Rev. Dennis Adams
United Methodist Pastor, Retired, NC Conference
Dennis is a retired United Methodist Pastor who has served First UMC Roanoke Rapids, Pine Forest UMC, Campus Minister – Methodist College, Campground UMC, St. James UMC – Greenville, and is currently the interim pastor for Westminster UMC. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Atlantic Christian College, his M.Div. from Duke University, and his D.Min. from Columbia Theological Seminary, with a focus on Spiritual Formation. He was trained as a spiritual director through the Sursum Corda Institute and completed a two-year program through the Shalem Institute for leading contemplative prayer groups He has lead Spiritual Formation Groups in the areas of Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer, and Contemplative Prayer. He is an Oblate of the Order of St. Benedict, affiliated with St. John’s Abby in Collegeville, MN.
Dennis is married to Lee Marshburn Adams, his wife of 42 years. She has taught middle school math at Arendell Parrott Academy for the past 22 years. They have a daughter Anna who is married to Michael Petrin. They live in South Bend, IN.
Rev. Lynn Benson
Director of Legacy Giving, United Methodist Foundation
Lynn is a Deacon in Full Connection with the NC
Annual Conference. As a 2013 graduate of Duke Divinity School, Lynn received a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Christian Education. Lynn’s undergraduate degree is in Business Finance from East Carolina University. Lynn served as the Christian Education Director at Rosemary UMC in Roanoke Rapids from 2013 to 2016. The opportunity to serve with the Foundation is allowing Lynn to connect her passion for finance, particularly stewardship, with her education and experience in Christian Education.
Lynn has been married to her high school sweetheart, Marty, for 32 years. Together they have two adult children, Lillie and Lee, and a new son-in-law, Gray. In her spare time, Lynn leads small-group classes in personal finance, spends time gardening, and enjoys Praying in Color.
Rev. Bescye Burnett
United Methodist Pastor, Retired, Minnesota Annual Conference
While serving as pastor of the Blessed Cross (Zimmerman, MN), Janesville UMC (Janesville, MN), and Elysian UMC (Elysian, MN), Bescye served on the Minnesota Religion and Race Action Team of the Minnesota Annual Conference, The Commission on Religion and Race, The ServeMN Board, the Committee Advocating Racial Justice (CARJ) at United Theological Seminary and the Minnesota Colleges, and the University Diversity Council. Prior to accepting her call as a Student Local Pastor, Bescye worked as a teacher, literacy librarian, children’s librarian, university librarian, university professor, volunteer programs coordinator, diversity and organizational management consultant, deputy director, and director of libraries.
Born in Roseboro, NC, Bescye has lived in Illinois, California, Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota, before returning back home to North Carolina. In retirement, her focus is still on service to God through Harbor District United Methodist Women Communication Coordinator, Faith Harbor UMC Lay Leader, Prison Ministry, and most recently monitoring some leadership development coursework for AMEZ pastors
Bescye often uses the song “What a Wonderful World” to describe the joy she has for life and how she tries to live in this world. To that end, most of her adventures and travels focus on activities that enhance the wonderful world God created and in which we live. She believes it is her responsibility to value, respect, and welcome everyone as a human being, and she does this through her dedication to the work of the Church.
Rev. LuAnn H. Charlton
Associate Pastor, Hayes Barton UMC, Raleigh
As associate pastor at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, LuAnn’s ministry focus is Spiritual Formation. Prior to her appointment at Hayes Barton, she served as the Pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church in Snow Camp, NC. She has a Master of Divinity Degree from Duke Divinity School.
Before entering ordained ministry, LuAnn served as a Christian Educator at First United Methodist Church of Cary and Apex United Methodist Church. She also served as the Associate Director for Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries of North Carolina. LuAnn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Training and Development from NCSU. She has also attended the Upper Room’s Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation.
Rev. Rick Clayton
Senior Pastor, Hayes Barton UMC, Raleigh
Rick was appointed to Hayes Barton in June 2004. He began his ministry within the United Methodist Church in September 1977 as Youth Director of First United Methodist Church in Wilson, North Carolina. During his tenure in Wilson, Rick completed a Master of Religious Education degree from Southeastern and a Master of Divinity from Duke. He was appointed as associate minister to First Church during his nine year tenure. It was in this pastorate that Rick married Joy Butler from Clearwater, Florida. The two of them graduated from Atlantic Christian/Barton College. Joy majored in Music Education with a focus in voice. She started her teaching career at Greenfield School in Wilson. Their two children, Ryan and Alyson, were born in Wilson.
