Staff

Joel Schmidgall

Executive Pastor | A1:8 Director | Barracks Row Sunday Campus Pastor


Joel was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois. He is an unpaid marketer for all things Chicago, especially the Cubs, Malnotti’s pizza, and Portillo’s beef-and-cheddar!

He graduated from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri with a BA in Biblical studies and then spent a year working with the National Prayer Breakfast before joining the NCC team full-time in 2000. Joel oversees all locations at the church, as well as leading the Barracks Row campus. He also provides leadership to missions, outreach initiatives and serves on the weekend teaching team.

Joel and his wife Nina were married in 2004 and have three little Cubs fans: Ella, Zeke, and Renzi. Favorite family traditions are music jam sessions, tickle time, and reading books over and over and over and over. They live on Capitol Hill and love this city!

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Heather Zempel

Discipleship Pastor & Campus Ministries Director


A native Alabamian, Heather Zempel currently leads the discipleship efforts at National Community Church in Washington, DC where she oversees small groups, directs leadership development training, and serves on the weekend teaching team.

Heather followed a circuitous route into full-time ministry. Having obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in biological engineering from Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!), she worked as an environmental engineer and as a policy consultant on energy and environment in the United States Senate before coming on staff at National Community Church. Using her educational background, Heather now can be found exploring environments that foster spiritual growth.

She lives on Capitol Hill where she can be found enjoying the adventures of parenting with her husband Ryan as they raise Sawyer, their fun-loving and energetic daughter. Heather is the author of Sacred Roads, Community is Messy, and Amazed and Confused, and you can read about her ramblings on small group environments, discipling the next generation and SEC football at www.heatherzempel.com

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Dave Schmidgall

Lincoln Campus Pastor | A1:8 International Director


Dave spent several years in Europe, splitting his time between Church planting, photojournalism, and completing post-graduate work at Edinburgh University in conflict resolution/peacebuilding. Additionally, he helped direct the Copenhagen International Masters Commission -- an intense-discipleship training program. He and Kate are honored to serve the Lincoln family. He is also the Director of A1:8 International Missions.

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Marion Mason

Echostage Campus Pastor


Marion is originally from Lincolnton, GA, but as a military child, spent a number of years in North Carolina and the DC metro area. Marion is a sports enthusiast and competed in Track and Field at the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a BA in Government and Foreign Affairs. He holds Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Non-Profit Management from George Mason University and Religion (Christian Leadership) from Liberty University. Marion has a deep passion for creating environments that optimize learning, personal development, and spiritual growth. Marion and his wife Tamika have been married since 2004 and have three beautiful daughters, Mianna, Makyah, and Mykal. For the 10 years prior to NCC, Marion and Tamika served the Boston community through a multi-ethnic church plant, various non-profit organizations, and local colleges. The Mason family enjoys BBQs, Sports, Board Games, and Outdoor Activities.

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Robb Schmidgall

Gainesville, VA Campus Pastor


Robb and his wife, Nicole, and their four kids, Noah, Sam Bert, and Trudy, live in Gainesville (the one in Virginia). Robb, originally from the Chicago suburb of Naperville, is a fan of most things Chicago: food, sports, the skyline, but NOT the weather.  A foodie, a sports fan, a hiker, a camper, a boater, a handy-man, and his kid’s favorite motivational speaker (cue Matt Foley).

Robb has participated in or led international mission trips to Kenya, Germany, Ethiopia, Argentina (2x), Mexico, Jamaica (2x), the Bahamas, and Haiti. He also has a strong commitment to mission here in our own country, and even spent 2 years working in the Cabrini Green & Robert Taylor housing projects in inner-city Chicago.

Robb has lived in Gainesville for 10+ years, and remembers when Linton Hall Rd was single lane each direction, and Giant was the only shopping in town.

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Jeremy Steffens

Campus Pastor


Jeremy is a Floridian who still misses Publix, Sonny's BBQ and wearing shorts 11+ months a year.

Following graduation from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, Jeremy spent 12 years in full-time ministry before switching gears and entering the communications field, serving as a Press Secretary for two U.S. Congressmen and Director of Communications for the Mayor of Washington, D.C. Jeremy currently serves as the VP-Global Brand and Communications for International Justice Mission.

Jeremy has one daughter, Halle, and they love trips to the beach, mountains and have a record of 39 frisbee tosses without a drop. Their new favorite spot is walking the C&O Canal trail and indulging in a Baked & Wired cupcake...or three.

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Joshua Symonette

Kingstowne Campus Pastor


Hours of HGTV, repurposing old furniture for his Etsy shop and an affinity towards Architectural Digest are not the things you would think a former NFL player would be into. But it’s true. (Just ask his wife, Ericka.)

Besides being a little domestic and artsy, the former Redskin and Dolphin is a serious leadership development junkie as well. At NCC, Joshua brings that passion for leadership to our Kingstowne location as campus pastor, and he helps support staff development. He lives in Alexandria with his four fashionistas: Ericka (wife), Jaylah, Joslyn, Isaiah, and their newest addition: Journey.

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Jon Vaughan

Potomac Yard Campus Pastor


Jon was born and raised in the great state of Virginia, Halifax County to be exact.  He studied athletic training at James Madison University where he combined his interest for sports and healthcare.    He was a NCC volunteer for 7 years in small groups, deaf ministry and aoneeight missions.  While serving at NCC, Jon directed sports medicine services at Gallaudet University.  He has been active in para-church ministry for many years as well, including two years with Athletes in Action where he helped establish relationships and share the Gospel in Egypt and the Czech Republic.  

Jon is married to Anne Marie and they have two daughters: Zera Grace and Zoe Kate. He is fluent in American Sign Language and is currently a member of the USA Deaf Olympic Medical Team.  He enjoys a cup of dark roast, extra bold coffee, and is a connoisseur of many different varieties of chili.  Jon currently serves as the campus pastor at our Potomac Yard location and provides pastoral support to our uprising student ministry. 

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