Meet the Staff

Rich Pennington

Lead Pastor

Rich is the founding pastor of Horizons Church and has served in ministry since the age of 16 in various capacities. He was a Children’s Pastor, Youth Pastor, and Associate Pastor before founding Horizons in February, 1995. He is also an entrepreneur and derives some of his income from his other business efforts. He has a background in business in for profit and nonprofit sectors as well as an extensive background in church and para-church organizations. Rich graduated with a B.S. in Management from George Mason University in 1987. He then attended Regent University and completed his Advanced Certificate in Practical Theology in 1995.

Rich met his wife Paula as a freshman at George Mason, their first date was October 26, 1984 and they wed on April 23, 1988. They have four children. He is an avid reader who enjoys cooking, the outdoors, golfing and running. His passion is to help people discover who they are in Christ.

Favorite thing to do within 100 miles of Stafford: Hiking the waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park.

Coolest experience ever: Being baptized in the Jordan river in Israel. 

Paula Pennington

Events Coordinator

Paula is originally from Ohio, but she moved around a lot as a child. She has lived in the Northern Virginia area for over 30 years and attended George Mason University. A part of the original group of families that started our church back in 2005, she has been a member of Horizons since day one.

First and foremost, Paula is called to serve with her husband, Rich, in ministry. She has served in just about every area of the church over the years, but her passion is in her involvement with the worship team.

Paula and Rich have four kids.

Favorite Bible verses: Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s comforting to know that He will enable me to do what He has called me to do and give me the ability to withstand anything that comes my way.

Favorite place you’ve ever been: Pompeii in Italy. It was hot, but absolutely amazing! Favorite thing to do within 100 miles of Stafford: Going to DC to take in the sites, museums, great restaurants, or just walk around. On the bucket list To one day visit the continent of Australia.

Show you are most likely to binge watch: I can binge watch Fixer Upper ALL DAY LONG!!

Jim Black

Kids Pastor

Jim grew up around Detroit, but moved so much as a kid that he can claim different home towns based on his mood. He attended Northwest University and graduated in 2003 with a degree in Christian Education with a focus on Children’s Ministry. He has been on staff at Horizons since 2003.

Jim attended church occasionally as a kid, but didn’t become a follower of Jesus until high school. Knowing what a difference faith could have made in his earlier years, he has dedicated his life to serving kids and their parents. He believes there is nothing more important to our world than families that are fueled by the love of God and love for each other.

Jim and his wife, Mikki, a middle school teacher in Stafford, have two grown kids and too many dogs.

Favorite Bible verse: Jeremiah 1:7-8. It meant something different to me when I was young and felt unqualified for what I was called to do. Now, it is a great reminder of the power God has to work in the lives of the kids I serve.

Favorite thing to do within 100 miles of Stafford: The beach. Staring at waves while ignoring a good book is a great way to spend a day.

Worst job you ever had: Door-to-door vacuum salesman in Detroit. Show you are most likely to binge watch: Whatever is on Turner Classic Movies. Doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s made before movies were in color. Screwball comedies from the 30’s & 40’s are at the top of the list.

The most unusual item in your desk drawer: Mr. T action figure.

Jen Kenney

Administrative Assistant

Jen is originally from Northern Nevada and spent a small amount of her childhood in Northern California. Up until 2012, she would have said her home was Kansas City, MO, as that is where she and her husband felt the most connected to community. Now, she says her home is Stafford, VA, where her family has been attending Horizons Church since September 2011. Having moved more times than she could count as a child, it wasn’t hard to become a Marine Corps spouse and relocate every 2 to 3 years. She has moved 10 times in the past 19 years!

Why does she work at Horizons? Because she loves being connected to community and church; especially to military families! While working in DC in 2011, she had the desire to work closer to her children and to be more connected to our church family. At that time, she had no idea she would be called into ministry as the Administrative Assistant of Horizons. She came on staff in June 2013.

Jen and her husband, John, have three kids.

Favorite Bible verses: A few of my favorite verses are Philippians 4:13, 1 Corinthians 10:31 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Philippians reminds me that I am not alone, I can do all things through Him because He strengthens me to. 1 Corinthians reminds me that in everything I do, I must remember to glorify Him and always to love the way He loves.

Favorite thing to do within 100 miles of Stafford: Most people say they love going to the beach… I am not one of them! My favorite place to go and detach from the world would have to be the mountains! Shenandoah National Forest is a gorgeous place to visit for the day or to stay for a weekend! If you haven’t checked it out yet, plan a trip to drive Skyline Drive, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Proudest accomplishment: My marriage is the one accomplishment I am proudest of. Through PCS moves, TAD trips, trainings, deployments, children, jobs, etc., we are still happily together! That’s quite the accomplishment!

Show you are most likely to binge watch: I could sit for hours and hours watching “Once Upon a Time.” Don’t judge me!

