Who We Are

St. Roch Community Church is a mission church of the Presbyterian Church in America and a strategic partner of Desire Street Ministries.  We are multicultural, young & old, poor & resourced, New Orleanian & from out of town. We are a broken people.  We don’t have it all together.  Despite this God is using us. After all it’s His story of redemption, not ours.  It’s all about Jesus. If you are interested, check out more specifics about what we believe along with our philosophy of ministry.

Our Leadership

J.B. Watkins, Senior Pastor/Teaching ElderScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 4.54.22 PM


J.B. and his wife Stephanie have joined the St. Roch  community from Memphis, TN where J.B. served as the youth &  young adult pastor at New Beginnings Community Church while completing his studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. Stephanie was a middle school math teacher in the Memphis public  school system and now is now math teacher at a local public school.  They have three children Bryant, Sydney and Langston.


Gentri Williams, Elder

gentri@strochcc.orgScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 5.00.40 PM

Gentri has been a part of St. Roch Community Church  since its beginning.  Kayti moved down to New Orleans in 2010.  They first met at St. Roch Community Church in 2010.  Gentri is a Ruling Elder of the church and also works as a Lab Chemist.  After 5 years of working for the church, Kayti has now opened up a business in the St. Roch Market.  They have one daughter




AaronCollier, Elder


Aaron and Kristen Collier have lived in the neighborhood since 2005  and are part of the core visionary group of families that God is using  to launch St. Roch Community Church.  After having both served with  Desire Street Ministries for several years, Aaron now teaches art at  Tulane University and Kristen is our Development Assistant.  They have two sons.

Check out some of Aaron’s art at
Staple GoodsTulaneCole Pratt Galleryacollier@tulane.edu



Ben McLeish, DeaconScreen Shot 2016-02-23 at 4.20.16 PM

Ben and his wife Stephanie have lived in the  neighborhood since 2001 and spent many years serving with Desire  Street Ministries.  Stephanie is now a stay-at-home mom for Silas, Ila, Micah and Levi. The McLeish’s are part of the core visionary group of families that God is using to establish His church in St. Roch. Ben also serves as the Executive Director for St. Roch CDC.

Nika Carter, Youth Activities Coordinator


NikaNika was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana along with four other siblings. She has been attending St. Roch Community Church for as long as it existed. She started working at St. Roch as a volunteer for the youth programs in 2009 because she wanted to see a change in the upcoming generation.  She envisions kids being raised up as indigenous leaders from within our community just like she was, where relationships are built and people are loving as Christ loves us. She is now on staff at St.Roch Community Church as the Youth Activities Coordinator. She also has a beautiful daughter, Troi’lea whom she raises while attending college.

Julie Whiteman, Office Administrator
Julie, originally from Charleston, WV moved to New Orleans in 2008 to work for Crossroads Missions, leading teams of volunteers in the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. She came to know and love St. Roch Community Church as she led teams of volunteers in the physical renovation of what is now the church. As she worked to rebuild many properties in the neighborhood, she fell in love with the neighborhood and the people as well. She now serves in the office at the church and recently was elected Secretary of the Faubourg St. Roch Improvement Association. Her desire is to glorify the Lord in everything she does, from teaching Zumba to hanging out with her neighbors.

One response to “Who We Are

  1. Pingback: Interview: J.B. Watkins on Transracial Adoption and the Gospel « Adoption Issues « Nightlight Christian Adoptions

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