Rick has served as senior pastor at Saint Paul United Methodist in Rocky Mount, Louisburg United Methodist, Saint Francis United Methodist in Cary, and now Hayes Barton. Beyond his ministry in the local church, Rick has chaired numerous boards and institutions within the North Carolina Conference. He served as chair of the board for the Methodist Home for Children during the addition of the Jordan Center, and his gifts were used by the North Carolina Annual Conference for seventeen years in developing annual themes, set designs, and productions for the annual conference gatherings.
Heidi Gailor, Ph.D.
Leadership Education and Consulting
Heidi Gailor is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at William Peace University (WPU) and primarily teaches in the areas of organizational behavior, diversity, training and development, and leadership. She also works as a consultant with organizations to design and facilitate leadership programs, workshops, and coursework. Right now, her focus is on launching a new major in Leadership and Nonprofit Administration at WPU. Earlier in her career, she launched the Leadership Studies Major at Peace College, now WPU, and taught courses focused on the basic principles of leadership, contexts of leadership, leadership development, and leadership in the context of social change. Prior to coming to Peace, Gailor focused on marketing and new product development at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Gailor holds a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her dissertation focused on leadership development in young women activists. She holds a master’s degree in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a bachelor’s degree in communication from North Carolina State University.
Rev. Doug Gamble
Missions Pastor, Crossroads Fellowship, Raleigh, NC
During 39 years of pastoral ministry, Rev. Gamble has had an opportunity to serve a country church, a small town church, and three churches, which he helped plant. He has written a Lifestyle Evangelism course and built a small business. Rev. Gamble has served as an associate pastor four times, as a Serendipity and Navpress Small Group Ministry Trainer, a Christian education pastor, a small group pastor, a pastor of adult ministries, and now, at last, as a missions pastor! Along the way, he has been consultant to pastors and churches and was part of an early national small group pastors’ network before Leadership Network emerged. Typically, Rev. Gamble has built, developed, or remodeled ministries in each place he has served. He is an entrepreneurial type pastor who seeks to build long-term partnerships and change our cities into healthy, faith-friendly communities.
Rev. Gamble specializes in ministry design and launching small group or task group efforts. His emphasis is on volunteer recruitment strategies; coalition building; partnership development between faith communities and business and government entities; non-profit fundraising and donor base cultivation; and church consulting with a focus in program review, evaluation, and design.
Teresa Holder, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication, Meredith College
Teresa Holder is Professor of Communication and Head of the Department of Communication at Meredith College. She has more than 20 years of experience in college teaching, higher education administration, and nonprofit public relations management. She has led more than 100 workshops, including training on conflict resolution for managers. She has also published numerous articles on the topic of managing conflict in leadership roles.
Her volunteer work includes lay leadership at her church, with a focus on small group ministry. From personal experience and having grown up as a preacher’s kid, she understands the unique joys and challenges that come with working in ministry!
Rev. Beth Hood
Senior Pastor, Wesley Memorial UMC, Wilmington, NC
A native of Carrboro, NC, Beth is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill (B.A. in Industrial Relations) and Duke Divinity School. Beth has served as pastor in a variety of settings from a small rural congregation to a mid-sized town church, a staff member of a large membership congregation, a District Superintendent, and lead pastor of a large membership congregation. Beyond the local church, Beth served as delegate to Jurisdictional Conference in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016; and delegate to General Conference in 2008, 2012, and 2016. Presently, she is a member of the NC Conference UMC Connectional Table, Registrar of the Harbor District Board of Ministry, member of the Harbor District Mission Strategy Team, and co-founder of Passion In Partnership Christian Coaching. Beth and her husband, Paul, have one son, Adam, who is a college freshman.
Korrel Kanoy, Ph.D.
Senior Partner, Developmental Associates, LLC
A college professor for over 30 years, and now Professor Emeritus at William Peace University, Korrel Kanoy has taught many courses on adult development, child development, general psychology, and emotional intelligence.
Through her work with Developmental Associates, LLC, Korrel specializes in helping individuals and organizations maximize their performance by developing emotional intelligence and leadership skills. She also works with educational institutions to select and the best teachers and leaders and to develop programs to infuse emotional intelligence into the curriculum. She has led professional workshops and delivered keynote addresses for educational, non-profit, and public sector organizations. Over 500 people, from students to CEOs, have benefited from individual coaching with Korrel.
