Dave Farris, Pastor
College: Radford University
Seminary: Cincinnati Bible Seminary
After serving as a middle/high school youth pastor for 12 years & attending seminary in Cincinnati, Dave and his family returned back to his home state of Virginia.
He was brought on at Northstar Church in Blacksburg to serve in a variety of staff roles as the church went through several growth spurts. Eventually, the call that drove the Farris family back to Virginia in the first place became undeniably clear.
It really just got to the point where we (Mandy and I) could not avoid this step of faith any longer.
Northstar Church Pulaski began meeting weekly on Sunday September 11, 2013!
Mandy, also a Pulaski native, currently works at the Carilion Clinic in Blacksburg as a registered nurse. She and Dave were married in 2002. Jeremiah (14) loves to play basketball and disc golf as well as watch any show involving Bear Grylls. Thomas (10) is a Lego Master as well as being an avid soccer player. Both boys adore their baby sister Caroline (5), who can already hold her own against her big brothers. The entire family loves to camp and spend time in the outdoors!
Saera Alley, Kid’s Ministry
College: Radford University
Saera is a recent Radford University graduate with a deep love and passion for children and their education. Though there are so many wonderful things to teach, Saera believes the Gospel is the most important. She first heard the Gospel from her grandmother who lovingly nurtured her relationship with Jesus beginning in infancy and continuing to this day. Her love for children and education began at the age of 7 when her little sister, Marie was born. Between Marie and Greyson (a brother born 3 years later) Saera had her hands full babysitting and learning to care for children. While at Radford University, she began to feel God’s calling to Children’s Ministry. After interning at Newbern Community Church, there was no doubt in her mind that’s what she wanted to pursue. Just a few months later, Dave got in touch with Saera about needing some help in Northstar’s Children’s Ministry.
Now, over two years later, Saera couldn’t feel more at home at Northstar. Saera is also engaged to Patrick Eanes whom she met when she was just 12 years old. Though they lost touch through high school and much of college, they fell back in love after reconnecting. They will be married in September 2018.
Saera and Patrick love to hike, spend time with family and friends, and watch The Office. While Patrick is off playing video games, Saera will often be reading, writing, or watching a scary movie with her sister.
Andrew and Erica Atkinson, Youth Ministry
Andrew and Erica met when they 13 years old in their youth group, and began dating at 15 years old. They have been together ever since; after 6 years of long-distance, they got married in September of 2013. Their great experience in their youth group as they grew up instilled in them a passion to work with youth one day. They both love helping people, and working with youth. They began attending Northstar Pulaski in May 2017 and quickly fell in love with the church, and its vision.
They are both excited to begin the journey of working with the youth, and helping the youth foster their relationship with Jesus Christ. The fellowship, and foundation in their love for Christ that they both developed in their youth group is one they hope to provide for the youth at Northstar. Andrew graduated from Barton College with a degree in History and Social Studies Education, and currently works at Dish Network. Erica recently graduated with a Master’s degree from Radford University in Speech-Language Pathology, and works at Radford Health and Rehab. They both enjoy going on walks, spending time with their families and four dogs, and most of all, basketball!
Tyler Snavely, Music Ministry
College: New River Community College
Tyler’s relationship with Jesus was nurtured by his caring parents and through involvement in the local Church right here in the New River Valley. He taught himself how to play guitar by ear when he was 9 years old and started leading worship when he was 14. Tyler continues to develop his passion for meaningful worship that God has placed on his heart. Tyler’s main instruments are acoustic and electric guitar, but he also plays bass, piano, drums, and any other instrument he can get his hands on.
Tyler met Dave in 2016 when he was asked to help lead worship at their Worship at the Lake services and immediately valued the vision for Northstar. Tyler loves being a part of a body of believers that engages in a culture of sincere worship. He works for Johnson Controls as a security service technician, but he has the ultimate goal of full time ministry as a worship leader and is currently earning his ministry degree online from Johnson University.
His wife Annie Kate is currently in graduate school to become a psychologist. She is a North Carolina native and they met while Tyler was visiting a friend’s church in NC when they were only 16. After three years of dating they were married in 2014 and since then they have been so excited to see where the Lord leads them together in ministry.
Tommy Hall, Leadership Board
Tommy and Jeanette began attending Northstar in April 2014 and both quickly became incredible assets to our faith journey in Pulaski County.
Tommy has a gift and heart for worship he constantly uses throughout the week, whether on Sunday mornings with our church family, or in retirement communities with fellow musicians who love the Lord. He is also a professional luthier and enjoys building guitars and repairing other musical instruments.
Jeanette uses her gift of leadership and hospitality to help in many areas of our ministry. Along with helping with our worship ministry by running the sound, she helps in our Northstar Kid’s Ministry and often is tasked with leading community initiatives and events.
Adam Parker, Leadership Board
College: Virginia Tech
Adam was one of the first people to have a conversation with Dave about a church plant coming to Pulaski, and has been a vital part of this journey since before Northstar Pulaski’s inception in 2012. Adam originally met Meghan at the church’ first Halloween Block Party in 2012. The rest is history – they were married two years later on October 4th, 2014. Adam graduated from Virginia Tech in Civil Engineering and is a project manager for an engineering contractor in the New River Valley. Meghan has her Education degree from Radford University and enjoys being a work from home mama.
Adam and Meghan have a heart for foster care in Pulaski County and love being involved with the Department of Social Services to help reunite estranged families with their children. God blessed them with one daughter, Merryn, who was born in August of 2016 but they love having a full house of kids all the time!