Meet Some Village Baptist Worship Leaders

              Thomas 2017

Rev. Starlette Thomas*, Interim Pastor

A native of Pensacola, Florida, Starlette Thomas* serves as the Interim Pastor at Village Baptist Church.  She became a baptized believer and confessed Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord at the age of twelve at Bibleway Holiness Church in Foley, Alabama, her motherís birthplace.  While in college, she served as the president of Campus Crusade for Christ, now known as Cru.  During seminary, she served the children and youth of Second Temple Baptist Church and Elim Christian Fellowship both in Buffalo, New York.  She was licensed and ordained by Bishop T. Anthony Bronner, the senior pastor at Elim.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Buffalo State College and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.  She is also a certified abstinence instructor and life skills trainer.  Committed to serving the Lord with her mind, she was a fellow at the Chautauqua Instituteís New Clergy Program and Joe R. Engleís Preaching Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary.  She also completed both Duke Divinity Schoolís Foundations of Christian Leadership program and the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formationís Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership program. 

Before accepting the call to serve at Village Baptist Church, Starlette served as the Coordinator for the Center for Ministerial Leadership at the D.C. Baptist Convention. As the interim pastor, she is committed to the sacred task of disciple-making, spiritual formation and pastoral care, specifically focusing on the spiritual needs of children, youth and young adults.

Starlette has interests in multicultural worship and ministry, post- racial theology, ecclesiology and Christian spirituality.  She has been invited to speak before the World Council of Churches North America on the Churchís role in the ministry of racial reconciliation and is a contributing author in the book Faith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity (Woodlake Publishers, August 2013).  She writes on the race-less gospel of Jesus Christ on her blog,  Formerly known as The Daily Race, her writings have been featured on the Associated Baptist Press and Ethics Daily websites.  She writes a monthly column for Baptist News Global.


Dr. Jeanine Warden-Jarrett, Choir Director and Organist

Ariel J. Warden-Jarrett, M.D. joined the Village music staff in 2004 and later served as a substitute organist for many years.  She returned to the position of organist in 2013. In 2016 she became the choir director for Village as well.  She is a trained and talented pianist, vocalist, organist and arranger.  She also operates a small private music studio.   She has a passion for music and giving her best to the Master.  She has one recording project, "Directions to the Throne. "  "Jeanine" is married and is blessed with two sons.  In her "spare time," she serves the community as a board certified family physician in Bowie, MD.

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Ms. Linda Smith, Pianist

Linda was raised in the Baptist church in her hometown of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Her father was the choir director and was also a tenor soloist for the church (with Linda occasionally acting as his accompanist). She, along with her mother and brother, sang in the church choir, and her older sister was the church organist for a number of years.

Linda began taking piano lessons at age 6 and studied with her hometown teacher until she was 15. During her junior year in high school, she was fortunate enough to be able to go to Sweden for a year as a Rotary Club exchange student. One of the members of the Karlstad Rotary Club was a professional pianist, and provided piano lessons to Linda free of charge for the year that she lived there. From her hometown teacher, Linda learned the basics of playing the piano; under her Swedish teacher, she developed an ability to put feeling into the music.

While in college at the University of Pittsburgh, Linda sang with the Womenís Chorale, later becoming their accompanist. During her last semester at Pitt, she also functioned as the accompanist for the Menís Glee Club, after their pianist graduated mid-year. She sang in the choir at a local church, then became the accompanist for another church near the university.

Linda and her husband, Joel, have sung in choirs from the beginning of their marriage. When they moved to Bowie in 1985, they attended a number of churches, trying to find one that felt right. Once they found Village Baptist, they knew they were in the right place. They joined the choir in the fall of 1985, and Linda soon began substituting for then-pianist Jo Reiter. In 1992, Jo retired as pianist and Linda became the full-time pianist. By vocation, Linda is a registered nurse, but her real love is music!

Linda and Joel have three daughters and 6 grandchildren. They are avid campers and love to travel, and are planning to tour the US in their RV after they retire.

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Ms. Carlynn Thompson, Early Service Music Leader

Carlynn grew up in Palestine, Texas, learning music in her home church, where she sang with the choir and as a soloist.  Her marriage brought her to Maryland, where she earned a degree in Library Science, leading to an information technology job with the Department of Defense.  At Village, she sang in the Adult Choir for many years.  She became an enthusiastic supporter of the contemporary worship service that was started at Village, and she found her computer skills valuable in programming the synthesizer and preparing the music slides that are used  in that service.

Carlynn and her husband Dave have two daughters, one granddaughter, and one grandson.  They enjoy travel but try not to miss too many Sundays at Village.

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