Who We Are
Our History And Identity
Christ Church is a parish of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. With our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Bourlakas, and our sister parishes, we seek to carry out God’s work together in this part of Virginia.
The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia is a part of The Episcopal Church, which was established in 1789. Our roots are in the Church of England, but our forms of worship, ministry, and governance have been adapted to meet the needs and opportunities of our own context. Over 100 dioceses — from both the U.S. and abroad — are part of the Episcopal Church, each one bringing its own unique gifts to our common life.
The Episcopal Church is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion, a global community of 38-member churches or provinces, all of whom trace their lineage back to the Church of England.
Christ Church seeks to be a welcoming, inclusive, and theologically open community. Our members come from as close as Old Southwest, the economically and racially mixed neighborhood in which the church has stood since 1917, and as far away as the rural counties surrounding the valley. Our worship is grounded in the weekly celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Dr. Curtis Ryan Smith is a concert pianist by training. He received his first lessons from concert pianist Louise Barfield. He received his Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), his Masters of Music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and his Doctorate of Musical Arts from CCM, all in Piano Performance. His teachers have included James Tocco, Edmund Battersby, and Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff. He has also received additional training from Harvey Wedeen, Norman Krieger, and Michael Coonrod.
Dr. Smith is an enthusiastic teacher. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Keyboard Studies at both Randolph College and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and also teaches students of all ages in a private setting. He is a frequent adjudicator for competitions. He is also an avid thinker and writer on music. His most recent article, “From One Pianist to Another: Learn the Organ” was recently published in the August/September 2021 edition of American Music Teacher magazine, the official magazine of the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA.)
In addition to the standard repertoire, he is also an enthusiastic champion of lesser-known works, featuring composers such as William Grant Still, Benjamin Britten, and most notably, the piano works of his namesake composer, the late pianist-composer Curtis Curtis-Smith. He has also developed a special affinity for the music of Franz Schubert. Dr. Smith is also an active chamber musician. He is married to concert pianist Dr. Woori Kim Smith, with whom he performs in the piano duo Les Quatre Mains.
In addition to his training as a concert pianist, Dr. Smith was a choral scholar and section leader for the choirs of Methodist and Episcopal Churches during every year of his collegiate study, developing a love of choral singing and choral music, sacred and secular. He enjoyed the ministry and social aspect of choral singing, and formed very close bonds with several of his fellow choir members. During this time, he frequently served as a substitute choir director and keyboardist for services when the director was out of town. While earning his Master of Music degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, he had the distinct pleasure of singing in the choir of Trinity Episcopal Church under the musical direction of Dr. Marilyn Keiser, one of the country’s pre-eminent organists and Episcopal church musicians. To this day, Dr. Smith continues to study with her on a regular basis, surveying the literature, technique and registration of the organ, choral music and hymnody. He also holds the Associateship (AAGO) certification from the America Guild of Organists.
Dr. Smith is a born and raised Episcopalian, and holds all aspects of the Anglican Communion’s rich musical heritage – the Psalms, Anglican and Tudor anthems, Chant, Hymns, Service Music, Lessons & Carols, Choral Evensong, Taizé – very close to his heart.
More information and links to recordings can be found at http://www.curtisryansmith.com.
Soli Deo Gloria
A self-proclaimed “navel brat,” John lived in many places throughout the U.S. including California, Maine, New Hampshire, and finally settling in Palm Beach, Florida. After working construction for many years, he started his own concrete business. He specialized in creating decorative concrete surfaces for patios and pool decks. His company did work at the homes of several celebrities including Bert Reynolds & Loni Anderson, Perry Como, and at the Kennedy mansion in Palm Beach. After a long family illness, John moved his family to Virginia in the early 2000. He worked various jobs while caring for his wife. After her death, John accept the Sexton position at Christ Church in 2010. He is very grateful for the wonderful friendships he has made over the years and believes that God led him to Christ Church.
Patricia began her work at Christ Episcopal Church in January 2012. Her primary responsibilities involve ministries with children, youth, and families. Patricia has a love for Godly Play, a Montessori-based spiritual formation curriculum for children and youth. She began as a Godly Play storyteller in 2005 at Wolfson Children’s Hospital as their first religious educator. Patricia is passionate about walking alongside youth as they explore their spiritual journey through study, worship, service, joy, and relationships with their church family. Additionally, she is a volunteer for the Young Adult Volunteer program with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and loves talking with young adults about the life-changing experience of a year’s service with this organization. Patricia is married to Meredith Cope-Levy, they have a daughter, and are grateful to have Christ Church as a home for their family.
Lynn joined the staff of Christ Church in January 2017. She was born and raised in Williamsport, PA (home of Little League Baseball). After moving to Myrtle Beach, SC in 1992 and raising a daughter, she returned to school. While working full time for a large Presbyterian Church at the beach, she attended Coastal Carolina University and graduated in 2008 with a bachelor degree in Business Management. In August of 2016, Lynn relocated to Roanoke to be closer to her family in Roanoke and in Pennsylvania. She has one daughter, Alicia, and a granddaughter, Alexis, who is a student at Bridgewater College. She enjoys photography, reading, listening to all types of music, yoga, and cheering for her granddaughter’s college swim team.
Lead Nursery Attendant
Leah joined the staff of Christ Episcopal Church in January 2022. After graduating from Elon University in North Carolina in the spring of 2021 where she earned a degree in Communication Design, Leah moved back to Roanoke. She is a server at Crescent City Bourbon & BBQ in downtown Roanoke. Leah has a passion for art—spending most of her free time painting & creating computer graphics. She has a slight obsession with her cat, Martin. Leah is incredibly excited to get to know the Christ Church families, and is grateful for the experiences to come!
Vestry of the Church
The Very Rev. Robert Brodie
The Rev. Dr. Jan Fuller
The Very Rev. Robert Brodie
The Rev. Dr. Jan Fuller
When You Arrive
The main entrances to the church are on Franklin Road. The parish office may be reached through the first set of doors (red) on Washington Avenue. For the chapel and parish hall, enter through the second set of doors (brown) on Washington Avenue.
Reserved parking is available in the small rear parking lot (3 spaces) and on Washington Avenue (1 space). Ramped entrances to the building are available through the columbarium garden, via the ramp leading to the rear of the south vestibule, and at either kitchen entrance (far side of the parish hall).
Our safegaurding policies come from our Diocese.