Meet Our Pastors
Rev. Dr. Charles A. Parker
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. 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 National UMC, 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. Charlie has served as the Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the annual conference and on the Board of Governors for Wesley Theological Seminary. He was recently selected by the Council of Bishops to serve on the 2017-2020 Ministry Study Commission.
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. He and his wife, Jeannine Sanford, and their two children live in Washington, D.C.
Rev. Drema McAllister-Wilson
Minister of Congregational Care
Drema McAllister-Wilson is the Minister of Congregational Care at National UMC. She is an ordained United Methodist Pastor and has been serving in various pastoral settings for the past thirty-one years. She is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Drema has worked as a Social Worker, Pastor, Chapel Elder, Chaplain and Hospice Chaplain, Death Educator, End of Life Coach and Minister of Congregational Care. She received certification in thanatology in 2006 at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and taught a “Spirituality and Loss” class at George Washington University for several years. Drema is committed to helping persons at end of life confront their dying so that they can die peacefully and unafraid. In 2010, she received recognition by the National Council of Churches USA for her ministry of care and compassion for those suffering grief and loss. She is married to Rev. Dr. David McAllister-Wilson, President at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. They have four children and four grandchildren. Drema has walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain and enjoys long distance hiking, meditation, reading historical novels, Israeli dancing, poetry, travel, and meaningful conversation! You can email Drema here.
Rev. Janet Craswell
Director of Christian Education
As Director of Christian Education at National UMC, Janet is responsible for overseeing learning programs for all ages, preschool through adult. She is an ordained United Methodist Deacon, and the former Chair of the Order of Deacons of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.
Previously, Janet served as Minister of Spiritual Formation at Salem UMC in Brookeville, Maryland. 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, Maryland, with her husband, Gene Beye. They have two young adult sons, David and Noah. You can email Janet here.