Leadership

Ernest & Mary Custalow
Lead Pastor
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Ernest & Mary Custalow
Lead Pastor
Ernest grew up in Mechanicsville, VA but spent much of his boyhood in his grandparents’ home on the Mattaponi Indian Reservation. In 1981 he graduated from Bridgewater College with a BA in French and Secondary Education and he and Mary married just a week later. After several years teaching high school French and coaching sports, he began his own business in the health insurance field. In 1987 he helped plant Grace Church of Fredericksburg and has moved from Worship Pastor to Lead Pastor over the 30 years he has served here. Ernest loves interacting with people, playing with his grandkids, hiking with Mary, the Boston Red Sox, hunting, talking about hunting, and eating what he’s hunted.
Pat Bopp
Executive Pastor
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Pat Bopp
Executive Pastor
Pat was born and raised in small town America - Menominee, Michigan to be exact. He received graduate degrees form WVU and King’s Seminary and his Doctorate of Ministry from Regent University. Pat has served as a Christian school principal, a music director, and for many years as a solo pastor. He married Penny in 1998, both of them having lost their spouses. Pat joined the staff of Grace Church in 2012 and now serves as our Executive Pastor. Pat and Penny have two children and three grandchildren. In his spare time, Pat enjoys golfing, going to movies, traveling, writing and fine dining – as long as it doesn’t involve fish.
Werner Fourie
Administrative Project Manager
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Werner Fourie
Administrative Project Manager
Werner was born and raised in South Africa, and came to the US in 2008 to help with Grace Church’s Year-of-Your-Life discipleship program. Two days before boarding the plane, he received his BA in Bible and Theology from Global School of Theology. Werner met Angela (also working with YOYL) and they married in 2010. They have two children, Jack and Owen who share the energy of 10 children. Werner serves as Administrative Project Manager (code language for “other duties as assigned”.) His spare time is spent in intense productivity, having completed two novels and pursing his Master of Divinity. When not writing, studying, or spending time with family, Werner loves creating culinary masterpieces in his kitchen.
Deb Hertle
I-Serve Director
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Deb Hertle
I-Serve Director
Deborah was a California girl – born in Modesto and raised in Paramount and San Jose. She married Dave in 1971 and together they raised three children. Deborah moved with her family from the far reaches of Alaska to Fredericksburg in 1993 and began immediately serving at Grace Church, joining staff a year later. Her pastoral education and seminary training as well as serving as Chaplain for MWH and Carriage Hill are some of the many ways Deborah has pursued her passion for helping others. In her spare time, she enjoys researching genealogy, swim aerobics, her pets and spending time with friends and family, especially her three grandchildren.
Mary Custalow
Women's Pastor
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Mary Custalow
Women's Pastor
Mary was born in Tokyo, Japan where her parents served as missionaries. She was raised a country girl in Pleasant Valley, MD, spending every possible moment out of doors. Mary graduated from Bridgewater College with a BA in Sociology and shortly after began work for the Salvation Army. She married Ernest in 1981 sharing his passion to build the Kingdom of God through the local church. Mary served in many roles in the life of the church, but set aside seven years to focus on homeschooling their three children. She serves in many areas including overseeing prayer and newcomer ministry. She enjoys loving on her seven grandkids, reading, camping, hiking, and backpacking the Appalachian Trail (whenever she can drag Ernest along.)
Dale Hewitt
Congregational Care Pastor
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Dale Hewitt
Congregational Care Pastor
Dale was born in Washington, DC and grew up in small-town Illinois. He graduated from Christ for the Nations and went on to earn a business degree from Franklin University. Dale met Sue on a mission trip to Haiti and were married in 1975. He served as a director for a Christian rehab center, as a missionary in Mexico and Columbia and as pastor in Columbus, OH. He moved to Virginia in 1987 becoming general manager of an auto parts company before coming on staff for Grace Church in 2004. Dale and Sue are parents to five children, biological and adoptive, ranging from ages 8 to 40. After spending time with friends and family, Dale’s next passion is boogie boarding waves at the beach.
Jeremy Pendergraft
Associate Pastor
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Jeremy Pendergraft
Associate Pastor
Jeremy was born in Dallas, TX but was raised right here in Fredericksburg. After graduating from the College of William and Mary Jeremy earned his Masters of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, BC. He returned to Fredericksburg in 2004 to join our Grace Church staff as Campus Minister at UMW. Jeremy oversees a wide variety of areas including life groups, young adults, finances and administrative staff. He and his wife, Lisa, married in 1997 and have three children - Jonathan, Ian and baby Esme. Jeremy loves hanging out with Lisa and the kids, spending time with friends, the great outdoors, exercising and exotic foods – he’ll even eat Mopani worms.
Jessica Berry
Children's Pastor
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Jessica Berry
Children's Pastor
Jessica Berry is a different sort of Children’s Pastor. Her focus is on not only teaching your children about Jesus healing the sick, but on following in the footsteps of Jesus so they will also lay hands on the sick and they be healed. She has a passion to teach the meat of the Word to your children and instill a desire for them to draw closer to God and begin to operate in all the gifts the Holy Spirit has to offer. The children’s ministry has witnessed thousands of kids filled with the Holy Spirit, healings by the laying on of hands by children. Children have experienced visions as well as children operating in the prophetic realm and children receiving words of knowledge. Jessica believes that children should be taught how to listen and obey the voice of God exactly like people in the bible. She understands the world that children operate in with iPads, iPhones and technology. She takes the everyday world they live in and incorporates a preaching method of "taking the children there". Children may walk in one month and a Soul Wars characters may welcome them, complete with space ships and a Jedi Master sword fight to drive home the idea that they should use their sword (the Word of God), or they may walk in and experience the Jurassic World complete with a dig site where Ezekiel's vision of dry bones comes to life. Ministry with Jessica is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get but it will be sweet!

