JOURNEY STAFF


  • Chad Simpkins

    Lead Pastor

    Chad grew up a pastor's kid in NC where he decided being a pastor wasn't something he wanted to do. After spending four years at Wake Forest University, he tried the world of selling insurance. Three years in the business world and being a pastor sounded pretty good to him. After two years at Milligan College, Chad has spent the last 20+ years leading in churches in NJ, NC, and VA. He and his wife Kara, live in West Springfield with their three kids, Savana, Avery, & Jake.


  • Gary Mitchell

    Worship Pastor

    A multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years experience in music and ministry, Gary was called into ministry at an early age. With a major in Religious Studies and a minor in music performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gary has worked as a professional musician, performer, song writer, and music teacher, as well as a worship leader and youth minister. He also has a love for pop culture, with a YouTube channel devoted to blending music and ministry with comic books, movies, sci-fi, and all things "nerdy." He and his wife are new to the DMV, hailing from the Triangle area of North Carolina. They live in Dumfries with their daughters Ellie and Sienna. 


  • Kara Simpkins 

    Journey Kids Director

    Kara grew up in Fairfax County and is excited to be living back in the community she calls “home.” She holds a degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology from Milligan College. Kara's work career began in the fitness industry but she soon moved into the world of investing in children. She is an experienced preschool teacher and also served as the children’s director at the NC church plant she and Chad planted. She has over 20 years of volunteer experience with children. In her free time, Kara enjoys working out, spending time with her three kids, and date nights with her hubby, Chad.


  • RYan McGhee

    Teen Director

    Ryan is the Teen Director, focusing on students in middle and high school. Ryan currently works in the consulting industry with a Chemical Engineering degree, but his love for Jesus and passion for growth led him to his current pursuit of a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Ryan and his wife, Elissa, live in Kingstowne with their four kids, Sadie, Leila, Jack, and Max.


  • Robyn Ross 

    operations Director

    Robyn oversees the day-to-day management of our office and provides administration and operations support to the various ministry teams. She served in the Air Force for 11 years, which brought her to the DC area in 2018. Robyn has a BA degree in Political Science and MA degree in Intelligence Studies. Robyn transitioned from Active Duty to the Reserves, which allowed her to join the Journey Staff team after volunteering in Journey Kids for a few years. Robyn loves Harry Potter, her two lab/mix dogs, and hopes to do a triathlon someday. She and her husband live in Kingstowne with their son, Levi.

  • Kathleen Ambroso 

    Outreach Director

    Kathleen coordinates our Outreach ministry. She oversees our local and global partnerships. She is also the director of our non-profit, Love Nova, which is dedicated to facilitating ways for us to provide assistance to our neighbors in need in our local community. Kathleen previously was a social worker in DC and a foster parent through Alexandria. Kathleen and her husband, Mike, live in Alexandria with their children, James and Leah. They also have an adopted daughter, Colleen, who lives with her husband in Maryland.

  • Tamsin Harper

    Journey Kids Assistant Director

    Tamsin is a British Mum of three who has been stateside for the last ten years. She worked as a Community Development Manager in the UK for 8 years during which she developed a passion for working in diverse communities and empowering others to achieve their goals. Tamsin has spent time working as the Director of Children’s Ministry for a church in Westchester, NY, and completed a degree in psychology with mental health counseling at Southern New Hampshire University. She recently started her Masters of Education in clinical mental health counseling at William & Mary. Tamsin loves spending time with her husband Nick and three kids, playing board games, and watching The Great British Bake Off. 

  • Jessica Beatty

    Journey VOLUNTEER Scheduler

    Jessica originally hails from Colorado. After many moves, courtesy of the Air Force, she found her way to NOVA in 2018. She married Chris in 2006 and they have two daughters, Leah and Kate. She is a full time Director of Beatty Operations/Mom-of-All-Trades. Her hobbies include crafting, drinking coffee, and travel planning to destinations near and far. She is passionate about building authentic relationships and is involved in military-connected organizations in the local area. On Sunday mornings she can usually be found greeting Journey Kids families during second service. 

  • SAMANTHA DEJESUS 

    SOCIAL WORKER

    Sam was born and raised in Washington State. She relocated to New York with her husband, Rich, and 2 girls, Lyla and Mia. During her 3 years in NY, she volunteered in the church helping the homeless and providing social services. She moved to VA a year and a half ago and recently graduated with her Masters in Social Work. Samantha works on the military installation as a Facility Director of a child development center and has volunteered for the church for about a year. Sam enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors on the deck with a fire, walking her dog and movie nights.