Rev. Dr. Jay Parkins, Lead Pastor


Significant family members:  I am married to Becky the loving quiet counterbalance to my sometimes hectic outgoing personality.  Our family includes adult children Sarah and Robert Stewart.  Sarah and her husband Joe McQuerry reside in Charleston and have been attending Christ Church along with our bouncy granddaughter Katie. You will most often find Katie on Grandma Becky’s lap. Robert resides in Morgantown and visits Charleston regularly.

How I relax and have fun:  I love to fish, read, play guitar and spend time in the outdoors.  Becky and I enjoy traveling especially to the beach and other places with sun, surf and sand.  Spending time with our granddaughter Katie also brings great joy to my life.

Favorite Music:  I have an eclectic taste in music, but am a big folk rock fan. Artists such as Neil Young, and John Prine are among my favorites.  I particularly enjoy picking some of the old tunes from my younger days with friends.

Favorite board/card game:  I haven’t played many board games in recent years; however, I have always been a big Trivial Pursuit fan and love watching Jeopardy on TV.  I also like to play card games such as Rummy.

Favorite food or restaurant:  Though I do not have a specific favorite restaurant, I love seafood. I particularly enjoy raw oysters when close to coast and Chilean sea bass is one of my favorite dishes.

Superpower you wish you had:  Though there are many superpowers I would like to have, I find myself longing most for the ability to move instantly from one place to another. The ability to always be where I need to be would be a great gift.

Description of my favorite Bible:  I have had many favorite bibles over the years. The ones which mean the most to me now are an old tattered copy of the King James Bible which belonged to my grandfather, a set of hardback Revised Standard  Version Bibles which were my father’s, and the Bible I received when I was ordained Probationary Deacon on the path to Elder. Also have a small Bible I took to the Holy Land last year which is filled with notes of times in Holy places which is dear to me..

What I like best about Christ Church:  There are so many things to love about Christ Church. The people of course are the greatest. I also love our music program and the quality of worship we experience here every Sunday. I also love the feeling of coming home to Charleston I have experienced here at the church and the many folks who know or knew my family members.

The usual stuff (education, employment, etc.):  I grew up here in the Kanawha Valley. My family attended Central United Methodist Church on the westside of Charleston, where I learned of the love of Jesus at an early age. After graduation from South Charleston High school, I went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where I was active in the Wesley Foundation on campus.  Upon graduation with a degree in Human Services, I moved to Morgantown and began working at a sheltered workshop for people with developmental disabilities. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Vocational Assessment at West Virginia University in 1985. I worked in several agencies serving the disability community prior to going to work for the University Affiliated center for Disabilities at West Virginia University where I ran a statewide resource center for supported employment services housed in Institute. While working for the University I heard and responded to the call to ministry and enrolled in the In-Context Program through United Theological Seminary where I obtained my Master Divinity Degree in 1999. While attaining my Divinity degree I served in my home church in Cross Lanes while continuing to work for the university. I took my first full-time pastoral appointment following my ordination as a Deacon probationary member of the conference in 1998. I was ordained Elder in 2001.  I later enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry through United while serving churches in Belle and obtained my D. Min. in 2005.

I served churches in Man, Buffalo-Putnam County, Belle and Moorefield prior to coming to Christ Church in July 2015. I look forward to many years serving alongside the good people of Christ Church in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.