Laura Rasor

Lead Pastor

p: 276.699.2101 ext. 122

About Me — Grew up just up the road in Emory. Did not attend Emory & Henry but say I was raised by Emory & Henry. My father taught in the History Department there for 35 years. The campus was my playground. College professors were my Sunday School teachers at Emory UMC. Lifelong UM (in fact, my grandparents on both sides were in the Methodist family as well).

I am married to David Schoeni, also a lifelong UM, who grew up in Kansas City.  He is a professional cellist and loves to ride his bicycle.

What I like to do for fun and relaxation — I like to hike in the mountains and hang out with my husband and our dog named Bowie.

Favorite food — chocolate, lots of chocolate – don’t feel like dessert is worth the calories unless it is chocolate.

Favorite music — Imagine Dragons (the only concert I’ve been to in the past several years where most of the attendees were younger than I am); I grew up going to Carter Family Fold so love Rhythm & Roots; appreciate classical, as well, especially when my husband is playing his cello; have always sung in church choirs, played handbells, I play a little guitar (at least enough for people to sing along).

Favorite vacation spot — camping by a stream in the mountains; Rocky Mountain National Park is where my husband and I got married.

Bible character I most identify with — Esther becasue I am always trying to find the courage to be faithful “for such a time as this”.

Favorite Bible verse — “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

What I like best about State Street UMC — It’s commitment to missions locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Working to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Steve Patterson

Associate Pastor

p: 276.699.2101 ext. 123

About MeI am honored to be part of the State Street UMC family in addition to retaining my pastoral leadership at St. Luke UMC. I am excited about the possibilities of Recovery at Bristol which has already provided support to so many people in the community. Growing up in Chattanooga, I attended Jones Memorial UMC from the age of 8. After graduating from UT-Chattanooga, I served in the US Army 26 years retiring in 1999. I completed graduate school at UT-Knoxville in 2001 earning Masters Degree in Social Work. I have practiced in Virginia and Tennessee in the areas of substance abuse, mental health, issues related to homelessness, and issues affecting families. I moved to Bristol in 2006 and became a part-time bi-vocational UMC pastor in 2014. I am currently a fulltime faculty member at ETSU in addition to my duties here at State Street UMC and St. Luke UMC. I am married to my best friend Cheri Wine Patterson, an IT professional, who is active in the UMW at the local and conference level.

What I like to do for fun and relaxation — Hiking in the woods, walking on the beach and napping.

Favorite food — My grandmother’s blackberry dumplings

Favorite music — Not sure I have a favorite genre. I enjoy listening to classical music, the golden oldies, contemporary and traditional religious music and listening to choirs.

Favorite vacation spot — Wherever there is a Beach!

Bible character I most identify with — Thomas / He wasn’t a doubter. He reacted the same way the other disciples did when they first saw Jesus. He just wanted to be included with the others.

Favorite Bible verse — 1 John 4:16–So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them

What I like best about State Street UMC — So many caring people who are doing so many things to promote God’s Kingdom.

Cheri Zaras

Office Administrator

About MeI moved from Illinois last June to Tennessee. My husband & I  went on a few road trips here & fell in love with the scenery and the nice people in the area. I have been happily married for almost 27 years and have a daughter in her 20’s.  I am a proud pet parent to 2 Rescue dogs and a cat. My whole family is still in Illinois but I am hoping to slowly move them here to get them closer to me.

What I like to do for fun and relaxation — I love spending time outdoors exploring the beauty around this area. In Illinois we were locked in the house about 5 months out of the year because of the extreme cold, I find so much joy in being able to spend time outside so much more.

Favorite food — Italian & Mexican. Still looking for Chicago Style pizza here with no luck!

Favorite music — Christian contemporary, favorite bands are Rend Collective, All Sons and Daughters, Crowder & We The Kingdom

Favorite vacation spot — Currently my own State now, its nice to be somewhere so pretty, I do not feel like I need to plan a vacation!

Bible character I most identify with — Ruth / because she did not allow her painful past to hold her back from her true purpose, she showed immense Faith to believe God was who he said he was.

Favorite Bible verse — Psalms 139:13-14: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

What I like best about State Street UMC — I have felt very welcomed here by everyone. People are so kind & helpful.

Anne Webb

Financial Administrator

p: 276.699.2101 ext. 124

About Me —I was born in Rhode Island, grew up in New Jersey, and met my husband, Isaac, in Charlotte. Once married, we lived in several places in SW Virginia and West Virginia, and now live in Kingsport. Soon we will be celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary! We have two grown sons. One lives in Murfreesboro with his family and one in Jonesborough with his family. We have three grandchildren. A few of you might not know that I served as the Financial Administrator here at SSUMC from 2011 to 2019. I “retired” at that time and spent the next three years wishing I hadn’t! I was thrilled when I got the call asking me if I might be interested in returning. It was an easy decision and I am happy to be back.

What I like to do for fun and relaxation Taking trips to the beach with family, reading, going out to lunch with friends, watching movies and streaming some tv shows.

Favorite food  Home cooked….especially when Isaac is doing the cooking!

Favorite music  I like to listen to a variety of music.

Favorite vacation spot  Edisto Beach, SC

Bible character I most identify with Job, because through all his many hardships, he never lost his faith in God.

Favorite Bible verse  Romans 8:28 “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose”.

What I like best about State Street UMC  The church members and my co-workers!

Josh Bass

Children & Family Ministry Coordinator

p: 276.699.2101 ext. 125

About Me — First and foremost, I am a young man that is trying his best to follow God and his commandments. My family consists of: Jerome and Joy (parents); Jovan (brother); Jordan (my dog). Currently, I am pursuing my Masters of Divinity in Youth and Family Ministries at Liberty University (remotely). Outside of church, I love spending time with family and friends, while also trying new things!

What I like to do for fun and relaxation — Hang out with friends and family!

Favorite food — Chop Steak with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

Favorite music  Gospel/Christian

Favorite vacation spot  Florida

Bible character I most identify with  Paul

Favorite Bible verse “Jesus replied, “Why do you say ‘if you can’? Anything is possible for someone who has faith!” ~Mark 9:23 (this one was hard because I have so many!)

What I like best about State Street UMC  The abundance of resources and opportunities to spread the Gospel and be yourself

Patty Kilbreath

Parish Nurse

p: 276.699.2101 ext. 128

About Me — I grew up in Northeastern Ohio as the oldest of six children. I attended Aultman Hospital School of Nursing program in Canton, Ohio. I am an RN with 23 years experience in Obstetrics and four years in Emergency Nursing. For many years, I taught Lamaze classes, and was a Certified Lactation Consultant.  My other certifications were in Advanced Life Support, Emergency, Ob/Gyn, and Pediatric Life Support. Since 1999, I have been the Parish Nurse for SSUMC. This has been my most rewarding vocation.

My husband Jack and I have three adult children – Megan, Jimmy, and Evan. My real joy is having five grandchildren to spoil!

What I like to do for fun  I enjoy singing and playing music, reading different genres of books, watching movies, and most especially visiting my grandbabies!

Favorite food  Lemon meringue pie

Favorite music  Classical, broadway hits, and contemporary Christian

Favorite vacation spot  Costa Rica

Biblical character I most identify with  Mary, mother of Jesus. Her willingness to be a vessel for God and be guided by Him inspires me.

Favorite Bible verse  Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

What I like best about State Street UMC — The opportunities for growth in all aspects of spiritual development. The music speaks to my heart and soul, and I love the variety of worship opportunities.  Serving the members and visitors of all ages.

Sarah Smith, our parish nurse volunteer has added so much to our ministry.

Sarah Smith

Parish Nurse

p: 276.699.2101 ext.128

About Me — I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and received my nursing degree from DeKalb College. Following graduation, I began my career working at Wesley Woods Health Center where I met and married Ray Smith. When we moved to South Carolina for his first church appointment, I began working with the Department of Health and Environmental Control as a Public Health Nurse.  I considered it an honor to serve the people of South Carolina for 45 years either full or part time depending on our circumstances. When we moved to Bristol and joined State Street UMC I took the Parish Nurse Course and was approved to work with Patty Kilbreath here.  I also volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corp of SW Virginia and work as a mission volunteer in Guatemala. Ray and I have three daughters and six grandchildren.  After moving for many years, we are enjoying our location in our “forever” home.

 What I like to do for fun and relaxation  I like to swim laps, paint, and read.

Favorite food  I love sharp cheese plain or cooked in anything!

Favorite music  Pop rock and classical

Favorite vacation spot  Road Scholars trips and Guatemala

Bible character I most identify with  Ruth

Favorite Bible verse  Micah 6:8

What I like best about State Street UMC  The multigenerational and multicultural outreach programs and recovery program.  The Fish Program and beautiful music. State Street reaches out to others with the love of Christ.

Eliott Judson Tench

Maintenance Custodian

About Me — I’m a drummer with an affinity for tattoos and fixing things. Most importantly, I put God first in everything I do.

Favorite music — Heavy Metal and Punk Rock

Favorite vacation spot — Charleston, SC

Malinda West

Spring Garden Preschool Director

p: 276.699.2101 ext.134

About Me — Greetings! My name is Malinda West and I am the new Preschool Director for Spring Garden Preschool. I’m a graduate from ETSU with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I’ve worked in education for over 10 years. I’m very passionate about education and hands-on learning experiences for young children. I am a devout Christian who loves working with children and exploring with their imaginations. I love music, performance arts, anything Disney, exploring in the classroom, and I find joy in making others smile. I enjoy spending quality time with my husband Stephen and my two dogs, Charlie and Elsa. I’m super excited to join the SSUMC team!

Favorite food  Pizza

Favorite music  Contemporary Christian

Favorite vacation spot  Any Place that Disney Owns….Disney World, Disney Cruise Line and so on

Bible character I most identify with  Esther because of her courage

Favorite Bible verse  Joshua 1:9

What I like best about State Street UMC  I love how welcoming the staff makes me feel! The church is so peaceful and I immediately can feel the presence of the Lord when I enter the church building!

Cindy Rockett

Executive Director Crossroads Medical Mission

About Me — I moved to Bristol from Pennsylvania nearly 30 years ago.  I have a BS in Organizational Management and a MA in Community and Organizational Leadership.  My professional career has focused primarily in the world of non-profits.  I worked for nearly nine years at State Street UMC before beginning my service to Crossroads Medical Mission (2002).  I am married to Bob, we have two grown children who live in Bristol, and we are enjoying our two energetic granddaughters.

What I like to do for fun and relaxation  I like to view the world through the eyes of my granddaughters.  I also enjoy hiking and reading.

My Favorite Food  Mediterranean food and dark chocolate.

My Favorite Music  I have an eclectic taste in music.

My Favorite Vacation Spot  Hiking in mountains or walking on the beach.

The Bible Character I most identify with — Elizabeth (not in the baby-bearing sense, but in the family support sense!) or Priscilla (creative, skilled at fund-raising and loves the Lord!)

My Favorite Bible Verse   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What I like best about State Street UMC   I love the faithful folks of State Street UMC – their faithfulness to each other, and their faithfulness to mission (especially Crossroads Medical Mission!).


650 Valley Drive
Bristol, VA 24201




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