Mark Tindle | Lead Pastor

I’m a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL), and I’ve been on staff with Seneca Creek since 1989.  My wife (Diane) and I have two grown daughters.  I enjoy cycling, reading, Cornhusker football, and almost every kind of music.  Oh, and Semper Fi, to my fellow Marines.

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Jeannette Cochran | Executive Pastor

I was born in Maryland and grew up in Gaithersburg when the Kentlands was a forest and Quince Orchard just a small winding road. I joined the Seneca Creek staff in 1997. For ten years, I led our children’s ministry, and then in 2008, transitioned to my current role as executive pastor.
I’m a graduate of Regent University where I studied Organizational Leadership (B.S. and M.A.) and Practical Theology (M.A.).

I'm married to Eddie and together we have three adult children, one daughter-in-love, and a brand new granddaughter who is our pride and joy!

In my free time, I enjoy reading about leadership and spirituality, beach trips with my family, playing with my two golden retrievers, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, and the Virginia Tech Hokies!

Jeannette’s blog

Twitter  /JCochran4040

Facebook  /jeannette.cochran

Dave Hawley | Creative Arts Pastor

I'm passionate about partnering in community with other artists and leaders to creatively share God's love and truth with others. I joined the Seneca Creek staff team in 2004.  Previously, I served with two churches in northern California: Valley Springs Presbyterian Church (Roseville, CA) and Bayside Church (Granite Bay, CA).

I graduated from California State University, Sacramento (B.A.) & Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (M.M.) (Mill Valley, CA). Currently, I am pursuing additional study through Fuller Theological Seminary.

I'm married to my best friend and beautifully talented wife, Jen. My son, Daniel, is a geological engineering student.

Favorites: 24-hour diners, kayaking, traveling, being outdoors, guitars, Bob Dylan, R&B grooves, indie films, peanut butter…and squirrels.

Mary Johnson | Connections Pastor

I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Georgia and am country to the core but I consider myself more of a steel magnolia than a Georgia Peach. My former career took me to Minnesota for fifteen years and then brought me to Maryland. I am new to the Seneca Creek staff but not new to ministry. I have worked with youth and children ministries both in Maryland and in Minnesota. 


I am a graduate of Mercer University in Macon where I majored in Biology and Human Resources Management. I received my Masters in Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity in May 2015. My passions are life and people. My philosophy of life is this, we must live life to its fullest; we must give it our all. It is too short to squander. It is far too precious to waste. It costed our Savior too much to place it on a shelf to admire. We must embrace all of life and be an active participant in it not merely decide to take a seat on the bench and watch it pass us by. Life is in us; life surrounds us.

I have two wonderful children, Jasmyn and Kevin, and two adorable granddaughters, Amaya and Ariana. In my free time I enjoy gardening, reading, cooking, golfing, the outdoors, and re-runs of Star Trek the Next Generation.

Josh Patterson | High School and Young Adult Pastor

I graduated from Messiah College in 2016 with a degree in Graphic Design and Youth Ministry. I have been serving in full time ministry since June of 2016 but have been a part of the Seneca Creek family since June of 2019. Student ministry is my number one passion in life grounded on the conviction that students are NOT the Church of tomorrow... but are very much an integral part of the Church TODAY! 


I am married to my amazing wife Noelle and although we do not have any children (yet) we do have 3 dogs... and that has to count for something! I am a HUGE Theology nerd and you can pretty much always find me reading and studying theology on my own time. My all time favorite theologian is N.T. Wright (if you haven't read any of his work... what are you doing with your life?) The only thing that might rival my love for theology (aside from Jesus and my wife) is the Washington Capitals! I am a huge Caps fan, as you will quickly learn if you ever spend more than 15 seconds together with me. Let's Go Caps! 

Heather Nicholson | Middle School Director

I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southern Virginia and moved to the area to attend Georgetown University's School of Business. Once I learned what a city block was, I became a true city girl at heart and fell deeply in love with Washington, D.C. - and I don’t just mean the tourist highlights! 

My post-college career was in the often wild and wacky world of Residential Property Management, including short-term executive housing and Higher Education.  I’ve been married to my husband JR since 1997 and in 2003 we welcomed home our son John, born in Daegu, South Korea. In fact, adoption is deeply woven into my story in multiple ways and I am so grateful for the way God has connected my family.

JR and I have attended Seneca Creek Community Church since 1999. I started serving almost immediately in student ministry. I joined the Seneca Creek staff in 2005 as the Executive Assistant, and took on a second official hat in 2008 as Middle School Director. I am deeply passionate about students and their undeniable capacity to change the world by bringing the hope of Jesus to a hurting world. Their fearlessness inspires me and I cannot imagine life without their awesomeness!

