Meet Our Clergy and Staff

  • REV. Janine Howard

    Lead Pastor

    Janine joined The United Methodist church in her young adulthood after being welcomed and recruited by the United Methodist Women at a local church on the Eastern Shore, where she resided. She had the unique experience of serving as the pastor at the very church that first welcomed her. Janine received her theological education from Wesley Theological Seminary, earning her Master of Divinity in 1998 and Doctor of Ministry, in the Ecumenism Track, in 2007. She was the lead pastor at various churches before being called to leadership at the cabinet level of the Virginia Annual Conference. Most recently she concluded her term as the District Superintendent of the Danville District.


    Janine expressed excitement at being with a Reconciling Congregation. She is ready to lead us through the changes in our denomination and conference, using her experience from conference  leadership and in the ministry of supervision.


    Janine has been involved in Caring for God’s Creation and personally enjoys being out in nature. She moved here with her dog, Kobi, who chose her in a street encounter and who loves to hike with her. 

    Janine is familiar with the area, as she lived in Falls Church and attended George Mason Junior High and Senior High School.

    Email Janine

  • REV. Christian White

    Minister of Congregational Family Life

    Christian oversees all of the Christian Formation programs at the church for both children and adults. He also manages staff members in the Youth Ministry program and at Fairlington Preschool. As a Deacon in the United Methodist Church, he is a fully credentialed clergy person called, authorized, and sent to provide ministry to our church.

    After graduating from Duke University’s seminary in 1998, Christian spent 11 years as a middle school teacher and principal to several different parochial and charter schools in Washington D.C. These years were formative in both his practice of ministry, and in his own spiritual growth. He brings this wealth of experience and expertise to our education programs at Fairlington.

    Christian is passionate about helping form a community that in all of its ministries, demonstrates the hope, peace, and love offered to all in Christ.

    Email Christian


  • Dr. Louise Wilson

    Director of Music

    Dr. Louise Wilson, Director of Music and organist at Fairlington since 1991, has built a comprehensive vocal and handbell program for children, youth, and adults.  

    December 3, 2023 will mark Fairlington’s 20th annual Messiah Sing-Along. Fairlington Chancel Choir has performed the National Anthem for the Washington Nationals on many occasions, most recently September 2022. For many years Louise has been an active participant in promoting the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Choir Festival in Alexandria-Springfield as well as conducting massed handbell festivals in Northern Virginia area churches. In her spare time, she also enjoys teaching music to 85 preschool children and combining their voices to joyfully sing together as a choir at Children’s House Montessori School, Arlington, Virginia.

    Louise received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Church Music with a cognate field in conducting; and her Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance are from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.  Dr. Wilson has also been a member of the adjunct organ faculty at The American University, Washington, D.C. and the Chicago Conservatory College.

    Louise is married to Mauro Cooper and they live in Alexandria with their two cats, Maria and JamE.


    Email Louise

  • Jackie Weavill Donoghue

    Pastoral Assistant

    Jackie Weavill Donoghue serves as the pastoral assistant at Fairlington. She is passionate about bringing ministry into the digital space and building a bridge from the church into the world with media. She’s responsible for all of the church graphics, website, advertising, and media. Jackie lives in Deale, MD by the water with her wife, Jenny and two cats Cosmo and Tilly. 

    Email Jackie

  • Anna Bethel

    Office Manager

    Anna Bethel is the Office Manager at Fairlington UMC and runs the audio/video equipment for worship and the live stream. She is a professional comedian when not in the church, teaching and performing mostly at The DC Improv. Anna lives right in Fairlington with her wife, Sarah, and their precious “Granny Puppy,” Patsy. 

    Email Anna

  • Katelyn Shirilla

    Preschool Director

    Katelyn Shirilla comes from a background in Montessori education and previously served as an Assistant Head of School and Head of School for the past six years. She has a deep love of the Montessori philosophy which she feels pairs very nicely with High Scope. Originally from central Pennsylvania and attended the University of Pittsburgh. Katelyn is a fan of all Pittsburgh sports! Hail to Pitt! She's married to another Pitt grad, and lives with their puppy, Winston, in Falls Church.

  • Holly Sapp

    Administrative Assistant

    Holly Sapp is an Administrative Assistant in our church office. She grew up in this church and is very familiar with the building and congregation. She works part time as a florist with Free Spirit Floral and takes care of all the church altar flowers. She is married with three adult children. 

    Email Holly