Our Pastor

Pastor Gerald Elston, Sr. continues to respond with gratitude to God’s grace in his life. As a boy growing up in Washington, D.C., he was a stutterer. But he had a fascination with preachers. While sitting with his mother listening attentively to the preacher, he did not know what they were saying. But he felt God’s pull and nudge that told him, you can do this.

This fascination motivated him to work on his speaking skills and to pursue excellence in education. God healed him of his stuttering and allowed him to win the City-Wide Oratorical Contest in High School, to pursue High School leadership positions, and to graduate as the Theodore Roosevelt High School Salutatorian. He earned degrees from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law School. He completed a 30-year career as a Trial Lawyer with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

 Meanwhile, God continued to call him, commit him and consecrate him. He continued to explore this fascination with preachers, joining the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. after High School. There he explored God’s pulls and nudges in Bible Study, choir, lay leadership and lay speaking and service.

Pastor Gerald Elston, Sr. felt God’s pulls and nudges the strongest in 2004, at the close of a 30-year career and at the point when his mother was to undergo a second leg amputation. He asked God, “what do you want me to do.” He asked this question, now recognizing God’s call on his life first manifested to him as a boy. He asked the question almost anticipating the answer. God had healed him of stuttering and had given him choices in life, preacher or lawyer, and he chose the latter. God told him, “Take care of your mother and preach the Gospel.” And he promised God that he would.

He retired in 2005 as a lawyer to pursue God’s call to ministry. While pursuing a Masters in Divinity from John Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., the Bishop appointed him in 2007 as Pastor at Bells United Methodist Church in Camp Springs, Maryland. He received his Masters in Divinity degree in May 2009.

Pastor Gerald Elston has served two other churches in Washington, D.C.: Brightwood Park United Methodist Church, July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2021; and Albright Memorial United Methodist Church, November 14, 2017 to June 30, 2021. On May 31, 2019, Pastor Gerald Elston was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in the United Methodist Church.

Pastor Gerald Elston, Sr. brings to Good Hope Union United Methodist Church 14 years of experience as Pastor, a heart for people and a passion for preaching, teaching, singing, and reviving the church to be an intergenerational, multicultural church. He enjoys winning souls for Christ. Pastor Elston has a deep concern for our youth, young adults, and seniors, for the importance of education, and the desire for the church to serve as community partners for the needs of people. He is deeply concerned about the issues that face our community, especially issues of injustice. 

Pastor Gerald Elston, Sr. is married to Jan Elston (June 18, 1977), his High School sweetheart. They have lived in Silver Spring, Maryland since 1984. They have two adult children, Monica Elston Carter and Gerald Elston, Jr., and six grandchildren: three grandsons and triplet granddaughters.

What excites Pastor Gerald Elston, Sr. about serving as the Pastor of Good Hope Union is the opportunity together, in partnership with God’s grace, to reach every village; meeting needs, transforming lives, and changing human systems to love like Jesus. He invites you on this journey with us.