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Howard is a graduate of NC State University and after 12 1/2 years in the furniture manufacturing industry, discerned a call to pastoral ministry. Howard then earned his Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. Howard has been married to his wife Donna, a Labor and Delivery nurse, since 1980 and they are both proud of their two adult daughters, Katie and Christine who are both married. Donna is a cat-person and Howard is a dog-person so they have had cats over their years together including their current feline family member, Elvis.
Howard serves throughout the community and the extended church including chairing the Board of Directors for Helping Hands Clinic - a health care facility for the uninsured of Caldwell County and as Chair of the Congregational Vitality Team for our Appalachian District of the UM Church.
Jennifer is the Associate Minister of Outreach for First and Pastor of Rhodhiss UMC. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and has served in the ministry since 2006. In 2011, Jennifer was ordained as an Elder in the Western North Carolina Conference. She and her husband Adam have a beautiful daughter Ellie and live in Blowing Rock, NC.
Karen has been our church secretary since January 2007. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University and retired from the Caldwell County school system after 30 years of service as a teacher and coach at West Caldwell High School. Karen has also been a member of our church for over 50 years. She and her husband G.C. live in Cajah's Mountain and have one son, Cory, daughter-in-law, Amanda and two grandchildren, Payne and Paris.
Shea plans and coordinates curriculum for our youth. She holds weekly Sunday night events for elementary, middle, and high school age youth. She organizes service events on the local and international level, and arranges outing throughout the year. Some of these events include Stop Hunger now, FUMC Christmas musical, God Given Talent Nights and the youth mission trip to Costa Rica. She is an important mentor to the youth as she helps guide them towards a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. She is an advocate for our youth and is continuously educating the congregation about the hopes, concerns and needs of our youth in the local church as well as in the community.
Jason leads our traditional music worship including our Adult Choir, Adult Handbells, and Orchestra. The Adult Choir reheares weekly on Wednesday evening s and sings 60-70 traditional & contemporary sacred anthems per year. In addition, the Choir presents and annual Christmas Cantata, bringing in instrumentalists and additional singers to help share the Christmas message.
The Adult Handbells also rehearse on Wednesday evenings and play for Worship once per month on average. The group performed a full length concert in May of 2016.
Instrumentalists of the church get together about 3 times throughout the year to form an orchestra for special 5th Sunday and other seasonal services.
First United Methodist Granite Falls values quality music and it's role in connecting with Christ. Everyone has a song to sing, and is invited to share your talents in your own way.
Shirley recently celebrated her 50th year as the organist at Granite Falls First Methodist. Her service began on October 1, 1966. Shirley is our living example of sustainability and faithfulness. She was honored for her service by receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor.