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Pastors

Rev. Dr. Charles Parker

Charlie is the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Church, a Multisite United Methodist community comprised of Metropolitan Memorial, Wesley, and our St. Luke’s Mission Center. In addition to preaching, he oversees all of the administrative and programmatic work of the church. Since joining the congregation in 2007, he has focused on expanding the church’s rich history of addressing the many dimensions of homelessness and hunger.

Bringing a wide range of experience and commitment to issues of social justice, Charlie has long been a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised residents of Washington, D.C. For sixteen years, he served as the Executive Director of two non-profit ministries in downtown Washington, D.C.: Bread for the City and Emmaus Services for the Aging. As Executive Director of both of these agencies, he oversaw programs that directly touched the lives of thousands of low-income individuals, families and senior citizens. At the same time, Charlie has been an eloquent public witness for justice, persistently putting forth—in the media and at Congressional and City Council hearings—a vision for ending homelessness and hunger in the District. In addition to this non-profit work, before coming to Metropolitan, Charlie served as Executive Director of the United Methodist Stewardship Center and Foundation and as Assistant to the Bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and received both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary, the latter of which focused on early Anglican spirituality.

Charlie brings a deep commitment to the Methodist belief that the work of social justice and spiritual growth go hand in hand. Disconnected from one another, both spirituality and social transformation wither. Through his preaching and church leadership, he encourages the congregation to both engage in the life of the Spirit at the same time that they work to change the city and world around them. Currently, Charlie also serves as the Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the annual conference and on the Board of Governors for Wesley Theological Seminary. Charlie’s own spiritual journey has been shaped by a love of the Christian contemplative tradition, as well as his study of the martial art of Aikido and a zen flute called the shakuhachi.

Charlie, his wife Jeannine Sanford and their two children live in Washington, D.C. 

Rev. Kate Murphey Payton

Kate is an Associate Pastor at Metropolitan. She currently provides leadership to the sharing team and is the lead pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church. Previously Kate was an associate pastor at Grace UMC in Gaithersburg, MD where she guided the serving and young adult ministries.

Kate is passionate about worship and radical hospitality. She spent a year studying at a Jesuit school in Ecuador where she went to gain an understanding of Catholic theology and praxis to be more effecting and relevant in pursuing Hispanic Ministry. She is interested in connecting our worship life with our witness and service to the broader community.

Kate received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Religion from Ohio Northern University, and her Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Rev. Dottie Yunger

Dottie is an Associate Pastor at Metropolitan. She currently provides leadership to the service team. Previously Dottie was the Executive Director of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, an interfaith environmental organization in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Dottie was recently commissioned in the Baltimore Washington Conference as a Provisional Elder. She has served at Capitol Hill UMC as the student associate for reconciliation ministries, which included multicultural ministry and creation care. Dottie is a marine biologist who has worked for the Smithsonian Institution, Discovery Channel, and the National Aquarium. She has studied ecosystem modeling and sea turtle conservation, mostly in warm, sunny climates.

Dottie received a Bachelor of Science in marine science from the University of Maryland, and her Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary. She and her husband live in Cheverly, MD with their dog Cosette, rescued from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and three rescue cats. 

Rev. Drema McAllister-Wilson

Drema McAllister-Wilson is the Minister of Congregational Care at Metropolitan. She is an ordained United Methodist Pastor and has been serving in various pastoral settings for the past twenty-five years. Drema has worked as a Social Worker, Pastor, Chapel Elder, Chaplain, and Hospice Chaplain.

Drema is committed to helping persons at end of life confront their dying so that they can die peacefully and unafraid. She helps families, friends and congregations provide bedside support through vigiling and utilizing after-death rituals that promote healing and peace.

She received certification in thanatology in 2006 with an interest in being a death educator, end of life counselor, and spiritual midwife during the dying process. Recently, she received recognition from the National Council of Churches USA for her ministry of care and compassion for those suffering grief and loss. She teaches a graduate course on Spirituality and Loss at George Washington University.

Drema is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and Wesley Theological Seminary. She is married to David and they have four children, one grandchild, and a cat, Esita. Drema enjoys hiking, reading historical novels, poetry, travel, and meaningful conversation. Drema recently completed the 500 mile Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage, a lifelong dream, in Spain.

Rev. Janet Craswell

Janet is the Director of Christian Education at Metropolitan, responsible for overseeing learning programs for all ages, preschool through adult. She is an ordained United Methodist Deacon, and chairs the Order of Deacons of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Previously, Janet served as Minister of Spiritual Formation at Salem UMC in Brookeville. Before entering ministry, Janet worked in the field of international development studies as an academic journal editor and an anti-apartheid activist. Janet is excited about Christian education and spiritual formation as tools to equip Christians to live out our faith in the world. She especially enjoys storytelling and play-filled, imaginative ways of sharing the gospel with children and adults.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Janet has lived in the DC metro area since 1985. She has a BA in Political Science and German from the University of Puget Sound, an MA in International Relations/African Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary. She lives in Rockville with her husband, Gene Beye and their young adult sons, David and Noah.

Rev. Barbara Green

Barbara is the Minister of Life Transitions at Metropolitan. Barbara brings a wealth of academic and life experiences to this endeavor. Metropolitan’s Director of Learning for the past two years, she developed a robust program of adult study, specifically through our Soup and Study classes. An ordained Presbyterian minister, she and her family have actively participated in the life of Metropolitan Church for almost thirty years. She teaches Godly Play Sunday School for children and is active in Metro Players and Metropolitan Ringers handbell choir.

Before coming on staff at Metropolitan, Barbara directed the Center for Theology and Public Policy at Wesley Theological Seminary. Under her leadership, the Center founded the Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light. Earlier in her career, she served on staff at the National Council of Churches in Berlin, Germany, where she intensely studied the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. She has also served as a policy advocate in the Washington Office of the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Her husband Alan Geyer died in 2011. She is the mother of twins Christopher and Elisabeth.