Our Elders and Deacons

Elder Nominations

Each year, the Chapel family nominates members from our church body to serve on our Elder Team. Due to the public health challenges in 2020, the elders postponed the Annual Meeting until it was safe to conduct the gathering and maintain the integrity of the elder election process. After approving a revised timeline, the target date for the 2021 Annual Meeting is September 12. Elder nominations will be received through the month of May.

At the Williamsburg Community Chapel, “the Elders shall be members who are particularly able to participate with the Senior Pastor in leadership of the spiritual, education, and administrative ministries of the Chapel. Members shall be subject to those spiritual intents set forth for those entrusted with leadership and overseer responsibilities. According to [the Apostle] Paul, “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to much wine, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. He must not be a recent convert. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders...” (1 Timothy 3:1-7; See also Titus 1:5-9)” (Chapel Constitution).

Elder Nominations are received by a Nominating Committee, selected annually by the elders (Chapel Constitution). All nominated members are considered. Our Nominating Committee is comprised of a pastor, two staff members, two deacons, and two lay leaders representing our various ministry areas. Our goal is to have a Nominating Committee that represents a broad range of congregational perspectives.

The Chapel’s elder board is comprised of six elected elders, three appointed elders, and the Lead Pastor. Elders serve three-year terms and are eligible to serve two consecutive terms. This year the Chapel’s members will have the opportunity to elect four new elders at the Chapel’s Annual Meeting on September 12. 

To ask questions or to provide Feedback to the Nominating Committee, please email   or call (757) 941-1224. To submit a nomination, please complete the form below or call Elder Nominating Committee member, Phyllis Leffler, at (757) 229-7152.

Elder Nomination Submissions

Part of an elder candidate’s discernment process is participating in our Elder Education Program. In order to help the Chapel family prayerfully consider which members might make an effective elder, below are links to our February 2020 Elder Education Program.

Elder Education Program - Session 1 Elder Education Program - Session 2

Current Elders

Gary Bruce: second term expires 4/30/21; the elders voted unanimously per the Chapel’s Constitution (Article X, Section E) to extend his term until the 2021 Annual Meeting targeted for 9/12/21; position to be filled at the 2021 Annual Meeting

Chris Dunnavant: first term expires 4/30/22

Ron Fisher: second term expires 4/30/21; position to be filled at the 2021 Annual Meeting

Graham Henshaw: first term expires 4/30/21; the elders voted unanimously per the Chapel’s Constitution (Article X, Section E) to extend his term until the 2021 Annual Meeting targeted for 9/12/21; position to be filled at the 2021 Annual Meeting

Mike Lanning: first term expires 4/30/21; appointed by the elders to serve a second term which expires 4/30/24

Kevin Morgan: first term expires 4/30/22

Mike Morse: second term expires 4/30/23

Butch Palmer: term expires 4/30/21; position to be filled at the 2021 Annual Meeting

Ray Schultz: first term expires 4/30/22

Travis Simone: Lead Pastor

To contact our elder team, please email us at .

Chapel Constitution  Governance documents

Nature of Being an Interdenominational Family of Faith

Elder Advisory Council

The Elder Advisory Council provides the elders with ready access to a fuller range of congregational perspectives than the current makeup of our elder team provides. The council is comprised of Chapel members that span these attributes of the congregation: gender, age, race/ethnicity, profession, marital status, economic status, and spiritual maturity.

The council’s work includes participation in elder meetings by rotating members, ad-hoc elder committee support, and representation at Quarterly Issues Meetings designed to gather congregational perspectives on issues surfaced by the elder board. The council has a three-year sunset clause pending the elders’ evaluation of its effectiveness and future necessity.

The members of the Elder Advisory Council from left to right:

  • Carol Sale
  • Keith Perkins
  • Cris Wineinger
  • Jeff Ammons
  • Gerri Polk
  • Alex Heacock
  • Tia Martin
  • Bob Hipple

If you have something you would like the Elder Advisory Council to discuss you may submit it below. The Council will discuss it at their next monthly meeting and will reach out to you.

Elder Advisory Feedback


In the Bible, the word deacon means "servant." At the Chapel, our deacons serve our body and support our staff by leading other volunteers and taking care of several "hands on" needs within our ministries. We are so grateful for each of our deacons and their commitment to serve the people of our church. (1 Timothy 3:8-13) If you have any questions about deacons, please contact Eileen Lowe, .

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