Planning Team


Tanya Best

Rev. Tanya Best is Associate Pastor of Mt. Calvary United Church of Christ in Durham, NC. She was ordained by The Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ and serves as Pastor of Mission Support, Supportive Aide and is the founder of Mt. Calvary Food Pantry. She retired from Durham County Department of Social Services in 2015. She is a Durham Native and enjoys spending time with her husband, son and her adorable grandchild Demeria.

Rose Cornelious

Rev. Rose Marsh Cornelious, D.Min., has been in ministry for almost 25 years, has served as a denominational official for the Evangelical Covenant Church’s Department of World Mission, preaching and training in over 100 churches. She has also ministered in over 25 countries, leading mission teams to five continents. She currently serves as Development Director for Dorcas Ministries, Cary, NC. Married for 36 years, she and her have four children and reside in Apex, NC.

After a varied career, Robin Farner answered the call, earned an MDiv with concentrations in preaching and prison ministry, and currently serves as pastor of Flat Rock UMC in Henderson, NC. Robin has a deep passion to see the church be the church, as imperfect as that may continue to look. She also enjoys reading, time with treasured friends, lake and salt life, and lounging with her 4-legged children.

An experienced preacher and trained spiritual director, Peace Lee loves sharing spiritual resources and practices. She uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore imbrication of the political and the religious. A Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellow, Lee’s awards include the John T. Galloway Award in Expository Preaching and the Asian American Ministry Award from Princeton. Lee is a Th.d candidate in Homiletics at Duke Divinity School, holds a B.A. in English from Macalester College, and an MDiv and M.A. in Spiritual Formation from Princeton.

Carla Gregg-Kearns

Rev. Carla Gregg-Kearns serves as the pastor of Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Cary. She is a native North Carolinian and spent time as a case worker in refugee resettlement and at a domestic violence shelter before getting her M.Div. at Duke Divinity School.

Rev. Elizabeth Kearney is recently retired after twelve years in parish ministry and twenty-five years as Assistant to the bishop (three bishops) of the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her last two decades were spent mainly in working with candidates for ministry and in sexual misconduct prevention and response. She is looking forward to settling into her house near Asheville and spending more time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

A long-time small nonprofit development consultant, Marya McNeish is also a massage therapist, and is ever curious how we can best work with these imperfect bodies of ours to find more ease and comfort. She is helping to build a local adaptive hiking program and spends her free time in the woods or digging in her garden.


Rev. Lori Pistor 
currently serves on the pastoral staff of Cary Presbyterian Church. Lori was one of those “second career” students at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. A displaced Texan she has lived in Durham since 1993, fully acclimating to many big trees but not NC barbeque.


Elder Crystal Rook, MDiv, MACC, is an activist, womanist preacher & rising scholar and community organizer with Drum Majors Alliance. She’s passionate about the intersections of food justice, faith, race, spirituality, & body politics. Her work is to create spaces for dialogues and action of communal love, healing, and liberation. She believes that Christians are the hands and feet of Jesus and must be active in both prayer and working in the vineyard to better the lives of humanity. Elder Rook truly believes that in God’s Word there is life, deliverance, transformation, and healing and desire to see these manifested in fullness in the lives of God’s creation. She received a Masters in Christian Counseling from Apex School of Theology and a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Food and Faith from Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Sharon Schulze is Coordinator of the Parktown Food Hub and South Durham Connections, working in South Durham to help build community that crosses the lines we draw among ourselves. She is approved for ordination with the ELCA and waiting eagerly to learn how the Holy Spirit is bringing everything together.


Jeanette Stokes

Rev. Jeanette Stokes
 is an ordained Presbyterian minister and the Executive Director of the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South.



Sharon WheelerRev. Sharon Wheeler is Associate Pastor of Elon Community Church UCC in Elon, NC where she has served part time and presently full time. She completed the Pastoral Leadership Development Program through the Southern Conference of the UCC which is an alternative path to ordination. She retired at the end of 2014 from LabCorp of America where she was an Account Specialist in the DNA Identity Department. She has lived in NC all her life and most of it in the Burlington area.


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