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Our Staff

Don Ward



Don has been the pastor of Grace Community Church since its first worship service in September of 1997. He has been married to Caron since 1983. His hobbies include guitar, golf, and downhill skiing. Don is a 1981 graduate of James Madison University, has a Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministries from Reformed Theological Seminary. He served as an assistant pastor in Georgia from 1985-88, then was the church planter and pastor of South Dayton Presbyterian Church from 1988-1997. Don and Caron live in the Forest Lakes North subdivision.  They have two adult children: Emily (Massengill) and Anna, both of whom spent many years here at GCC. Don came to faith in Christ during his teen years and sensed a call to ministry in those years as well. The ministry of InterVarsity Christian fellowship at J.M.U. was a key influence in developing ministry skills and testing that sense of calling.

Tom Breeden


Assistant Pastor

Tom came to Grace Community Church in August 2015 as a Pastoral Intern. In June 2017, he was ordained as the Assistant Pastor of Lifelong Discipleship. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and completed a Masters of Divinity at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. As a Charlottesville native, Tom has always enjoyed getting outside into the mountains. He also enjoys reading, board games, and anything superhero related.

Rich Brown


Youth Ministry Director

Rich joined the staff at Grace Community Church in August 2018 as the Director of Youth Ministry. He is an alumnus of Liberty University with a Master of Divinity focused on pastoral ministry (2013) and is currently chipping away at his doctorate through Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). Rich served and taught in two PCA churches in Lynchburg, VA before being called to shepherd the youth at Grace. He is passionate about making disciples of all ages who love Jesus and his gospel wholeheartedly and who seek to advance Christ’s kingdom of grace (Colossians 1:28–29). Rich enjoys road biking, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, playing Super Smash Bros. with friends, and investing his life into those within the community.

Karen Sawyer


Worship Director

Karen has been at Grace since 1999, and she has played keyboard on the worship team since that time. She became Worship Director in 2011. She and her husband Randy have two children, Jake and Libby. Karen shares her love of music with her piano and voice students. She sees it as a privilege to lead God's people in worship through music, and she is very thankful for her wonderful music team.

Barbara Eppard


Children's Ministry Director

Barbara has been at Grace since 2007. She has a love for children and a long history in children’s ministry, teaching Sunday school in three different churches over the years. She has also had the privilege to homeschool her four children as well as teach Kindergarten in a private school. In her free time, Barbara enjoys cooking, sewing and spending time with her two grandchildren.

Candy Rowley


Administrative Assistant

Candy and her family started coming to Grace in the fall of 2013, and she joined our staff in April 2014. She holds a B.A. from Calvin College and a Masters in Education from Regent University. Candy served in a Christian school for 17 years, and she hopes to use her organizational and administrative gifts to serve the Grace staff and congregation. Candy and her husband Todd have two wonderful daughters, and she loves reading and spending time with her family.