Anacostia is named for the Native American people who once lived along the banks of the Anacostia River. Famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass made Anacostia his home from 1877 until his death in 1895. Now Anacostia and the greater Ward 8 area is home to 85,000 people. It’s also home for Anacostia River Church.

Our Pastors



Thabiti Anyabwile is one of the pastors for ARC. He has served as an elder and pastor in churches in NC, DC and the Cayman Islands. After a few years as a practicing Muslim, Thabiti was converted under the preaching of the gospel in the Washington DC area. He and his wife, Kristie, have three children. Thabiti is the author of several books, including The Life of God in the Soul of the Church; The Gospel for Muslims; What Is a Healthy Church Member?; The Decline of African-American Theology; and The Faithful Preacher. He blogs regularly at The Front Porch and Pure Church.

Dennis Washington

Pastor for Missions & Outreach

Dennis Washington is a native New Yorker, born in Harlem, and raised in the Bronx.  He is a veteran in the United States Air Force where he served honorably. While in the Military, through various circumstances the LORD began to draw Dennis to Himself and by God’s grace saved him from a life of sin. Early on in his Christian walk, he sensed a call to serve the Lord in international missions. Since then, he and his family have served in various cross-cultural capacities, including: campus ministry with international students, mobilizing for Perspectives on the world Christian Movement, and steering committee member for the National African American Mission Conference. Dennis is happily married to his childhood sweetheart, Tarsha Washington, and they have four children together: D’mani, D’naja, Joshua, and Jonathan.

Tim Ballard


Tim was born and raised in Philadelphia. His favorite word in the English language is “grateful”. Tim is grateful for having being born to Christian parents that introduced him to Jesus at a very early age. He is grateful to God for saving him when he knows he is not worthy of God’s grace and mercy. Tim is grateful to his wife Moira for loving him unconditionally… and the list goes on. Tim has been a part of ARC from its first service and is now one of the pastors. Tim and Moira currently live Maryland with their four children.



Babatunde was born and raised a Muslim in Nigeria. He became a Christian at a meeting of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI) in Ibadan, Nigeria three months after Gbemi, his wife (then girlfriend) had become a Christian. He immediately found a church, attended new members’ class and was baptized. He got married to Gbemi about a year and a half after the Lord called them to be his own. Babatunde then moved to the United States and continued in the faith attending several churches. Years after Gbemi joined Babatunde in the US, the Lord led them to ARC in 2017 and have since been fully involved in the life of the church. Babatunde is especially grateful that the Lord pulled him from the crescent to the cross and is amazed and awed by this undeserved grace and mercy of God.

Our Deacons

Hanna Baker

Deaconess of Community Development

Although DC is her home now, Hanna grew up in the Bahamas, where she came to faith as a middle schooler. Service has always been a way of life for her, she started out selling dolls in the Bahamian Straw Market at age 6. In addition to serving the ARC family  as Deconess of Congregational Care she serves our neighborhood as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and the District of Columbia in the Executive Office of the Mayor. She is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida, a lover of Christian hip- hop and the favorite aunt to 9 nephews and 7 nieces.

Dawn Covin

Deaconess of Member Care

Philadelphia born, North Carolina raised, and Southeast DC planted is how Dawn describes where she is from. Her father was in the military during her formative years and her family moved around quite a bit before settling in North Carolina. After attending college and graduate school, Dawn started a professional career as a consultant and moved to DC, which she refers to as her favorite city. Dawn and her husband Michael have been married for over 20 years and have 4 amazing daughters. They are a homeschooling family and she is passionate about supporting mothers and women with a “heart for home” to create flexible, work-life integration through entrepreneurship and God’s grace.

Dawn is humbled and blessed to call ARC home. She and her husband visited one time and never left. She prays that all members know that they are loved by God the Father and cared for in practical ways by their generous and loving ARC church family.

William Herring

Deacon of Audio & Video

William was born in Washington D.C. but grew up in Capitol Heights Maryland. In 1992 the Lord revealed himself to him but it wasn’t until 2002 that he finally gave in to his calling. There is nothing he enjoys more than ministering the gospel and discussing his faith. His favorite Bible passage is Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This keeps him in remembrance that his life is His life and all things concerning him should be filtered through His will. It is his personal goal through God’s grace to make every aspect of his life a memorial of who Jesus is.

Precious Rideout

Deaconess of Hospitality

Precious is originally (and proudly) from Las Vegas, Nevada but has lived in D.C. since 2009. As one of Anacostia River Church’s core team members, she now has the pleasure of serving as deaconess of hospitality since February 2018.  Precious envisions that each person who comes through the doors of the church is not only welcomed but cared for, pursued in love, and encouraged to know, treasure, and follow Jesus Christ more closely. One of her favorite books of the bible is the Book of Psalms.

Joanne Skerrett

Deaconess of Finance

Joanne has lived in the D.C. area since 2011. She is originally from the Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica and moved to Boston with her family in the 1980s. She is grateful to have been a part of ARC since 2017 and now to serve as Deaconess of budget. She considers it a blessing to experience the love and fellowship at ARC and to hear the good news preached faithfully in Southeast. Joanne enjoys nature, reading and listening to endless hours of CCM and Gospel music. She constantly is amazed by God’s freely-given grace to all who believe.

Our Staff

Moira Ballard

Co-Director of Children’s Ministry

Moira Ballard is a Northern Virginia girl, born and raised in Arlington, VA. She is a graduate of both the University of Virginia and Clemson University. It was during her undergraduate years at UVA that she came to saving faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Moira has homeschooled her four children for the past 10 years. In addition to homeschooling, she works as a freelance photographer, graphics designer, and video editor. At ARC, Moira leads a women’s small group, and currently serves as a Co-Director for the Children’s Ministry. She resides in Upper Marlboro, MD with her husband, Tim, of almost 18 years; along with their children.

Ashley Davenport

Neighborhood Outreach Director

Ashley Davenport serves as the Neighbor Outreach Director at Anacostia River Church. She was born in Springfield, MO, but has since called Topeka, KS, Memphis, TN, and now Washington, D.C. home. Although she was not raised in a Christian home, God always placed people in her life to teach her about Him. She came to faith at 10 years old at a church camp. Coming to faith as a child from an unbelieving family has helped shape her heart for evangelism for both children and adults. Since college she has held ministerial outreach jobs serving predominantly black and brown communities (Kids Across America, Memphis Athletic Ministries, Neighborhood Christian Center and Young Life) and is passionate about people knowing the love of God, the peace of His fellowship, and the power of His truth. She is excited to see God use the local church to build relationships with the neighbors in Anacostia for His glory.

Abby Tseggai Robinson

Administrative Assistant, Co-Director of Children’s Ministry

Abby is a first-generation Eritrean-American born and raised in Northern Virginia. She studied criminal justice and sociology at Old Dominion University, with a desire to understand people deeper from all walks of life.  She loves to see how God activates His children and how He brings different people together to form community.  She became a member of ARC in early 2017 and was delighted to join the church staff in March 2018.