Fellows Class of 2013 / 2014

  • Ron Alford
    Laity, Trinity UMC-Raleigh

    Ron, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, is an active member at Trinity UMC.  He is married and has a daughter at Duke Divinity School.  In his free time, he enjoys riding his sport bike or motorcycle.  Ron “has accepted his faith as being real in his life, as reflected in life’s experiences. Ron is comfortable in sharing appreciation for God’s love with others.  Amazingly, most people that he talks to, smile with acknowledgement and belief.”

  • Dede Britt
    Pastor, Fremont UMC-Fremont

    Dede grew up in coastal NC and still enjoys spending time near the sand and salt water.  During her free time, Dede enjoys reading, cooking, cheering on the Duke Blue Devils and spending time with her two grown daughters.  “Coffee makes Dede a better person and quite possibly a better pastor!  She came to know God through relationships with others who cared enough to invite her into a community of faith.  Because of that, she is intentional about building relationships with those who are searching for a connection with others and with God.  She is passionate about encouraging the church to do the same.” Dede would like to gain the tools and courage to be the effective servant leader God has called her to be and that her congregation deserves.

  • Alice Davis
    Pastor, Jefferson UMC-Goldsboro

    Alice has been the Pastor at Jefferson UMC since July 2011.  When she is not traveling and spending time with her husband and three children, Alice enjoys volunteering, singing, swimming and beading in her spare time . “Through the years, Alice has learned to lean and depend on God.  If she can help somebody then her living shall not be in vain.”  She hopes to gain from the Fellows program “a deep awareness of what God wants to do in and through her.”

  • Freda Davis
    Laity, Fremont UMC-Fremont

    After 31 years, Freda recently retired as an elementary school teacher and is exploring all types of new hobbies.  She enjoys gardening, the beach, and spending time with her two grown daughters. Her favorite pleasure is sharing Bible stories with young children.  Freda has been married to her high school sweet heart for 35 years! Her family has been blessed worshipping and serving together in the Emmaus community as well as their local church.  “Leadership is a place that Freda often finds herself: however she wants to learn how to handle this role in a calm, confident, loving manner.  She hopes to gain the skills to serve the Lord in all the new ways He might call her in this new season of her journey.”

  • Tom Greener
    Pastor, First UMC-Rocky Mount

    Tom has been an active member in ministry for over 20 years and has a passion for issues of pastoral leadership.  He has a “special interest in the cultural dynamics of a congregation and the way that the group interacts.”  Tom was appointed as Senior Pastor to First UMC in June 2012. He and his wife, Karen, have two children.  Tom enjoys bike riding and playing golf in his spare time.  Tom’s faith has been influenced by his involvement with Emmaus and Disciple Bible studies.  He hopes to learn more about himself both personally and his leadership style and to “develop a strong partnership with the laity in leading his congregation forward.”

  • Judy Hales
    Laity, Jefferson UMC-Goldsboro

    Judy is an active member of Jefferson UMC and a proud mother of two daughters and four grandchildren!  She is retired, enjoys needle work, and spending time with her family.  Judy shares that “witnessing the abuse and injustice of others lets her know that God has given her the faith to use her prophetic voice”.  She hopes to gain through the Fellows program, the leadership skills to teach the youth in her congregation different ways to grow in their faith.

  • John Hall
    Laity, Aldersgate UMC-Durham

    John, a Technical trainer at SAS Institute, enjoys woodworking, building electronics projects and audio and video editing. He is married and has two children.  John joined Aldersgate UMC in 1988 and is an active member.  He is “active in many aspects of the life of the church as avenues to witness for Christ. One of his passions is working with the audio and video production.  He is excited about finding many different ways to channel this passion to lift the name of Jesus in his local congregation and beyond.” Through the Fellows program, John hopes to “increase his effectiveness as a leader, equip other leaders in the church, and learn from others on moving vision to implementation.”

  • John Heckel
    Laity, Knightdale UMC-Knightdale

    John is a Senior Quality Engineer who enjoys camping, reading and NCSU football.  He is married and has three children.  John has traveled to every state except Hawaii! John Shares “the more I learn about God and develop my relationship with Him, the more I see His presence in my life, even in the past when I wasn’t paying attention.”  John hopes to gain from the Fellows program a “better understanding of the leadership skills he has, the skills he needs to develop, and how to put them to use for God’s purpose.”

  • Christine Hildebrand
    Laity, First UMC-Cary

    Christine is the Director of Leadership Development at First UMC in Cary, NC.  She enjoys reading, walking and spending time with her husband and two girls.  She hopes to gain from her experience at the Academy the skills “to become a more effective leader and to be able to equip other leaders in the congregation” from the knowledge she gains.

  • Beth Kittler

    Beth is an active member at Hayes Barton who enjoys the beach, reading and playing tennis.  She and her husband of eight years have a son.  Beth has served for the past two years as the “Chair of the Children’s Ministry Council at HBBC overseeing all activities involving children ages birth-5th grade.  Through the Leadership Fellows program, Beth “hopes to gain more effective and stronger leadership skills.”