Jessica was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC. She has several degrees including one in Electronic Engineering and a Bachelor’s in Worship Arts. She is married to Dallas Berry and has four adventurous and wonderful children. Her passion includes missions, reading, archery, hunting and all things outdoors.

Favorite Movie – Star Wars
Favorite Bible Verse –Deut 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Favorite Quote – If you haven't found something you are willing to die for, you are not fit to live - Dr. Martin Luther King
Favorite Person in the Bible – Deborah

Brandon Jones
Youth Director
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Brandon Jones
Youth Director
Brandon was born in Springfield, VA but raised right here in Fredericksburg. He attended CNU where he received his BA in Communications and Business Administration, but better yet, where he met and wooed his beautiful wife, Elsa. In keeping with their adventurous spirits, Brandon and Elsa were married outside in a snow-storm in the winter of 2010. Together, they have three boys and a new baby girl. Brandon joined the staff at Grace Church in 2010 and now serves as Director for our High School Youth Ministry. In his free time, Brandon enjoys hunting, disc golf, wake surfing, smoking BBQ and all things outdoors.
Micah Signor
Worship & Creative Arts Pastor / Junior High Director (U-78)
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Micah Signor
Worship & Creative Arts Pastor / Junior High Director (U-78)
Micah was born and raised in the Hudson Valley in the great state of New York. He studied Worship Ministry at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. Micah met Sarah at Elim and they married in 2007. He served as a part time worship leader and an adult services worker before becoming worship leader at Grace Church in 2015 along with Sarah. Micah and Sarah have two beautiful children, Sophie and Jonah. Micah’s first passion is to elevate worship in the lives of believers and to experience personal authentic worship. His second passion is hitting the road for scenic motorcycle rides with Sarah riding pillion.
Vanessa Tranquill
Assistant Children’s Ministry Director
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Vanessa Tranquill
Assistant Children’s Ministry Director
Vanessa was born in Baltimore, MD and raised in Hickory, NC. She received her BS in Business Administration from Monroeville School of Business and has worked in a wide variety of admin and management positions including owning and operating her own cleaning company. Vanessa met Ron when his band was playing a gig at a resort hotel on Jeckyll Island where she worked. They married in 1988 and eventually moved to Fredericksburg in 1999. Vanessa volunteered ALOT before joining staff in 2003. She and Ron have two beautiful daughters. When not working at Grace, Vanessa enjoys her photography, DIY home projects and gardening.
Susan Butner
Office Manager
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Susan Butner
Office Manager
Susan was born and raised just down the road in Richmond, VA. She graduated from VCU with a BS in Education and received her MBA from Strayer University. Susan married Joe and moved to Fredericksburg in 2002. She and Joe have two grown children and one grandchild, who lives way too far away in Susan’s opinion. Susan joined our staff in 2015 bringing her gifts of serving and hospitality with her. In her free time, she loves hanging out with family and friends, traveling, reading and motorcycling with Joe.
Terri Jones
Events Coordinator
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Terri Jones
Events Coordinator
Terri was born and raised in East Granby, Connecticut. She met Mike as a teenager, married at the tender age of 19 and soon after began raising a family. She and Mike moved to Fredericksburg in 1989 and began attending Grace Church when we were still meeting in the barn. Terri has worn many hats through the years at Grace and in 2015 was asked to come on staff part time to serve as Events Coordinator and to continue in her various roles including overseeing Soaking Prayer, facilities upgrades and mentoring. Terri and Mike have four grown children and twelve grandchildren. In her spare time, which is hard to find, Terri enjoys hiking, gardening and chasing after all those grandkids at the lake.
Becky Leddon
Communications Coordinator
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Becky Leddon
Communications Coordinator
Becky was born in Oklahoma City but raised as a hometown girl right here in Fredericksburg. She received her BA in Communications Studies and Video Broadcasting/Production from Liberty University. After studying at Liberty she returned to Fredericksburg and took a job at GEICO in customer service, soon moving into management. Becky came on staff with Grace Church in May of 2016 to serve as our Communications Coordinator, tasked with ensuring all announcements and events are promoted effectively. She is married to Eric and together they have two beautiful children, Luke and Leah. In her spare time, Becky loves hanging out with her family and breaking some sweat at the gym.
Rita Blackwell
Database Coordinator
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Rita Blackwell
Database Coordinator
Rita was born and raised in Jamaica Queens, NY. She married Bobby in 2009 and moved from the Tidewater area to Fredericksburg in 2012. Together they have three children and one grandchild. Rita has worked in administration in various fields for a number of years. Her organizational skills and the way her fingers fly across the keyboard attest to this fact. Rita enjoys just living life to the fullest, especially when life includes spending time with family and friends, singing to the Lord, traveling, and, of course, catching a good sale.
Erin Priebe
Accountant
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Erin Priebe
Accountant
Erin was born and raised in Westland, Michigan just outside Detroit. She earned her BS and MBA certificate in Accounting from Madonna University. She worked in several accounting firms before coming on staff at Grace Church in 2012. Erin married Mark in 2003 and together they began raising one son, Joey, and have recently adopted two children, Emma and Ryan. Erin is the friendliest among our friendly staff and her office is always available to help, no matter what the situation. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, crocheting, golfing and just being a Mom.