Travis grew up in sunny southern California. At a young age, he began to dream of being President. So it only made sense in God’s delightfully ironic plan that he would come to DC after college and… give up any plans of a political life to pursue a life in ministry. That pursuit first led Travis and his beautiful wife, Esther, to Dallas and Redeemer Theological Seminary to start a Masters of Divinity in 2014. In April 2015, God changed Travis’ plans again and gave he and his wife the opportunity to come back to DC for Travis to serve at Grace Mosaic as the Seminary Fellow (or ‘pastor in training’) while continuing his education at Reformed Theological Seminary’s DC campus. Except for his brief time in Texas, Travis has lived and worked in DC since 2009. In 2015, Travis & Esther welcomed their son, Cal Drake, into the world. When Travis is not in school he’s attempting to master the art of BBQ (and pastoring!) under the wise tutelage of Pitmaster and local Pastor, Russ Whitfield.
Katie Willett moved to DC in 2004 thinking she would just stay a couple of years, but thankfully God had another plan. After attending Grace Downtown for several years, Katie met her husband, Evan. In 2012 they moved to Brookland and soon felt called to the Grace Mosaic community. Katie loves living in Brookland and can often be found chasing her 3 kids around the Franciscan Monastery or running with her dog Trouble.
Ministry Coordinator, Rock Star
A native Louisianan,Paul Major is currently serving as Ministry Coordinator at Grace Mosaic, while pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical Hebrew at Catholic University. As Ministry Coordinator, Paul oversees Sunday mornings; coordinates fellowship groups; and teaches a Bible Study on Tuesday nights. Paul has an M.Div from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC and served as Pastoral Assistant for six years at Christ Central Church. Paul is married to Mary Jo and their household also includes a Pepper (dog), McQueen (cat), and James Russell (human).
Deidra grew up in Northern Virginia, moved out of the area, and moved back to the Metro D.C. area with her husband, Robert, in 2007. Taking the call from Grace to be “In and for the City” they moved into D.C. in 2011 and have fallen in love with their place. They enjoy exploring and learning more about Washington with their two boys.
Kenny grew up in Durham, NC and moved to Washington, DC in 2011 where he met his wife, Tianna. They have been part of Grace Mosaic from its first meeting, and now live in Riggs Park with their two beautiful children.
A salty story not to be missed, Inger and Michael Schafer first kissed, to a Marvin Gaye song in Adams Morgan. The salt did not stop there, I am glad to declare, as this tale turned blessings in daughters who are singy and soulful the way Marvin would have appreciated. 12 full calendars into their Brookland residency, the Schafers have a bottomless pit for experiencing the city and meeting its people, especially ones with a story to tell.
Teaching Elder / Pastor
After growing up in the church, walking away, and being rescued by God while on the campus of New York University, Russ sensed a call to ministry and immediately pursued the theological training he needed to lead and care for people. He received his Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and was called by Grace DC to serve as an assistant pastor of our Downtown congregation. A few years later, he teamed up with a wonderful group of people to plant Grace Mosaic in NE DC. Russ is now serving as the lead pastor of Grace Mosaic, Director of Cross-Cultural Advancement for Reformed University Fellowship, and is a visiting professor in Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary’s Washington, DC campus. Russ has made written contributions to Heal Us, Emmanuel: A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation and Unity in the Church (White Blackbird Books, 2016), All Are Welcome: Toward a Multi-Everything Church (White Blackbird Books, 2018), and 9Marks Journal. He loves talking BBQ, smoking BBQ, and eating BBQ. He enjoys making music, and he’s having the time of his life raising four fun-loving children with his lovely wife, Vanessa.
Christie has been part of the Grace DC Network since moving to DC in 2007. Though she is originally a California farm girl, life in the city has been pretty great, and DC has become home. She loves learning more about the story of the city and its people and is fond of exploring DC neighborhoods via bicycles and food.
Melissa first moved to DC in 2000 and fell in love with the city doing case management in NW and SE DC. She returned in 2003 after 2 years at seminary and joined the Grace Network not long after, resonating deeply with the emphasis on grace and the theology of place. She and Jerry married in 2011 and settled into Brentwood and then Brookland. They felt called to be a part Grace Mosaic from its beginning. Life has been a roller coaster since then with 3 kids and 2 Army deployments in their relatively short married life, but Grace Mosaic has been an anchor through it all. When not coordinating children’s ministry, Melissa takes care of their kids, spends as much time outside as possible, and loves experiencing all the richness of the city with her family.
Ian and his wife, Allison, moved to Washington DC in 2007 and have been a part of the Grace church network ever since. In 2013, they felt God’s calling to be part of the Grace Mosaic community in Northeast DC. Ian, Allison and their 3 kids love their neighborhood and want to be part of God’s story of renewal and redemption in the District. Ian likes helping friends and neighbors with house projects, going crabbing and fishing with his kids, and embarrassing his wife by gardening in a silly straw hat.
Chris and Lisa Moore are Maryland natives who grew to love DC by first living in cities in Europe and the Middle East. They now live in Brookland with their kids and enjoy the daily adventures to be found at school, work, neighborhood and church.
Teaching Elder / Assistant Pastor of Worship & Formation
Joel grew up on the hot and humid streets of Montgomery, AL. After being raised up in the church, Joel abandoned it when he arrived on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where he planned to live out his dream of becomming a professional musician. He quickly ran his life into the pit of despair. But, in the darkest of times, God showed Joel the reality of the loving grace of Jesus Christ and the beauty of His Kingdom. At that very same time, Joel sensed a clear call to ministry. He received his Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary and served as the Assistant Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Winston Salem, NC for three years. In early 2018, Joel was called by Grace Mosaic to become their Assistant Pastor of Worship & Formation. Joel has served or currently serves as a worship director for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, the Leadership Development & Resource Conference (LDR), and the forthcoming Beautiful Orthodoxy Conference. He writes and currates spiritual formation materials including daily prayerbooks, liturgies, and devotionals for the church calendar. Joel loves to perform, create, and arrange music for both the sancutary and the club. He enjoys gardening, running, exploring, reading, and cooking. His wife, Melissa, is the sunshine of his life and their three boys, Oscar, Thelonius (Theo), and Wynton, are beautiful treasures and joyful companions for their life together in NE DC.