Chip Giessler

Lead Pastor

Pastor Chip was born in Pakistan while his father was stationed there with the US Air Force. God has led him through his life, and Jesus was a strong presence throughout his youth and teenage years. Chip and his wife Laura met as undergraduates at Duke. He was the founding Pastor of Evergreen UMC in Leesburg VA, where he had served for the past 20 years. Following graduation from Duke, Chip was an officer in the US Air Force before answering God’s call to Pastoral Ministry. He has been a Pastor for 26 years. Pastor Chip and Laura have 3 children, twins Caris and Will who recently graduated from college, and daughter Hannah who just graduated from high school.

Julie Nitzsche

Associate Pastor

Pastor Julie is licensed for pastoral ministry in the Virginia Conference, and earned a master of divinity in 2017. She’s been called to ministry a little bit later in life, having already enjoyed a distinguished career as a Registered Nurse in acute cardiology. Pastor Julie’s passion is in fostering an intergenerational faith community, and she served for many years as a director of children and youth ministries before accepting a charge as the pastor at Westover United Methodist Church.

Whitney Gatesman

Praise Band Leader

Whitney was born and raised in Charlottesville, Va. She grew up very active in community theatre and school choirs. She first studied Musical Theatre and Music Education at Shenandoah University. She then earned both her Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Master’s Degree in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College. Whitney, and her husband Jeremy, have 3 children and have been attending Aldersgate for the past 3 years. Whitney runs her own Voice and Piano Studio, teaches Drama for a large homeschool coop, co-directs Higher Voices and performs with Black Box Players.  Whitney loves spending time with her family and friends.

Ashley Thornton

Information Technology and Communications Director

Ashley Thornton was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA.  Ashley attended Liberty University where she earned a double major in Religion and Business Management Information System: Web Development. She joined Aldersgate’s staff in the fall of 2015, as the Information Technology Director.  Ashley enjoys finding new ways to use technology to help further God’s kingdom. When she isn’t working, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family and watching/playing sports, she is die-hard Dallas Cowboys and Maryland Terrapins fan!

Sahrang Yang

Children’s Ministry Assistant 

I am a Korean-American who was born in Durham, NC but raised mostly in Virginia and Missouri. I have been serving at a non-profit Christian Missions organization called ‘Youth With A Mission’ for the past 7 years, studying and teaching the Bible to multiple groups of people. I look to begin my studies in psychology and counseling, as my desire is to allow God to use me in bringing healing to others through this area, especially children. I love helping others fall more in love with God and serving where God leads me to. Additionally, I love exploring the outdoors, painting with watercolors, and spending time with loved ones.