All are welcome

The Pastoral Search Committee Members Announced

The following members of the Search team were approved by the congregation on May 26th: Grace Bowling, Joan Brannon, Melanie Childers, Teri Cleavinger, Barry Marshall, Kathleen Rowell, Jeanne Tayloe, Craig Weaver and Mitchell Willard. Potential candidates for this team were submitted  by church members. They represent various demographic categories from our congregation. Kathleen Rowell and Jeanne Tayloe will be serving as co-chairs of this team.

The team met with Rev Nora Driver-Faust on June 6th. Nora is the Placement Coordinator for the Southern Conference and the Minister for Church Affairs in the Eastern North Carolina Association. The meeting helped to familiarize the team with the Search and Call process. This is an involved procedure and the group will continue to learn about it.

Meet the Search Team Members

Grace Bowling

I am 14 years old and am about to be a rising sophomore at Watauga High School. Even though I don’t remember it, eleven years ago I was at the church’s first service. I was a part of the Mission Bolivia team last summer and that experience has inspired me to pursue an international and  service-related career. I run cross country and track and love experimenting with food and photography. I am so honored to have been asked to serve on this committee. I will do my best to help this search be a success

Joan Brannon

A commitment to peace and justice has always been important in my life, and it led to service in Peace Corps Afghanistan after college. An Alamance County native, I spent my most of my professional life in Wake County Public Schools in varied instructional roles. I was active as a Sunday  School teacher and on peace and justice issues in Cary First Methodist for over 10 years. It took us a year to discover HCUCC after moving here 5 years ago. From the first Sunday we attended, I felt a harmony and affinity as I have never experienced in a church. I found in HCUCC a virtual breath of fresh mountain air and a spiritual home–open and affirming people committed to peace and justice and doing good. I am honored to be serving on this committee and participating in its important work in the life of this church.

Melanie Childers

I have lived in the High Country for 15 years and have been part of HCUCC since its inception. I am an ordained UCC minister, working as director of pastoral care at Watauga Medical Center, where I also provide professional counseling services for cancer patients. I have participated in the pastoral search process in the Baptist tradition from the standpoint of being part of the ministerial family that was being called to a new church. I love this congregation and the ways it helps me stay grounded and accountable in my own faith journey. I believe in our community of faith and in the importance of our role in the High Country, and I believe we will be able to find a great new pastor who will lead us effectively into our church’s future.

Teri Cleavinger

I transplanted from the Midwest to Boone 18 years ago. I work for the N.C. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Staff Development Section. I met Mary just a year later and we searched for a church together that would fit for us. It wasn’t until we came to HCUCC on the second Sunday it met up in Blowing Rock that we knew we had found our church. Not only a church, but we found our church family, which we cherish deeply. I love our church and have served on the council for 8 out of the 11 years in different Team Leader roles. But serving on the Search Committee is new territory for me. I’m humbled and honored to be a part of this process. I’m looking forward to this new journey with all of you.

Barry Marshall

I am a native of the high country. I have been married to my beautiful wife for 24 years and we have one awesome daughter (Hailey) who is 9 years old. I attended Caldwell Community College, I am a licensed massage therapist I also teach Taiji and Qigong. I was a member of a local  Baptist Church for many years where I taught Sunday school and was youth director. We had been out of church for a number of years before a friend told us about HCUCC  and I am so thankful they did. I am honored to be a part of this process and this group.

Kathleen Rowell

John and I were among the 150 folks who met that very first Sunday and we knew we had found a new home. My father was a Methodist minister so I saw firsthand the demands of a pastor. For 20 years I attended First Baptist where I served in many jobs including Pastor Search Committee. I found the process exciting and I hope to bring the same positive energy to this search. I represent many of you as I am a daughter , a sister, a wife, a mother, a business owner, a college grad (GO State), an extrovert and an optimist! As a founding member I want only the very best for HCUCC.

Jeanne Tayloe

I am a retired JR Hi/Middle school teacher & a transplant from Ohio. After almost 30 years of being unchurched, the UCC denomination brought me back through the doors at Faith church in Dayton, OH. I was involved in a Pastor search with that congregation. I have served at HCUCC as Council Secretary. Somehow a lot of church odd jobs seem to come my way. I care deeply about this church. I am humbled and honored to represent you and to join this team of remarkable people.

Craig Weaver

My wife Beth and I joined HCUCC right after relocation to Foscoe. I am a strong believer in our church’s affirming and welcoming everyone and in actively promoting justice and peace. I’ve been a pastoral counselor, integrating psyche and soul in my work, since 1969. College at Univ. of Alabama and seminary at Union in New York. In North Carolina since 1970. Served on Pastoral Search Committee at Myers Park Baptist, Charlotte, and as chair of Pastoral Communication Team here.

Mitchell Willard

I am a graduate of Watauga High and ASU. I have been in the land surveying profession for 29 years and PLS for 19 years. Along with wife Bobbie and daughters Casey and Emma, I am a founding member and have served as treasurer and pastoral communication contact.