Meet the Staff
Rev. Dr. John N. Vest, Lead Pastor
Pastor John’s spiritual gifts have been identified as teaching and administration and he has a great love for worship leadership and preaching. After nine years at Shady Grove UMC, he was appointed to the Virginia Cabinet in 2005 and assigned to the Portsmouth District. He served as the first Superintendent of the new James River District. John and his wife, Kathie, have 2 children: Byron, and Melanie.
Linwood Campbell, Director of Worship and Outreach
Linwood comes to Peakland with a vast amount of experience in all types of music performance and production. Linwood worked for Roberts Piano Company as a specialist for Allen Organs, Rivermont Ave Baptist Church as organist/pianist, and most recently as music director for Thomas Road Baptist Church. To learn more about him, visit his website: linwoodcampbell.wix.com/home.
Kim Ness, Office Manager & Assistant to the Pastor
Kim joined the staff in September 2014. She and her husband, Jon, have three children, each a graduate of Peakland Preschool. Kim's responsibilities include managing the front office, and overseeing daily operation of the church as well as scheduling. She also designs the weekly bulletin and newsletter as well as the monthly Peakland Pages. Kim is also the Membership Secretary. Email Kim.
The Rev. Andrew LaBar-Dietz
Andrew is a fourth generation clergyperson and a recent graduate of Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ. He has a passion for worship, education, music, and camping ministries and loves finding new ways to intersect those fields. He is a church history nut, board game enthusiast, and spends much of his free time in a hammock. He is happily married to his wife Danielle. Email Andrew.
Cindy Harding, Business Manager
Cindy has been the Business Manager for several other local United Methodist Churches and brings over 26 years of experience with her to our staff. She has served many pastors that we know and that have served here. Welcome, Cindy!
Robert Armstead, Custodian
Robert's responsibilities include opening and closing the building and operating the heating/cooling equipment during the week and on Sunday mornings, and maintaining the cleanliness of the facility during the week. Robert has been Peakland's custodian since 1987.
Noemi Szigeti Lee, Piano Accompanist
Noémi was born and raised in Romania. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Gh. Dima Music Academy of Cluj, Romania, and her Master of Music degree in piano performance at the University of Alabama. Noémi served as the music director at Saint Thomas More Catholic Church. She currently teaches piano as an adjunct instructor at Lynchburg College and maintains an independent studio. Mrs. Lee is an active performer in Lynchburg, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician.
Annie Williams, Preschool Director
Annie grew up within the walls of Peakland United Methodist Church. She moved to Lynchburg when she was 10 and has since been active in the church. After graduating from the University of Lynchburg with a B.S. in Marketing, she moved to Durham, NC. Annie wore many hats as the office manager of a stationary manufacturer in Raleigh, NC. Since she was young, Annie has always enjoyed working with children. Ultimately, her love for children led her to teach preschool. She worked at Grove Park Preschool in Durham, then served as a 3 year old teacher at Peakland prior to their move back to Lynchburg.
Annie and her husband, Eddie, moved back to Lynchburg to raise their children and to be close to their families. Annie and Eddie have 2 young, active boys (Owen and Walker). They spend most of their weekends on the soccer field or at swim meets.
Preschool Assistant Director
BELIEVE. THINK. FEEL. SEE. KNOW.
Anthony is a Husband and Father. He comes from a single parent household. He has lived in bad neighborhoods and has witnessed what love can do to distract from ones current circumstances. Lynchburg is his home. He believes in teaching his children how not to become a statistic.
He is an Entrepreneur. He comes from the mindset that innovation and inventing your own “box” are keys to unlocking your full potential. He is a student of business and has taught entrepreneurship classes to teens. He owns Twenty23, a Men’s Haberdashery. Small business development is his home. He thinks great things will come with having a great vision and hard work.
He is a Childcare Provider. He comes from Elizabeths’ Early Learning Center with six years of experience. He has been to various trainings and seminars. He is also a CPR/First Aid instructor and trained in emergency situations. Teaching is his home. He feels the passion for children in his heart and understands that they need our guidance.
He is a Firefighter. He comes from fifteen years of experience with the Lynchburg Fire Department. He has witnessed some really bad incidents and seen people in their worst conditions. Fear is his home. He sees both hope and tragedy all at the same time.
He is a Community Advocate. He comes from countless years of volunteering and being a part of amazing boards of local organizations. He has organized leadership conferences and youth events. Giving back is his home. He knows what his community needs.