Dray Bland serves as Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Burlington, NC. Dray has served congregations in Florida and North Carolina in the capacities of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor respectively. Dray matriculated at Florida State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Political Science and Religion as well as a Certificate of Public Administration. He attended seminary at Duke University Divinity School where he received the Master of Divinity and a Certificate in Baptist Studies. Currently, Dray is pursuing the Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership at Southern Methodist University (Perkins School of Theology).
Emory Berry, Jr. was born and reared in Miami and Miramar, Florida. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, and he is also a graduate of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He completed his Doctorate of Ministry at Virginia Union University. In March of 2010, Emory was called to be the eighth pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. He is also the proud husband of Julie A. Berry and they have been blessed with two adorable children, Emory Berry III and Jaiden Aniya Berry.
Carla Gregg-Kearns, a native of Charlotte, graduated from Salem College and Duke Divinity School. Prior to divinity school she worked at a domestic violence shelter in Oregon and with refugees in Texas. Carla has pastored United Church of Christ congregations in Durham and Cary, NC, and she currently pastors at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Cary. She is the President of the UCC Southern Conference, co-founder of the NC Women’s Preaching Festival and parent of a feisty kindergartener.
Amanda Hendler-Voss is a founding Co-Pastor of Land of the Sky UCC in Asheville, which celebrated its fifth birthday on Pentecost. In her role, she leads the Justice, Hospitality, and Children’s Ministry Teams and shares responsibility for worship planning and pastoral care. In the last year, she facilitated the launch of a new Prison Ministry that now provides a day-long retreat for incarcerated mothers and their youth. Amanda earned her M.Div from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, graduating with certificates in Black Church Studies and Church and Community programs. She lives in Canton, NC, with her husband, Seth, and two sons, Myles (age 7) and Simon (age 2).
Rob Lemons serves as Volunteer Coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem, NC. He served as Minister of Community Impact and Global Connections at Ardmore Baptist Church in Winston-Salem from 2006 to 2015. Rob previously spent 13 years in management with CVS/Pharmacy and Revco Drug Stores. A native of Martinsville, Va., Rob has lived in the Winston-Salem area for over 30 years. He is a graduate of High Point University (B.S. Business Management) and Wake Forest University School of Divinity (M.Div.) and holds a certification in Asset Based Community Development from the Shalom Center at Drew University Theological Seminary. Rob and his wife Emily have been married since 1996. They live in Clemmons with their two sons, Bobby (15) and Wesley (13).
Drew McIntyre is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and currently serves as Pastor of West Bend UMC in Asheboro, NC, where he has been appointed since 2009. His wife, Brittany, is a Family Medicine Resident at Moses Cone. A native of Winston-Salem, Drew enjoys reading, film, mixed-martial arts, and playing with his dog (a rescued boxer named Jolene) and cat (Sammy, a rescued tabby cat).
Sylvester M. Reed Jr. is a native of Winston-Salem. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Winston Salem State University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Shaw University. However, his greatest blessing from Winston Salem State University was meeting his lovely wife Revonda P. Reed. Out of this covenant union came two blessings Sylvester M. Reed III (12) and Sethan M. Reed (10). Rev. Sylvester M. Reed, Jr is a disciple of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Reed received his license to preach in 2002 and was ordained in 2005. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Mount Nebo Baptist Church in Harmony, NC.
Courtney Young Hickman currently serves as the director of Youth Ministries at Grace United Methodist in Wilmington, NC. Courtney received her bachelor’s degree in business communication studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004 and her masters of divinity from Wake Forest University in 2008. Prior to joining the staff at Grace, Courtney worked in various non-profits in Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem, and Wilmington. In addition to her work at Grace, Courtney writes and edits a youth curriculum called TeenText, a publication of the Educational Center.