Welcome to the Rappahannock River District!  

We are 74 United Methodist congregations with one uniting vision.  Our congregations, ministry settings, and people are very diverse but our passion is to Make Disciples.  

We seek to Make Disciples through four entry points: Unity, Spiritual Formation, Empowering Our Laity, and through Mission ministry in our neighborhoods, throughout our Conference, and around the world.  We value lay and clergy as equal and effective partners in ministry.  

Most importantly, we invite you to connect with one of our congregations of ministries to grow deeper in faith and to transform the world for Jesus Christ. 

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District News

Reverend Bates is a native of Liberia; he is the 15 th of 16 children. He is happily married to his lovely wife of 28 years, Mrs. Weade V. Bates (Vickie). They are blessed with three wonderful children: Valerie (Angel), Ulysses (Doc), and Shelby (Candice). Two grandchildren: Paris and Zayn.
Reverend Bates has served as a pastor in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for 18 years. He first served the Lemont Charge  on the Eastern Shore District. Later he served Galilee UMC on the former Rappahannock and Fredericksburg District respectively. Most recently, he served the Fishersville UMC on the Staunton District.
Reverend Bates is a family man who loves to preach and teach. He has traveled and preached throughout the United States.
His educational accomplishments include an undergraduate degree in accounting, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religious Studies/Judaic Studies (BA), a Master’s of Divinity in Theology and Congregational Pastoral Care (M. Div), a Master’s of Science in Clinical Professional/Pastoral Counseling (MS), and a Ph.D. in Psychology.
Scripturally, Reverend Bates is motivated by Jeremiah and Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)   

Upcoming Events & Other News

The Heartwood Center will be holding a Youth Mission Camp July 15-19.  The day camp begins at 1pm and ends at 7pm each day.  Youth may participate one day, 2 days or 5 days.  This is an opportunity for youth to learn about the needs in the community and the ways they can help others.  Each day we will meet at the Heartwood site to gather our supplies and then travel to the project site. We will work together for 3 hours on a mission project and then share an evening meal, Bible discussion and fun activities at a local church. Brian Smith from New Hope UMC is our Camp Director this year.  Registration forms available at the www.theheartwoodcenter.org web site.  For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..