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Our Leadership and Staff

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Kristin Gerner Vaughn


Rev. Kristin Gerner Vaughn came back to Mt. Hope in June 2016.  After growing up in this area, she moved away for school at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, the first graduating class of Wake Forest University Divinity School in Winston-Salem, NC Chaplaincy Residency at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and time well-spent at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA.  She spent her years in ministry serving both as Chaplain in in-patient and out-patient oncology settings as well as parish ministry in UCC churches from Georgia, all the way back to Southeast Guilford County,  North Carolina.  Helping people connect their story to God's story is her greatest joy and surest hope. When she is not at church, Kristin enjoys making music and laughing with her 3 children, running, singing, dancing, playing in the dirt, enjoying their little farm, and taking life in with her spouse, Mike.

Julianna Pierdomenico

Youth and Music Director

Julianna's love for youth and the church has grown from her experience at Bear Creek Camp, a ministry of the Southeastern and Northeastern Pennsylvania Synods of the ELCA.  For five summers, she worked at Bear Creek as a counselor and as a part of the leadership team. After that, she continued her love for working with youth in ministry at Temple Lutheran Church located outside of Philadelphia where she was the church's first Children, Youth, and Family Minister and was tasked with building a strong foundation for the youth and children there. Julianna aspires to create cultivating communities where kids can still be kids while building the confidence to share and grow their faith.  She just graduated with her M. Ed in Music Education from Kutztown University and is a graduate student at UNC Greensboro studying clarinet performance and working as a graduate assistant in the music theory area.  Her main hobbies (when she isn't practicing!) include hiking, running, and spending time with friends, family, and her cat Lucy.

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Lorie Neese Arrington

Administrative Asst. / Director of Digital Technology

Lorie was raised in the Mt. Hope Community her whole life.  Her family has been involved in the church for many generations.  After a 21 year career in accounting and credit, she discovered property management and spent 15 years in that field.  All the while wanting to help others she began learning and working with natural products to help her health and others.  The opportunity came to help out at her church and she is still here today, enjoying part time work while still working towards her goal of helping others.  She has 3 awesome children, two grandchildren, as well as several others she loves as her own. She loves spending time with her fiancé Gary.  Also, swimming, boating, gardening, DIY projects, cooking, working on the farm with Gary, and just hanging out with family and friends.

Ekin Üstünel


Ekin Cemre Üstünel, born in Ankara, Turkey, began her piano studies at the age of six. Throughout her educational journey, she had the privilege of studying under numerous internationally renowned pianists across various countries. In 2018, she completed her Master's Degree in Piano Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), followed by her Master of Music in Piano Performance & Pedagogy with a focus on Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique in 2020. Beyond her accomplishments as a performer, Ekin embraces various roles within the music community. Her passion lies in community-oriented work, utilizing music as a powerful means of communication and healing. Ekin's commitment to music education extends beyond conventional boundaries; she shares her expertise at regional, national, and international piano pedagogy and medical conferences. As the current Executive Director of Young Musicians of Alamance, Ekin works with a passionate and talented group of leaders to inspire young musicians, advocating for wellness and awareness among musicians globally. When not immersed in music and community work, she finds solace in video games, playing the bass guitar, and cherishing moments with her spouse, three cats, and rabbit.

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