Blaine Oliver-Thomas, Pastor

Welcome to Bethany UMC.  If this is your first time here, a long-time member, or anything in between; I hope you find this place to be one that radiates God’s love into the world.  My name is Rev. Blaine Oliver-Thomas and I am so humbly grateful to be the pastor here at Bethany United Methodist Church.  I hope and pray that you find Bethany to be a welcoming congregation, where you can be your most authentic self.  We gather together to build our relationship with God and one another; as we strive to be more like Jesus Christ.  If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, come check us out!
What are you passionate about?  I am passionate about making disciples of Christ, enjoying the life that we have been given, and loving people from all walks of life.  Blaine is a die-hard Florida State Seminole.
What is your favorite Bible verse?  “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”   (Isaiah 40:31)
Favorite movies?  Remember the Titans, Shawshank Redemption, Invictus, and Gridiron Gang
Who inspires you?  I have countless mentors and family who inspire me every day, but when it comes to those who are well-known public figures the likes of Bobby Bowden and Mike Martin.  Both of these Florida State University former football and baseball head coaches had a huge amount of influence on me as a child, and even now.
What was your first job?  My first job, which was not recognized by the government, as a teenager, was an animal and house sitter.  My first government recognized job, was being a runner for a private investigator.
What is the most influential book in your life (other than the Bible, of course)?  “Running for My Life: My Journey in the Game of Football and Beyond” by Warrick Dunn.
How do you spend your free time?  I love to be outside, in God’s beautiful creation with my wonderful fiancée. I also love to spend afternoons out on the golf course!

Dale Roller, Praise & Worship Leader

Dale grew up on a dairy farm in Weyers Cave with a brother and a sister. The family moved to Weyers Cave when he was 2 so he has been at Bethany most of his life. He started with piano lessons at age 8 and taught himself to play banjo at age 16.
Dale attended Virginia Tech for 2 years studying agriculture, then transferred and graduated from Longwood College (now University) with a degree in Music and a minor in Business. He played music as his main profession for 14 years and became involved in computers while on the road. He works now as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer at Jenzabar in Harrisonburg VA.
What are you passionate about?  Music, my family
What is your favorite Bible verse?  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27
Favorite movies?  Lonesome Dove (I know, TV miniseries), White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life
Who inspires you?  My parents: Harold and Carolyn Roller, Dr. Bob Blasch – friend and piano professor from Longwood College
What was your childhood ambition?  To be a radio disc jockey, a detective or a musician (not all at the same time)
What was your first job?  First job: working on my family’s dairy farm, Kendale Jerseys
First jobs away from the farm: mowing grass one summer at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, then playing banjo at one of the shows at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.
What is the most influential book in your life (other than the Bible, of course)?  Hard question – When I was much younger, my Mema Myers had some books at her house that belonged to my uncles, a series called the Sugar Creek Gang. I read those (a number of times) and got more as gifts between age 7 and 12. These were stories about boys growing up in the country who had adventures and loved Jesus. I recently reread a number of these books as I was reading them with my son when he was younger.
How do you spend your free time?  Listening to and playing music, messing with computers, hanging out with my family, reading.

Cindy Kite, Office Administrator

Cindy was born and raised in the Valley.  Her mom is a local girl and her father was a handsome sailor from California.  Although she has lived in several different states, she has always come back to the Valley.  She graduated from Fort Defiance High School and Blue Ridge Community College with an associates degree in Business.
She has been happily married to her best friend Randy for 34 years.  They have two adult sons and a lovely daughter-in-law, whom all graduated from VA Tech … GO HOKIES!  Their oldest son Chris and his wife Lindsay live and work in Northern Virginia and the youngest, Ryan, lives and works locally.  They also have a very spoiled two-year old dog named Sophie.
Cindy has been a member of Bethany for over 50 years and truly loves and appreciates her church family.  She has been involved in Children’s Ministries, organizing and chairing Community Vacation Bible School for many years.  She has also been involved with the youth and loves working in Women’s Ministries.
What are you passionate about?  I am passionate about many things … my church, my family, my friends and continuing to grow as a Christian woman.
What’s your favorite Bible verse?  “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10
Favorite movie?  I love to watch movies and it’s hard to pick just one, but if I have to it would be “The Notebook.”
Who inspires you?  My husband who has always been my biggest cheerleader.
What was your childhood ambition?  To be a school teacher.
What was your first job?  Babysitting and then McDonald’s
How do you spend your free time?  I love spending time with my family.  And doing DIY’s around the house.  I also enjoy traveling with my husband, reading and crafting.  Oh, and spoiling our rotten, mischievous dog Sophie.

Bridgett Crawford, Youth Director

I am Bridgett Crawford and I am very excited to be the incoming Youth Leader for Bethany! I co-teamed this position several years ago before COVID. We had lots of fun learning
about each other and growing in relationship with Christ. I look forward to the new journeys awaiting us now!I
I live in Mount Sidney with my husband, Darold “Weezer”. We also have a 21-year-old daughter, Paige, who is a rising Senior at Virginia Tech. She is part of the Corps of Cadets and the military branch of the Army. She is studying International Relations and Arabic. Mackenzie is our youngest daughter. She will also be a Freshman at Virginia Tech studying Dairy Science. She ultimately wants to be a large animal veterinarian.
I am a graduate of Fort Defiance High School. I obtained my undergrad degree from James Madison University in Public Relations. Several (haha) years later I went back for my Master’s degree in Elementary and Middle School Education from Liberty University. I loved applying my new knowledge with a Christ center of thought. During COVID, I went back to JMU for an add-on endorsement with Teacher Leadership. I currently teach 7th grade English Language Arts at Pence Middle School, which is part of the Turner Ashby district.

Family is my heart. I feel like I have my blood family and then my church family. My favorite Bible quotes are Romans 12:2 and Matthew 7:7. God is currently taking me on new paths and new opportunities. I am blessed that Youth Leader is a journey He asked me to take.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about being a light for the words and actions of Christ moving through me for others to see. Seeing students in my classroom grow and flourish personally and academically gives me great joy. My family is my heart, so any time spent with them is a blessing.
What’s your favorite Bible verse? Romans 12:2

Favorite movie? Sweet Home Alabama
Who inspires you? My parents, my brother, my kids, my students, my church family, and when I read about the people and stories in the Bible.

What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be a computer programmer like my dad. When I took a coding class and was confused, that got put on backburner real quick!

What was your first job? Customer Service at Surfside at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach during the summers when I was in high school. It was the best because we would stay there all summer and I was a block from the beach!

How do you spend your free time? I love to read on my front porch. This is my favorite place to reflect during devotion time. It is peaceful and settles my mind and soul. Anytime spent near water is a blessing for me! I cherish my time on the lake and the beach. We go to a lot of Virginia Tech football games. This also is a way for us to see our kids when we are there! Sunday afternoons are spent watching Dallas Cowboys football games or ACC basketball.