Dr. Amy Butler, Interim Senior Minister
Pastor Amy believes deeply that courageous communities of people who live with tenacious love can change the world. Much of her career has been spent helping build communities of radical witness in the institutional church. She currently leads National City Christian Church as intentional interim Senior Minister.
Amy most recently served until 2019 as the seventh Senior Minister and first woman at the helm of The Riverside Church in the City of New York. She holds degrees from Baylor University, the International Baptist Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary. Pastor Amy’s professional ministry career began as the director of a homeless shelter for women in New Orleans, Louisiana; she later became Associate Pastor of Membership and Mission at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in the city of New Orleans. In 2003, Butler was called to the position of Senior Minister of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown, where she was also the first woman to lead that historic congregation.
Though leading institutions of faith in this moment can be one of the most challenging leadership tasks around, she is optimistic about the impact faith communities have on the world.
When she’s not busy leading, teaching, preaching or writing, Pastor Amy enjoys exploring the city wearing a mask, and hanging out with friends, at an appropriate social distance. She is an avid reader and loves to write, recently completing her first memoir which will be published by Penguin Random House Books. Pastor Amy is a single mom to three amazing young adults who are each making their way in the world; they are her favorites. She played the cello in high school but that has absolutely no relevance to her current life. Her children would say that her status as a licensed motorcyclist is the direct result of a midlife crisis, but she disagrees. And she hates exercise with a passion, perpetually bitter about a metabolism that requires it.
Pastor Amy looks forward to getting to know you!
Rev. Steven C. Baines, Executive Minister
Rev. Steven C. Baines is our Executive Minister. Since early childhood, he has always felt a strong sense of calling for Christian ministry, preaching his first sermon at the age of 18. Not only has Rev. Baines demonstrated his gifts for service leading local congregations, he has also established himself as a national spokesperson and strategist on issues of faith and politics; religious liberty and church-state separation; and a fearless advocate for civil rights and LGBTQ equality. He is a popular speaker and has offered commentary on CNN, CSPAN, The Advocate, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Atlanta Constitution, Religion News Service and numerous other local talk radio and news outlets.
Baines is a 24-year member of National City where he has served as Bible Study Instructor, Deacon, Vice Chair and Chair of the Board of Elders, and Vice Moderator and Moderator of the Congregation for six years. Additionally, he has served on numerous leadership and ministry Task Forces during his tenure with the church.
Before working at National City, Rev. Baines served as Director of Religious Outreach at Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Director of Interfaith Outreach at Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Director of Interfaith Outreach at People For the American Way; and Executive Director of both Equal Partners in Faith and AFFIRM Youth. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., he served local Baptist congregations in North and South Carolina.
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Rev. Baines did his undergraduate studies at Furman University in Greenville, SC and his theological study at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia, with Rick Mohn, his husband of 15 years. Together they are the proud parents to adoptive cats – Smokey, Bandit and Chynna.
Dr. J. Michael McMahon, Artistic Director, Music at Midday
The Reverend Dr. J. Michael McMahon has served as Artistic Director of Music at Midday since November 2013, a role in which he also served during his tenure as Minister of Music. In September 2018, Mike became Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, with offices located at NCCC.
An ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Mike is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Washington Theological Union, a Master of Arts degree in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Catholic University of America.
Before coming to National City, Mike had served as a professional director of music ministries for more than thirty years. From 2001 to 2013 he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), an organization of seven thousand Roman Catholic musicians, clergy, and other pastoral leaders. He is the author of a book on Christian initiation and has contributed numerous articles on worship and church music to a variety of journals. Mike also has extensive experience as a speaker and clinician for regional church gatherings and national music organizations.
A native of Pittsburgh, Mike has long been a resident of the Washington area and currently lives in Silver Spring with his husband Ray Valido.
Gerald Lee Ricks, Director of Worship, Music and Arts
Gerald Lee Ricks serves National City Christian Church as the Director of Worship, Music and Arts.
As a conductor, worship designer, educator, and restaurateur, Gerald Lee Ricks enjoys a multifaceted career spanning a unique musical gamut. Gerald, a Florida native but Georgia-raised, holds an Associate of Science in Education from Macon State College, Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Georgia Southwestern State University, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Mercer University.
Gerald’s distinctive style, creative skill, and bold charisma have paved the way for him to become a notable conductor and music director in the Southeastern region. In addition to leading music at various United Methodist connectional events and conferences, Gerald served on the staff of various metro Atlanta United Methodist congregations, including Ousley (Lithonia, GA), Wesley Chapel (McDonough, GA), Glenn Memorial (Atlanta, GA), and Central (Atlanta, GA).
He most recently served as the minister of worship and arts at Brown Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the Mississippi area with a congregation of 12,000 members.
Gerald has collaborated with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra serving as the assistant director and accompanist of the Gospel Choir producing both The Atlanta Gospel Christmas Concert Series and S. Truett Cathy (Founder of Chick-fil-A) 90th birthday celebration at the Woodrow Arts Center. Gerald also served as the director of the Imani Voices at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. In addition, Gerald vocally collaborated with the Heritage Signature Chorale and the National Symphony Orchestra in the production of “Get Out.” Most recently, Gerald designed and led worship for the 2021 Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church alongside Bishop Sharma Lewis.
When Gerald is not cooking or creating music, he enjoys reading, fishing, traveling, and spending time with his family. Mr. Ricks is married to Dr. Crystal M. Ricks and they reside in Prince Frederick, MD. They have three beautiful and gifted children: Hudson Daniel, Hannah Storm, & Ahmod Xavier.
Kevin J. Biggins, Jr., Associate Music Director & Organist
Kevin is a familiar face to the Washington, D.C. area as an organist that started at a young age. Particularly here at NCCC, Kevin began attending at the age of 13 and quickly came under the radar of Lawrence “Lon” Schreiber during his leadership for 40 years as the Minister of Music at NCCC. Taking lessons from him and his successor, Dr. Edward A. Moore, Kevin went on to pursue studies at the Westminster Choir College of Princeton, NJ in 2006. After completing that program, Kevin took on work in transportation while playing in various churches in the NJ and PA area until returning to DC in 2016. Now taking lessons with former NCCC Assistant Minister of Music, Marvin Mills, Kevin continues on work to improve his skill and expand his skills and knowledge of choral and organ repertoire. Kevin has been a devout member of NCCC since 2001.
Juan Vasquez, Assistant Building Superintendent
Kathleen Swihart, Associate in Membership
Betty Crudup, Church Concierge