virginia district nyi council

  • jerry varner (richmond southside)

    nyi president

    Jerry is currently serving at Southside Church of the Nazarene where he's been since 2004 as the Student Discipleship Pastor.

    Born in the country, raised at the beach, and comfy-cozy in the city, Jerry's greatest desire is to enjoy life being the best husband for his wife Merritt and the best dad for his 4 kids. After that, he's in it to disciple students who disciple students who disci---you get the idea.

    Jerry was called to ministry at the age of 16 and at that point told God "Wherever you want me to go, I'll go there. Whatever you want me to do, I'll do it. Whatever you want me to say, I'll say it." A 1995 graduate of Nyack College, Jerry has spoken to students from all over the country about walking with a wild-eyed Jesus. And while the road hasn't been all ice cream and lollipops, he wouldn't change one thing about his journey so far.

    As President of Virginia NYI, he's here to help youth leaders grow, connect, and see God's will revealed and clear in the state of Virginia and beyond!

  • Jeffrey Hernandez (Richmond The Remnant)

    NYI Vice President

    Sr Pastor at El Remanente (The Remnant) Church of the Nazarene in Richmond Virginia

    JNI & Ultracamp - District Hispanic Youth Director

    Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Jeff was called to ministry at an early age and at age 19, he was elected to lead the Hispanic youth leaders around the Virginia District Church of the Nazarene.

    He has served as the JNIVA President and NYI Hispanic Youth Director for 10 years and serves as a professor in the Hispanic Nazarene Theological Institute of the Virginia District.

    Since that time, he and the JNIVA team launched a bilingual youth camp on the virginia district which is in it's 8th year and has a record attendance of 230+ and has seen almost 100 young people give their lives to Christ through the camp.

    He has had the priviledge to speak to youth about the Gospel in different countries around the Americas from Nicaragua to Colombia.

    Currently serves interdenominationally in helping churches develop worship ministries and musicians and has worked with over 20 churches in Virginia.

    A former collegiate & NCAA athlete in track and field and FCA contributor. He and his wife Hannah serve together at their home church in Richmond and are graduates from Virginia Commonwealth University. GO RAMS!

  • tina nelson (bridgewater Spring creek)

    nyi secretary

    Currently serving as youth pastor at Spring Creek Church where she has been there for the past 10 years and has served there a combined total of 15 years from a previous assignment there. Tina has been in youth ministry for almost 22 years as a volunteer, part time, and full time.

    Tina has been married to Tom for 15 years and has one daughter named Madison. Tom and Madison are Tina's heart and she loves that she gets to be wife and mother to them.

    Tina grew up in Illinois, gradutated from Olivet Nazarene University with a double major in social work and psychology. Tina is not only serving as a youth pastor, but also as our VA District NYI Secretary AND Eastern Field NYI Secretary!

    She loves doing life with students and their families and watching them grow and be excited about what God has for them and who they can be for Him!


  • Christy Marshall (charlottesville)

    nyi treasurer

    I was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA. As a child and early teenager I attended CFCN off and on but was away for several years. After some personal struggles I felt led back to the Church and I’ve been there ever since. At the suggestion of Clay Marsh I dropped in on youth group one night and have been involved ever since. Currently, I am the NYI President for Charlottesville First Church of the Nazarene working alongside a fantastic team helping to lead the youth ministry of CFCN. This is also my first year as the District NYI Treasurer.

    I work full-time at CFA Institute in the Educational Events and Programs Department. Our group is responsible for the planning and execution of live educational events in the finance industry. Thanks to CFA Institute I’ve learned I love to travel. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Boston, California, Chicago, Florida, Vancouver, Scotland, Paris, and this year I will be traveling to Singapore.

    Although I have no children of my own, I do consider each member of the youth group one of my own. I am blessed to spend time with wonderful teenagers and I have a great team of adults to work with. They each have a love and passion for God and the youth ministry at CFCN. I am VERY excited to be a member of the District Council and I look forward to getting to know everyone better and making new friends!

    Phone: (434) 249-0797


  • brad billet (west point)

    nyi senior pastor representative

    I was born in Charleston, WV and moved to Long Island, NY before my family settled down in Northern Virginia when I was in 3rd grade. I chose to follow Christ at 6 years old when a tiger puppet led me through the sinner’s prayer. God first gave me a sense of calling at Winter Retreat in High School. That terrified me so I ignored it while I was in high school. At college (MVNU) God kept coming at me with His plans to use me. Scared, stubborn, and stupid, I ran as far from God and His people as I could. In only 4 months I had reached the end of myself. Physically and emotionally beaten up, my spirit was empty. I was hollow. God had never stopped pursuing me, but I felt ruined. Then it finally happened. As the year 2000 began, I surrendered—my dreams, my failures, my fears, my desires, everything. God began to transform me from who I was into who I was in Him. And, He used His people to help. Since that time God has taken me from Ohio, to Kansas City, and back home to Virginia. I’ve been blessed with a wife (Megan) and 2 kids (Mallory, Elijah). Amazingly, God continues to shape me and connect me to others. Today my time is spent helping others see what God can do in them when surrender happens--transformation happens best when we are connected together. Serving the District NYI Council as Senior Pastor Representative, I’m pumped to work for the same thing—connecting youth and senior pastors and the rest of us together so Christ can transform us into His people. We really do need each other!

