Our Team

We have a great team who works hard to change the way that we respond to and view those that are experiencing homelessness.

David Gillespie


Prior to joining the Virginia-Highland Church staff, David was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of OceansThree Talent Group, and previously, Vice-President of Talent Development at Cengage Learning. David began his own homeless street outreach in 2009, before attending Virginia-Highland Church, working with the chronically homeless that live outside in and around Midtown Atlanta. In April of 2015 he co-founded The River, Virginia-Highland Church’s outreach to the homeless. He continues his work as the director of The River.

Matt Laney

Senior Pastor

Rev. Matt Laney serves as Senior Pastor of Virginia-Highland Church. Prior to answering the call at VHC, Matt served churches in Vermont, Michigan and Connecticut. Early in his career, Matt served as the interim director of Café 458, a free restaurant and substance abuse recovery program for those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta. Matt has been a leader in numerous justice initiatives on issues ranging from LGBTQ equality, racism, homelessness, gun violence and economic injustice. He is also the author of a debut novel for middle grade children called Pride Wars: The Spinner Prince, published in March 2018.

Rev. Claudia Aguilar Rubalcava

Associate Pastor for Justice and Witness

Rev. Claudia Aguilar Rubalcava is our Associate Pastor for Justice and Witness. She was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S. A.) in 2012. Claudia earned her Master of Arts (Theological Studies) with a specialization in Christian Ethics from Columbia Seminary in 2008 and her Master of Divinity in 2011. She served as a pastoral intern at Mercy Community Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and as a campus minister at the Pontifical University of Chile and at her alma mater, Monterrey Institute of Technology.