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Be true to who you are

Rev. Barry Vassar believes if you follow your passions with your whole heart, you will see results, even if you weren’t looking for them.

Originally from Chesterfield, Vassar currently serves as senior pastor of Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist Church in Cumberland.

In his position as senior pastor, Vassar is able to lead Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist in countless efforts to make a difference in the community. For years, the church has been participating in assisting with the Cumberland Community Christmas Mother Program to provide supplemental Christmas gifts/provisions to county residents and their families.

Barry Vassar

Fitzgerald also helps the Piedmont Habitat for Humanity program building homes and fundraising in the Cumberland County area. Recently, Fitzgerald even worked with the Cumberland Pharmacy to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination shots at the church.

“Through these ventures and partnerships, we have learned that it is not about growing a church membership, but instead, about ministering to the community you are in as the local church has been called to do,” Vassar said.

While it can be difficult at times to meet every need presented to the church, Vassar said he has found that, many times over, God has provided what is needed to ensure the care and ministry to others can continue.

As a pastor, Fitzgerald deeply enjoys his interactions with the community. He has also served as the Cumberland County Christmas “mother” for  eighth years in a row.

Previously, Vassar worked as a Cumberland County Foster Care prevention specialist and Child Protective Services worker. He was also a former licensed clinical director in marriage and family counseling and a certified expert in child and adolescent counseling.

Outside of serving the church, Vassar spends his free time with his wife and three children. He enjoys exercise and exploring new adventures and places in Virginia.

Vassar loves Cumberland County and hopes one day to see a community where all people work together in partnership with one another.

While some might call him a superhero, Vassar has his own idea of what makes a hero. “Being true to who you are, doing what others are unwilling or are unable to do and going the extra mile in all things are the greatest superpowers a person can have. Follow your passions and follow them with whole heartedness and you will see the results, even when you aren’t looking for them.”

To see the full A Salute to Community Heroes edition click here.