Rev. Dennis A. Woodard, Sr. - Senior Pastor - gmail.com@sylvannahpastor
We thank God for our pastor of more than 44 years,
Pastor Dennis A. Woodard, Sr. has been pastor of Sylvannah Baptist Church since June 1979. He is the longest serving pastor in the history of Sylvannah Baptist Church. He is also the longest currently serving pastor in Spotsylvania County, and was honored as such by a resolution of the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors in 2009.
He has taught that “you can have fun in church!” and uses humor in his sermons. He also teaches that we are a family in Christ.
Pastor Woodard has been married for more than 55 years to his college sweetheart, Susie Coleman Woodard, whom he affectionately calls, “Sweetie.” Pastor and Mrs. Woodard lost their youngest son, Darrell, to a drunk driver in 2007. But God has used that tragedy to bring them closer to Him, each other, their surviving son, Dennis, Jr., their daughter-in-law, Patrice, their five grandchildren, and to others who have lost a loved one.
Rev. Woodard is a proud U.S. Navy veteran, and a 1977 honor graduate of Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia. He also attended the School of Theology of Virginia Union. He is the son in the ministry of the New Saint Thomas Baptist Church of Portsmouth, Virginia. He began his ministry more than sixty years ago.
During those years, Pastor Woodard has served as Associate Minister of New St. Thomas Baptist Church, Portsmouth, VA, his home church. He also served as Associate Minister and Youth Minister of Diamond Hill Baptist Church of Lynchburg, VA under Pastor Haywood Robinson, Jr. Later, he was Associate Minister at St. James Baptist Church, Beaverdam, VA, under the pastorate of Rev. L. M. Bray, Sr. And finally, he has served as Assistant Pastor, Interim Pastor, Pastor Elect, and Senior Pastor of Sylvannah Baptist Church, Spotsylvania, VA.
Pastor Woodard is a Gospel preacher and teacher. Pastor Woodard is also retired from the Virginia Department of Health, and Sister Woodard is retired from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
No matter their accomplishments, all of the glory belongs to God the Father, to Jesus Christ our Lord, and to the Holy Spirit who seals all who trust in Jesus Christ, the Son.
Ministerial Staff Under Pastor Woodard -
Over the 44 plus years that God has allowed Pastor Woodard to serve as Pastor of Sylvannah Baptist Church, we have had a number of ministers to join our ministry who have moved on to serve the Lord elsewhere. We have also seen several deacons who have advanced to become ministers. During the pastorate of Rev. Woodard, Sylvannah has had three Assistant Pastors.
The ministerial staff under the leadership of Pastor Woodard was first expanded with the ordination of the late Rev. James E. White Sr., on September 30, 1989, and his appointment as Assistant Pastor.
Rev. White was called to the pastorate at Branch Fork Baptist Church in 1996 and later to Macedonia Baptist Church, Colonial Beach VA for a number of years before retiring because of declining health. Upon His return to Sylvannah, he again served as Assistant Pastor before he was called from labor to reward on November 20, 2015.
The late Rev. Douglas T. Pinkard was licensed to preach following his initial sermon in April 1995. He was ordained and installed as Assistant Pastor on May 3, 1997. He was later called to the pastorate of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Lignum, VA. where he served until, he was called from labor to reward.
Our current Assistant Pastor, Rev. Marshall H. Fields, Jr. was formerly Deacon Marshall Fields. He answered his call to the ministry and preached his initial sermon in July 2015 and was licensed to preach. He was appointed Assistant Pastor in 2018 and continues to serve in this capacity to the present time.
Rev. Marshall H. Fields, Jr. - Assistant Pastor
Rev. Marshall Fields and Deaconess "Jackie" Fields
Rev. Fields has served as a deacon, chairman of the deacons ministry, Sunday School Teacher, and a licensed and ordained preacher. He now serves as Assistant Pastor, and Coordinator of Outreach Ministry. Rev. Fields is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and is currently studying for his Master of Divinity from Regent University. He is a veteran of both the US Navy and Marine Corps.
Rev. Marshall and Deaconess Jacquelynne Fields have three adult sons, Marshall, Mark, and Scott, and two grandchildren.
Deacon Jerry Arnett - Chair of Deacons
Deacon Jerry Arnett is our senior deacon having served as deacon for more nearly 40 years. He is the father of two sons. He has served as chairman before, and has been once again selected to serve. Deacon Arnett is respected by all who know him because of his humble spirit and sincerity of heart.
Trustee Peggy Tyler - Chair of Trustees
Trustee Peggy Tyler is the first female Chair of Trustees in Sylvannah's history. She has also served as the kitchen committee chair. Peggy grew up in Sylvannah and was brought to church by her late parents Deacon Harry & Deaconess Christine Tyler. She recently retired from a second career as a Spotsylvania county school bus driver. She has 3 daughters and one son. In addition, she has 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Peggy's favorite scripture is Ephesians 6 versus 10-17.
Sister Rhonda Fortune - Church Clerk
Sister Rhonda Fortune has served as Church Clerk since 2019. She grew up in Sylvannah Baptist Church and has served in several ministries over the years, including: the Ushers Ministry, Music Ministry, Vacation Bible School, and Missionary Ministry. Rhonda is married to Deacon Richard Fortune, and they are the parents of two adult sons. She is also a recently retired Spotsylvania County special education teacher.