Pastor, Rev. Dr. Matthew L. Winters


Matt has served as the pastor of Bethlehem Christian Church since March 2013.  Matt loves shepherding the ministries of the Lord at Bethlehem and considers it a true privilege to be surrounded by so many loving people.  Matt's ministerial philosophy is that the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few.  In accordance with the words of Christ in Matthew 9:38, Matt continues to pray the Lord will send out more laborers so that the world will truly know the love of God.  Bethlehem is a committed group of believers shining the light of God into the dark places in our communities.

Matt grew up in Marion, VA, and learned the importance of community, of faith, and of responsible, active mission engagement at Marion Baptist Church.  After graduating from the College of William and Mary, Matt attended both the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University earning a Master of Divinity and a Master of Social Work degree. After ten years of active ministry in local churches, Matt returned to the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond to complete a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2019. Matt served first as a Youth Pastor and then as an Associate Pastor, Youth and Education at Graceland Baptist Church in Powhatan, VA, prior to moving with his family to Suffolk.

Matt married the love of his life, Jessica, in 2007.  They have two daughters, Leigha and Samantha.



Church Secretary, Laverne Saunders

Laverne is the heart and soul of Bethlehem and she has been its secretary since 1999.  She is the glue that keeps everything in the church running smoothly and is the foundation for keeping the office efficient.  Laverne grew up on a farm in Roxboro, NC, where she met her future husband.  Laverne and her husband Rex have made their home in the Holland community since 1990.  After getting married in 1974, she and Rex gave birth to two children, Brian and Stacy.  Brian has three daughters, which makes Laverne and Rex proud grandparents. Laverne is a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Suffolk.  If you can't find her at either church, look around the yard at her house--chances are she's finding something to do around it!


Choir Director, Mrs. LuAnne Carr LaPoint

LuAnne LaPoint, a native of Suffolk, received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 1981 from Radford University and a Master's Degree in Administration and Supervision from Old Dominion University in 2010.  Mrs. LaPoint's career has included 22 years of teaching private piano lessons and 40 years of directing choirs and playing the organ.  She taught in our public school system for nine years as a music teacher and for the past five years has served as an Academic Coach.

LuAnne has been married to her husband, Bryan, for 20 years.  They have three children, Jim, Matthew, and Ashley.  Her hobbies include cooking and playing the piano.