Meet the Elder & Deacon Candidates!


Dear Portico Church Members,
God has richly provided our growing church with a team of excellent leaders. We are asking three of these leaders to serve in the role of Elder (Jamie Stokes, Stephen Trivette, and Jeremiah Hovis) and four to serve in the role of Deacon (Chelsea Bhimji, Cameron Koon, Kris Muncaster, and Matt Pincombe). All candidates were formally introduced at the Member Banquet. As Members, you will be asked to affirm this decision of the Elder Team by voting digitally in April.

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. Deacons serve the Church by overseeing material care (mercy), managing resources, and mobilizing ministries. Both serve as examples of Christian maturity for the family of God. Together, these offices provide the Church with a wealth of diversity, unity, gifting, wisdom, and perspective.

All candidates have worked hard, completing a season training and testing. The present Elder Team is confidently putting forward these candidates as called, qualified, and equipped to serve Portico Church and lead our mission. To help you get to know them better, we’ve included a short bio for each candidate. Before you vote, please do the following;

  • Read 1 Timothy 3:1-13, and Titus 1:5-9. These verses list the qualifications for Elders and Deacons. 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.
  • Celebrate and praise God! This provision of leaders is an answer to prayer and a significant blessing to Portico Church.

Thank you! Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or comments [email protected]

Yours in Christ,
Jason Conner
Lead Pastor, Portico Church
On behalf of the Elder Team (Desmond Glenn, Jedd Smith, Daniel Kwak, Edward Robinson, Jason Conner)

Deacon Candidate

I grew up in Portland, Maine, attended Rhodes College in Memphis, and lived in Nashville for a few years before moving to Charlottesville 10 years ago. I enjoy pilates, kicking a soccerball around, reading, playing piano, dancing, and organizing spaces. Most of my career has been working with non-profit organizations, and I am currently a Project Manager at CFA Institute. Irfan and I have been at Potico for about 10 years since moving to Charlottesville, and the church has seen us through dating, pre-marital counseling and marriage. I was excited when one of my sisters decided to move to the area. It has been a huge blessing having Becca, Blaine and Miles close by. When I'm not helping with a renovation project or taking care of our Airbnb, I have enjoyed trying my hand at Irish Dance and Pickleball.

Hometown: Portland, Maine
Years at Portico: Almost 10 years
Areas you've served at Portico? Portico Kids, Mercy Ministry, Hospitality
How has God moved in your life during the Deacon preparation process?
In Matt Smethurst's book on Deacons, he says, "Though we realize that no person will know everyone equally well, we want everyone to be equally known...As people become more known, though, needs rise to the surface." During my time at Portico, I have experienced the blessing of being known by people in this community. I want others at Portico to experience what it feels like to be known. In this Deacon cohort, God has opened my eyes to the fact that deacons can help in this process. As we get to know one another, we can help meet tangible needs that rise to the surface. I want to be a part of helping our Members to feel known and loved.

Elder Candidate

I was born in western PA, but have lived in Charlottesville since 2006. I met my beautiful wife Amy at Portico and we have 3 kids (Jack, Ruby, and Daisy). I work at a construction company as a human resources manager, while we are blessed to have Amy doing the toughest job working at home helping raise our children.

Hometown: Albion, Pennsylvania
Years at Portico: 16 years
Why do you feel called to be an Elder?
I feel called to be an elder because I have a passion to help shepherd those in our church. We are sinners helping lead sinners....this is the beauty of the Gospel. Me and my family have been so blessed by our elder team and I am humbled to be a part of this group to help build our church and each other up.

Deacon Candidate

Cameron has been at Portico since 2008 when she started at UVA. She and her husband Ross have been married for 10 years, and have three wonderful kids, Ben, Mae, and Elaine. Cameron works as a Latin teacher at the Covenant School. She has volunteered with Portico Kids for the last 10 years as a teacher and a coordinator.

Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
Years at Portico: 15 years
Areas you’ve served at Portico? Worship Team & Portico Kids
How has God moved in your life during the Deacon preparation process?
God has been really gracious to me in the Deacon process. I wasn’t sure about even signing up for Lead, but He gently lead me there. Then I wasn’t sure about being a deacon, but He slowly lead me there. He has provided the margin at work so that I can deacon and mom, and He has surrounded me with faithful, prayerful community to stand next to me while I waited on His timing. Every excuse I had to be unsure, He moved out of the way or sent someone to speak to it. It has been a gentle, slow leading. He’s also given us a season of needing the care of the church here recently, so my heart feels freshly aware of how the body can care for the hurting as Jesus’ hands and feet.

