Meet the team.

Brian Schafer

Lead Pastor
Brian and his wife, Jenny, moved to Gaithersburg in 2009. In September 2022, GCN chose Brian to be Lead Pastor after serving as Youth Pastor for 13 years. Born in Indiana, Brian attended Olivet Nazarene University where he first felt called to full-time ministry. He later received both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Brian loves people, running, learning new things, and pointing people to the hope found in Jesus. He and Jenny have 4 children: Ellie, Isaac, Drew, and Wesley.

Kevin Liddle

Discipleship & Mission Pastor
Kevin joined GCN in August of 2023 as Pastor of Discipleship and Mission after serving 7 years as Youth Pastor at Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene. He has a Bachelor of Business in Organizational Leadership from MidAmerica Nazarene University and completed the Ministry Preparation Program at Nazarene Bible College. Kevin and his wife, Ashley, have two sons, Carter and Hudson. With a passion for sports and exploring the world, Kevin loves meeting new people, spending quality time with his family, and telling people about Jesus. 

Lauren Miller

Youth Pastor
Lauren became Youth Pastor at GCN in June 2023.  She grew up in Bel Air, Maryland, and graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University with a BA in Religion. She is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity at Nazarene Theological Seminary. Lauren has a passion for students and their families, feeling called to guide and share life with middle and high schoolers. She loves meeting new people, drinking coffee, and exploring the area.  

Karen Van Gilder

Volunteer Pastor
A native of Montgomery County, Karen has deep roots at GCN. After graduating from seminary, she was a Nazarene missionary in Washington, DC and Poznan, Poland. Now back home, Karen recently earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Karen enjoys hanging out with her family, the awesome teen quizzers, and the wonderful residents at Montgomery Village Rehabilitation Center.

Jenny Schafer

Next Generation Admin
Jenny was raised in Quincy, MA, and graduated from Eastern Nazarene College. After college, she earned her Master in Christian Education and worked as an event coordinator for Nazarene Youth International in Kansas City, MO. Jenny loves being a part of the GCN family and living in and exploring the DC area with her husband, Brian, and four favorite kids: Ellie, Isaac, Drew, and Wesley. She gratefully serves as GCN's Next Generation Administrative Assistant.

Val Carlton

Facilities Care
Born in Dominica, Val spent her formative years in Barbados. She has attended a Church of the Nazarene since she was 10 years old and has been involved in NYI Sunday School. Since moving to the USA, Val has continued her involvement with Sunday School and currently leads GCN's Children's Quizzing and children's choir. She likes to teach children the Word of God. 

Paola Gnatiko

Administrative Assistant
Paola grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, but is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She has a degree in visual arts with a concentration in graphic design. She loves serving Christ through her job at GCN and loves spending time with her husband, Kevin, daughters Eliana and Isabela, and furbabies Pecas (dog), Rooney (cat), and Nina (cat).