Leadership Board

Our Leadership Board is a group of men that serve the church as elders, or spiritual shepherds. The men must meet the qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 and are appointed to 3-year terms. The Leadership Board is responsible for both spiritual and fiduciary oversight of Northstar, seeking to equip our members and staff to create a Christ-centered environment that promotes gospel-focused living within our local community. We are motivated by our desire for each member of Northstar to personally experience the hope offered in salvation through Jesus Christ and enter into an intimate, love relationship with God. More information on the Leadership Board’s responsibilities, functions, and selection process can be found in our ByLaws.
Darrell Cook:

Darrell and Laura Cook have been serving with Baptist Collegiate Ministries at VT for 25 years. They have had the honor of watching Northstar grow from the first steps of vision in the early 2000s to how God is using it in the NRV beyond today. They are also extremely honored to parent five children, who live in Germany, Raleigh, Canada, and Blacksburg.
Josh Drake:

Josh has been married to his wife Carri for 15 years and, together, they have two sons, Liam and Eli. They moved to Blacksburg at the start of 2020 as Josh started a research laboratory at the little school in town and joined Northstar shortly after. In addition to serving on the Leadership Board, Josh regularly serves in the Worship Team and, along with his wife, leads a Small Group for college students. When left to his own devices he enjoys playing wiffle ball in his backyard with his sons and building furniture. In particular, he enjoys fly fishing because, as the great Norman Maclean wrote: "all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fisherman...".
Chris Gaines:

Chris and his wife, Mary Kate, have resided in Blacksburg since 2008.  They have been married for 20 years and have been members of Northstar since 2018. They have been so thankful for the love and support of their church family over the years. Chris joined the Leadership board in 2022. He enjoys cooking and spending time with his wife and two children, Evelyn and Broderick. He also enjoys engaging in his local community and serves on various organizations.
Steve Lavinder:

Steve and his wife Amy moved to Blacksburg in 2019 after Steve finished his career working in the environmental field.  They both graduated from Virginia Tech in the 1980’s and moving back to Blacksburg is like coming “home”. Their son James and his wife Taylor live in Atlanta and their daughter Victoria and her husband Alec live outside Cleveland, OH and they are very proud of them! Steve and Amy joined Northstar in 2019 and love “being the church”.  Steve enjoys the outdoors (hiking, cycling, camping, etc), working in the yard, and anything VT.
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.
Ben Price:

Ben and his wife Sarah both grew up in Blacksburg and met each other in 2nd grade at kids church camp... Don’t worry, they did not start dating until college.  They joined Northstar several years ago and LOVE how so many people have encouraged/mentored them in their walk with Jesus; they are grateful to return that same encouragement to many others.  They are the proud and grateful parents of their daughter Brooke (nickname "Cookie") and son Brodie.  Ben enjoys spending time outdoors, fishing, early morning coffees and sharing a laugh with others!
Nolan Schmidt:

Nolan and his wife Jan live in Giles County having moved to the NRV in 2018 to help lead Li Industries, a new start company located on the VT CRC campus. They quickly joined Northstar and Nolan joined the Leadership Board in 2021. Nolan and Jan have moved 21 times during his Marine Corps and business career; they have two children and 8 grandchildren.
Kevin Seaton:

Kevin and his wife Stefanie moved to Blacksburg in 2012 and joined Northstar that same year.  Kevin works for VPT, Inc. in Blacksburg, and Stefanie is a personal fitness trainer at The Weight Club.  Having lived in Atlanta most of his life, Kevin is still in disbelief every morning at the lack of traffic in Blacksburg.  Kevin is a small group leader at Northstar, and he enjoys studying and teaching special classes on the history of the church and theology.  Kevin and Stefanie both love to exercise.  Stefanie is content with just running and weight lifting, but Kevin has to satisfy his competitive urge by playing tennis in the men’s league at Tech.  Kevin and Stefanie have two children, Anna and Austin.  Anna is attending Virginia Tech as an undergrad, and Austin is hoping to attend in the Fall of 2024.
John Shockley:

John and his wife Sharon have been in Blacksburg since the 1980s and have been at Northstar since about 2009. John is in his 3rd term on the Leadership Board after a 3-4 year stint off the board between the 2nd and 3rd term. John and Sharon are enjoying being grandparents to Little Brayden and love their various service opportunities at Northstar.