Meet Our Pastor
Reverend Barbara M. Jacobs
It has been eight years since I was privileged to serve as your pastor and, now, I’m baaack! You already know that Big Al is my partner in ministry. You are aware our daughter, Robin, became a mother in 2014 with the birth of Elianna. You may not know know that she added Baylee in 2018 and twin daughters, Tenley and Hailey, in 2022. Alan and I are enjoying our roles as Nan Nan and Papa.
After retiring and moving to Tappahannock, I served on the clergy staff at Tappahannock Memorial UMC as the part-time Minister of Congregational Life. While there I was able to re-establish a bell choir and form the RockFish Band—a praise band that has grown in popularity among the church and community. I implemented the Fishin’ Fun Club—a free camp offered to community children ages 3-12. Beginning as a one-week summer program in 2018, the Fishin’ Fun Club has grown to meet three times a year and continues in 2023. I implemented Family Faith Forums as a platform for church members to openly discuss any issues that impact the church from a District, Conference, and/or denominational basis. Working with the youth, we planned and offered special worship services each fifth Sunday. Additionally, I preached once a month and incorporated drama as a way to celebrate performing arts in worship.
Well, that is a brief glimpse of some of what I have been doing in the time since I was pastor at Zion. How about the church family of Zion—What have you been doing? I am eager to join the missions and ministries you currently sponsor as well as engage in some brainstorming to discern what God is calling us to do in the future. With the Holy Spirit as our guide, I am confident that Zion will continue its valuable presence and ministry in historic Spotsylvania Courthouse and beyond. Thanks be to God!
The Courthouse area certainly has grown, and I see many ways that Zion can be present in our community.
One of my priorities is meeting with each work area/committee to see where we are and where we wish to go. Another area of focus for me is pastoral care. I look forward to visiting with our homebound on a regular basis. Please let me know at any time if you have pastoral care needs. I am eager to help in any way that I can.
Grace and peace,
Debra Paytes is the Administrative Assistant at Zion United Methodist Church.
Debra is the proud mother of three children, the youngest of whom still resides at home. Though born in Texas, she is a Virginian. Both parents were raised in Spotsylvania County and reside here. As her father was in the Air Force, Debra moved with the family to various bases. As an adult, she lived in Hawaii, Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and California. During times she lived in Virginia, she received a B.A. in History from Mary Baldwin College, an M.A. in Teaching Leadership from George Mason University, and became a Nationally Board Certified Teacher.
Debra returned to Virginia permanently in 1993 and was a teacher of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in Spotsylvania for over twenty years.