Elder Candidate Biographies
Each Elder candidate has prepared a biographical sketch so that you can get to know them better. The Elder Election will be after the outdoor service on September 20, 2020.
I was born and raised in Portsmouth, VA and was blessed to have strong, loving Christian parents and four siblings. Our family attended Highland Baptist Church. My parents, and the teachers and leaders in our church, taught me sound Christian doctrine. They provided me the opportunity to learn what the Bible says and know what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I made a profession of faith and was baptized at nine years old. I am so thankful for the knowledge and experiences that I gained from them and the examples that they set.
Jerry and I met in Alexandria and we were married in 1972. We were members at Downtown Baptist Church. My career was in banking and my position in bank management at the Pentagon branch included supervising the branch operations and personnel, lending, investment counseling and client service. In 1978, I decided to leave my banking career to be a stay-at-home mom. We moved to our current home in Nokesville in 1979 where we raised our two children, Joshua and Beth. When I returned to work, it was with PWC Schools. I worked as a substitute teacher, a classroom aide for special needs children and as a bookkeeper, which returned me to my passion of finance. As a bookkeeper/finance officer, I handled procurement, managed federal, state and local grants and the local budget for my office. My second career with the school system also provided me opportunities to chair committees and serve on special panels at the central office. I retired in 2013 to enjoy gardening, crafts, traveling and spending time with family and friends, and occasionally relaxing on the beautiful Yeopim River in North Carolina.
When Jerry and I moved to Prince William County, we visited many churches in the area and we chose Manassas Baptist to be our church home. Over the 35 years at MBC, I was led to be a Children’s Church teacher and was involved in our youth programs and Sunday School. I have served on and was Chair of the Personnel Committee and on several other church committees. Currently, I am serving as an Elder. My Christian training continues each day. I pray for God’s guidance on how He wants me to serve and use the gifts that He gave to me.
I have seen our church grow, prosper, suffer and recover. We have kept our focus and I believe that God has great things planned for our future.
As a candidate for Manassas Baptist Church Elder, I would like to give you some background about me and my Christian journey. I accepted Christ as my Savior as a 9 year-old in 1978 in Zweibrucken, Germany.
My father was in the Air Force, and I grew up all over the world. My parents took me to the base chapel on occasion, but I had never heard that Jesus could save me from my sins. I do remember thinking as a young child that I needed to be good to go to Heaven. I don’t know where I got the idea, but I recall being upset and sad that I wasn’t going to Heaven because I never seemed to able to be “good” enough as I was often in trouble with my parents. While living in Germany, I saw a small van taking kids to Vacation Bible School at a small Baptist Church near the base. I asked my mother if I could go and she said as long as I took my brother with me, I could go. This was clearly the Holy Spirit at work. The Bible school was fun but the main thing I remember was the pastor speaking for about 15 minutes on John 3:16. I was enthralled by the idea that God sent his Son to die for me and it didn’t matter how “good” I was, I just had to accept this free gift and believe that Jesus was my Savior. I immediately answered the altar call and went up front to accept Christ. I also remember praying the prayer to accept Jesus as my Savior over and over that night to make sure He heard me and knew I was serious!
The incredible part of the story is when I asked my parents if I could be baptized, they were amazed. How could a young boy make such a big decision? After talking to the pastor, they agreed to allow me. When my parents came to my baptism, they were so moved they started attending church and God used this experience with a 9 year-old boy to bring a whole family into relationship with Him.
