Instructor, Spiritual Retreat
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 44 years. She has taught middle school math at Arendell Parrott Academy for the past 24 years. They have a daughter Anna who is married to Michael Petrin. They live in South Bend, IN.
Instructor, Discernment, Decision Making, and Leading Change
Trish, an ordained deacon in the UMC, works in coaching and leadership development with the ministry, Passion in Partnership. Prior to her appointment with PIP, she served the local church for 25 years. She also taught middle school science in Chapel Hill prior to full time ministry. She has a Bachelor of Science in Science Teaching (1982) and a Masters of Arts in Teaching (1987) both from UNC-Chapel Hill. She also has a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School (1993). She has served the NC Annual Conference in various leadership positions and is currently serving on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the Conference Episcopacy Committee.
She is married to Noah, a pediatrician in Wilmington. Their son, Will, and wife, Angel, live in Rougemont, NC. She enjoys reading, writing, and traveling with her family.
Instructor, Holistic Stewardship
Lynn is a Deacon in Full Connection with the NC Annual Conference and currently serves as the Director of Legacy Giving in the United Methodist Foundation. 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. Her current role with the United Methodist Foundation allows Lynn to connect her passion for finance, particularly stewardship, with her education and experience in Christian Education.
Instructor, Holistic Stewardship
Reggie Ponder started his ministry as a local pastor at age 17 and later received a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. He served his call as a pastor, a district superintendent, and as president of the United Methodist Retirement Homes.
After retirement, Reggie has re-engaged in ministry and retired multiple times. He has served two churches, worked as president of Louisburg College, and was the interim president of Oak Ridge Military Academy. He has also helped raise funds for the United Methodist Foundation.
In 2020, Reggie joined Methodist Home for Children as the senior advisor for legacy giving. As a certified planned giving officer, he has the tools and the vision to help others look forward, beyond their own lives, to take care of what matters most – and to reap the advantages – both spiritual and financial.
Instructor, Spiritual Retreat
An ordained elder in the NC Conference, LuAnn currently serves as the senior pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in Raleigh. Prior to this appointment, LuAnn has served as Associate Pastor at Hayes Barton UMC (Raleigh) and Pastor of Bethel UMC (Snow Camp). Through all of her ministry, LuAnn has maintained a focus on ministries of Spiritual Formation.
Before entering ordained ministry, LuAnn served as a Christian Educator at First United Methodist Church in Cary and Apex United Methodist Church. She also served as the Associate Director for Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries of North Carolina. In addition to her M.Div. from Duke Divinity, LuAnn holds a master’s degree in Training and Development from NCSU and a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has also attended the Upper Room’s Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation.
Instructor, Holistic Stewardship
An ordained elder in the UMC, 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.
Instructor, Shaping Servant Leaders and Building Ministry Teams
Carl is a retired elder in The United Methodist Church. For 43 years, he has pastored churches of all sizes in the NC Conference from some of the smallest in membership to one of the largest. In addition to his parish work, Carl has served on several Annual and General Conference boards and agencies, as a delegate to three General and four Jurisdictional Conferences, and as a District Superintendent. He has degrees from Barton College (B.A., 1980), Duke University (M.Div., 1984) and Princeton Theological Seminary (D.Min., 2003). As a local church pastor, Carl’s passions were preaching, teaching, vision casting with a congregation, and leadership development in the context of congregational life.
Carl and Mary-Ellen (a retired educator) have been married 43 years. They have two daughters – Elizabeth (married to Jason O’Quinn) and Ellen – and two grandsons – JP and Bennett.
Instructor, Relationships and Team Building
Susan Newton Graebe brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in church and non-profit organizations to her work as a coach and her role with the NC UMC Residency in Ordained Ministry program. Her creative and collaborative spirit helps knit together diverse gifts and people for Christ-centered service in local churches and other settings. Susan has a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Drama and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. She has been deeply involved with ZOE Empowers since it began in 2004 and loves leading teams to visit ZOE’s work across the globe. Susan has been a member of Soapstone UMC in Raleigh for 25 years, serving twice as Director of Children’s Ministry. Married to Chris and mom to William and Caroline, they love hiking and traveling. Susan is always ready to talk with good friends about deep stuff, especially the Enneagram. She completed the Narrative Tradition Enneagram Core and Professional Training and is in an internship to become a certified teacher of the Narrative Enneagram model.
Instructor, Conflict Management
Teresa Holder, Ph.D., 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!
Instructor, Missional Ministry
The Rev. Dr. J. Denise Honeycutt is a passionate and enthusiastic follower of Jesus Christ. She was the head of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and has been a guest preacher, teacher, and Bible study leader at a number of annual conferences throughout the connection. She has served as the lead pastor of small and large sized congregations and was the Virginia United Methodist conference Director of Mission and Global Justice. Prior to that work, she lived in Nigeria, West Africa, where she served as a United Methodist missionary and taught theology and biblical studies at Banyam Theological Seminary.
Honeycutt has a deep contemplative spirituality, which she joyfully weaves into her daily life and work. She is passionate about relationship building, creation care, and the empowerment of women and the most the most vulnerable.
She recently retired and is enjoying this ‘reWILDing’ season of her life. She and her husband, Pat Watkins, live in a small passive solar home in Pittsboro, NC.
Instructor, From Vision to Reality: The Collaborative Discipleship Project
Mitzi is Lead Pastor of Soapstone UMC in Raleigh. Throughout her ministry, lay and ordained, she has served an array of congregations: rural, suburban, urban, and college town churches, as well as a seminary chapel, a Hiking Fresh Expression, and Lake Junaluska Conference Center. She deeply appreciates the treasured beliefs and practices that connect all United Methodists. She loves to discern and name the Christian missions that function as the heartbeat of the church and to equip and encourage all the various parts of the body to keep those missions healthy and vibrant.
She grew up in Morehead City, NC, and earned a BA in History at UNC-CH before teaching with Teach for America. She is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and worked as an instructional designer before earning an MDiv from Duke Divinity School.
Mitzi lives in Raleigh with her husband, Gordon, and the youngest of their two children. An avid hiker, she has walked all 180 miles of the Capital Area Greenway System in 2022.
Instructor, Leading: What to Measure, How to Measure it, and What to do about it
Gray Southern is the Assistant to the Bishop and Conference Secretary. He previously served the Capital District; The Apex UMC Family; the former Durham District, St. James Church in Greenville; Trinity Church (Durham); West Nash (Wilson), Oriental,; and St. Paul (Associate) in Goldsboro. Gray grew up in Smithfield, NC, and graduated from Smithfield-Selma Sr. High School before going to UNC-Chapel Hill. He subsequently attended Yale Divinity School and received a D.Min. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Gray was a part of The Lily Endowment’s Pastor-Theologian Program which was also a formative part of his life.
Involved in spiritual formation, children and youth ministries, missions, and camping ministries, Gray has also enjoyed working with pension, insurance, and sustainability matters in the church. He was a member of General and Jurisdictional Conferences in 2008, 2012, 2016/2019. Gray and his wife Susan, a former public school teacher, have two children: Kirk (married to Giselle) and Mary-Gray.
Instructor, Reaching More and Diverse People
Lisa Yebuah is the pastor of the Southeast Raleigh Table, the newest worshipping community of Edenton Street UMC, and also serves on the Cabinet as the Spiritual Director and Advisor for Inclusion and Equity. 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.