13000 Gayton Rd. Henrico, VA 23233 and YouTube.com/discoveryunited and Facebook @discoveryunited.ORG.
If you’ve passed the corner of Lauderdale and Gayton a thousand times, you can’t miss the electronic billboard and banners proclaiming the activities of a vibrant and active church campus.


Celebrating over 30 years of ministry in Richmond, Discovery United Methodist Church is leading people to become vital disciples of Jesus in a myriad of ways. Over 800 of your neighbors call us their church home and you could be the next!


Join Discovery Traditions Sunday at 9:00 am and Discovery Modern at 10:30 am. | Wednesday Supper Church at 6:00pm | All service are in-person and live streamed.

Our Staff Team

Meet the leaders of Discovery United Methodist Church.

Rev. Adam Sowder

Rev. Dr. Adam Sowder

Lead Pastor
Adam was appointed as our pastor in July of 2017.   He and his wife Sandy grew up in Blacksburg, VA.  They and their two young sons Teddy and Henry and adult daughter Samantha are an active part of Discovery UMC and love experiencing and exploring the surrounding community.  He is a graduate of Radford University and Wesley Theological Seminary.  He also  studied in Cambridge, England for his doctorate. Adam likes a good book, walks with his dog, bodyboarding and video games. His school of thought is the via media.

Jessie Walker

Director of Children’s Ministry

Jessica is originally from Franklin Country, Virginia, but has now lived in the RVA area for 9 years.  She has her bachelor degree of Early and Elementary Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and her skills in business development to establish Discovery Kids RVA here at Discovery United Methodist Church.  Jessica uses her well-established history of making positive and lasting relationships with families, and her passion of creating a conducive environment to create an enriched after-school program for elementary aged children.  Jessica looks forward to joining the Discovery United Methodist Church family as the Children’s Ministry Director.  She hopes to be able to create an engaging God filled program to help show children the relevance of their Methodist faith in worship, relationship, and in their community.  In her free time, Jessie enjoys being the event coordinator for the Young Adult Group at the church, going to all the incredible local restaurants in the area with loved ones, and spending as much time as possible with her two ridiculous dogs.

Debbie Ferrando


Rev. Hannah Bryn

Minister of Community Discipleship and Youth

Hannah was appointed to Discovery in July of 2020. She and her husband, Hunter, grew up in Wilmington, NC and they enjoy exploring Richmond. Hannah graduated from Duke Divinity School in 2019. She seeks to create safe spaces for students to grow in their faith. She also hopes to bridge the church into the local community through mission and service.


Lorrie Zampetti

Preschool Director

Prior to becoming director, Lorrie taught at KIDS for two decades. Before moving to Virginia, she was the director of a senior center for adults with intellectual disabilities in Rhode Island. Born in NYC, Lorrie grew up in northern NJ where she met her husband, Patrick, in a drum corps. She is a graduate of Ohio University with degrees in Music Therapy and Psychology, has a master’s degree in Education from Averett University, and is working towards her doctorate in Early Childhood Education. Lorrie and Patrick enjoy spending time with their four children, son-in-law, and two grandbabies. She looks forward to working closely with families, staff, and the church community to further develop our play-based preschool program in a safe, loving, and Christian environment.

LeKeisha Ward

Nursery Director

I am originally from Richmond, VA and grew up here most of my life. I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Virginia State University in 2008. Since that time, I have received experience working with children by working in daycares, group homes, schools and most currently as a special education teacher in an elementary school in Henrico. I have two wonderful children of my own. I am looking forward to working as the Nursery Director at Discovery UMC and working with the children and families of the church.


Jean Venner

Church Administrative Assistant
Responsible for the efficient operation of the church office; provides clerical and administrative support to the Senior Pastor, Church Staff, and leaders. Serves as the Membership Secretary, and as a primary communications link with the public.


David Somerville

Director of Music and Worship


Piete Blikslager


Piete was born in England, and moved to Virginia in 1981 with his parents to live on a horse farm in Charlottesville. After attending Virginia Tech, Piete went into advertising, where he worked as a writer and producer for 20 years. In his last project, he worked in Arizona with several national golf instructors to build an online video teaching site for multiple sports. He is excited to bring his writing and production experience to the Discovery Church. 

Photo Coming Soon

Cathleen Smith

Financial Secretary

The Mission of The United Methodist Church

To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We Would Love You to Join Us

If you are not currently part of a church family, we invite you to come and get connected with ordinary people who have found that church can be relevant, enjoyable, exciting and life-changing!