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The Gathering at Washington Street (The Gathering) is funded by a 2021 to 2024 Church Development grant from the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (VAUMC).

Westview Harvest Festival
Vision of Petersburg
young girls friends
under bridge
trinity church image
Residential Mental Health Ekklesia
Tri Cities Tutoring
Spring_in_Petersburg (1)

OUR PURPOSE (why do we exist):

to work alongside the community to empower individuals and the community to thrive.

For two years, under the guidance of Sylvia Meadows, District Superintendent for the James River District, a discernment team formed to re-imagine a dormant 40-year district and conference dream for a unique faith community in Petersburg.

Several United Methodist pastors along with ecumenical, nonprofit, educational, and city partners met weekly to discover what has and has not been fruitful in Petersburg and to discern ways God invites us to be in relationship with residents that honors the dignity, value, and gift of each human life.


We stand in solidarity with these friends and acknowledge their contributions which have moved us to a unique mission congregation in Petersburg.


We are grateful to have joined them where they were already at work in ministry.

Vision of Petersburg.HEIC
Audrey D. Smith

Audrey is the pastor of The Gathering at Washington Street, United Methodist Church, a mission congregation in Petersburg, Virginia. She also serves as Executive Director of Social Missions for the nonprofit, The Gathering. 


She was a co-founder of Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls (The Garden Schoolhouse) and executive director of the nonprofit school. 

Audrey taught the beauty and power of music as a choral director for 15 years in Chesterfield County Public Schools until her retirement in 2014. 

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 
1 Corinthians 10:13

She is a graduate of the Soul of Leadership program with Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation where she serves as a group spiritual director and program staff. Audrey is a certified Spiritual Wellness Practitioner through EMC3 Coaching, Excellence in Ministry Coaching.  

She is co-author of a race relations video and curriculum series,Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship  sponsored by the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  She is a graduate of Virginia State University, Bachelor of Music Education, and University of Phoenix, Masters in Educational Leadership.  She will attend Union Presbyterian Seminary in Fall 2023 for the Masters of Public Theology degree program.


Audrey participates in the Leaders of Color Circle with the Cameron Foundation. She and her husband Frank live in Chesterfield, Virginia. 


Willis Foster, Sr.,  Board Chair

Canon, Diversity and Transformation, Southern Diocese, Episcopal Church

Cassia Welton, Board Treasurer

S. W. Funk Industrial Contractors


Audrey Todd, Board Secretary (Petersburg Resident)

Director of Educational Ministries, Good Shepherd Baptist Church,


Samuel Ray Watson, Registered Agent (Petersburg Resident)

Pastor, South Dinwiddie Hope Charge


James Carey, Jr., District Superintendent, Living Waters District, 

Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (VAUMC)


Leticia Borden, Financial Administrator, Living Waters District (VAUMC)

Genevieve Lohr, The James House

 (Petersburg Resident)


Carrie Moffitt, Pastor, Concord UMC


Fancie Terrell, Petersburg Partnership for Healthy Options (PHOPS)

Board Member 


Audrey Smith, Pastor, The Gathering at Washington Street, UMC

Executive Director of Social Mission, ex officio

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