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November 23, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Life devoted to serving others

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I really like walking down Main Street in downtown Remington,” Pastor David Blevins says. “Behind the storefronts are the people you have come to know.”
Fauquier is a growing place. It’s a complicated place with race, gangs, drugs, wealth, poverty, development, grand farms and humble homes. We are diverse.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
He invests in Remington through his calling as a good neighbor.

David Blevins, pastor of Remington Baptist Church, has served communities through ministry for 35 years.

As a pastor in Remington for the last five years, he also serves his community by developing relationships and/or volunteering with M.M. Pierce Elementary School, other local churches, the fire department, residents and businesses.

“It’s a choice,” Mr. Blevins said. “It’s intentional, it’s not forced.

“I want to be a good neighbor in the context of Remington. I am engaged to draw the church to be engaged as well.”

God and the example his parents set for him as a child called him to the ministry, Mr. Blevins said.

“My mom and dad were always people who highlighted giving and serving in simple ways. I felt that call to serve.”

About 50 church members attend the traditional service at Remington Baptist every Sunday.

The pastor acknowledges the challenges of “a small-town, aging, mainline church.”

But the smaller congregation offers the benefit of “greater potential for cross generational engagement,” he said.

He hopes the church will continue to have a positive impact on the community.

“In Jesus, a neighbor is anyone in need. A neighbor is just anyone who you choose to engage with, whether that person needs help or you need their help. Living in relationship as equals as children of God.”

• Age

• Home

• Work
Pastor, Remington Baptist Church, 5 years; interim pastor, First Baptist Church in Woodstock, 2009; pastor, Woodland Baptist Church in Nelson County, 1989-2009, campus minister, Danville area colleges, 1979-89.

• Why do you do the job?
I feel God called me here. Jesus taught us to take our understanding of what it means to be a neighbor or a family, and then with his help, to go out and supersize it. As Margie (my wife) and I came to serve at Remington Baptist, some thoughtful church leaders said, “Go out and be a neighbor. Don’t be a neighbor for the purpose of expanding the church budget or enlarging Sunday morning attendance; just go be a neighbor.”

That fit well with my understanding of ministry, and for the past five years my life has been profoundly enriched by a growing neighborhood.

• Family
Wife, Margie; two sons, Matthew and Daniel; daughter-in-law, Danielle.

• Education
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky., 1979, bachelor’s degree, city planning, University of Virginia, 1975.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Tutor at M.M. Pierce Elementary School. Community outreach through Remington Baptist Church. Previously on the Virginia Baptist scholarship committee for two years. Previously involved with Habitat for Humanity and tutoring in Nelson County.

School and community involvement have always been really important to me.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Five years.

• Why do you live here?
I just sensed that God called me here to Fauquier County. I will say that the people that we’ve met who have encouraged us. They are like people everywhere else we have lived. If you give them a chance, they will love you, open up to you, and they’ll allow you to do the same.

• How do you describe this county?
Fauquier is a growing place. It’s a complicated place with race, gangs, drugs, wealth, poverty, development, grand farms and humble homes. We are diverse.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
There is a lot of hurt, hunger and hardship in general, not only in Fauquier. If I could do anything as a minister and a leader of a church, it would be to help alleviate that in any form and I hope we are doing that right now in any form. We are called to be Christ’s servants.

• What do you do for fun?
I love to dig in the dirt. I love flowers and tomatoes, shrubs and bushes. I like to walk and spend time with my family. I love to follow the Wahoos (U.Va. sports).

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Any place I can get a vista of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I really like walking down Main Street in downtown Remington. Behind the storefronts are the people you have come to know.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
More populated. More diverse. More scattered. Hopefully, more responsive to the needs before us.

• Favorite TV show?
University of Virginia football, baseball and basketball.

• Favorite movie?
“The Sandlot,” “Forrest Gump” and “What About Bob.”

• Favorite book?
My most recent read is “Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People” by Nadia Bolz-Weber.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and Southwest Virginia.

• Favorite food?
Fresh garden salad with fruit sprinkles and mashed potatoes with gravy and butter.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My friend from Nelson County, Charlie Umberger. He said, “Brother, I think you are intolerable about intolerance.” That’s just a call to humility. Basically he was saying is, “David, look in the mirror. You are so rapidly intolerant of intolerance, it doesn’t wear too well on you.”

• Who’s your hero and why?
I would have to say several: Edwin Smith, my Boy Scout master, and Mason Lockridge and Charlie Pierce, my JV football coaches.

Through the eighth grade, I was at Luray High School, and for me that was the year of integration in 1965. What George Wallace was doing wasn’t right, and I knew that in the core of my heart. That year, our school and our scout troop were integrated. Those men never missed a beat . . . made (integration) seamless. Looking back . . . (other) public schools were closed down because they would not integrate. Those three men . . . looking back those students were received as if they had always been there. (At my school) there, wasn’t any drama; it was life as usual.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I think the lottery preys on people who shouldn’t be preyed upon. If someone were to dump $1 million in my lap, not from the lottery, I would probably take half and donate to Doctors Without Borders and probably take the other half and establish a scholarship in the name of my mother who was a schoolteacher for 40 years. . . use some on my children as well.

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Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Civics a passion for Fauquier election poll worker Ben McCartney.

• Philip Mulford makes a career of the search for middle ground.

• “Midland to the bone,” says native Matthew Smith.

• Sherrie Carter’s creativity becomes her business.

• Starting her career, Liberty graduate Judy Heflin wants to be a great teacher.

• Social Services Director Jan Selbo has devoted her career to helping others.

• Jim Cirillo’s call to Casanova extended.

• Don’t tell Angela Deal, Ms. Wheelchair Fauquier, that she can’t do something.

• FHS graduate and business owner Cathy Dodson finds all she needs right here.

• Mike Harvey’s sweet work takes lots of sweat.

• Warrenton native Joan Williams still serving her community.

• Classic cars consume engineer Matt Innocenzi’s free time.

• Wood transformed in the hands of Edward Fox.

• Earl Arrington serves printing customers and his community.

• Michael Hughes wears music, threater and equestrian hats.

• Store in Goldvein part of Susan Leopold’s family legacy.

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.

• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.

• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.

• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.

• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.

• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.

• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.

• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.

• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.

• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.

• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”

• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.

• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.

• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.

• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.

• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.

• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.

• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people

• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.

• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.

• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.

• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.

• Pastor a constant in Calverton.

• She keeps the courthouse spotless.

• He loves working working outdoors at the park.

• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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