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Meet the people of our leadership team

Rev. Dr. Bryan J. Katz

Pastor

I’m Pastor Bryan and I am excited to be the Mission Developer and Pastor for Peace and Hope, a community for faith and worship where people across geographic boundaries can gather to hear and share the good news of Jesus Christ!

I discerned God’s call to ministry by imagining ways that the church can serve the world beyond physical church meeting spaces and so when the opportunity presented itself to lead a digital ministry, I realized that the Holy Spirit was at work and felt called to lead this exciting opportunity.

I grew up in Haymarket, Virginia and my faith and formative years were spent as an active participant at Haymarket Baptist Church. I am an alum of Virginia Tech in Civil Engineering (Go Hokies!) and have been a Professor in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech since 2007, currently as an Associate Professor of Practice.  In addition, I am the President of a small family-owned consulting firm, Toxcel.

My wife, Katie, and I were married in 2006.  Katie introduced me to Lutheranism, the ELCA, and Lutheridge (a Lutheran Camp in Arden, North Carolina), where Katie was a camper, camp counselor, and senior staff member.  From then on, I was hooked!

I currently also serve as the Pastor at New Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Blacksburg. I previously served as the Campus Minister for Lutheran Campus Ministry at Virginia Tech (The Well) and continues to serve in a Synod Leadership role as the Synodical Coordinator for Campus Ministry. Before coming to New Mt. Zion as their Pastor, I previously served as the Vicar at both Shiloh and New Mt. Zion Lutheran Churches in Blacksburg and served as an intern at St. Philip Lutheran Church in Roanoke.

I completed my Master’s of Arts in Religion and Pastoral Ministry Certificate at the Institute of Lutheran Theology and I completed coursework through Luther Seminary, all through distance learning. The digital world is definitely not new to me!

My wife, Katie, is a Professor in the School of Nursing at Radford University.  Katie and I are blessed with two children, Emily and Ethan.

Headshot of Pastor Bryan

Grace Robinson

Director of Connecting Ministries

Hey All and welcome! I am so excited to assist in Mission Development as Director of Connecting Ministries for Peace and Hope. I am filled with joy at developing and promoting this all-inclusive community of Christ that breaks the walls of geography to hear God’s good news for us!

When discerning God’s call for my life, I know I was called to create safe and welcoming spaces for ALL people in new and healing ways. When Pastor Bryan approached me with this idea, I could hear the Holy Spirit whispering “this is it!” I had to answer the call.

I am from outside Charlotte, North Carolina and grew up in an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregation. I was an active participant in youth group, church council, statewide youth bands, and went to a church camp in Asheville, North Carolina (Lutheridge) which all played major roles in my faith development.

I am a current student at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia studying Christian Studies and Psychology. I am discerning a call to attend seminary after finishing my undergraduate degree. I am involved with various Young Adult ministries and networks in the VA area and around the Southeastern Region.

While this is my first official role serving on a church staff, I have served in various ways in the church growing up; whether it was playing guitar, leading youth Sunday, or planning worship for on-campus chapel.

I am excited to get to know each and every one of you and serve this new amazing community!

Headshot of Grace

Abby Hall

Director of Service and Engagement

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be a part of this team to reinvent the idea of church beyond the walls of a building. 

I grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, and spent most of my childhood “church-hopping” looking for the right church for my family. It was difficult to find due to our busy schedules. So, when Pastor Bryan approached me about a new idea for “church,” I was beyond excited.  

I am currently a student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia studying Psychology and Spanish. I am thankful to have found a wonderful church community over the past couple years through my campus ministry, The Well,  and the camp where I work, Caroline Furnace. After I finish undergrad, I hope to attend grad school and am looking to serve as a bilingual clinical psychologist. 

I have served in various leadership positions throughout my campus ministry, camp, young adult ministries, and more, and I am so excited to serve as a new leader in this new church experience. 

I cannot wait to get to know you all, and I hope y’all are as excited for this community as I am! 

Meet the team

Rev. Dr. Bryan J. Katz

Pastor

Grace Robinson

Director of Connecting Ministries

Abby Hall

Director of Service and Engagement