PO Box 20322 Roanoke, VA 24018 info@restoringhoperoanoke.org ‪(540) 523-1098‬

Meet Our Team


DOUG HART (President)

Rev. Doug Hart is a retired PCA minister. He was bi-vocational until retirement from Enterprise Software Sales in 2015. Currently he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Restoring Hope Roanoke Inc, as well as 3 other boards. Doug and his wife Ginnie have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren.  Doug has a passion to serve churches in the Roanoke area in loving our neighbors and developing leaders with the Good News of Jesus Christ! 

MEL LESTER (Treasurer)

Mel is a management consultant serving the architectural and engineering profession. He has almost 40 years of ministry experience including serving as a pastor/elder, church planter, preacher, Sunday school teacher, deacon, and small group leader. He was instrumental in starting a K-12 Christian school in the New River valley of SW Virginia. Mel currently serves as deacon of community engagement at Valley Bible Church, which includes supporting The Hill Church in Roanoke. He and his wife Dena have six children and eight grandchildren.

KEN FERRIS (Vice-President)

Ken is an engineering graduate of Virginia Tech and a serial entrepreneur with 30+ years of experience with technology start-ups. Ken continues to assist technology companies with strategic business planning and operations.  Ken has served on several technology council boards, as well the Blue Ridge Women’s Center. He is active in starting and growing churches in Roanoke. Ken and his wife of 49 years, Trisha, have two children and seven grandchildren.

BEN WISDOM (Secretary)

Ben Wisdom has been working as a Mechanical Engineer and IT Professional for more than 20 years.  The son of a U.S. Army chaplain, Ben has served as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and member of the music team in various churches. He will set a personal record for the longest he has lived anywhere in November 2020, as he and his wife Rachel raise their three children here in the Roanoke Valley


RACHAEL SLOAN – Consultant

Rachael Sloan is a graduate of Bridgewater College where she earned a B.A. and an endorsement in teaching English learners. After teaching in Harrisonburg for two years, Rachael moved to Bulgaria where she taught English and worked with a Bulgarian church.  She recently returned to Virginia to pursue further education and to serve immigrants and refugees.  Within RHR, Rachael serves church-based English programs, and consults with churches to share opportunities for international outreach.  She is also currently pursuing an M.A. in Intercultural Studies/TESOL at Wheaton College.

NANCY FRIESEN – Program Coordinator

A graduate of Wheaton College and Regent University, Nancy is a former Spanish teacher, missionary, and church missions director.  Nancy has a passion for mobilizing the local church to be actively engaged in God’s heart for His world.  As Program Coordinator at RHR, Nancy works to expand the Jobs for Life sites, assists in growing the vision and reach of Restoring Hope Roanoke, and is the pen behind the website and newsletters.  She and her husband Rick have two young adult children and live in Cave Spring, Virginia.