Meet Our Pastors
Rev. Doug Robinson Johnson
Reverend Doug Robinson-Johnson was ordained Deacon in the Louisiana Conference where he served as youth pastor in two congregations while receiving a BS in Political Science from United Methodist affiliated Centenary College of Louisiana. He earned a Master of Divinity Degree from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and was ordained Elder in the Northern Illinois Conference. He met his wife Erica in college and they attended seminary together, eventually moving to the New England Conference where, as co-pastors, they helped four churches north of Boston merge into one faith community with two outreach sites, urban and suburban.
Prior to his appointment as Senior Pastor of National UMC, Doug was senior pastor of the United Parish of Auburndale, a federation of United Church of Christ and United Methodist congregations in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts, where he was also president of the Interfaith Clergy Association and Chair of the New England Conference Council on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships. Pastor Doug’s ministry has included internship at Northwestern University’s Alice Millar Chapel, Clinical Pastoral Education at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, and A Christian Ministry in the Yellowstone National Park. But he considers most formative ministry among the people of Holy Covenant UMC in Chicago, Illinois. Holy Covenant had intentionally called only female clergy since 1975, working to end gender discrimination. Pastor Doug was the first male clergy called in twenty-five years! Similarly, Holy Covenant was among the earliest United Methodist Reconciling Congregations, actively working to end LGBTQ discrimination. Doug remains committed to the earliest dream of the Reconciling Congregations Program, a vision of liberation for all who are oppressed by systems of domination, including the oppressors themselves.
Doug’s partner Erica Robinson-Johnson commutes to DC from her continuing work as Director of Connectional Ministries for the New England Conference and as Assistant to Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar. Their only son Evan is a student of journalism at the Medill School of Northwestern University. The family has been vacationing each year in the DC area since their son was small, so they are pleased to finally call this place home!
Rev. Frances Stewart
Minister of Congregational Care
Rev. Stewart is a native of Covington, Virginia, who grew up in the Baptist Church, but became a United Methodist when she joined Goshen UMC in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 1983. She received the call to ministry while serving in leadership at Goshen. Rev. Stewart is a 2008 graduate of the Local Pastor Course of Study School at Wesley Theological Seminary. She was elected as an Associate Member of the Baltimore-Washington Conference in 2010.
Rev. Stewart was first appointed to serve as a part-time local pastor at Elijah UMC in Poolesville, Maryland. She served as pastor of Friendship United Methodist Church in the Damascus-Friendship Charge in Damascus, Maryland, for 14 years. From 2000 to 2006, she was the full- time Youth and Family Ministries Pastor at Damascus UMC, while maintaining her lead pastoral responsibilities to Friendship Church.
Rev. Stewart was appointed to serve as full-time pastor to Metropolitan UMC in Severn, Maryland, in July, 2011. She led the congregation in developing a new vision and mission focus, and has done training on spiritual gifts, caring for inactive members, and new member classes. Rev. Stewart has organized and directed many retreats for youth and for women.
Reverend Stewart has served on several Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams to support communities in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, New Orleans (after Hurricane Katrina), and South Africa. She is a Stephen Ministry Leader and serves on the Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) for the Baltimore-Washington Conference. She has also received training in bereavement support through Montgomery Hospice. Rev. Stewart is single, and the mother of four children and seven grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, going to the beach, taking nature walks, and playing Scrabble® and Words with Friends®.
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.