Aaron Carroll has been a resident of Richmond since his return to the US in 2009 after being on staff with an international college ministry for six years. It was through this ministry, while a student at UNC-Charlotte, that Aaron came to a saving knowledge of Christ and understood what it meant to make Christ Lord of his life and help others to do the same through the church. Aaron got connected with Area 10 after a family member suggested he attend, he stayed at Area 10 because he loves the way this church seeks to play such a vital and loving role in the City of Richmond.
Aaron met his wife Ashley through Area 10 and was married in 2011. They currently have two kids. Over the years his service in the church has varied as he has volunteered on the finance team, as a small group leader, in the children’s ministry and presently, as an Area 10 elder. He values the church deeply and the role it serves in the life of a Christian. When he is not spending time with family outdoors you can find him enjoying Manchester United Football or Carolina Basketball.
Chris Obenshain was born in RVA, grew up in the Star City of Roanoke, Virginia, and has lived all over the Commonwealth. He moved back to Richmond in 2010 and shortly thereafter began attending Area 10. Over the past 5 years, Chris has served Area 10 as a small group leader, doing announcements on Sunday morning, as a member of the Prayer Team, and on two mission trips to Vietnam. Chris was drawn to Area 10 by its mission of sharing and showing God's love for this City and fulfilling that mission is what motivates him as an elder. Chris accepted Christ at the age of 7 and was baptized at First Baptist Church here in Richmond. Though his personal journey of faith has seen its fair share of ups and downs, Chris is grateful for the friends and family that God has strategically placed in his life as examples of faithful obedience to the Lord. He is also grateful and blessed beyond measure by the love of his fiancé, who he met at Area 10, and to whom he will be married this fall.
My name is Ecclesiaste Theodore (THEO), was born in Haiti and migrated to the US in 1997. My wife and I met in Chicago and were married in 2002. We are parents to two wonderful children, 10 and 5 years old.
I gave my life to Christ when I was about 8 years old during a vacation Bible school. The volunteers were talking about what Jesus did for us on the cross. It was during that time I decided to walk with Christ and have not looked back since. In 2006, my wife and subsequently, I found a job opportunity in Richmond and moved here. One of the saddest things for us was to leave our church community, Heartland Community Church, in Rockford IL. We were looking for a new Church that was similar to Heartland. We ended up at Velocity Church where we met Chris Barras. During our participation in small group, we met Chris and his wife. Chris talked to us about starting a church and asked if we could be a part of this endeavor and vision. The rest is history... We have been at A10 since those first days. I have served in different ministries from leading missions trip to Haiti, leading small group, and stage manager. Our, my wife and I, main goal is to help connecting more people to the Kingdom of God through genuine, loving fellowship and relationships and to serve the people of God until God calls us home. Love for Richmond has not come easily for us. However, the connections we have with the community at A10 has helped us develop the deep love we now have for this great city.
Chris Barras grew up just north of Tampa, Florida, which explains a lot about his irrational love for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He left as soon as he could and moved up north to attend Cincinnati Christian University, where he earned his Bachelor of Church Music degree. Chris and his wife Abby (also a church music major at CCU) moved to Colorado for two years and served at a large church. They then moved to Virginia Beach and started having little babies (three boys, to be exact). The Barras Family moved to Richmond in January 2006. Once in the River City, Chris worked full time at Starbucks and part time with a great church plant in Short Pump. In March 2008, Chris left those jobs to launch Area 10 Faith Community. Today -- when he's not working for the church -- Chris enjoys NFL football, golf, soccer, music, reading, and playing with his family.
Keith Polarek grew up in Hampton Roads region of Virginia, lived all over the state (Norfolk, Alexandria, Lynchburg ) and moved to Richmond in 2005. Having met Chris and Abby while their kids played youth soccer, Keith served on the launch teams of Cartwheels & Coffee (summer 2008) and a few months later, Area 10 Church. Since then, Keith has served in a variety of roles, mostly in the areas of small group facilitation, Area 10 Global Missions, Site Expansion, and Elder. Keith was drawn to Chris and Abby’s vision for a new local body that served by Loving God and others “Beyond Reason” (the same way God first loved us). While growing up in church, it wasn’t until he was 17 that Keith began following Jesus. Keith’s daughter, Reagan (age 14) is active in Area 10 Youth and attends Veritas School in Richmond’s North side. Issues close to Keith’s heart are promoting awareness, prayer, and support for persecuted Christians globally, cultural engagement from a distinctively Christian worldview, and actively promoting the Unity of God’s Church in and around the Richmond region. As the years pass he and Reagan continue to seek God as they continuously find the depth of God’s grace knows no end.