Our History

Our History

Over fifty years of WEAG’s history, there have only been three Senior Pastors. Rev. H. Robert Rhoden (1969-1991), Rev. John G. Hershman (1992-2015) and Rev. Shane G. Schlesman (2015-present) have exhibited consistent Godly leadership that has contributed to the stability of this church. Each has brought skills and gifts necessary for the growth and effectiveness of WEAG as a dynamic church known for its outreach on a local and international basis.


West End Assembly of God began with a meeting of 41 people at the Executive Motor Inn on West Broad Street in Richmond. That small group of people soon grew to the point that they purchased a parcel of land on Parham Road.


The church moved into their first building, just north of the present location. Biblical teaching and inspirational worship were two distinctive contributors to growth during this period.

  • 1974 – founded Mechanicsville Christian Center
  • 1978 – founded Huguenot Assembly of God
  • 1979 – founded Cornerstone Assembly of God

WEAG, as the church became affectionately known, adopted a philosophy of ministry that has stood the test of time. Touch People would become the rallying call and reason for being. Continued growth and community impact both pointed to the need to enlarge the facility. The present property consisting of 23 acres was purchased in the early 1980s.

  • 1982 – founded Essex Village Community Church
  • 1983 – founded East End Assembly of God

In November of 1988, a new 65,000 square-foot structure with a seating capacity of 1400 was dedicated. Staff and programs were added that contributed to steady growth. Dynamic youth programs, solid Christian education, creative Missions and Theatrical/Musical community outreach, which drew on the talents and gifts of this growing church, became infused in the DNA of WEAG.


The church was faced with another challenge. Attendance had increased, and youth and children’s programs had run out of space. A new 31,000 square-foot youth and children’s wing was completed.

  • 1998 – founded Glen Allen Community Church
  • 1999 – founded New Life Deliverance Tabernacle
  • 2001 – founded Redeemer Assembly of God

A 3rd morning service, relaxed in format with modern worship, was added to reach young families and others who valued this style.


Vote for the third Sr. Pastor in our history. John Hershman and Shane Schlesman 5 served together until the end of 2015 when John retired and Shane was installed as the new lead pastor.


WEAG continues to grow in diversity generationally and culturally. We have experienced the largest giving years in our history. In recent years, we have partnered pastors and their congregations to launch three new churches in the Richmond area…

  • weglesia de Benedicion – Latino Church
  • Center Church
  • United Church