Meet the Elder Candidates!

Learn More About Our Elder Candidates

Dear Portico Church Members,

God has richly provided Portico Church with a team of excellent leaders. We are asking three of these leaders to step into the role of Elder (Pastor Desmond Glenn, Pastor Daniel Kwak, Pastor Edward Robinson). These Pastors will be formally introduced as elder candidates at the close of this Sunday’s worship service. As Members, you will be asked to digitally vote on these candidates in early August.

God provides the Church with two-fold leadership; Elders and Deacons. Elders primarily serve the Church through teaching, leading, caring for, and protecting the body of Believers. Deacons serve the Church by overseeing mercy, managing resources, and leading ministries. Both are called to serve as examples of Christian maturity for the family of God. Together, these offices provide the Church with a wealth of diversity, gifting, wisdom, and perspective.

Over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the Pastors of Portico Church. They’ve shown steadiness in faith, grace under pressure, and a sincere love for God. I’m convinced they are God’s gift to Portico Church as we navigate our future together. The present Elder Team is confidently putting forward these candidates as called, qualified, and equipped to serve Portico Church as Elders.

To help you get to know them better, we’ve included a short bio for each elder candidate. Before you vote for these candidates in August, I ask that you do the following;

  • Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and Titus 1:5-9. These verses list the qualifications of an Elder. This is not an expectation of perfection but the profile of a mature Christian whose life is lived in step with the Gospel.
  • Pray for these families. Taking on spiritual leadership is a weighty responsibility. They will need our love, care, and support to successfully walk in their calling.
  • Say hello. If you haven’t met them, do your best to connect at a Sunday worship service.

Thank you! Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or comments about the following elder candidates [email protected]

Yours In Christ,
Jason Conner
Acting Lead Pastor, Portico Church
On behalf of the Elder Team (Ron Londen, Jedd Smith)

Desmond Glenn

Desmond Glenn is a native of Marvell, Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a bachelor's in Agriculture Business. In 2007 Desmond graduated from John Brown University with a Master's Degree in Family and Youth Ministry and a certificate in Discipleship from the Kanakuk Institute. In 2008 Desmond married Andrea, and they have four children Nyla Jai, 12; Zion Kai, 9; Lyam Eli, 6; and Ivee Ski, 3. Desmond is passionate about seeing people come to Christ and helping others utilize their gifts to impact their community for Christ. He also enjoys spending time with family, fried catfish, working out, and socializing with others.

Hometown: Marvell, Arkansas
Years at Portico: 6.5
Areas you've served at Portico? Community Groups, Discipleship, Mission/Outreach, Mercy
How has God moved in your life during the elder preparation process?
The elder process has rekindled a passion in me to serve, lead, feed and protect the flock well. Secondly, the process has helped to cultivate my marriage as well as reminded me of the high call to lead my family well. Finally, my biggest takeaway so far has been the constant reminder of my sonship in Christ. Ministry is not all about doing but resting in the fact that we have a Heavenly Father who desires to come alongside us to empower us along the way to fulfill in us and through us the task he has given to us.

Daniel Kwak

Daniel hails from Orlando, FL. He graduated from the University of Florida (the Harvard of the South, go gata) with a History degree and a desire to pursue law, but the Lord had different plans for his life. He enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary in 2014 and served as the Youth Pastor at his home church for four years. Daniel married his wife, Clarissa (a UVA alum) in 2019, and they moved to Charlottesville with the intent of staying only for 2 years for her pharmacy residency at UVA hospital, and yet the Lord had other plans. Daniel is passionate about making disciples and longs for the next generation of students to know the love of Jesus. He loves trying new restaurants with Clarissa, good coffee, reading, nature, watching movies + sports, and Kiwi.

Hometown: Orlando, FL
Years at Portico: 3
Areas you’ve served at Portico? Kids, Youth, College
How has God moved in your life during the elder preparation process?
The elder preparation process has been a sweet gift from the Lord. The biggest blessings have been two fold. First, I've really appreciated getting to deepen my relationship with the other pastors on the team – to be vulnerable, open, and committed to keeping one another accountable. Second, it's been really sweet for Clarissa and I in this season, and in many ways the Lord has used this process to strengthen and build our marriage in ways that we didn't expect. We're both super thankful for Jason and how he's trained and led our team.

Edward Robinson

Edward Robinson became a follower of Jesus at the age of 17 after growing up in Buffalo, NY. The journey of following the Lord led Edward to sense a call into ministry from the first day of his conversion. He would eventually end up at the Master’s University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. This is also where he met his wife, Natalie. The two of them have been married for 8 years with the fruit of 4 handsome boys. Edward began his pastoral ministry at Epiphany Camden in New Jersey. Edward also holds a MBA, with an eye for the financial sustainability of urban churches. He now serves as the Pastor of Community and Discipleship here at Portico Church in Charlottesville, VA.

Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Years at Portico: 1.5 years
Areas I’ve Served In: Leading Community Groups, Teaching Foundations Class, Preaching, Connecting new guests to Portico
How Has God Moved in My Life Through the Elder Process?
Through this process of eldership at Portico, the Lord has used this time to provide further confirmation to my call to the pastorate. I have also benefited from the brotherhood and relationships that are continuing to build amongst our team of leaders at Portico.