The United Methodist Church
Virginia Conference

District Office Staff

Valley Ridge District Superintendent

The Rev. J. Douglas Forrester

Rev. J. Douglas Forrester is a Richmond, Virginia native, and a graduate of Emory & Henry College and Duke University Divinity School.  He has served in a variety of pastoral appointments including Warwick Memorial UMC in Newport News, Prince George Charge near Petersburg, Crozet UMC on the Charlottesville District, and most recently at Reveille UMC in Richmond.  He has served on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and is a past member of the faculty of the Conference Licensing School. He was appointed by Bishop Lewis to serve as Roanoke District Superintendent beginning in July 2020 and in July 2021 he began serving in the capacity of both Roanoke and Staunton District Superintendent. In 2022, the Roanoke and Staunton Districts came together to form the Valley Ridge District.

Doug is married to Tracy Forrester, an elementary school teacher in the Roanoke County Schools.  Together they have two daughters, Ellen and Claire.

You may email Rev. Forrester at

Northern Area Office

                                         Donna Desper, Northern Area Administrative Assistant

Donna was raised in Staunton and attended Mt. Pisgah EUB/UMC. She attended James Madison University and graduated from Elizabeth Brant’s School of Business as a Legal Secretary. She was the church secretary for Marquis Memorial UMC, and from there she became the Staunton District Administrative Assistant in 1980. She is blessed to work with the people and see God’s love in those she works with and for.  Donna attends St. Mark’s UMC and has a son, Samuel, who is a Register Nurse at Augusta Health.

Donna Desper can be reached at

Rev. Dr. Dale White, Northern Area Director of Congregational Excellence

The Rev. Dr. Dale C. White is a native of Wichita, Kansas.  He is a graduate of the State University of New York, and earned his M.Div. at Drew University (Madison NJ) and his D.Min. at Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington DC).  He is a member of the New York Annual Conference, where he was ordained Elder in 1987 and  served two churches before being endorsed to serve as a Navy Chaplain (1992-2021).  He retired as a Navy Captain and senior United Methodist Navy Chaplain in 2021.  He was loaned by Bishop Thomas Bickerton (President of the Council of Bishops and New York  Episcopal Area) to the Virginia Conference in 2021, where Bishop Sharma Lewis appointed him to serve as Director of Congregational Excellence for the Staunton District.  He resides in Churchville, VA with his wife Linda and daughter Shannon.  They also have a son Michael, who resides in Reno Nevada.

You may email Rev. White at:                                 

                                               David Mawyer, Northern Area Treasurer

David is a 1982 James Madison University graduate with a degree in Accounting. From there, he worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia for five years with the Auditor of Public Accounts and then for 33 years with Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia as Chief Financial Officer. He retired in 2021 with 38 years of service. He has been Treasurer for the Staunton District since 2005. David lives with his wife, Carol, in Waynesboro.

You can reach David at

Southern Area Office

Cynthia T. Martin, Southern Area Office Manager/Bookkeeper

Cindy grew up in Virginia attending St. Andrews UMC, Alexandria, and Warrenton UMC, Warrenton. She became the Roanoke District Office Manager in September 2011 and took on the additional responsibilities of Bookkeeper in January 2014.  She is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Accounting and Finance and worked on her Masters in Business Administration at the University of Richmond.  She completed Professional Administrators of the United Methodist Connectional Structure certification in 2015 and serves on the PAUMCS Virginia Chapter Board.  In July 2019 she began serving on the Virginia Conference Council on Finance and Administration. She and her husband, Tom, are members of Cave Spring UMC.  Active in United Women in Faith she serves on the Roanoke District Board. 

Cindy Martin can reach at