Church

Leadership and Staff

Interim Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jill McCrory

pastor@bethesdaucc.org 

A native Washingtonian, Jill has resided in Montgomery County for the past 35 years.  She is ordained in the Baptist tradition and has served as pastor or intentional interim for both Baptist and Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).  She earned her MDiv at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in VA and her DMin from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.

Jill came to ministry later in life after a career in association/non-profit management, leadership development, and strategic planning.  She continues to consult with a variety of organizations on strength-based strategic thinking and leadership.  She has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations including the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, the DC Baptist Convention, and the MoCo Pride Center.

She has a passion for social justice, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ issues.  Her doctorate work centered on the image of God and marginalized groups.  She was nicknamed “Jill the Baptist” by Washington DC’s Metro Weekly magazine and honored as a Capital Pride hero for her work with the LGBTQ+ community.

Jill is married to Jack (yes, Jack and Jill) and has a passion for theology, reading, ballet class, and cooking/entertaining.  She has a soft spot for small dogs and is mom to Morgan, a Yorkie mix.

Director of Music, Valerie A. Higgs

music_director@bethesdaucc.org


A native of South Jersey, Valerie A. Higgs began studying classically at 5 years old. In 1978, she placed second at the Wurlitzer Piano Competition in Philadelphia and was later awarded the NJ Governor’s Excellence in Arts Education Award in 1986.

Since she was 15, Valerie has been a pianist (and sometime organist) for various churches in South Jersey, Chicago, and the Washington, DC; most notably: Haddonfield United Methodist Church in New Jersey, under the direction of John Wilson, and Chicago’s Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, under the direction of Mattie Robertson. Valerie was the music director for the Church in Bethesda from 2013-2015, and has been the music director for the Bethesda United Church of Christ since February 2022.

Valerie has been a Music Director for theatre for over three decades and has music directed in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and South Jersey with such theaters as the Walnut Street Theatre, the Ritz Theatre Company, and the TADA! Youth Theater Company.  Locally, she has worked with Ovations Theatre (Rockville), the Kensington Arts Theatre, and Rockville Musical Theatre.

Valerie is principal pianist for the Tango Reo Quintet and the DC Community Tango Orchestra, accompanies vocalists and instrumentalists for local auditions and competitions (such as National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) vocal competition, the Young Artists Award Competition of Gaithersburg, and the Maryland State Solo & Ensemble Festival, among others.  She also sings with the professional Christmas caroling group, The Philosopher’s Tones, and teaches piano.

Office Manager, Colleen Thompson

admin@bethesdaucc.org

Custodian, Doris Rios

Church Council for 2024

Moderator:  Martha Knouss

Moderator Elect:  Tim Graber

Clerk:  Carla Evans

Treasurer:  Shannon Ross

Assistant Treasurer:  Jeff Davis

Our Church Council is composed of members from our Education Team, Pastoral Care Team, Sharing Team, Welcoming Team, and Worship Team.  

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