, finance, IT, and human resources. Joining in 2021, he previously served Athens First United Methodist Church in Athens, Georgia. Joshua’s vision for church administration is to facilitate the staff collaborating on meaningful decisions that will multiply the impact of Second Baptist’s ministries. He desires to serve as a “chaplain of logistics” in order to remove any resistance people may have from experiencing the realm of God on our campus and across our digital space.
Joshua grew up a music minister’s kid in High Point, North Carolina, and graduated from Samford University (B.M., ’01) and Northern Arizona University (M.M., ’08). His first career was that of music educator, directing bands, orchestra and serving as a department chair and adjudicator before seeking vocational service in the church. Joshua’s wife Nancy has also taught music, in addition to being a certified integrative nutrition health coach and homeschooling their children for four years: Anna (11), Liam (10), and Benjamin (2). The Hartgroves love the outdoors, traveling, cooking gluten-free food, and pursuing holistic wellness. Joshua follows the way of Jesus through contemplative Christian practice, and enjoys reading, yoga, movies, concerts, and singing and playing guitar for videos on his YouTube channel.
Wanda Kensinger, Children's Choir Coordinator
Wanda Kensinger is a graduate of Bluefield University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She taught middle school chorus in Chesterfield and Henrico counties for 31 years, retiring from Henrico in 2014.
Wanda has worked in several churches directing children’s, youth, handbell, and adult choirs/ensembles through the years. She and her husband Mark have been a member of Second Baptist Church for over 20 years. During this time, Wanda has volunteered directing/accompanying children’s and youth choirs, choreographed for dessert theaters, and been a member of the Sanctuary and Vesper Bell Choirs.
Hilliary Larsen, Worship Leader, The Well
Hilliary Larsen has been a part of Second Baptist Church since 2010, starting as a music ministry intern as a college student. In 2014, Hilliary began serving as a music associate; leading worship in The Well as well as coordinating the worship team, singing in the sanctuary choir, directing youth choirs, and helping with various other music ministry activities. Hilliary grew up in Mechanicsville, VA and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Hilliary is married to Andrew, a business investment manager at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and also the A/V technician for the Well! Together, they have four children; Levi, Nora, Lucy, and Emma.
Reverend Tom Mitchell, Minister of Discipleship & Missions
Tom Mitchell is a life-long Virginian, with some layovers in distant places. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and then went directly across the street in Lexington and received his Juris Doctorate from the Washington and Lee School of Law. Tom practiced law at Hunton & Williams in Richmond and eventually transitioned into the commercial world, serving in different legal and executive business roles with Owens & Minor, Inc., including an ex-pat assignment in Shanghai, China.
Tom began discerning a call to ministry upon his return to the U.S. in 2014. He took on a leadership role with Second Baptist’s contemporary worship service, The Well, and began preaching regularly. Tom was licensed to gospel ministry in 2017 by Second Baptist. In 2019, Tom enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary seeking a Master’s in Theology and Ministry. In February 2020, he answered the call to vocational ministry and joined the staff at Second Baptist as the Director of Missions & Outreach.
Tom is the husband to Jamie, as well as father to Jackson and Buck. Tom and Jamie love Jesus and His church, building and experiencing a Christian community, and scrolling though Netflix while discussing what movie to watch. For his part, Tom also loves playing tennis and basketball.
Tom has been deeply impacted and shaped by his own participation in God’s mission to the world. He has seen Jesus Christ loving and changing lives in the east end of Richmond and the far east of the Philippines, in south Richmond and South Africa. He has seen how a healthy and vibrant church – one that follows Christ in loving and praying and serving and sacrificing – can be the instrument that God uses to change lives now and for eternity.
Jamie Mitchell, Co-Director of The Wellness Center
Jamie grew up going to Second Baptist. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Communications. She and her husband, Tom, were married at the church in 1993. They joined the church in 2004, along with their two boys, Jackson and Buck.
Jamie has a great love for mission work, which she did for many years in the inner city of Richmond. She led the church’s CARITAS homeless outreach, and she has engaged in short–term trips in South Africa and long–term outreach in Shanghai, China. She has used her leadership gifts by taking part in the inception of the current Missions Council, The Well worship service, and the Emerge Women’s ministry.
Jamie also has a passion for prayer ministry. She has been equipped for this ministry through commissioning as a Stephen Minister as well as certifications / course completions through the Christian Counseling Training Center.
As a Co-Director of The Wellness Center, Jamie’s vision is to help Second Baptist be a place where our congregation and community can pursue wholeness in Christ spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and physically.
Virginia Moore, Co-Director of the Wellness Center
Virginia joined the staff in 2015 as Director of Recreation Ministry. She has been actively involved in the church for years and even met and married her husband, Bill Moore, here at the church. Virginia has 3 sons: Sam, Tate and Jack. When not involved in planning recreational activities for various groups, Virginia is actively involved in the Prayer Ministry Team at Second, the Emerge Women’s ministry, and sings and plays piano in the Well Praise Band.
Virginia has two degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, Sport and Recreation Management and a degree in Health and Physical Education. Virginia also has a passion for prayer and meeting with women for prayer ministry. She has been equipped for this aspect of ministry through trainings and certifications from the Christian Counseling Training Center.
As Co-Director of the Wellness Center, Virginia is excited to help Second Baptist be a place for all to come for community, fellowship, recreation, play, prayer, and growth in Christ.
