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December 8, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: NAACP leader wants to contribute

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I came to a conclusion that civil rights are really for everyone,” says James Kelly, who worked as a legal consultant for 32 years before he and his wife moved to Fauquier in 2007.
You have to understand that no one blanket thing will work for everybody. Everyone has an individual need. You have to remain neutral and be sensitive to everyone’s needs and how you can best help them.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
James Kelly serves as pastor of Silver Hill Baptist Church near Sumerduck and as the newly-elected president of Fauquier’s unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Mr. Kelly accepted the position as the local NAACP’s leader in June.

“The Constitution of the United States says that all people are created equal,” the Pennsylvania native said. “The word of God says that we are all created equal in His image; so I began to look at that in moving civil rights forward with all people.”

Founded almost 60 years ago, the Fauquier NAACP unit has about 100 members.

“We are there to help (people) with whatever their needs are: housing, alleged discrimination, financial needs, food and shelter, domestic situations, criminal injustice, political and more,” he explained.

Mr. Kelly hopes to inspire the next generation of NAACP members and to contribute to a legacy on which to build.

“When I think back on the early civil rights activists — Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy, John Kennedy and all those that were affiliated with that — they didn’t make a difference that day, that particular time. But, here we are . . . some years later, living the things that they initiated. So, I began to think about how can I contribute to the cause.

“I came to a conclusion that civil rights are really for everyone.”

His also sees his work with the NAACP as an extension of the church.

“I took on this challenge because I believe that the power of the people is in the churches, not just in Fauquier County, but in the nation,” Mr. Kelly said. “When I look at what’s going on in the world today, I believe as churches come together in strength and unity, that we’re not going to solve all the world’s problems, but I believe we have the abilities to help rectify some of the situations that occur in the world today.”

Developing and maintaining relationships with community organizations, law enforcement agencies, churches and other groups represent important goals.

“We have to be proactive to situations, in the event they would occur, as opposed as being reactive to them,” Mr. Kelly said.

During his first year as president, he plans to do extensive research into “root problems,” such as healthcare, education, criminal justice, federal funding, census reports and more on a local and national level to better understand the needs of citizens.

“The reward to me is just solving problems . . . seeing positive results,” Mr. Kelly said.

“You have to understand that no one blanket thing will work for everybody. Everyone has an individual need. You have to remain neutral and be sensitive to everyone’s needs and how you can best help them.”

The Fauquier NAACP chapter meets at 7:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month at the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County in The Plains.

• Age
64

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
President of the Fauquier NAACP chapter since June. Pastor of Silver Hill Baptist Church near Sumerduck, since July 2012. Real estate broker for nine years.
Corporate law consultant for transit agencies in the U.S. and foreign countries for 32 years.

• Why do you do the job?
I like reaching out to the needs of the community. The community has been very supportive of me. I just try to work to give back as much as I can to the community. I do Bible studies outside of the church and worship services on Sunday afternoons. I like reaching out to the people who cannot get to me. We have to meet the needs of the people where they are.

• Family
Wife, Darlene; five children; eight grandchildren; sister, Phyllis, who lives in Ohio.

• Education
Doctorate in divinity from Universal Life Church, 2015. Biblical studies at Fredericksburg Bible Institute and Union University School of Religion. Bachelor’s degree, supervisory management technology, Indiana University, 1972. Law degree, Indiana University, 1976.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Board of directors, Community Touch Inc.; chaplain, Fauquier Health; vice moderator, Fauquier County and Vicinity Ministers Coalition; executive board member, Northern Virginia Baptist Association; member, Tidewater Ministers, Deacons and Christians Union; member, Baptist General Convention; member, Ministers Baptist Conference of Northern Virginia and the Vicinity; trustee, Northern Virginia Baptist Center Board, and former president, Northern Virginia Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Convention Inc.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 2007. I came to Virginia in 1995.

• Why do you live here?
Because I wanted to be close to the church. I try to make myself as accessible to the congregation as much as possible.

• How do you describe this county?
I don’t think Fauquier is very different than other places I’ve lived. I like the hospitality of Fauquier County.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I would like to see all the churches come together in the community and to move forward for the cause of Christ in spreading the gospel and continuing to reach out and win souls to Christ. If Fauquier County could become the model for the nation that way, that would be great.

• What do you do for fun?
My old hobby use to be restoring old farm equipment. I continue to work in the ministry God has called me to do. I love spreading the gospel . . . . That’s why I do the Bible studies and gospel choirs. God is first in my life and I don’t put anything else before that.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
LongHorn Steakhouse. I love a good steak.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
Unrecognizable. No different than any other community. The people have pushed through Northern Virginia and Prince William, and now they are pushing up from Richmond. You see Fauquier sitting in between Washington, D.C., and Richmond. I see Fauquier becoming that next county that has that significant growth. People are still continuing to migrate to get away from the hustle. Fauquier is still building up. Fauquier will be the next county to have population and building explosion. Ten years from now, Fauquier will be built up like Prince William and Loudon counties . . . congested. I see the rural parts diminishing.

• Favorite TV show?
“The Andy Griffith Show”

• Favorite movie?
“The Passion of the Christ”

• Favorite book?
The Bible. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

• Favorite vacation spot?
Hawaii or the Caribbean Islands. Their lifestyle is so different than ours. They are laid back.

• Favorite food?
Steak and potatoes.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My father, Ralph Kelly Jr., told me: “You do your learning when you’re doing your listening, not your talking.”

• Who’s your hero and why?
Jesus was my favorite hero. The reason why is John 3:16.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Quietly leave the area.


Suggest a profile candidate

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:

• Lora Gookin trades career as civil engineer for that of bakery owner.


• Remington Baptist Pastor David Blevins devotes himself to helping others.

• 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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