Things you might not guess about me:

  • A good bit of my childhood was spent on a cattle ranch where I had a pet cow named Frosty and quarterhorse named Wimpy.

  • I am insanely accident prone. No, really. Like WEIRDLY so.

  • Music tastes are all over the map: Pink Floyd, Metallica, Michael Jackson, and Theatre (yes - even Opera). How’s that for variety?

Is it football season yet?! I’ll watch almost anyone play, but my heart belongs to the Steelers.

Bob Attrill | Director of Children's Ministry

I Love Kids! My passion and calling are influencing my four boys and every other kid I meet with the hope of Jesus. There's nothing more rewarding to me than making a positive impact in the life of a child and next to that, I have the heart to serve alongside and encourage others who share that same passion.

As a kid, I had the neat opportunity to live in several states up and down the Eastern U.S. as my family, and I followed my dad throughout his Naval career. Born in Jacksonville, FL and lived just outside Mobile, AL until 6th grade.

I'm married to my beautiful wife, Trena. We have 4 active boys-Bobby (married to his lovely wife Julia), TJ (now in college and playing lacrosse), Blake (knows everything about Star Wars, Pokemon and all comic book stuff), and Tristan (my little fisherman/athlete).

In 2001,  I was called to ministry very similar to how Jesus called His own disciples; kind of like, "I know you've been doing this Navy thing for 10 years and that's all you know...well now you get to serve in ministry with me." Funny how God works!!

Stuff about me:

  • I have a Bachelors degree in Human Service Management from the University of Phoenix.

  • I’m a professional artist and Owner/Operator of "ArtPoint Studio."

  • I can play “Amazing Grace” on the harmonica.

  • I love making people laugh.

  • I have a 1st degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.

  • I can solve the Rubik's Cube (only 5% of the world's population can do that!!).

  • I absolutely love everything about the outdoors (especially fishing!!).

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter M&M’s are my Kryptonite.

  • One day I am going to write a book about being a Dad.

Brooke Whitson | Assistant Director of Children's Ministry

I was born in South Carolina to two of God's biggest fans. My parents were serial volunteers in our farm town church, led every ministry possible, and showed by example how to love God with your whole heart by loving your neighbor well. My big brother and I were so fortunate to live on that bustling farm so close to Myrtle Beach where we could be tourists every weekend, and learn how to work hard and honestly during the week.


My husband, Will, and I moved to DC with a 9-month-old in 2016 (Nora is now four, going on 20). Back then, I was a newly motherless mother that was struggling with deep grief and happened into this church, one of the best decisions of my life. Seneca Creek opened its arms to my family, as relative strangers, and gave us a place to belong. That "no questions asked" kind of grace sparked my love for this church and our children's ministry, and I know God opened the doors to bring me here.


Some things you may not know about me:

  • I am addicted to my grandmother's cookbook and may force some homemade sourdough bread on you.

  • My daughter Nora is the unofficial mayor of everywhere she goes.

  • I am a snob for good sweet tea and fresh seafood.

Patty Howell | Children's Ministry Operations Manager

I grew up in Maryland, one of five children.  Our summers included lots of reading, playing outdoors and camping trips.  I attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received my accounting degree.  After graduation, I earned my CPA license and lived and worked in North Carolina for eight years, moving back to Maryland in 1988.  I worked in the accounting and finance field for 20 years.


In 1991, I met my best friend and the love of my life, Tom and we married in 1993.  I was blessed that day to become part of an “insta- family” (our daughter’s word) that included our children, Bonnie, Andrew and Joey (ages 11, 9 and 6 at the time).  In 1996 our son Brian was born, rounding out our crew at four – all amazing people that make us proud!  Today, our family includes our two beautiful daughters-in-law, Sarah and Priscilla, our wonderful son-in-law Steve, and five (soon to be six) adorable and fun grandchildren.

We began attending Seneca Creek in 1994 and I began serving in the Nursery soon after.  In 2001 I joined the Children’s Ministry staff where I served as Nursery/Preschool Director for five years.  After eight years as a stay-at-home Mom, I re-joined the PowerHouse staff part-time in 2014.  I also volunteer as a PowerHouse small group leader. 

I am interested in learning and understanding more about what it is like to live with special needs and want to be a part of making sure Seneca Creek is ready to welcome every person/family that wants to worship with us.  In Fall 2015 I began substituting as a Special Education Instructional Assistant in the public schools.

I truly enjoy children of all ages and am passionate about helping every child to understand they are valuable because they were created by God, that they are fiercely loved by God, and Jesus wants to be their friend and leader forever.

