New Members Spotlight

Neal Nelson Blog

This entry is part 33 of 37 in the series New Member Spotlight

Welcome those who have joined Northstar recently!

Steve and Amy Lavinder

Steve and Amy relocated from the Atlanta area and are excited to be back in Blacksburg where they met at Virginia Tech over 30 years ago. They look forward to investing in the community, meeting new friends and enjoying all that Virginia Tech, Blacksburg and the New River valley have to offer.

“From the beginning we have appreciated the biblical teaching and welcoming kindness at Northstar. God is already growing us and teaching us through our transition and new church family.”


Jordan Gibson

Jordan is a Physical Therapist at Carillon Giles Community Hospital.  He had always dreamed of attending Virginia Tech and after graduating rom Virginia Tech in 2015 and receiving a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Old Dominion University in 2018 he couldn’t wait to get back. Jordan accepted Christ when he was eight but has recently developed a stronger and more personal relationship with Jesus. When asked why he was excited about Northstar Jordan responded,

“I am excited about being the church with Northstar because of the people who are already a part of it. To the greeting at the door, to Pastor Jeff’s encouraging message, and all the welcoming people in the congregation that make each guest feel like they are home. I am excited to serve others and share the love of Christ with the same love that I’ve been shown since I got here.”


Ashley Meyers

Ashley is a Physical Therapist at Heritage Hall Health and Rehabilitation Center. She had attended Northstar as an undergrad and knew upon returning to Blacksburg that she wanted to plug back in at Northstar.

Ashley is excited about being the church with Northstar because of how Northstar “encourages a heart for service” both in the church and in the community.




Peter Hartung

Peter is from a small town in Maine and came to Blacksburg for medical school at VCOM.  He loves the area and enjoys college football, playing the guitar and ukulele, taking drives, and eating, especially all things BBQ. Peter said he was

excited about being the church with Northstar because of the Christ centered, Bible-based community here. With such a community comes accountability and I greatly appreciate the emphasis that Northstar places on such things. Additionally, I’ve always felt welcome at Northstar and I look forward to extending that hospitality to those around me. I’m excited to grow in my relationship with Christ and to have God use me as he sees fit at Northstar and in the New River Valley.”



Addison and Ellen Wood

Addison is from the Bluefield/Tazewell area and Ellen is originally from Minnesota, but spent her later childhood in the Myrtle Beach area. They met met while students at Bluefield College.  Medical school brought them to the Blacksburg area even though Ellen is working toward her Master’s in Forensic & Legal Psychology at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Addison said,

“We may only get to spend time together on the weekends, but we have thoroughly enjoyed our first six months of marriage together!” 

Both are excited to find a church that offered ministries targeted toward their stage of life and a church involved in community outreach.



Seth Peters

Seth is a student at VT from Mechansville majoring in Economics with minors in Philosophy and Computer Science. I’m from Mechanicsville, Virginia (that’s near Richmond).  He became a  Christian around the age of eleven or twelve but has only recently began to grow and make his faith truly his own. Seth enjoys anything related to fitness, technology, nature, philosophy, or theology.  When ask why he joined Northstar Seth’s response was,

“I’ve attended church all of my life, and they’ve all been great churches but Northstar’s mission to “be the church” is something I’ve loved since my first visit. It seems like Northstar does a better job of focusing on the missional aspect of being a Christian compared to some of the other church’s I’ve attended.”

Want to Read More in this Series?<< New Member Spotlight: Chris BarbNew Member Spotlight: Chris and Mary Gaines >>