    Phone: (804) 246-9359


  • susan kleinfeld-simmons (whitestone)

    NYI Youth Pastor Representative

    Susie currently lives in Kilmarnock, VA, where she and her family serve in ministry at the White Stone Church of the Nazarene. Susie grew up on the VA District and is excited to actively be a part of God’s continued work in Virginia. She graduated from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University with a degree in Communication. Her greatest desire is to live in a way that reflects God’s love to all those she encounters and that when she sees people she sees them with the eyes of Christ and his love.

    Susie is married to Scott Simmons and they have two fantastic small people, Reba and Reuben.

  • timothy sluss (Winchester)

    nyi youth director/worker representative

    NYI Communications Coordinator

    Tim has been a part of the Virginia Nazarene District for a long time. He grew up in Woodbridge, Virginia with a twin brother named Nathan and a special needs little brother named Daniel.

    In the Summer of 2011, Tim received his calling to Youth Ministry at Virginia District Nazarene Family Camp. From there he took General Education classes at Northern Virginia Community College before transferring to Eastern Nazarene College in the Fall of 2013. He graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Religion.

    Tim met his wife, Heather, at Eastern Nazarene College and they married each other in June 2016.

    In 2015, Tim and his wife Heather were called to become the Youth Pastors at South Weymouth Church of the Nazarene in Weymouth, Massachusetts where they served for almost 2 years while finishing up their studies at Eastern Nazarene College.

    Tim moved back to Virginia in May 2017 to Strasburg, Virginia. Tim and Heather became the Youth Pastors at Alive Church of the Nazarene (formerly Manassas Church of the Nazarene) in Bristow, Virginia where they served with a 1 year commitment.

    Tim and Heather are now at Winchester First Church of the Nazarene as Associate Pastors. Heather has a focus in being the Youth Pastor. Tim assists Heather in the Youth Ministry, but is also an Administrative Assistant to the church.

    Phone: (703) 232-9967


  • david kriner (Tidewater Central)

    nyi parent representative

    Hi, my name is David Kriner. I am serving you this year as your Parent Representative to the NYI Council.

    I was born in Richmond and have spent most of my life here on the Virginia District. I am currently serving as the Young Adult and Discipleship Pastor at Tidewater Central COTN in Virginia Beach. Prior to serving at Tidewater Central, I served as the Youth Pastor at the Hampton COTN. My wife Theresa and I have seven children, four of which fall into the NYI age range. As a former Youth Pastor, a parent of four teenagers, and a Parent Representative to the NYI Council, I want to make myself available to the parents on the Virginia District and make sure that you, the parents, are represented. Feel free to contact me with any of your questions or concerns about what's happening here on the Virginia District.

    Phone: (757) 497-8703

  • bertha lidia llanos (fredericksburg Iglesia)

    NYI young adult representative

    My name is Bertha Lidia Cruz Osorio (well technically my name is Bertha Lidia Llanos but that's a debate for another day haha). I was born December 23, 1994 in Honduras. I came to the United States at the age of five. My parents are Walter and Maritza Cruz, I have two younger siblings, Christopher and Melanie. I got married August 8, 2015 to my beloved Eliseo. My parents were called to ministry to be Lead pastors at Fredericksburg Iglesia where I am currently fulfilling the role of youth pastor alongside my husband. I am also worship leader,  and I also help lead children's ministry. District-wise I am JNI VP and Ultraband leader. God's grace in my life has been abundant! And nothing fills me more than being able to serve HIM at my max potential! 

    Phone: (540) 841-8718


  • Clay Bryan (Lynchburg)

    NYI Young Adult Representative

    When I was in the seventh grade my family and I started to look for a church to call home. We looked around for awhile before we decided to check out Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene. My whole family fell in love with the church. Soon after, I started to attend youth group and the many events that came with it such as camp and winter Retreat. The more I attended the more I fell in love with the different NYI events. I loved it so much I looked for ways to get involved. For the past 2 years I have helped plan the prayer room at Winter Retreat and for the past 4 years I have become more and more involved with the many different camps NYI is apart of. I look forward to working along side my fellow brothers and sisters to make NYI become great for all to enjoy.

    Phone: (434) 258-8908

  • Allie Hamlin (Lynchburg)

    NYI Student Representative

    Hi there! I’m Allie Hamlin, a 17 year old from Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene. I really got involved with my church when my mom threw me in youth group in sixth grade and had me play a nose flute and hula hoop at the same time for the talent show... Since then I’ve grown quite a bit in my faith from preparing and leading a lesson for my youth group, to participating in all of my churches worship teams including children’s church, youth, Sunday services, and even a VBS here and there. My passions lie in worship and marching band, both of which I’ve been doing for 5+ years. My heart has always been rooted in music, and I adore what I do. I’m super stoked to serve as a student rep for VA NYI this year. I’ve grown up in camp and winter retreat, and I’m excited to see how God will use me to help glorify what He’s doing in our district.

    Phone: (434) 941-4712

  • Caleb Kriner (Tidewater Central)

    NYI Student Representative

    I’m Caleb Kriner, I am 17 years old. I grew up in the Nazarene Church. I love music, sports, and Jesus! I attend Tidewater Central Church of the Nazarene. Where I serve on the worship team and as worship leader for the youth. I love Virginia NYI because they graciously guide the young youth into the ministry and teach them how to serve in the Church, and community. Thank you for the opportunity to serve VA NYI.

    Phone: (757) 897-3627

  • Orion Lucas (Harrisonburg)

    NYI Student Representative

    Hey, my name is Orion Lucas, I've grown up in the Harrisonburg First Church of the Nazarene. I am now 17 years old and excited to serve on the VA NYI council. I am my senior class president and also a Quest alumni. I hope to help VA NYI in anyway I can on the council and in years to come.

    Phone: (304) 596-4443