REV. KRISTIN GERNER VAUGHN

Pastor

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.

EKIN CEMRE USTUNEL

Outreach Director/Accompanist

Ekin started her piano education at the age of 6 in Istanbul, Turkey. When they asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she always responded with “archeologist-pianist”, “doctor-pianist”, “historian-pianist”... Today, she is on our staff as the Mt. Hope UCC Outreach Director-Pianist/Organist. Her education included long years of training, famous teachers and pianists in many different countries. However, Ekin’s life turned out to be much different than anybody could have expected. Her long journey of perseverance brought her to North Carolina, and shaped her into a pioneer in many different fields. When she is not thinking about how to improve her ways at the church, she is teaching music to children, working with injured keyboardists, and presenting on teaching internationally while collecting many more degrees.

STACEY MARTIN

Administrative Assistant

Stacey Martin is the administrative assistant at Mt. Hope UCC. She leads her life with the purpose of serving God and provide for self. She enjoys DIY projects and crafts.

SUSAN FINLEY

Interim Music Director

Joan Hedrick has been the Music Director at Mt. Hope since August 2018. She graduated from Catawba College with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and Music Education and from UNC Greensboro with a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory. Her duties at the church include directing the adult choir, co-directing the handbell choir, leading music in worship, and developing music programs for the children and youth. She has been a member of school and church choirs for most of her life and is excited to get to lead the choir here at Mt. Hope. She has a background in churches of different denominations and thus a range of traditional and contemporary styles of church music. One of her favorite projects in this position has been directing the children’s Christmas musical, drawing on her years of community theatre experience. She looks forward to continuing to develop new ways to connect with church members both young and old!