Board of Directors
Pastor David O. Taylor
Rev. Charles Sumpter
Pastor David is a 1984 graduate of Sussex Central High School, Sussex, VA. He is an alumnus of Richard Bland College where he received an associate degree in Business Administration. He also attended
Evans-Smith Leadership Institute of Virginia Union University School of Theology, St. Paul’s College,
where he received a bachelor’s in Organizational Management and Capella University where he received a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Pastor Taylor is also a co-owner and the CEO of Accent Group and Family Services, a community-based services agency, with locations in Richmond and Fredericksburg, VA.
Pastor David also serves on several boards in the Central Virginia area.
Lauren holds a master's of science in literacy and culture from Longwood University. She is a former elementary and special education teacher in Chesterfield County Public Schools as well as a Girls on the Run coach. Currently, she is raising her three wild boys and tutoring children in reading. Lauren loves hiking with her family and traveling.
Reverend Charles Sumpter is retired from the United States Army with 28 years of active federal service. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Norfolk State University, a master’s degree in Business from Central Michigan University, a Master’s equivalent from the U.S. Army War College, and a Master of Divinity from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
Dr. Laura Taylor
Laura Taylor, Ed.D. is a business owner, educator, author, and community volunteer. After graduating from high school, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University. As an adult learner, she received a master’s degree from Mary Baldwin College. Her doctorate degree from the University of Phoenix was conferred in 2012.
Laura volunteers as a mentor serves on multiple boards, and participates, with her husband in several faith-based initiatives throughout their community. One of her biggest outreach endeavors is sharing her two children’s books.
Malcolm L. Manning
Malcolm L. Manning is the owner of STAAND Youth Services, Inc., providing therapeutic day treatment and mental health skill building. For more than 25 years, he has worked with underserved children and young adults. Malcolm serves as director of the Sussex Educational Foundation and Sussex County Chamber of Commerce director, and the Family Assessment and Planning Team (FAPT) board. He is also a member of the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers (VACBP), Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., Prince Hall Free, Accepted Masons, and the Chesterfield County School System Mega Mentor program. Malcolm holds a degree in Sociology from Norfolk State University and completed James Madison University teaching certification coursework. He is married to the former Tracie Lewis, and they have two adult children and two granddaughters.
Bishop Darren L. Gay, Sr.
Bishop Darren L. Gay, Sr. is the Pastor, Founder, and Visionary of Higher Way Ministries in Petersburg, Virginia. Bishop Gay is a product of the Sussex County Public School System and a graduate of Richard Bland College. He attended Ferrum College Baptist Seminary and received his Doctorate Degree of Divinity from St. Thomas Christian College. Bishop Gay has been preaching the word of God for over 30 years, with 25 of those years serving as the Senior Pastor of Higher Way Ministries – Petersburg Campus. In addition, he serves as Executive Director of the B.A.L.M. Center (Breaking Addictions Learning Mentoring). Being obedient to the voice of God, he launched the E.A.G.L.E.S. Fellowship of Pastors and Leaders (Empowering and Assisting God’s Leaders For Extraordinary Servanthood). He is married to the former Danielle Bell of Hagerstown, Maryland and they have four children and one granddaughter.
Rev. Deanna Petit Sailor
Chief Executive Officer
Dawn McCoy has over 20 years of experience serving in the non-profit sector and public service leadership. As a thought leader, Dawn completed the Virginia Partners in Policymaking Program and passionately serves on state and nonprofit boards for individuals with disabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a master’s degree from the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy where she was a Bryce Harlow Scholar.