Valdici Nogueira (Val), Kitchen Staff
Valdici Nogueira (Val) has been on staff at Second Baptist, since September 2010. He has served in many positions, which include Kitchen Assistant, Catering, Custodial, Locksmith & Coffee Service for the Well. Val is a vital part of the success of the kitchen for Family Night Dinners and all in-house catering for all ministries of the church. Val & his wife Teresa are long-time members of the Portuguese Language Ministry & whom both served in ESL. Teresa is a staff member of CLC & serves on Sunday mornings in childcare with the babies. Both have earned their citizenship while working at Second Baptist. Val is an incredible singer & makes the best Cheese Rolls ever!!!
Reverend Louis Orsatti, Pastor, Spanish Language Ministry
Louis Orsatti has been the Minister of the Spanish Language Ministry since the autumn of 2010.
He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He attended the Baptist Theological Seminary of Mexico, where he started new groups, missions and churches since 1981.
He arrived with his family in 2003 and started to work with the Baptist Churches here as a pastor and missionary.
Louis enjoys the ministry with his wife, Rebeca, and his 5 children.
Maria Quinteros, Custodial Staff
Maria helps keeps our facilities running smoothly and cleanly day-to-day. She is a Mother and Grandmother and puts her family above all else.
Charles "Chuck" Robinson, Director of Food Services
Charles “Chuck” Robinson serves as our Director of Food Services. He is a Richmond native and a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School. After serving in the U.S. Army as a Medical Corpsman, Chuck began a career of 30-plus years in the hotel, hospital, and restaurant food service industry. His favorite desserts to bake are cheesecakes and key lime pies. Chuck is thankful for the graciousness of the congregation and takes joy in providing delicious and nourishing meals for all.
Leonardo Carvalho Santos, Facilities Assistant
Leonardo Santos began as our Facilities Assistant in March, 2023. A native of Brasilia, Brazil, Leo moved to the United States in 2018. He and his family have been active members of the Portuguese Language Ministry ever since, and he often volunteers with the youth group. When not working or at church activities, Leo enjoys watching movies and playing games with his family
Rev. Dr. Noel Schoonmaker, Senior Pastor
Dr. Noel Schoonmaker has served as Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church since 2019. A native of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, he was ordained to the gospel ministry at Churchland Baptist Church, Lexington, North Carolina, where he served as Senior Minister. He also served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Valdese, North Carolina and First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Noel holds degrees from Furman University (B.A.), Wake Forest University (M.Div.), and Vanderbilt University (M.A., Ph.D.). He has taught courses for Vanderbilt Divinity School, Carson-Newman University, and Central Baptist Theological Seminary. His preaching has been featured on Day 1 and Preaching Online, and he has written articles for publications including Interpretation, Religion News Service, and Baptists Today. Noel loves spending time with his wife, Dayna, and their two daughters, Maggie and Nora.
Reverend Agayby Shehata, Pastor, Life Church, Arabic Language Ministry
Born in El Mina, Egypt, Agayby attended Middle East Theological Seminary, received his Bachelors in Theology and was authorized and ordained into ministry on July 12, 1996 by the Egyptian Assemblies of God denomination. Agayby has ministered to areas all over the globe including Jordan, Iraq, USE, Canada, Australia, and now the United States. From 2011 onward he has been the Senior Pastor of Life Church that meets here at Second Baptist.
Olivia Simms, Communications Administrator
Olivia, a Richmond local, joined our staff in August 2017. She is married to William, an I.T. specialist.
She obtained her undergrad from Roanoke College, where she studied Fine Arts and Communications. In 2015, Olivia obtained her Masters’s in Photo Media from the University of New South Wales Art & Design in Australia. While living abroad, she worked for a Catholic church as a Pastoral Assistant and brings these skills to her role here at Second Baptist.
As the Communications Administrator, she creates and manages special print projects and online media communications for Second Baptist.
Beverly Stewart, Administrative Assistant
Beverly is a Richmond native who joined the staff of Second Baptist in May of 2019. She spent 26 years as the Media Director for an advertising agency and then went on to several other career opportunities. Before Covid restrictions, she volunteered every Monday morning for 6 years at the Surgical Waiting Desk at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Beverly has a daughter and 2 granddaughters and her best buddy, Bailey, her goldendoodle.
Reverend Taylor Vancil, Minister of Music & Worship
Taylor Vancil began his ministry at Second Baptist Church in January of 2021 as the Minister of Music and Worship. Taylor, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, has served congregations in a variety of roles, including youth and children’s ministry in North Carolina and Texas, and most recently as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Mount Holly, NC.
Taylor holds degrees from Wingate University (B.M.E) with emphases in choral conducting and classical guitar, and Southern Methodist University (M.S.M.). While at SMU, Taylor studied hymnology and church music with C. Michael Hawn, choral conducting with Pamela Elrod, and was awarded the Roger Deschner Prize in Sacred Music.
At Second Baptist, Taylor directs the choral program and supervises the church wide music ministry, with major responsibilities for worship. Taylor is passionate about leading congregational song, producing excellent choral music, and exploring creative opportunities for meaningful worship. Taylor is married to Sarah, a middle school choral teacher, and they are the loving parents of Selah and Wesley. In their spare time, the Vancil’s enjoy gathering together to watch a good movie and spend time with one another.
Daniel Watson, Building Engineer
Daniel started as our Building Engineer in 2021.
Daniel is a native of Glen Allen VA and has over 25 years of experience working in Electronics Automation and Mechanical Maintenance. When he is not working, Daniel enjoys traveling, sports, and spending time with his family and friends. Daniel is thankful for the opportunity to work for Second Baptist Church as the Building Engineer.