Josh Dahl

Worship & Creative Arts Director

Josh has always lived in Stafford. He has attended Germanna and NOVA, and is currently working towards his Associates of Science Degree. He began attending Horizons as a teenager in 2009. He started serving as a youth leader in 2011, trained in Horizons’ Ministry Apprenticeship Program in 2014 and officially joined our staff in 2015.

Josh loves working with the youth. He has always been interested in music, but never knew God would take his this far. He is going to keep using the gifts God has given him for His glory.

Favorite Bible verses: Joshua 1:9 – not because of the name… I love when God says “be strong! Because I am with you”, it just puts things in perspective and gives me courage. I also have this bible verse tattooed.

Proudest accomplishment: My town hall level in Clash of Clans. I am in an elite war clan and play competitively. It’s pretty fun.

Best backhanded un-compliment ever received: The best back handed compliment I receive almost weekly is when people come up to me and say, “You actually did a good job this week!” or “Your voice sounded nice this week.”

Show you are most likely to binge watch: Pokémon Indigo League or The Voice.

Stephanie Kriegbaum

Associate Director of Creative Arts

Stephanie is from Watertown, NY. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Digital Media Communications and a minor in World Missions from the University of Valley Forge in 2014. She joined our staff in 2016.

Stephanie believes that in the world today, one of the most effective tools you can use to reach people is media. People spend most of their days looking at computer screens, phones, and other electronic devices and therefore, the church needs to create a platform in which it can continue to be effectively reaching others for Jesus. While the messages remain the same, the methods need to change with the times. As a someone who has always been a creative person, she feels there is no better way to use her talents and God given gifts.

Favorite Bible verse: Ephesians 1:11  because it gives me a reminder of who I am and who I am living for.

Favorite place you’ve ever been: The country of Panama. Everything from the city, to the slums, to the beaches is amazing!

Worst job you ever had: Working dietary at a nursing home. The people were fun, but the job itself was gross, and I don’t ever miss serving liver and onions.

The most unusual item in your desk drawer: Party-size bag of chocolate:)

On the bucket list: I want to travel to every country in the world before I die.

Show you are most likely to binge watch: Law and Order SVU or Criminal Minds.


Facilities Director

Favorite Bible verse: Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and above all else, love righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

Coolest/Best place you’ve ever been: New York City before Christmas in 2005. It was our 25th wedding anniversary.

What thing do you do better than most: I don’t know that I am better, but I’m known as the storyteller on my family.

What is your greatest accomplishment/What are you most proud of: Being happily married to my wife for almost 37 years, and raising a Godly son. Glory to God.

On theBucket list: To build one more muscle car.

Heather Overholtzer

Kids Ministry Assistant

Heather began working in church nurseries as a teenager, and she’s held kids or youth ministry positions in nearly every church she’s attended. She is trained as a chemist (B.S. Juniata College, ’98, M.S. University of Wyoming, ’00), and she worked as one for a while. But God has always kept kids ministry in her heart. Heather started volunteering in Kids Church in 2011 shortly after arriving in Stafford, then helping with prep during the week. In early 2013 she was officially hired as Pastor Jim’s assistant. Heather hails from central Pennsylvania, and also lived in Wyoming, Norfolk (VA), North Carolina and Connecticut before settling in Stafford in 2011. She met her husband Tim on a service project when they were both 16, though it took them 8 more years to tie the knot. They have two daughters. When she’s not Horizons, Heather can be found playing games with her family, baking, walking, or sewing costumes for Christian Youth Theater productions.

Why she does what she does: Heather loves the authenticity that kids bring to their relationship with God. She knows that the seeds that get planted now will grow in the future in ways that she’ll never see. And Heather is a first hand example of reaching parents for Christ through their children. She was invited to church by a classmate when she was about 7. Thirty three years later, her parents are still attending and serving faithfully in that same church.

Favorite Bible verse (well, one of them!): “The reason I can still find hope is that I keep this one thing in mind: the Lord’s mercy. We were not completely wiped out. His compassion is never limited. It is new every morning. His faithfulness is great. My soul can say, ‘The Lord is my lot in life. That is why I find hope in him.’ – Lamentations 3:22-24 (GW)

Worst job you ever had: Putting price tags on shoes in a retail distribution center. Long hours standing in one spot, and if you misjudged the shoe, you ended up jabbing yourself with the tag gun. Ouch!

Most unusual item in your desk drawer: I work with preschoolers, so pretty much everything in my desk is unusual! If I had to pick just one, I’d say head lamps.

Favorite place you’ve ever been: Acadia National Park in Maine. I’ve been there over a dozen times and the beauty still astounds me.

Your Name Could Be Here

Student Pastor

We are currently searching for our next Youth Pastor. If you are interested in applying for this position please email Pastor Rich at or go to our Job Openings Page.

Your Name Could Be Here

Worship Pastor

We are currently searching for our next Worship Pastor. If you are interested in applying for this position please email Pastor Rich at or go to our Job Openings Page.