Staff Bios

Pastor Gareth

Interim Pastor

Gareth Stephenson joined the staff January 2017.  God has specifically called Gareth, his wife Courtney, and their son Grayson to minister at PHOP in the summer of 2016.  He graduated from Kentucky Mountain Bible College in 2015 with a BA in Pastoral Ministries and served as an Assistant Pastor at Winchester Wesleyan Church from 2013- 2016.  He currently ministers at Parkway House of Prayer through regular preaching, teaching, evangelism and discipleship. He has a passion to reach lost souls and redeem broken situation!  He is also servicing as a chaplain for the Roanoke City Police Department and he is a Certified EMT with Vinton Rescue.

Pastor Dave

La Mision Hispana Pastor

Jacob Laffoon

Music Director

Hi!  I’m Jacob Laffoon, one the Worship Leaders on staff here at Parkway. My beautiful wife, Tessa, and I have been attending Parkway for a couple of years now.  It is an amazing place where people love God and love each other.

Music has always been a part of my life.  I grew up playing percussion and piano in middle school, high school, and marching band.  It really gave me my musical theory background and instilled a passion for music.  My father was extremely gifted doing sound work and, as a result, I was exposed to quite a few popular Christian artists growing up.  I will never forgot being in a live concert with Chris Tomlin when I was a teen.  The presence of God was so tangible that night that I began to understand the power of worship.  I took piano lessons when I was younger, but I never was a singer.  I broke out my singing shell doing an Elvis impression at a church Christmas concert, which was quite fun.  God used these things to stir a desire in my heart to do more for Him. He gave me an opportunity to start a music ministry in my childhood church; in only a week’s time, God moved us from singing acapella to having a full-fledged worship team. It is amazing how God moves!

God is so amazing and He wants you to have a personal relationship with Him.  When we worship together, we get the amazing opportunity to meet Him face to face and to praise Him for salvation.  I strongly urge you to join us for a Sunday Morning or Wednesday night service.  I would love to meet and talk with you.  God Bless.

Linda Thompson

Missions Director

Hi, my name is Linda Thompson. I have been at PHOP since 1999. I started working for Pastor Jeff Keaton in 2001 as his Administrative Assistant. I loved working at the church and getting to know the people that attended. In 2006, God called me to go on a mission's trip to Guatemala and while there, He called me into missions. Now I lead our Mission's Department. We are doing a lot of work to spread Jesus here and around the world. Do you know Jesus? It would be my privilege to introduce you to Him.  

Melanie Thompson

Kingdom Kidz Director

Hello Awesome Internet People! My name is Melanie Thompson and I am the Children’s Director at Parkway House of Prayer. I have had this amazing privilege for the past two years; however, I have attended Parkway House of Prayer for 17 years and counting.In 2010, I was lucky enough to graduate high school from Parkway Christian Academy. Then soon after, I graduated from Virginia Western Community College with an Associates Degree in Social Sciences with a focus in Education. I worked in retail for five years until God called me to come join the Parkway House of Prayer staff. I began my journey here as the Administrative Assistant for five months and then I was given the opportunity to work with the kids. I am blessed that God led me to my current position and couldn’t be more grateful. If I am not surrounded by a sea of children, I am spending time with friends and family, painting, riding my bike, or reading a book that cannot be put down. If there are any questions you may have please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help any way that I can.

Lori Waltz

Administrative Assistant

I started out volunteering at PHOP and then I found myself coming in everyday. Then I was asked to do the bulletin and that is how I got the name "bulletin hero." The rest of the story is history. I also love to garden and watch my grandsons.