Meet The Pastors
Pastor Lauren has been serving churches of all shapes and sizes in the Western North Carolina Conference for close to 20 years. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Master of Divinity from Duke University and a Doctorate in Ministry from Drew University. Her doctoral work focused on congregational growth and development with special research in hospitality and new member retention.
Lauren has been serving in East Bend since 2016 and has appreciated the cooperative spirit of the people since her very first day! In her free time, she enjoys traveling, photography, spending time with her family, being a swim mom, and making Moravian stars.
Lauren and Steve have three children: Isabelle (12), Megan (18, NC State), and Shannon (22, App State Elementary Education).
Parish Assistant Pastor
Pastor Dustin is a graduate of Pfeiffer University and holds a Master in Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary.
Dustin has served throughout the WNCC as well has having been on staff with Carolina Cross Connection (CCC) and has served as a missionary in Guatemala.
Dustin grew up at Good Hope UMC in Reedy Creek (Lexington) and is excited about this next step in ministry!
Amongst other things, Dustin will coordinate youth and children’s ministry and shared music ministries across all four churches.
Parish Lay Pastor
Pastor Steve will assist Lauren in ministry, preaching, pastoral care, and worship leadership at Prospect, New Home, and Mt. Pleasant. Steve has received his advanced lay speaker certification and is in the process of becoming a local pastor. Pastor Steve has been a Certified Lay Servant since 2016 with advanced training in preaching and pastoral care.
Steve is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has worked in a variety of finance and accounting roles since 1993. Steve is a graduate of the University of South Florida, with a Master of Business Administration from the Wake Forest University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University. Steve's doctoral research studied the role of spirituality in ethical decisions. Amongst other things, Steve will work with all four churches in the areas of finance and trustees.