Deacon Candidate

In 1973, this Ohio girl decided to attend the University of Virginia (sight unseen) and graduated in 1977 with a degree in special education. Soon after graduating I began my teaching career and married my first husband who was also a teacher. We lived in several parts of Virginia, finally settling in the Richmond area with our 3 daughters. While our girls were small, I worked as the director of a church preschool for 10 years, returning to teaching special education as my daughters grew older and my husband’s health began to decline. After 27 years of marriage, he lost his battle with cancer. In 2008, God introduced me to Tom (who had also lost his first spouse to cancer) through a Christian dating site. We were married and I returned to Charlottesville, completing my teaching career in Louisa County. We are now both retired and enjoy spending time with our collection of 6 kids, 13 grandkids, and a great grandson.

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Years at Portico: 8 years
Areas I’ve Served In: Portico Kids & Hospitality
How has God moved in your life during the Deacon preparation process?
I began the deacon process with the concern that being “abundant in years” might limit my ability to serve. As I have prayed, read, and studied, God has shown me that you can try to serve God in your own strength but that isn’t walking with God. Instead, that is me trying to set my own agenda in my own power.

Being given the opportunity to serve is in itself a gift from God, and if God wants me to serve He will give me the strength and skills to complete the task. In the words of Paul David Tripp, “Our mission is to teach, admonish, and encourage one another to rest in His sovereignty, rather than establishing our own; to rely on His grace rather than performing on our own; and to submit to His glory rather than seeking our own.” So my responsibility is to listen for God’s direction and faithfully respond, knowing that He will provide. I pray that God will use me and my many years (after all, one of the requirements of being a deacon is to “be tested”) to love and serve the Portico community and to assist the elders of our church.

1 Peter 4:10. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Deacon Candidate

I grew up in a loving Christian home in Wisconsin, and attended UVA where my faith grew as a member of an amazing Christian community. I met Mary at UVA and we got engaged and married shortly after graduation. We lived in Chicago for several years and then moved to Northern Virginia. We raised our two children there as I worked in consulting and Mary spent time with our kids and taught part-time. We always knew we wanted to move back to Charlottesville and were thrilled when God closed and opened a number of doors that made that a possibility. We've always been active in the churches we've attended and are excited to be at Portico. We're blessed to have both of our children in Charlottesville at the moment: Paul is a third year engineering student at UVA, and Olivia works full-time at Regent's School and lives in town. Mary teaches first grade at Covenant School and I've started a consulting business.

Hometown: I grew up in Wisconsin, attended UVA undergrad, raised our family in Northern Virginia, and now we're thrilled to call Charlottesville home.
Years at Portico: Mary and I have been attending for about three years, since we moved to Charlottesville.
Areas you’ve served at Portico: Mary and I teach in the Toddler room and I serve with the Worship Team doing slides. Mary and I have started working in the marriage ministry and are currently mentoring our first engaged couple. I've also been involved in a few service projects in and around the church. But I'm most excited to join the thriving Portico Pickleball ministry.
How has God moved in your life during the Deacon preparation process?
In my day job I spend a lot of time teaching and reinforcing the concept of servant leadership. While easy to understand conceptually, it is another thing altogether to live it out as a sinner, confronted with my pride and selfishness every day. It is clear that God has made servant leadership central to the Deacon role. It is also clear that Portico has been blessed with Deacons who understand and live that out. It's humbling, challenging, and encouraging to see God using His people to mobilize ministry and bless lives across the community.

Elder Candidate

Jamie grew up in Midlothian, VA. He met his wife of 22 years, Jen, at JMU, where he majored in accounting and received a commission in the US Army. He served four years in the military before he and Jen moved to Charlottesville, VA in 2005, taking a job with the Department of Defense. They have three amazing children, Campbell (15), Levi (12), and Maren (10). In his free time, Jamie likes to exercise, read, coach kids’ sports, and spend time outdoors.

Hometown: Midlothian, VA
Years at Portico: 17 years
Why do you feel called to be an Elder? 
I believe the elder role is the best fit for me to use my spiritual gifts of leadership, teaching, hospitality, and administration to shepherd the Portico flock, sharpen and care for our members, reach the lost, and glorify God.

Elder Candidate

I am a follower of Jesus. I have been married to my beautiful wife Kathryn for 20 years in August. Other than my relationship with Jesus, Kathryn is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I get to be ‘Dad’ or ‘Daddy’ to an amazing group of children who bring me an incredible amount of joy - Savannah, Caroline, Benson, Lucy, Norah, Rivers and Ace. I have had the pleasure of working with and operating a business my brother David for the last 20 years. I also work in commercial real estate. I continue to be thankful to be a member of Portico.

Hometown: Elizabethtown, TN
Years at Portico: 13 years
Why do you feel called to be an Elder?
For me, the call to be an Elder at Portico is about obedience, love and future hope. Obedience - I believe I was and am called to be an Elder at Portico. If affirmed, I aim to obey the Lord’s call to serve Jesus and his church faithfully in this role. Love - We love Portico and people of Portico. This church family continues to be a blessing in so many ways to our family. Future Hope - I believe Portico is firmly committed to expanding the reach and impact of the gospel in this community and beyond through the preaching of the Word, discipleship, prayer, and leadership development. I want to be a part of that important eternal Kingdom work.