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Since 1998, Pastor Mark has served in full-time Christian ministry from being a high school teacher, an assistant headmaster in a Christian school, serving as youth 

director in the local church, to serving as camp chaplain, pastor in small rural settings, and being on staff at larger thriving churches.

Pastor Mark holds a B.S. in Communications from Appalachian State University, a MDIV from Duke Divinity School, and is an

 ordained elder in full connection here in the Western N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church.

He is currently enrolled in the Certification Program in Camping & Retreat Ministry through the General Board of Discipleship, has served on camp boards, and has served in varying roles through the Upper Rooms Ministry called The Walk to Emmaus.

He is a graduate of the Royce and Jane Reynolds Program in Church Leadership, the Rev. George Thompson Proclamation Institute, the weeklong Academy for Spiritual Direction, the Clergy School of the Spirit, and Invest Young Clergy. And in February of 2015, he was a tour host to the Holy Lands with Educational Opportunities.

Pastor Mark has a passion for the un-churched and those who have no relationship with Jesus Christ. He is a hands-on visionary leader with a “Big Picture” perspective on being the Body of Christ in which we are each called to be a part of. He has great passion and love for equipping and serving those who serve Christ, such as laypersons, staff, and clergy alike.

Though his interests are in playing the drums and the acoustic guitar on occasion in worship, he has participated and led worship in traditional, contemporary, modern, and in multiple styles and settings, and greatly appreciates all styles of music in worship as offerings of praise.

In his spare time, Pastor Mark enjoys writing and journaling, and his work has appeared in a handful of published devotional readings. He is an Eagle Scout and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, and friends hiking, kayak fishing, paddling the river, leading spiritual retreats, camping, nature photography, and mountain biking. 

Pastor Mark, and his wife Jill are both Charlotte natives and have three children, a flat-coated retriever, and a kitty named Callie.

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Kennette

Pastor Kennette is a native of Surry County. She grew up at the foot of Pilot Mountain but has been a resident of Mount Airy since returning back to the area in 2003. After graduating from Salem College with a BA, English/Creative Writing minor in 2001, Kennette attended graduate school at Appalachian State University, receiving her MA, English in 2003. During her time at Salem College, Kennette established a chapter of Habitat for Humanity. After receiving her call to ordained ministry, Kennette completed her seminary work at Wesley Seminary through Pfeiffer University in 2015 and served as a chaplain at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from 2015-2016, achieving Level I chaplain certification through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education in 2016. In June 2016, Kennette was commissioned at Lake Junaluska as a provisional member to the order of Deacon in the Western North Carolina Conference.

Since 2003, Kennette has taught in the English and Humanities Division at Surry Community College. She has taught courses ranging from composition, developmental writing, literature, and creative writing to religion. Kennette has also served as the faculty advisor for the Alpha Xi Tau Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, one of the oldest and most distinguished two-year international honors societies, and as a member/officer of the Surry Community College Women’s Association. Within the community, Kennette serves as a clergy representative with YVEDDI Surry Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and on the Board of Directors for Blue Ridge CareNet Counseling.

As for hobbies and interests, Kennette loves music, especially voice and piano, and anything to do with the outdoors, such as hiking, and she has completed two marathons. Kennette is married to Jon Thomas, who also works in the English & Humanities Division at SCC, and they have a German Shepherd Dog named Petey. 

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Eric

 

A western Pennsylvanian native and resident until three years ago, Eric has been a Christian since high school when he joined the local Baptist church he attended since childhood in Worthington, Pennsylvania.  While attending the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, working toward a BA in History and English Literature, he began serving in part-time as a professional church organist.   In addition to his academic work, he also played the cello in the University orchestra and chamber ensembles and studied organ performance with Dr. Carol Teti and Dr. Christine Clewell.  After college, he received additional training and served several churches as a choirmaster and hand-bell choir director, in addition to accompanying worship from the organ.  Eric has served Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal Churches in western Pennsylvania and Montana as accompanist or music director.   Later he obtained a master's degree in education, and has taught in public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Montana, and now Millenium Charter Academy in Mount Airy, where he and his family reside.  Before teaching, Eric worked as a pipe organ builder and technician with Luley and Associates of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He and his wife, Rebecca, founded the Ivy Leaf Orchestra in Pennsylvania, a 15 piece ensemble that performs music for live screenings of silent films.  Rebecca taught music K-12 for fourteen years, has played for churches as an assistant organist and served as the director of several volunteer music ensembles over the last twenty years. 

In his free time, he enjoys playing with his children, using the piano and organ for live screenings of silent films, canoeing, hiking, collecting antique toy trains, writing and reading.  Eric and Rebecca have two children, James and Miriam and are very happy to be serving God through music so close to home. 

 

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Gail began working at Central in March, 2011.   She was born and raised in Mount Airy.  She graduated from Mount Airy High School, Surry Community College and Gardner Webb with a degree in Business Administration.  She previously worked for Mount Airy City Schools and retired after working there for 32 years.  She is married to Don Cox, they have two sons, Joe who lives in Chicago and Mike who lives in Mooresville, NC.  Mike and his wife Meg have two daughters, Ellie and Sophie.

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Lisa

Lisa and her husband Pat moved to Mount Airy 27 years ago from Gallatin, TN. She attended David Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and Surry Community College in Dobson, NC. Lisa has been here at Central UMC in the Child Care center for 23 years and as the Director for 10 of those years. Lisa and Pat have 2 sons, Patrick (wife Amber) and Kyle (wife Ashley).