Jeff Noble

Lead Pastor

Jeff became Northstar's second pastor in 2009 after the retirement of founding pastor Bob Jackson. He and his family are from southeast Arkansas where he served as a campus minister at the University of Arkansas at Monticello for eight years before planting Journey Church there and serving as its founding pastor for six years.
Jeff loves coffee and is still trying to decide if he's a "runner." He's a former fantasy football champion, the author of Super Center Savior, an Apple fan boy and a teller of bad puns.

Matt Simpson

Discipleship  and Small Groups Minister

Matt was raised on a small farm outside of Gettysburg, PA. He was homeschooled K-12, but don't hold that against him. Upon graduating high school, Matt went to work in the outdoor recreation industry, which ignited a passion for the outdoors that he still carries today. He graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with a B.S. in Speech Communications and a minor in Biblical Studies and moved to Blacksburg, where he met and married his wife, Emily, and began working full-time at Northstar in 2016. He currently attends Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree. 

Julie Jewell

Children’s Minister

Julie grew up in Augusta, Georgia. She received a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University in 2004 and a Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist from Radford University in 2010. She previously worked as a classroom teacher and reading specialist in the area. 

Katie Boulter

Children’s Ministry Assistant

Katie grew up in Warren, Michigan. She then moved to Orlando, Florida. While working for the mouse at the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World, she studied Early Childhood Education. She worked as a Lead Teacher at the YMCA Child Development Center at Walt Disney World Resort and then became a professional nanny for 9 years. In 2012 Katie and her husband, Jonathan, had their first child and decided to move closer to family which led them to Blacksburg, Virginia. They have been attending Northstar Church since 2013. Katie enjoys being outdoors, reading, working out, saving money, and spending her time with her family. She has three children, Kayla, Cale, and Benjamin.

Erin Petersen

College Minister

Erin grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania then attended Messiah College where she played lacrosse and earned her degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Marriage and Family Counseling. Since then she has been working in the health and fitness field in various positions.

Amy Lavinder

Facilities and Events Coordinator

Amy and her husband Steve moved to Blacksburg in 2019. After 30 years in Florida and Georgia, they have come “home” to Blacksburg, where they met at Virginia Tech. When Amy is not roaming the corridors of the new building, you may find her out hiking, gardening, cheering on Hokie sports, traveling or visiting their adult children in the Atlanta area.

Jessica Yalung

Volunteer Coordinator & Financial Secretary

Jessica was born and raised in State College, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Blacksburg for her senior year of high school. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2008 with a degree in Human Development. The summer after graduation Jessica married Justin and moved to join him in North Carolina and in 2010 she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from NC State. After the birth of their first child they moved back to Blacksburg in 2012 to be closer to her family, Hokie football, and the small town they love. Jessica and Justin have two boys, Ezra and Micah, and a daughter, Abigail. They love spending time outside, Sunday drives, and visiting little old towns in the mountains.
Jessica has served on staff as Children's Ministry Assistant and coordinator of the Reserve venue in downtown Blacksburg before her current role.

Lindsey Hamilton

Care Ministry Facilitator

Lindsey was born and raised in Roanoke, VA. She received a BS in Biology from James Madison University. She had a career within the USG Intelligence Community before moving to Blacksburg.  Lindsey has been married for 15 years and has two sets of twin girls. She has attended Northstar for 2+ years and is incredibly excited to serve our church family in this new care role. 

Philip Beaver

Interim Youth Minister

Philip was raised in rural Wythe County VA as one of five homeschooled boys. Throughout his teenage years, he worked for his family businesses in lawn care, electrical work, and managing a local horse camp. Philip was active in youth group and the worship team at his home church during high school. He also met his now-wife, Emma, in youth. After graduating, Philip helped lead the youth group at his home church while studying business and finance at Wytheville Community College and Radford University before he became a real estate agent full-time. Philip and his wife Emma got married and moved to Christiansburg in early 2020 and got plugged into Northstar quickly, where his passion for the worship team, youth ministry and BEing the local church grew.

