Presenter Bios

Week 1: "The Why and How of the Conversation" - Mike Weaver

Mike Weaver is the Executive Director of the Bradley Study Center at Virginia Tech. Mike is a graduate of Virginia Tech, and earned master’s degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School.  A United Methodist for most of his life, he served as a lay delegate to the 1996 General Conference of the UMC, and subsequently served on the board of directors of the UMC General Board of Discipleship. 

Week 2: "A Traditionalist Perspective" - Rev. Greg West

Greg West is an Evangelist in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Previously Greg served as the Chaplain at Virginia Wesleyan University, and as a Pastor. Greg is passionate about small group ministry seeing this as a front line for both evangelism and discipleship.  He frequently leads teams to Latin America to serve with the church there.  Greg and Eileen have been married for 27 years.  They have 3 children: Josiah 21, Evie 19 and Luke 18. 

Week 3: "A Centrist Perspective" - Rev. Sarah Locke & Rev. Bryson Smith

Rev. Sarah Locke serves as the pastor at Hickory United Methodist Church, in Chesapeake, VA. She is an Ordained Elder in the Virginia Conference where she has served for the past 11 years. Her previous two appointments were in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia serving at Christ UMC in Staunton, VA and Calvary in Stuarts Draft, VA. She is a graduate of William and Mary with a B.S. in Biology and received her M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. She and her husband Joseph have been married for 14 years and have five wonderful children ages 2-10, a very playful goldendoodle, named Duke, and a bunny, named Butterball. 

Rev. T. Bryson Smith is currently the pastor of Good Shepherd UMC in Henrico.  An Ordained Elder in the UMC, he with his wife Lori along with their children served churches in Burke, Staunton, and lived in the NRV for about six years serving Fieldstone UMC.  Bryson loves cooking on his Blackstone Griddle, enjoys walking, reading, riding bikes with his twin daughters, soaking up every minute of his son's senior year in High school.  

Week 4: "A Progressive Perspective" - Rev. Amanda Miller Garber

Amanda is a church planter, spiritual pioneer and relentless dreamer.  She serves as the Chief Instigator/Founding Pastor at RISE, a young faith community in Harrisonburg, Virginia (riseharrisonburg.com). RISE has a bold and inclusive spirit and is a transformational force in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and beyond.