Jon joined our leadership team in 2017 to serve as our Spiritual Director. He is an Ordained Elder in the North Carolina Conference of the UMC where he has served churches and charges of various shapes and sizes. Prior to his current appointment as District Superintendent of the Sound District, Jon served as Lead Pastor of Jarvis Memorial UMC in Greenville, NC. Jon has attended our 5-Day Academy on multiple occasions and enjoys serving in this role. He and his wife, Cathy, an attorney in Greenville, have five children. They enjoy their handsome and active grandson, Harrison, and are expecting the arrival of a beautiful granddaughter early next year. Jon enjoys photography, poetry, and choosing his own blend of the best coffee beans for his role as family barista. He still marvels at the wonder of a raised-bed garden, and feeds most of the birds in the neighborhood. Jon and Cathy love to travel, having been to Israel three times since 2014, and in 2019 criss-crossed France with wide-eyed wonder.
Hal Melton’s experience with the Academy began with a 5 Day in 2008 hosted by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It left him thirsting for more. He enrolled in a 2 Year Academy that was held at Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA. It truly redefined intimacy in relationship to the living God. After serving as Team Leader on another 5 Day for CBF, he has attended the NC 5 Day for several years now.
Retired after 43 years of ministry with NC Baptist Churches and the Baptist State Convention, he and his wife live in Raleigh and attend Trinity Baptist Church where he concluded his career, serving 19 years as Associate Pastor of Missions, Senior Adults and Marriage Ministry.
He is looking forward to more family time with children and grands as well as his hobbies: RVing, fishing, gardening and leading Marriage Enrichment Retreats.
Rev. Jim Jones
Jim is a true North Carolinian, born on base at Camp Lejeune; grew up in Jacksonville, Gastonia, and Greenville, all in N.C.; and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Zoology. He was a regional sales representative where he covered the southeastern United States for seven years selling products used in scientific research. He founded and ran a successful rental equipment business in Siler City, NC, for thirteen years before being called into the ministry full-time.
He is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He began his full-time ministry by serving Lea’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Roxboro, NC as a student pastor for four years while completing his Masters in Divinity degree at Duke University. While at Duke, Jim’s commitment to the rural church led to his being named a Rural Fellow by the Duke Endowment.
Jim is currently appointed as the senior pastor at Mount Pleasant UMC in Pittsboro, N.C. He has had the pleasure of serving this community of faith since 2011. A member of the Lumbee Tribe, Jim is committed to enhancing our ability to live in and thrive in a diverse community.
Claire is a layperson who has served on the leadership team for the 5-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation since 2007 after attending for two years. She is currently the NC Academy Retreat Leader. Claire is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a Certified Facilitator of Sacred Conversations to End Racism (SC2ER), a Spiritual Director/Companion, a Certified Lay Speaker, a New Consecration Sunday Guest Leader and a Conflict Transformation Minister. Prior to becoming a freelancer, she served as the Assistant to the District Superintendent in the Capital District of the NC Conference of United Methodist Church for 8 years. She is a graduate of the Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation. Claire serves as the Co-Director for the NC Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation. She and her husband, David, have three young adult children and have been members at St. Francis UMC in Cary for over 26 years where she serves on the Church & Society Team. Learn more at ccwtransformation.com.
Debora is the music director for the NC Five Day Academy. She is currently a Communicator with The Upper Room Emmaus Ministries after retiring with 25 years of service with Deere and Company (John Deere). She recently completed Academy for Spiritual Formation #41. Debora has served as a worship leader, accompanist, and vocalist in Methodist and Wesleyan churches. She and husband Ray will celebrate 30 years of marriage in 2021.
Ani is the registrar at the NC Conference office for the 5 Day Academy and other retreats sponsored by the NC Academy for Spiritual Formation. She is Armenian and was born in Syria, then lived in Lebanon for 10 years, before coming to the US in 1978 at the age of 12 and became a US citizen in 1983. She moved from Washington DC area to Raleigh in 1998 with her husband and 2 children. Ani has worked as an Administrative Assistant for different organizations for the past 30+ years, including AARP, Juvenile Justice Department and Woman’s Missionary Union of NC. She started working at the NC Conference office in December of 2017. She and her husband, Chuck, live in Willow Spring and attend Lifepoint Community Church. Both her children are now grown and recently married!