Through high school, I was very committed to my relationship with Christ. I was in the Bible Club at School and was active in my Youth Group. In college, I drifted in my relationship and regret the time that I wasted chasing personal pleasure and worldly recognition. I joined the Air Force after graduation and married my college girlfriend. I tried to reconnect in Christian community, but my wife then did not join me and I continued to drift. We were divorced after 3 years of marriage in 1995 when she was unfaithful and asked to leave. In this dark time, I turned back to God as my only Hope and Salvation. I later felt called to leave the Air Force and join the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I met Greta in 1998 and we married 6 months later when I was a New Agent Trainee with the FBI. I knew immediately I wanted to share my life and faith with her. We connected in Christian community at my first FBI office in California at Torrance First Baptist Church. In 2003, we moved to Manassas Park and connected with Manassas Baptist Church and the Standing Stones Small Group/Sunday School. We found our church family and home! Our children have grown up and were baptized in this church. Our daughter, Brooke, is 20 years old and a Junior at Shepherd University where she plays volleyball. She is active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a strong Christian woman. Our son, Jesse, is 17 years old and is a Senior at Manassas Park High School. He is active in Boy Scouts and is a team captain on his varsity swim team. He serves on technical teams for the youth praise team and the Contemporary Worship team as sound engineer and camera technician. He is a young man of incredible Christian character. My family is an incredible blessing from God.
Greta and I have served in various areas at MBC. I led Standing Stones Sunday lessons for several years. I was on the MBC Finance Committee for two years. Greta, Jesse, and I serve on the Contemporary Worship technical team (I run the sound board). For a couple of years, I led a youth self-defense class and later a women’s self-defense class. I held three women’s self-defense seminars. I planned and led two father/daughter dances. I have led two “Man Up” youth weekend camping trips and one “Wonder Woman” camping trip. I held an Active Shooter Response class for the MBC Preschool. I organized multiple security briefings and training sessions for MBC. Greta and I have taught Crown Financial Ministries study four separate times and once to the young adult group. Greta, our family, and I have served on mission trips to West Virginia, New York, and Kenya. We have served homeless camps in Manassas. I have spoken to our men’s group on three occasions about my experiences serving in the FBI in Iraq. God has truly blessed me to be able to serve in so many ways and with so many people.
I believe in service before self and the ideals of servant leadership. I praise God for calling me to Him and for watching over me all these years. My life is marked by His grace and mercy. Thank you for this further opportunity to serve God and His people.
My church experience began shortly after birth when my parents took me with them to Annandale Baptist Church each Sunday. I made my profession of faith and was baptized, at the Annandale Church. It was also at Annandale where I met and married my wife, Rachel.
During my second year of college, I rededicated my life to Christ and consider that experience to have been a truly life changing experience in my Christian walk. During that time, I was involved in campus ministry with the Navigators.
Shortly after we were married, I was employed by IBM in Manassas. After moving to Manassas, we joined Manassas Baptist. During that time, we regularly attended Sunday School and Worship. Just a few months after the birth of our son, Kurt, we accepted a transfer with IBM to upstate New York. While in New York we were members of Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church where I taught fifth and sixth grade Sunday School, was ordained as a Deacon and where Rachel and I co-lead the Youth Ministry. In the summer of 1988, we transferred back to Manassas and again joined MBC.
Since rejoining MBC, I taught youth Sunday School for 10+ years, served on the Senior Pastor Search Committees, served as a Deacon and on the Missions, Nominating, and Personnel Committees. I have served as an Elder since 2010 and currently lead the MBC Men’s Fellowship and co-lead the Portals small group.
Since my earliest days, Church life and service has been a consistent part of my daily walk. Being a part of MBC has at times been both rewarding and challenging however, through these experiences my faith has grown deeper along with a greater appreciation of God’s boundless love.
My name is Norm Modlin. My wife Lilah and I have been married for 31 years. I am employed by The Aerospace Corporation in Chantilly, where I work on weather and space environment issues. Lilah is a Medical Technologist who works in the main laboratory at Novant UVA Prince William Medical Center. Our children are Chris (married to Erin), who teaches English in Wuxi, China, and Kayla, a graduate Music major (French Horn) at the University of Missouri. After moving to Manassas in 2003 through an Air Force reassignment, we began attending and then joined Manassas Baptist Church.
