The Richmond Hill community is composed of the Resident Community, non-resident staff, adjunct staff, volunteers, stewards, and public Council members. It would be impossible to name all the volunteers who help us in our day-to-day activities, but profiles of our residents, staff, and key volunteers are listed below.
The Rev. Janie M. Walker
I came to Richmond Hill as a resident associate pastor on New Year’s Day 2000. After leaving the residential community in 2008, I continued to live out my passion around God’s healing of metropolitan Richmond by serving as a pastoral presence in churches and community development initiatives before returning here as an interim pastoral leader in 2014. I am an ordained Baptist pastor and a graduate of the Samuel DeWitt School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
The Rev. Joel Blunk
I became co-pastoral director of Richmond Hill in February 2016 after serving a Presbyterian church in central Pennsylvania for 21 years. The move was significant and difficult, requiring a leap of faith unlike any I'd made before. It's been challenging and rewarding at every turn. An oasis in the city, Richmond Hill is sacred ground that offers healing and inspiration. I enjoy being a part of that as a spiritual director and retreat leader committed to helping people discover their authentic selves and their place in the world - the healing and transformation we seek across the region requires the best of each of us. My wife, Kristen, and I have three grown sons, two of whom spent significant time at Richmond Hill discerning their way.
Micah DIrector and Urban Service Corps
I’ve been drawn to Richmond Hill since my first drop-in visit several years ago for noon time prayer and a silent Lenten lunch. Its mission to seek God’s healing in Metropolitan Richmond speaks deeply to my own faith and need to commit myself to ministry in a particular place and community. As an Urban Service Corps member, I coordinate Micah, a partnership of faith communities and Richmond public elementary schools which provides mentors, tutors, and volunteers, with the goal that every child will believe that “I can achieve.”
Healing Ministry Coordinator and Spiritual Director
I coordinate spiritual direction and healing ministries at Richmond Hill and also serve as a spiritual director. I am a licensed minister from St. Paul’s Baptist Church who responded to God’s call to live intentionally in this Christian Community in 2009, to pray and work for the healing of inner wounds in God’s people and for racial reconciliation in Metropolitan Richmond. I have three daughters, six grandchildren and a great granddaughter. In 2016, I began studies at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology to focus on Christian Education.
Urban Service Corps
I started visiting Richmond Hill my junior year of college. I was captivated by its worship and the love I felt in the community. I remember Reverend Campbell suggesting that I join the urban Service Corps when I returned from Peace Corps. I thought, “Why would I do another year of service after two years of service?” Yet, here I am! I assist Richmond Hill’s Communications team, as well as intern with outreach and liturgical ministry at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Northside. I am discerning a call to priesthood in The Episcopal Church.
I am a preacher’s kid, baby sister, adoring aunt, Christian mystic, nonprofit strategist, and seminarian. I came across Richmond Hill while looking for spiritual guidance programs, but I found so much more! Richmond Hill has become my sacred home filled with a loving community that God prepared for me as I accepted my call to ministry. As Project Coordinator, I assist the pastoral directors and administrator in implementing, concretizing, and managing special projects that promote and enhance the programs, ministry, and organization of Richmond Hill.
Urban Service Corps
I called Joel Blunk in spring 2017 to ask for a recommendation for a position in an intentional community in Detroit, Michigan. When I learned about the Urban Service Corps opportunity at Richmond Hill, I found myself heading south rather than north. I came to Richmond Hill to experience living in the community and learning about the city and to participate in a year of service. I help prepare meals for guests and serve as a leader for the Armstrong Leadership Program as well.
I serve as the retreat coordinator. My husband, Wayne, and I moved in as residents in summer 2017. Growing up, I was a “PK” (preacher’s kid), mostly in the Friends (Quaker) church. Wayne and I have been married 45 years and have three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. I’ve been acquainted with Richmond Hill since 2003 when Wayne took RUAH VI. Since that time, I participated in SOZO Healing Ministry and graduated from RUAH XIV in spring 2017. We’ve talked about residency during those years but it just wasn’t the right time. During my last year of RUAH, we began to feel a pull again. This time, it was God’s timing.
Throughout my life, it has been my heart's desire to be where God wants me to be doing what God wants me to do in the midst of the people God wants me to be with. That desire, in response to God's leading, brought me to Richmond Hill. I am here to minister and be ministered to by the nourishment of our bodies and souls. Welcome to the Table!
After many years spent at Richmond Hill, and a leap of faith, I joined the residential community in June of 2012. “Seeking the welfare of the city,” I found a place where gift, talent and experience met specific needs. Here I do communications work — creating material to help folks know what’s happening at Richmond Hill.
Kristen Saacke Blunk
I came to Richmond Hill willingly and begrudgingly. In February 2016, carrying the belongings remaining after a purge of 22+ years of life raising a family in Pennsylvania, we arrived at Richmond Hill ready and eager to be part of this beautiful community and mission on the Hill. The begrudging part? Letting go of a life and habitat that I loved deeply, a place where we raised our sons, had strong connections to the landscape, and meaningful friendships. And there is life. Embracing the new and unknown and loving and deep longing for that which is behind. Thank God.
