Meet Our Staff

James Hunter II

Senior Pastor

James (Jim) joined Walnut Hills in June of 2017. He is a graduate of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to becoming our Senior Pastor, Jim served churches in Kentucky and Virginia. He and his wife Susan are the proud parents of James and Shannon, and share their home with a rescued greyhound.

Graham Cheek

Minister to Youth & Children

Graham joined Walnut Hills as Minister of Youth and Children in May of 1998. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia, and the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to coming to Walnut Hills, he served churches in Richmond and South Carolina. He and his wife Andrea have two grown children, Patrick and Grayson, and are also the proud “parents” of Dobby, an amazing 9 pound Chi-Poo-Ter, a mix of chihuahua, poodle and terrier.

John Thompson

Minister of Music and Media

John has been the Minister of Music at Walnut Hills since January of 1998. He co-ordinates the worship life of the church, directs the Adult Choir, Children’s Choir and various ensembles. He collaborates with the Church Organist, Church Pianist and other music directors to support a comprehensive music program. 

Reverend Thompson oversees all aspects of broadcast (streaming), communications and social media.

Prior to coming to Walnut Hills, John served churches in Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina.

He is a graduate of William Carey University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the College of William & Mary. He is married to Lulu Thompson, a retired high school English teacher. They reside in Yorktown.

Donna Land

Church Office Manager

Donna joined Walnut Hills in April of 2010 as the Church Office Manager. Prior to her position at Walnut Hills, Donna was the office manager at North Riverside Baptist in Newport News. She was also an Administrative Assistant at Arisen Mortgage Company, worked as a retail shop supervisor and retired from the US Army as Sergeant First Class.

Donna and her husband, Steve, reside in Yorktown.

 Beverly Holmes

Pianist

Beverly was born and raised in Newport News. After graduating from Menchville High School, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Beverly taught band in Newport News for 16 years. She taught at Dozier Middle School, Menchville High School, and Denbigh High School. She currently teaches math at Bruton High School in York County. Beverly has been the pianist at Walnut Hills since January of 2005. Prior to serving at Walnut Hills, she served at her home church, Parkview Baptist Church, in Newport News.

Beverly is married to Frank. They have three adult children, Casey, Josh, and Jessica. They have one granddaughter, Ruth.

In her position, Beverly collaborates with the Minister of Music in a comprehensive music program, and works closely with our church organist to provide a variety of sacred and uplifting music in our worship services. Beverly accompanies the Adult Choir, various soloists, other musicians, groups and ensembles.

Carolyn Sandidge

Organist

Carolyn is a graduate of Altavista High School and attended Phillips Business College in Lynchburg, VA.  In 1957, she and her husband Bobby moved to Hampton where she worked for NASA Langley with the original seven astronauts. Carolyn was organist at West Hampton Baptist from 1961 until 2015 when she joined WHBC.  Carolyn and Bobby have two children, a granddaughter and a great granddaughter, Ava.  Carolyn and Bobby have visited all 50 states and 13 countries.  In her position, she collaborates with the Minister of Music in a comprehensive music program, and works closely with our church pianist to provide a variety of sacred and uplifting music in our worship services. Carolyn also accompanies various individuals, musicians, groups, weddings and funerals.

 

Lisa Tyler

Learning Center Director

Prior to working at the Walnut Hills Learning Center, Lisa worked at Newport News Shipbuilding as an Engineer Analyst before she and her husband started a family in 1991.  She was a stay-at-home mom until she joined the Walnut Hills Learning Center in 1997 as the Assistant Director and became Director in June of 2016.

Lisa graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Mathematics.

Lisa and her husband Terry met when he interviewed her for a position at the Shipyard. As they say, the rest is history and they have been married since October, 1987.  They have two adult children, Courtney who is married to Brad Harris and lives in Williamsburg.  Their son Chris lives in Richmond.