Pastor Jennifer Mercer

Greetings, friends, in the name of Emmanuel, God with us! I look forward to serving alongside you as partners in ministry at Wesley Chapel UMC. A little bit about me…

Virginia is home and I’ve been fortunate to live most of my life in this beautiful state, with about 15 years in Idaho and Oregon. As the eldest child, I cared for my siblings, raising my sister, Anna, who had Down Syndrome. She, along with my parents, have gone on to glory. My present family is a young dog; we adopted each other late this summer. She keeps me on my toes and loves to play!

My early career field was information technology with the Department of Defense, Department of Air Force, and State of Idaho Health and Welfare. My logical mind and natural curiosity were a good match for this field and I loved the challenges it offered.

No matter where I lived, the church was a constant in my life. I grew up attending Arlington UMC, where I learned about Jesus and God, and what it was to be the church. Though other family members didn’t share the same commitment as I did, to me, the church was my second home, filled with many wonderful saints who watched over me and taught me how to be a disciple. I participated and served in many areas of church life: youth and young adult groups, Bible study, committee work, and choir, for example.

Over the years, two passions remained strong in my life: a love of God and the church, and music. In addition to singing in choirs and solo performances, I’ve served as Director of Music and Worship Leader/Coordinator for a contemporary worship service that I created. I created a redesigned worship experience for persons with special needs. While in Idaho in the early 2000s, my life took a more serious turn in ministry. After serving two years as an associate pastor at a mid-size church, in 2007 God led into full time pastoral ministry. I returned to my Virginia home in 2012 and continue to serve in pastoral ministry.

I have a heart for serving and caring for persons on the fringes of society and those in need, and helping to restore justice and peace where there is none. On a mountaintop outside Denver some years ago, I experienced a defining moment where God spoke that the challenge is to find God in the midst of the storm --- and life seems to hold no shortage of storms! It seemed to describe the heart God had given me and encapsulated Jesus’ words in Luke 4:18-19.

I earned a BA in Pastoral Studies from Southwestern College (2009), and began studies toward an M.Div. at the School of Theology at Virginia Union (VUU) in 2017. In the spring of 2023, I began serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Heart Havens organization, which provides housing to persons with differing abilities.