Minister and Staff

Senior Minister: Reverend Laura Barett Bennett

With a youthful nature, love for people, and contagious enthusiasm for life and making a difference in our world, Laura Barrett Bennett is a third generation Unity minister in her 35th year of ministry.  She has served two churches as Senior Minister and worked as Chairperson of Biblical Studies on the faculty for Unity’s ministerial and adult education programs.  She is a writer of transformational curriculum, articles, audio tapes, poetry, and music, and has authored the book The Language of God, Metagetics and the Bible.  She has served on the faculty of Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, and travels throughout the world giving workshops on Biblical Interpretation, World Religion, church leadership, spiritual teamwork, and personal fulfillment.  She is the Chairperson of the International Advisory Council for, and has served on the Board of, Unity Worldwide Ministries.  She shares her life with her husband Larry, with whom she enjoys exploring the richness and diversity of human culture, and the beauty of nature, as well as being at home with family and friends.


Adult Education Coordinator: Reverend Valorie Kay

Reverend Valorie is a Unity Minister. She develops the curriculum for those seeking a greater understanding of Unity principles, as well as classes that support exploration of the inner Self.

Valorie is also a musician and a Music Minister who leads song and drum circles and other workshops using her music, Native American flute, and other transformational tools. For more about Valorie's music, go to vkaysings.com. Valorie's email address is vkaysings@aol.com.


Communications Coordinator: Cheryl Fare, Licensed Unity Teacher

Cheryl Fare is a Licensed Unity Teacher, inspirational speaker, published playwright, actor, producer, director, singer/songwriter, organizational consultant, heart-centered metaphysician.  At Unity of Bon Air, Cheryl teaches classes, is a Prayer Chaplain, holds a staff position as Communications Coordinator, and has served for many years writing and directing original short plays for performance on Sunday mornings under the banner Wisdom Skits.  Cheryl has a passion for Unity Principles, and shares openly how using these real and practical Truth teachings have guided her through several exceptional life challenges.  Cheryl holds an MFA in Theatre from VA Tech, and is pleased to bring her 30+ years of experience in professional theatre to her new focus in Unity as a Licensed Unity Teacher.  Cheryl lives in Richmond, VA with her husband of more than 30 years, has 2 young adult children, and is an avid fan of the “beautiful game” known as soccer. 

For more about Cheryl, go to cherylfare.com.  Cheryl's email address is cherylfare@hotmail.com.


Music Director: Claudia Carawan

Claudia leads our music program which is a dynamic, creative force that supports and reflects the Unity principles using the language of music. The mission of our music program is to provide music that is spiritually enriching and inspiring. We feature a diverse variety of musical styles ranging from pop, inspirational, jazz, rock, new age, and classical, but the overall format is contemporary.

Claudia has been Music Director at Unity of Bon Air for several years and has been a professional musician most of her life. She is an award-winning songwriter, an international recording artist, and a powerful vocalist who plays many instruments (piano, guitar and alto sax). Claudia has recorded four CDs of "positively soulful" music (Out of the Blue, Fearless, Joy Rising and Magic In The Air, her first Christmas CD), which have received rave reviews. Her voice has been featured on radio and television in national advertising campaigns.

For more about Claudia go to claudiacarawan.com. Claudia's e-mail address is: c.carawan@verizon.net.


Director of Youth and Family Ministries: Melody Neal

Melody is a Registered Nurse and Dialysis Facility Administrator with past experience as a pediatric nurse.

She has been a member at Unity of Bon Air since 2005 and active within the Youth and Family Ministry since 2012. She served as YFM Assistant Director prior to accepting position as Director. Melody's e-mail address is yfmunitybonair@gmail.com.


Life Events Coordinator: Janie Van Ostern

Weddings, Memorials, Anniversaries

Janie's e-mail is life@unitybonair.org


Office Manager: Donna Christensen

Donna recently relocated to the Richmond area from upstate New York.  She has enjoyed previous endeavors such as Early Childhood Education, professional Photography, being a Navy Spouse and Program Coordination. She graduated from SUNY Empire State College with a BS in Community Services with special studies in Intergenerational Programming. Donna is thrilled to be part of Unity Bon Air and is looking forward to each and every day!  Donna's email is info@unitybonair.org


Bookkeeper: Kara Bickett

Richmond has been Kara’s home for 17 years.  She grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. She loves traveling back to Roanoke to see family and the beautiful mountains.  Kara has associate degrees from Virginia Western Community College in Business Management, Banking & Finance and Merchandise Management.  She is happily married with 2 boys, 2 dogs and a cat that keep her busy.  Kara enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.


Facilities Coordinator: William Patterson