I was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. Together with Mary, I have two daughters and a son, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. At age fifty, I attended seminary and pastored for thirteen years until retiring. I’ve been a resident volunteer at Richmond Hill since July of 2017.
Mary Lou Rumble
I became a resident of Richmond Hill when I married Richard Rumble on a snowy day in January 2017 at St. James’s Episcopal Church. St. James’s has been central to my life since I came to Richmond in 1993. Because of Richard I became acquainted with Richmond Hill and signed on for RUAH XII in 2013. I have been blessed with family. Closest to my heart are my grown sons: Dylan and Brendan. I retired last summer from working at a law firm primarily speaking with veterans that want to file medical malpractice claims.
I first set foot on the property of Richmond Hill as a college volunteer in 1988. Since that time, I have attended and organized numerous retreats and served on Richmond Hill’s Council/Board (2012-2018) and as Treasurer (2015-2018). In 2018, I sensed God desired me to serve Richmond Hill in a new way—on staff as its Administrator. The shift to this non-residential role required me to step away from my nine years of service as Executive Director of the Richmond Christian Leadership Initiative (RCLI). I share northside life with my wife, Amy, a Chaplain at Bon Secours, and my two children.
I’ve been at Richmond Hill since 2008. A former council member asked if I could help out part-time to get the donor database up to date. I hope to be finished in about five years. I currently serve full-time as the Development Director, maintaining the donor database, acknowledging gifts, researching and writing grants, and helping out where needed.
I grew up in the dusty, wild west of Danville, VA, and roamed the streets of Front Royal, VA before settling down in Richmond. I first visited Richmond Hill on Martin Luther King Day and heard Rev. Hetherington preach about his classmate and friend Jonathan Daniels. After two years of an internship here, I begged them to let me stay, so I've worked in various staff positions for the past four years. I'm recently served as Hospitality Coordinator and now am working as Facilities Manager. I met my amazing wife Lindsey here; she is the only person we know who can say that she met her husband in a convent.
Yvette Davis Rajput
Director of Armstrong Leadership Program
I don’t know for certain what were the series of events that led me to Richmond Hill however what I know for sure is that God was in the midst of it ALL. The opportunity to serve youth in our community means everything to me and I’m grateful to be standing in the GAP. (God Appointed Position) as they seek to know self, grow in the spirit and discern their life’s purpose.
Assistant Director of Armstrong Leadership Program
I found Richmond Hill working alongside Yvette Rajput at Armstrong’s Career Service Center, which led me into the role of Assistant Director of the Armstrong Leadership Program. I create and coordinate programs that empower youth to develop their own potential. My ministry in life is to help people heal and find their purpose.
Marvette Craighead Tate
Richmond Hill was recommended by a friend as a place of support for spiritual seekers. My first visit to this place was in March 1988 for spiritual direction, a form of spiritual coaching. I decided to volunteer as a receptionist from 1991-1992 and then again, starting in 2005. I continue to be attracted to Richmond Hill because of its family-like atmosphere, the emphasis on community building and the fact that the bottom line is serving God, not serving Mammon. At Richmond Hill, people see you as a child of God. I have ministered in the role of office assistant for ten years. I am here by the grace of a loving God.
The contemplative work at Richmond Hill first attracted me in the 1990s; when I began to understand its mission and met some of the other people involved here, that interest deepened. In 1999, three brothers from the Community of Taizé came to Richmond and, through my interest and involvement with that type of contemplative music, I began providing music for a monthly service at Richmond Hill. That eventually grew into sometimes leading music for the weekly Community Eucharist. Since about 2010 I’ve led the music regularly.
My introduction to Richmond Hill was as a recently graduated college student, doing missions projects in the city and sleeping and eating at Richmond Hill for a week. In the summer. Before the renovations and blessed A/C came to the whole complex. Even so, the mission of Richmond Hill to seek the healing of metropolitan Richmond drew me in over the following decades, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to bring to bear my various work experiences, skills, and passion to help connect others to the good work of this place and invite them to join us!
I was introduced to the garden on a quick tour by a cute boy in the spring of 1992, but didn't notice the impression it made until I was brought back by the same cute boy in 2000 when we were reunited. I realized that in that initial 20 minute walk, the place had tattooed itself onto my brain, for I remembered every detail, noticed all the changes and growth with wonder. In 2005, as I was finishing a degree in horticulture, I was summoned to Richmond Hill and offered the job as gardener. I do not believe I had a choice in the matter, so I accepted. This place has a mind and a will of its own, it allows me to work with it, but never lead. I liken it to cleaning up after the elephant in the parade, a beautiful elephant. And occasionally I bring that cute boy back to show him the garden.
- Sal Anselmo
- Olivia Brown
- Caroline Douglas
- Dale D'Alessandro
- Tom Quigley