Staff


  • Michael DuVal

    Lead Pastor

    michaelduval@journeyconnection.com

    Michael moved to Roanoke and launched Journey Church from scratch in the fall of 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in pastoral care, and a doctoral degree in preaching and leadership. He previously has worked as a pastoral counselor, college professor, prison chaplain, cancer hospital chaplain, and psychiatric hospital chaplain. He has written articles for books and magazines, has toured performing dramatically, and provides personal and professional coaching for other pastors, executives, and doctoral students. Michael and his wife Debbie have two children, Allison and David. He enjoys canoeing, camping, swimming, watching movies, and spending time with friends.

  • Melody Irby

    Pastor of Worship

    melodyirby@journeyconnection.com

    Melody has lived her whole life in the Roanoke Valley. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from Roanoke College with a concentration in voice and music composition. She’s a certified NK-12 music educator and taught music in Roanoke County Schools for 12 years before being called into full-time ministry. Melody has played in a variety of secular bands. That's how she met her husband, Wayne, and eventually became the very proud step-mom of Zack. Melody is excited that Journey Church is a place where creative minds are encouraged to use their artistic passion for the purpose of building up God’s kingdom.

  • Jill Simmons

    Associate Pastor

    jillsimmons@journeyconnection.com

    Jill serves as a part time Associate Pastor at Journey. She grew up in a small community in western North Carolina and moved to Roanoke in August 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy and a master’s degree in pastoral care and counseling. Jill and her husband, Ashley Simmons, enlisted in the United States Army and served in Texas, Hawaii, and Georgia. They have two daughters, Laney and Taylor. Jill enjoys spending time with family, running, cycling, hiking, camping and swimming.

  • Shannon Dillard

    Administrator

    shannondillard@journeyconnection.com

    Shannon and her husband Bobby are both from Botetourt County and now live in Vinton with their daughter Abbey. Shannon graduated from Lord Botetourt High School and has a Paralegal Certificate from Virginia Western Community College. She enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time with her family. Shannon feels blessed to have found a church like Journey, is very excited to be part of the staff, and is honored to serve God and the people at Journey.

  • Jackie Taylor

    Ministry Assistant

    jackietaylor@journeyconnection.com

    Jackie serves as a part-time Ministry Assistant. She grew up in the Roanoke Valley. She holds an Associate of Science degree from Virginia Western Community College. She enjoys spending time with her husband, John, and their son, Ryan. Some of her hobbies include running, dancing, and reading. She has attended Journey Church since 2010 and is very excited to be on staff! 

  • Darrell Cook

    Ministry Assistant

    darrellcook@journeyconnection.com

    Darrell serves part-time as a Ministry Assistant. He graduated from Southern Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He previously served on staff at several churches in SC and NC. Darrell grew up in Salem. He works part-time for UPS. He and his wife, Cindy, have two children and a beautiful granddaughter. Darrell enjoys hanging out with family, serving others, good music, and eating pizza.


  • Traci Starr

    Audio Production Leader

    tracistarr@journeyconnection.com

    Traci serves part-time leading Journey’s audio production team. She has an extensive background in music and sound. She was part of our church's launch team in 2000 and has served in the worship area ever since. Originally from North Carolina, Traci had a successful career touring as a self-taught professional musician. She enjoys the outdoors, camping, kayaking and loves animals. She also loves spending time with her family and friends.