I’m blessed to have grown up in a strong, Christ-loving family. Some of my earliest memories revolve around my home church; growing up in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Royal Ambassadors – a classic Southern Baptist childhood of the 70’s. Because of this foundation, prepared by many members of Cedar Branch who led those classes, I felt God working in my heart and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 9.
Christ told His followers that He came to serve others, rather than to be served. I believe this is crucial in our Christian life. My earthly model for service in the church has 2 key components. First is my Dad, who at one time or another has served in nearly every lay position in our home church. He taught us not in words or lessons, but by demonstrating service, involving us in many of the ways he served. Second was a Pastor’s wife who helped lead the Young Married class at our church in Texas. She actively encouraged young couples to begin volunteering in the church, and to eventually grow into the next generation of servant-leaders. As we moved around the country, it was always important to find a new church home and to become involved in those churches, as well as within the community through our children’s activities. Within each of the churches we joined, I was amazed at the opportunities that God placed before me, and assured by the fact that He provides strength, knowledge and ability to serve in those roles. Our lives have been blessed through the friendships that developed and rewarded by seeing how God impacts the church and the community through our service alongside each of you.
During my time at MBC, I have served on the Finance, Personnel and Senior Pastor Search Committees. I served as a Deacon from 2007-2016 (having been ordained at a previous church) prior to being selected as an Elder that year. As a Deacon, I have taught the Connexions class for new members. I am a member of the Standing Stones Bible Study class and coordinate the Ushers for the Contemporary Worship service. I also serve on the Lawn Care and Snow Removal teams.
Outside the church, I have served as an Adult Leader for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, an Assistant Coach for Little League, and as Pit Crew Coordinator for the Band Boosters.
My personal interests and hobbies include cycling, reading, college football and basketball (GO WOLFPACK!), baseball (GO NATS!) and NASCAR.
2020 will certainly be a year to remember – for each of us, our families, our church, our communities, our nation, and the world. As we adapt to the changes introduced by Covid-19 as well as address issues faced by our nation, we recognize that Christ and His Church remain a firm foundation. We need the Church as a beacon of Christ’s love now more than ever and recognize that the next year is an important one as we continue to minister in what has become a semi-online world. Knowing that Manassas Baptist Church stands committed to light the pathway to Christ whatever our circumstances, I accepted an Elder nomination and offer my time and energy to furthering our church’s mission during this season.
A software engineering job at IBM (now Lockheed Martin) in Manassas was my reason for moving to Northern Virginia over 40 years ago. My husband, Jon, and I met at IBM, were married at Manassas Baptist Church, raised our children, Sara and Daniel, and continue to live in our 100+ year old home in Old Town Manassas. Though Jon and I are now both retired, life stays busy as we are involved in our church, in our community, and in world missions.
As an 8-year old, I put my life in Jesus’s hands. My mother and father served as the organist and minister of music respectively of my home church, First Baptist in Charlottesville. They trained me spiritually and musically, encouraging me to minister through music even as a young teen. With an undergraduate degree in music, I have used my ability in piano and organ to worship personally and to enhance Christian worship in churches of all denominations.
My Christian service has mostly been through my church involvement: as a regular attendee while a student at the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia, as a young, single working woman at Manassas Baptist and Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, as a new bride at Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, VA, as a wife and mother in an Anglican Church in England for 5 years, and as a working mother and now a retiree back at Manassas Baptist. Through these various Christian communities, I led and participated in small group Bible studies, taught children and youth, accompanied choirs and played for worship services, taught English as a Second Language, traveled to Guatemala on mission, served on the Personnel Committee, and led as an Elder at Manassas Baptist for 8 years.
Throughout my life, I learned from Christians around me and saw the relevance and vibrancy of Christianity in our world. I have experienced much variety in my church involvement and, in each change, the Lord challenged me to grow in faith, to trust Him with my life’s choices, and to be a help to the world outside my door. I pray that I will be a positive contributor to His community wherever the Lord places me in service in His church.