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Our Staff

Meet our pastors and staff!

Gateway Staff

Say hello to to the leadership team at Gateway. We are excited to get to know you and to serve you. Have questions for us? Feel free to get in touch.

Ed Allen - Lead Pastor

Hi, I’m Ed and I’m the Lead Pastor at Gateway. I love to talk to people about faith, and I love to create places where people can genuinely connect with one another and with God. I grew up in South Carolina and met my beautiful wife, Diane, while I was teaching school in North Carolina. We’ve lived in Northern Virginia for more than 20 years and have grown to love the place dearly. In my spare time, I like to discuss with my three grown children the best shows on Netflix and why Micheal Jordan is better than LeBron James.

Alex York - Associate Pastor

I’m Alex, the Associate Pastor here at Gateway. My role has blessed me with the opportunity to work with almost every area of ministry here, and I love being able to support and encourage people as they invest in their church family and their community. I grew up in Richmond, but have clear childhood memories of the community where Gateway is located because it was a regular gas stop on the way to my grandmother’s house. I met my wife, Jill, in Texas, where we did college and seminary, and started ministry and family. Both of our kids are grown now (one in Tennessee and one in California). I’ve served in Northern Virginia churches since 1992 and have been at Gateway since 2011.

Alison Hansen - Director of Early Childhood Ministries

Hello! My name is Miss Alison and I am the Director of Early Childhood Ministry. I have a heart for children and I especially love seeing their sweet faith in Jesus. I am a California girl by birth and was raised here in Sterling, VA. After college and a few years in Arlington, my husband, Jonathan, and I moved to Stone Ridge looking for a local church community and found Gateway. In 2016, I felt God's call to leave my career as a Chemistry teacher to step into children's ministry. These days, you can usually find me running around with my own three little ones and connecting with other young families!

Heather Dajani, Director of Elementary Ministries

Hi there, I'm Heather and I am currently serving as the Director of Elementary Childhood Ministries. Gateway has always considered the ministry to children as important and so do I! I grew up in Canada, but have lived here in Virginia since college. My husband Jeff and I have 3 children and they've all grown up since I was last on staff. Casey is married to Sara and they live in Knoxville, TN. Josh is married to Mackenzie and they live in Alexandria, VA. And our little baby is all grown up! Amy is almost 16 and in her sophomore year of high school. The thing I love to do most, is to hang out with all of them!

Moises Altamirano - Youth Pastor

Hey there! I’m Moises! I’m the youth guy at Gateway Community Church, and I have been serving here since 2017. I was born in Nicaragua but grew up in Northern Virginia. I began my walk with Christ at 14 and was blessed to have solid mentors that invested in me. As a result, I became passionate about teaching students how to share their faith and become disciples of Christ. In 2010, I married my wife, Dino. We have two awesome sons named Eli and Abram! In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, taking my son to the park and hanging out with youth.

Michele Bowden - Director of Groups

Hello friends! I’m Michele Bowden, and I’m the Groups Director here at Gateway. It’s my job to help you connect in one of the many small groups here at Gateway. Actually, I have been in small groups my whole life, long before I became a Christian. I even met my husband, Tim, in a small group at Rollins College more than 20 years ago. Our kids, Isaac and Audrey were raised in small groups too!

Ask me about some of my most unique groups and I want to hear about the ones you’ve participated in. You may find me among the creatives, or the bookworms, or the outdoorsy, or even with the foodies. But, you will undoubtably find me among the people!

Rhonda Jessop - Pastor's Assistant

Rhonda Jessop here! I am Pastor Ed's Assistant and have been serving in this role since 2013. I support the Lead Pastor, and I try to lend a hand in other areas when I can. My husband and I started attending Gateway in 2001, so we've been around a while and have been blessed to see how much Gateway has grown and impacted the community. I'm one of those rare finds as I have lived in Northern Virginia all my life so lots of family and friends keep me busy. We have three grown children and two awesome dogs (Goose and Scout). 

Jennifer Wing - Next Steps Coordinator

Hi! I’m Jennifer and I’m the Next Steps and Systems Coordinator at Gateway. We’ve been attending Gateway since 2017. I’ve spent my career serving nonprofits as an accountant (you may think it’s impossible to feel passionate about accounting, but in the words of my much younger self, “I’m passionate about nonprofit accounting.”). God’s plans for my life have been much different than my plans, but in seasons of tough health challenges, I’ve learned to trust Him more deeply and to recognize that my limitations are often divine redirection. These days, I love helping people connect to Gateway and plug-in – and making sure we have the systems and policies in place so we love people well.

I have been married for 10 years to an engineer that can cook (not sure how I got that lucky!) and we have a young son. In our free time, we pretend to be dinosaurs, build castle tents, read endless stories, fix gazillions of meals that match up to everyone’s allergies, drink any and all coffee and invent blender ice cream.

Michelle Toczko - Awana Ministry Director

Hey there! My name is Michelle, and I am the Awana Ministry Director. Awana allows me to combine my loves of serving others and teaching children to know, love, and serve Jesus! Helping children grow in their own faith is definitely a passion of mine! While my degree in Elementary Education did not lead me into a teaching career in the traditional sense, I feel like God has used it for His purpose. I have been involved in the children’s ministry in numerous positions since we joined Gateway in 2004. 

I am a native of Richmond and have lived my entire life in Virginia, except for the two years we lived in Okinawa, Japan. My husband, James and I have been married for 27 years, and we have five wonderful children. I enjoy meeting new people, reading, traveling to new places and walks with our dog, Bean!

Michelle Jackson - Director of Volunteers

Hi! I’m Michelle and as the Director of Volunteer Ministries, I have the privilege of helping people become fully engaged in Gateway by generously giving their time, heart, and God-given talents to truly make our church their home. In addition to working with our volunteers, I serve as a Lead Teacher for our preschoolers in KidzTown and have been on the planning committee for many of Gateway’s special events, including Rock the Block. I’m a proud alumna of Virginia Tech, where I earned a duel B.A. in Communication and English. My husband Graig and I have two kids and I love spending my time watching them grow, attending various scouting and sporting events, and just being a mom centered in Christ.

Gina Apperson - Director of Communications

Hi, it’s nice to meet you! I’m Gina, a designer and writer, who loves Jesus and creativity. I’m the Director of Communications at Gateway, and I’m so happy to serve here! I grew up in Ashburn and first came to Gateway in 2011. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to help Gateway spread the message of Jesus through a variety of outlets, lead a small group and go on mission trips to Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Most days, you can find me sipping on a morning smoothie, updating websites, or having game nights or paint nights with friends. 

Lee Spears - Facilities Director

I'm Lee and I've been serving as the Facilities Director since 2017. My wife and I have been attending Gateway since 2006. I worked 32 years at the Postal Service and always wanted to serve in my church in retirement. Dreams do come true! I love to serve the people and staff at Gateway and make sure they have what they need for all of the various ministries. My beautiful wife Yvonne and I have five kids between us and six grandkids. I enjoy the outdoors, camping and riding our bikes. I look forward to each and every day to help and make welcome whoever comes through our doors.