Korrel is the co-author (with Steve Stein and Howard Book) of The Student EQ Edge: Your Academic and Personal Success, along with two companion books: The Student EQ Edge: Facilitation and Activity Guide and The Student EQ Edge: Student Workbook. She also authored Annie’s Lost Hat, a picture book for 3-6 year olds that teaches emotional intelligence lessons through the story, and The Everything Parent’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence in Children: How to Raise Children who are Caring, Resilient, and Emotionally Strong.
Ronda Bazley Moore
Organization and Human Performance Consultant
Ronda Moore brings over fifteen years of experience with leading management consulting firms and financial services organizations to the Center for Leadership Excellence. As a consultant, Ronda has partnered with business and community leaders throughout the country to provide solutions related to talent management, leadership development, learning design and development, communications, and stakeholder engagement. Ronda has a passion for working with leaders to solve problems related to human performance, and cherishes her role as a faculty of the Center for Leadership Excellence because it allows her to apply her experience and knowledge to help equip pastors and laity for their important roles in the body of Christ. Ronda is a dynamic facilitator and Fellows have often commented on the high level of engagement and interaction they experience in her sessions.
A native of Charlotte, NC, Ronda completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ronda also earned a master’s degree in Adult Education from North Carolina State University, where she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. Ronda is married to Warte T. Moore and has a four year old daughter, Bazley Grace. They live in Raleigh and are members of Edenton Street United Methodist Church.
Rev. Dr. H. Gray Southern
District Superintendent, Capital District
Gray Southern is the Capital District Superintendent and has previously served as the Durham District Superintendent, the lead pastor of The Apex UM Family, associate pastor at St. Paul UMC (Goldsboro), pastor of Oriental UMC; pastor of West Nash UMC (Wilson); lead pastor of Trinity UMC (Durham); and lead pastor of St. James UMC (Greenville). Born in Winston-Salem, NC, he grew up in Smithfield, NC, and graduated from Smithfield-Selma Sr. High School. He earned his BA in Psychology and Religion from UNC-CH and then attended The Yale University Divinity School, graduating with a M. Div. Subsequently, he earned a D. Min. from The Columbia Seminary in Decatur, GA. Gray has also participated in the Lily Endowment’s Pastor-Theologian Program, sponsored by The Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton University.
Gray has been involved in ministries of spiritual formation, children and youth ministries, mission efforts, and camping ministries, as well as administrative ministries such as pensions, insurance, and sustainability matters. He and his wife, Susan, a public school teacher, have two children, Kirk, a fourth-year medical resident, and Mary-Gray, who is in a gap year.
Rev. Jon Strother
Senior Pastor, Jarvis Memorial UMC, Greenville, NC
Jon Strother is a former Capital District Superintendent and has served on the North Carolina Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (1994-2012). He ministers regularly in Federal Prison, Butner, NC. Jon has traveled throughout the world ministering and sharing his stories. In 1997, he was invited to Sydney, Australia, to share in school seminaries as a preacher and storyteller. In 2006, he ministered in orphanages in Belarus and preached with ABRO (American Belarusian Relief Organization).
Jon previously served as Senior Pastor of Benson Memorial UMC, and he is the founding pastor of Windborne UMC, established in 1999. Other churches he has served include Hertford UMC, Rose Hill UMC, Hayes Barton UMC (as associate pastor), and Macon Charge. Jon is a graduate of Duke Divinity School, where he completed his Master of Divinity. In 1998, Jon recorded a CD of mostly original music with all proceeds going to Project Agape Armenia. He has three children.
Rev. Lisa Yebuah
Pastor of Southeast Raleigh Table, Edenton Street UMC
Lisa Yebuah is the pastor of the Southeast Raleigh Table, the newest worshipping community of Edenton Street United Methodist Church. She’s a 1999 graduate of Wofford College and a 2004 graduate of Duke University Divinity School. Life in ministry is at the heart of who she is. When asked, Lisa sums up her vocation through the lens of Mark 2: “I’m trying to help people in the pews become less concerned about the holes we make in our roofs and become more holy restless about our friends who’re bound to their mats.” Beyond ministry, Lisa is a professional people watcher, a biscuit-eating CrossFitter, and a seasoned trash-talker during the football season.