  • Doug Lain
    Pastor, Aldersgate UMC-Durham

    Doug serves as Pastor of Aldersgate alongside his wife of 15 years who serves as Associate Pastor.  They have three children.  Doug enjoys running and recently ran on a relay team across the state to raise money for the Methodist Home for Children.  Doug hopes to gain from the Fellows program skills to be a better pastor.  He believes local churches need strong spiritual leaders, and he wants to know how to best lead the congregation that he serves. Doug wants to be a “better leader of a church that excels in reaching out to each other and to the world at large.”

  • John Michael McAllister
    Pastor, Trinity UMC-Raleigh

    John Michael is an avid traveler and amateur photographer.  He is “enamored with the serenity and beauty of national parks and landmarks and architecture of big cities. One of his life goals is to photograph every national park, state capitol, and major American landmark.”   John Michael has been in ministry for about 10 years after a career as a disability researcher and psychotherapist.  He loves what he gets to do as a pastor.  Through the Fellows program, John Michael hopes “to gain a better understanding of the dynamics needed for cultural change in institutional/congregational settings. He is eager to learn how to effectively lead a congregation through visioning and implementation of a plan for impactful community mission and ministry.”

  • Taylor Mills
    Pastor, Trinity UMC-Durham

    Taylor, Pastor at Trinity since 2010, is married and has two daughters.  He enjoys playing video games and listening to Led Zeppelin in his free time.  Taylor can also play the harmonica!  Through the Leadership Fellows program, Taylor “would like to gain greater confidence in accepting conflict as a normal part of effective clergy leadership.”

  • Kristen Muse
    Associate Pastor, Hayes Barton Baptist Church-Raleigh

    Kristen, who is married to her high school sweetheart and has two children, enjoys spending time with her family, exercising with friends and scrapbooking.  She has been the Associate Minister at Hayes Barton Baptist Church since 2003. Kristen shares “Great is Thy Faithfulness.  God continues to amaze her in the people HE puts into her life, the experiences HE gives her, and the ways He continues to speak through His word!”  Through the Fellows program, she wants to further develop her leadership abilities “as well as develop new relationships across denominational lines.”

  • Bennett Myers
    Laity, Beech Grove-Rhems Charge-Vanceboro

    Bennett, a retired Educator/Administrator has two adult children and one grandson.   She enjoys shag dancing, gardening, and spending time with her family; especially her grandson!  Bennett shares that ‘through the years, she has found that faith is what gets us through.  As Lay Leader of the church, it is her desire to help lead the way in sharing the love of Christ to the community and beyond.” She hopes to gain from the Fellows program “new knowledge and insight in leading the way of sharing the love and grace of Christ with the rapidly growing community.”

  • Cory Oliver
    Pastor, First UMC-Roanoke Rapids

    Cory loves the outdoors, grappling and reading.  He is married and has two sons. Cory shares “God revealed new life to me initially through a sovereign expression.  Immediately he became aware that God gave His absolute best-His Son Jesus Christ.  Having understood that, Cory believes that God expects no less from us. It is great joy and a place of complete humility to realize the open allowance that God gives to represent the Kingdom.” Cory hopes to become “better equipped to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, which in turn equips others to be disciples.  He longs to take the next step in the journey of faith to help advance the Reign of God.”

  • Bryan Siefert
    Pastor, Knightdale UMC-Knightdale

    Bryan, the lead Pastor for the past two years at Knightdale UMC, enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and swimming.  He also notes that he dabbles in sarcasm!  Bryan and his wife have one daughter.  Bryan’s faith journey has “primarily been a process of God getting the “yes” first and then Bryan learning the details” of his calling.  Through the Leadership Fellows program, he would like to gain clarity and learn fresh ideas.

  • Colin Snider
    Pastor, First UMC-Cary

    Colin and his wife are both pastors and just had their first child in October.  He loves playing and watching all types of sports, surfing and also enjoys the beach. Colin shares that he often “feels God’s presence and his own personal call the strongest when he is doing things that most would call unproductive; such as sharing in Eucharist, prayer, dodge ball in the inner city and being with those living with developmental disabilities.” His service as chaplain at Murdoch Center provided a place where Colin’s call to ministry was reaffirmed and he “was able to learn and theologically reflect on who God is in his life.”  Through the Fellows program, Colin hopes to “better know himself as a servant leader so that he can better lead and serve the local church that God has called him to.”

  • Michael Stewart
    Laity, Trinty-Durham

  • Connie Stutts
    Pastor, Beech Grove-Rhems Charge-Vanceboro

    Connie, the lead Pastor at Beech Grove-Rhems Charge since 2004, loves to read and roller skate “but not simultaneously”!  She has always dreamed of owning a combination roller rink with a books store. She and her husband, an ordained elder, have four children. Connie shares that through her faith journey she has learned” that a little obedience brings great rewards and that God truly delights in doing more than we could ask or imagine.”  Through the Fellows program, Connie hopes to “increase her knowledge, glean wisdom from colleagues, and grow in faith so she will be better equipped to lead the church.”

  • Tim Wilson
    Laity, First UMC-Rocky Mount