Lifelong Waynesboro resident runs for Commissioner of the Revenue
By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press
WAYNESBORO — In November, Terry Kent was asked by community members to run for Waynesboro Commissioner of the Revenue.
He said several individuals wanted him to run for the position “for your customer service.”
“I believe in honesty,” said Kent, who last ran for political office 12 years ago when he ran for treasurer.
In January 2021, he began to prepare to run for Commissioner of the Revenue, and announced his candidacy in early June. He is running as an Independent.
“Waynesboro, first of all, has been great to me and my family,” Kent said. “I don’t think there’s any place like Waynesboro.”
Kent is pastoral counsellor at Victory Worship Center & World Outreach in Staunton.
The church has planted a church in Haiti, according to Kent, and recently in South Carolina.
“We’re starting to branch out in America and other countries,” he said.
A graduate of Waynesboro High School, Kent began pursuing ministry at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee after high school, but did not complete his degree until two years ago when he earned a bachelor’s of science in Biblical Studies.
His wife, Twilla, is a Riverheads High School graduate, and the couple has been married for 20 years. Kent has two step children.
“When I travelled internationally, I still called [Waynesboro] home,” said Kent, who lives in the home he grew up in.
Kent said he just wants to give back to the River City.
“I want to be of any help I can be to the city I’ve been raised in my whole life,” he said.
He is running on four key issues: he is a lifelong resident, he has a background as a tax professional, he is a past local business owner and he has customer service experience.
“Customer service is by far the main reason [I’m running for the position],” he said. “I’d love to restore the dignity, respect and communication that has been lacking in the city.”
Kent’s background includes various positions in retail and business management, including owning five businesses.
“I loved owning my own business,” Kent said of his experiences as a business owner.
His first was with a business partner, and they operated a video store in the Food Lion shopping center on Hopeman Parkway for one year. Then, also with a partner, Kent owned Entertainment To-nite Home Cinema video store on East Main Street in Waynesboro, which opened in June 1990. He said a documentary was made of the store, which won an award based on percentage of sales per population.
Next, Kent ventured into business ownership on his own with Home Cinema, a video store in the Kroger Shopping Center on Arch Avenue.
He also owned Kent & Kent Tax Services in Waynesboro for almost 17 years, which eventually opened a second office in Crozet before both offices were bought by H&R Block.
From January 1979 to April 1990, Kent said he was a minister and speaker across the United States, and a member of a gospel quartet which was considered for a Grammy in 1985 for the song “Jonah.”
“I think it’s helpful in every job I do,” Kent said of his varied experience working with people as a business owner and as a minister. “I just love people.”