Meet Our Senior Pastor: Tony Ray Smith

THE MAN – Pastor Tony Ray Smith is a husband, father, pastor, musician, entrepreneur, author and itinerate preacher. He is a native of Northern Virginia. His cutting edge style of ministry has allowed him to frequent the pulpit of many denominations. This has caused him to be a sought after revivalist, teacher and conference speaker.

Pastor Smith is the product of a single parent home and was raised by his Father (Tony Ray Carter) and Grandmother (Beatrice Carter). He has succeeded all statistical odds by achieving great things despite insurmountable odds.

THE START – Pastor Tony has been preaching the Word of God since he was 5 years old. It is from this humble beginning, that the Lord cultivated his gift as a preacher of the Gospel.

THE PASTOR – Archbishop Alfred A. Owens recognized the anointing the Lord placed on Pastor Tony's life and ordained him as an Elder in May 2009 and installed him as Pastor of The Empowerment Church in 2011. Pastor Tony faithfully served The Empowerment Church (formally known as Greater Zion Baptist Church) for 6 years, and the church experienced numerical and spiritual growth under his leadership. He was the youngest pastor to ever serve at The Empowerment Church, in its 126-year history and is currently the youngest pastor in Loudoun County, Virginia. Currently, the Lord has blessed Pastor Tony Ray Smith to serve as the Senior Pastor of the newly merged church, launched in January 2017, The Word Church.

THE ENTREPRENEUR – Pastor Tony is the founder of Tony Ray Smith Ministries.  It is a ministry that focuses on empowering ministries and churches by the preached Word. He is also the CEO of Catalyst Creative Consulting Group, a graphic design company that provides a wide-range of graphic design services to businesses, churches, and non-profit organization.

THE STUDENT – Pastor Smith believes in the importance of education. In June 2008, Pastor Tony received a Certificate of Ministry from the Calvary Bible Institute in Washington, D.C. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

THE SERVANT – Pastor Tony is submitted to the spiritual covering of Rev. Dr. Randy Haynes, the Overseer of The Word Church 2.0.

THE HUSBAND & FATHER – Pastor Tony is married to Cardhia Smith who faithfully serves by his side and supports him in the work of the ministry. They have been blessed with two sons, Xavier Malachi Smith and Josiah Makai Smith.

Meet Our Executive Pastor: Cory Lanier

Pastor Cory J. Lanier is a native of Martinsville, VA and a product of the Henry County Public Schools.  He continues his education at Virginia Tech, where he is currently completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture Crops with a minor in Agriculture Economics & Small Business Management.

In 2010, Pastor Cory joined The Word Church, as Assistant Pastor. He now serves as the Executive Pastor, where he has direct oversight of all ministries. He is a multitalented servant of God. He serves as Worship Leader, Musician, and Bible Study teacher at The Word Church.

Pastor Cory’s teaching spirit and ability to break the word down plainly makes him a sought after instructor for bible studies and teachings throughout the state of Virginia.
He lives by and teaches the scripture found in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Pastor Cory is married to Evangelist Ashley Lanier and they are blessed with five beautiful children.

Most of all, Pastor Cory is a faithful and committed servant to God and his calling to serve the Kingdom of God.

Meet Our Overseer: Dr. Randy M. Haynes

Pastor Randy M. Haynes grew up in Boston, MA, but he is a proud son of the southern state of Mississippi. After moving to Virginia in 2006, he became the founding Pastor of an exciting church launch known as Open the Book Ministries, Inc. Having recently retired as the senior pastor, he now serves as the Overseer of that ministry, now known as The Word Church of Virginia. Dr. Haynes holds a BA in Theology, a Masters degree in Ministry and a Doctorate in Ministry.

Pastor Haynes has served with distinction in ministry leadership over a broad spectrum of years. With over thirty-seven years of ministerial experience, Pastor Haynes has become known as an exceptional teacher-preacher. Although a son of Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston, he also served on the ministerial staffs of Morning Star Baptist Church and Greater Framingham Community Church. He is the son of Rev. Dr. Michael E. Haynes Sr., Pastor Emeritus of historic Twelfth Baptist Church of Boston, MA.

Before retiring from state government, Pastor Haynes had a distinguished career as a criminal justice official which included an appointment as a Chief of Probation for the Massachusetts Trial Court. As a recognized authority on juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and treatment, and community policing, Pastor Haynes has been a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities throughout New England and the south, and served on the faculty of Curry College in Milton, MA as an adjunct professor.

For more than thirty years he has been married to a dynamic woman of God, Lisa J. Haynes, and they are the parents of seven adult children, and the super proud “Mimi & Papa” of a wonderful growing tribe of grandchildren.