Tanner Blankenship

Worship Leader

Tanner is a New River Valley Native, a musician, a businessperson, a motorcycle rider and a wannabe world traveler.  In 2011 he earned his master’s degree in Philosophical Apologetics at Biola University. Tanner is an adrenaline junkie and enjoys just about any outdoor adventure. He's attended Northstar since 2012 and is proud to serve with the music team as our volunteer worship leader.

Carri Drake

Administrative Assistant 

Carri was raised in Allentown, PA. You would find her 6 out of 7 days of the week at Parkettes, a gymnastics training facility in her hometown. Her gymnastics took her to West Virginia University earning a BS in Exercise Physiology. Carri was involved with a few different ministries on campus at WVU, but met her now husband Josh through BCM. After spending one year at home in PA coaching gymnastics, she moved back to Morgantown, WV, married Josh and pursued a degree to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Since being licensed, Carri has worked mostly in inpatient rehabilitation settings focusing on rehab with Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and Stroke patients. After having their first son, Liam, Carri and Josh moved to CO, while Josh completed his PhD. After having their second son, Eli, they found themselves in Charlottesville, VA. Josh accepted a position at VT which brought their family to Blacksburg, VA in January of 2020. Carri enjoys exploring the mountains, hot yoga, reading, attempting to train their GSP puppy, Kenai, and digging into God's word with a friend and a good cup of tea.

Emily Altland


Emily is originally from Pittsburgh, PA before coming to Virginia Tech for undergrad.  She got a BS in Computer Engineering and a Minor in Disabilities Studies, graduating this past spring.  She is now continuing with a Masters degree, also in Computer Engineering.  You'll likely see her helping out with the kiddos in Jumpstart!  She loves everything outdoors from kayaking to camping, scuba diving to hiking!

Matt List


Matt was born in California and spent a year there before moving to Fredericksburg, VA where he was raised until he went to college. Matt is a student at Virginia Tech, studying Data Science while nurturing a passion for Astronomy (not Astrology) in his Minor studies. In high school, he was involved in the Marching Band where he played the saxophone, and he carries that passion for music with him onto the worship stage every so often on Sundays.

Amy Simpson


Amy is one of eight kids and was born and raised on a small farm in Fairfield, PA. In July of 2013 she and her family relocated to Pearisburg, VA. She has recently moved to Christiansburg with her parents and younger sister. After graduating highschool in 2021 Amy has decided to take a gap year to take a break, work, travel and explore more of what God has in store for her. She is a proud aunt, animal lover, and coffee fanatic. Amy plans to continue to intern into the fall and get more involved with the college ministries at Northstar.

Joy Simonton

Creative Content Interim 

Joy was born and raised in New Hampshire until her family packed up and moved to Virginia in 2016. She has an older sister and brother, and a younger brother. She is currently enrolled in New River Community College to obtain her Associates in General Studies. She plans to further her photography business and use her creative skills to serve the church. Joy loves hiking, kayaking, and spending time with friends and family. 

Simon Eyob


Simon was born in Chesterfield, VA, but his family is from Eritrea! He has lived in Virginia his whole life, and is currently a student at Virginia Tech, where he is studying aerospace engineering. After Simon graduates VT, he will be a Navy Pilot. He loves the outdoors like camping, rock climbing, rappelling, scuba diving, and playing soccer. Simon has flown planes, helicopters, and driven a submarine. 

Leadership Board

This team serves as the primary spiritual anchor of Northstar that assists the pastor and church staff in guiding and shepherding the church. Team members consist of Darrell Cook, Tyler Farnsworth, Steve Lavinder, Trey Moore, Jeff Noble, Nolan Schmidt and John Shockley. This team has a formal process of membership which involves nomination by a church member. The process is defined in our membership materials.