Reverend Gary Heaton

Gary and his wife Beth have three daughters, Amanda, Julie and Clara.  He graduated from W. T. Woodson High School and was a member of St. Matthews United Methodist Church.  Gary is a graduate of High Point College and Wesley Theological Seminary.  Beth is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and The University of Virginia. Gary has served in the Virginia Conference since 1986 in a variety of settings.  Prior to appointment he worked in youth ministry at Messiah UMC and camping ministry in various settings.  As a seminary student, Gary served a two  point charge at Riverton and John Wesley United Methodist Churches.  He served in the Roanoke District as the pastor of Crockett Springs UMC and the Summer Camp Director at Camp Alta Mons from 1989 to 1993.  In that time the new sanctuary was conceived, constructed and completed at the church and the camp program flourished.  Three years on the Norfolk district at Tabernacle UMC was followed by five years at Round Hill UMC in Loudoun Co. Virginia. Gary is first and foremost a preacher with a passion for telling the story of Jesus.  He has a well developed theology of music and the arts and their centrality to worship in the Wesleyan tradition.   He has talent for leading the congregation in robust singing and a creative vision for the use of drama, dance, music, visual & digital arts in worship.