Irene Ambeva | Operations Manager

I was born and raised in Kenya, and moved to the US in 2000 after serving as a missionary with Youth With A Mission, Kenya. I have always loved Performing & Visual Arts, so I earned a BFA at Kennesaw State University GA. My desire to effectively communicate, and my longing to do more in society lead me to earn a Master of Arts in Conflict Management.


In October 2016, I felt the Lord nudge me to move to Maryland. My cousin invited me to Seneca Creek and little did I know…it was the beginning of this amazing plan of God. I loved the fellowship & was fed by the Word, my then 2-year-old son adored his Sunday school teacher, and we instantly felt like we were at home. I am in awe of God’s leading in my life, and I am incredibly humbled to be part of this wonderful Seneca Creek family as we serve God in our community.


Random facts about me:

  • I speak three languages (English, Swahili & Luhya) and .00002 of Spanish and sign language – I need to make that a whole number.

  • Languages and how they come about fascinate me.

  • I have not picked up a brush in a while, but I love to paint.

  • Writing and music are great therapy for me.

  • I can get lost in a good book.

  • There is nothing as good as a good cup of tea

  • I love traveling, discovering new things, getting lost and meeting new people.

  • I have imagined myself giving an Oscar acceptance speech… That was years ago.

  • My 5-year-old son is running for chief hugger and greeter of the world.

Sooky McFadden | Executive Assistant

I was in my thirties and a mother of small kids when I started coming to Seneca Creek at the invitation of a good friend. I had no idea how much my life would change! After Ieaving my job as a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department to stay at home, I started volunteering to organize church events like the Father-Daughter dance and the MLK Day of Service. This work led me to discover my passion for community service and co-found a non-profit group, KidServe, that encourages families to serve together at homeless shelters, food pantries, and assisted-living facilities. I have 4 children who keep me busy, and in any spare time, I love to travel, eat ice cream, watch movies that make me cry, swim, and spend time with friends. My favorite expression of God’s beauty is a beautiful sky, whether at sunrise, sunset, or a starry night.

Rosco Lockhart | Facilities Manager

I was born into Christian family in Illinois, where my father was active in the Baptist church. I entered the Navy and am a Vietnam veteran.  I have been married to my lovely wife, Nancy for 36 years, and we have one grown son, Pierre.

Before coming on staff at Seneca Creek, I owned my own printing company for 18 years and retired from business in 2006.

I started attending Seneca Creek over 18 years ago and began a personal relationship with Christ two years later. Since then, I’ve served on mission trips in Peru, Nigeria, Dominion Republic and El Salvador. My passion, though, is helping people who are in jail or just released from a correctional institution. It is my joy to lead others to Christ and find a new life in him.

Education: Montgomery College Printing Technology and Washington Bible College

Sports:  Karate and Boxing

Joanie Batista | Financial Administrator

Hola!  An interesting fact about me is that I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. I came to the U.S. at age 17 and got married at 19. God blessed me with a wonderful husband, a son and a daughter at a very young age. Now, the cherry of my life is my little butterfly, my granddaughter, Nora.

I received my Bachelors in Accounting from the University of Maryland and have been in the finance and accounting field for over 30 years and working in the nonprofit sector for nearly 15.

I am a Missionary at Heart. My passion for missions started as a response to the growing number of orphans, hurting, and vulnerable children in Africa. Once I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He implanted His love in my heart for His people. This love transformed me, it changed me, and it gave me purpose. My desire in ministry is to use my gifts and talents to further the gospel of Christ.

My Mission is to know Jesus, and make Him known.

My personal scripture verse is Psalm 18:2
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”


Steve Lanham | Financial Assistant

50 years ago, I was born to a loving, “nose-to-the-grindstone” family in Wheaton, Maryland.  As the youngest of three boys, my way through life was paved like a rocky slope and in other ways like a smooth race track.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Long before anyone knew to “Fear the Turtle” I was a Terrapin.  After earning my B.S. in Biology at Maryland, I went on to a rewarding career in workplace safety and health.

For many years, I had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home dad.  Watching and helping my daughter, Erin and son, Casey grow in such a personal way has been amazing.  I thank God for the blessing and my amazing wife Carolyn for creating such a wonderful family and opening the door for my unique experience.

Ten years ago, Seneca Creek Community Church came into the life of my family.  Our Lord came in the flesh, sacrificed himself for us, and wants a personal relationship with me.  “The Creek” embodies all of that for me.  Thank you all for being the Light of Christ.

Interesting ‘factoids’ (thanks Erin) about me:


  • I love conversation and making new friends, but I am shy – not a good mix, I know.

  • I love softball, racquetball, and golf.

  • Crazy about dogs.

  • I have never met a hot sauce I didn’t like – in moderation.

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