Youth Ministry Staff
Learn more about our staff here or drop by the youth office to visit!
Lauren is a singing, laughing, full of energy preacher’s kid from South Carolina. She is a graduate of Clemson University and loves all things Tigers. She’s married to Daniel and lives in a log cabin built in 1820 in Kannapolis (it’s closer than you think) with her 4 dogs Hampton, Zero, Roxy and Jackson and her mother-in-law, Winnie. She has a daughter, Ronan that loves everyone! When she isn’t leading the most amazing Youth Ministry Team in the world, you may find her baking (ask her to bake you something, you won’t regret it), kayaking, traveling, or making people laugh. Lauren has been a youth minister for 12 years and feels truly called to a ministry that can radically change the lives of youth and their families.
What is your favorite movie? Anne of Green Gables – I was obsessed with this movie as a child; but my current favorite movie is A Good Lie – you should see it!
What is your favorite food? Dark chocolate covered banana slices from Trader Joe’s
What was your first job? The Best Sales Lady at Mori Luggage and Gifts at the mall
What was your childhood ambition? EVERYTHING (have you met me?)
Who inspires you? people who enjoy the art of meditating; people who rescue Pitbulls
What makes you laugh? Our team
What do you do for Fun? Bobsledding, Civil War reenactment and mountain biking (Is this 2 truths and a lie?)
Favorite Bible verse or passage? Proverbs 3:24-25 – Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” when you now have it with you.
High School Youth Associate
Office phone 704-295-4837
Jason grew up in Canton, NC, and attended college at UNCA. He has lived in Charlotte since 1998 with his wife Valerie and their 9-year-old daughter Sully. When he is not with our High Schoolers, he leads personal training sessions and bootcamps. He has been an actor since 1996, performing with the Missoula Children’s Theater and Taradiddle Players, and you might occasionally see him in a commercial or TV show if you don’t blink. It is an honor and incredible joy to serve with this amazing staff!
Favorite Movie? Fight Club
Favorite Food? Mom’s Mexican Cornbread
First Job? Maid at the Terrace Hotel at Lake Junaluska
Childhood Ambition? To be 3rd baseman for the Atlanta Braves (still hoping!)
Who Inspires Me? My wife and family – they are amazing and I want to make them proud.
What Makes Me Laugh? Everything! I love old silly comedy like the Three Stooges and Martin & Lewis, smart modern comedy like Louie CK and Aziz Ansari, and everything in between. Life is too short…you have to keep laughing!
What do I do for fun? Family time at home or on vacation, workout, movies, concerts, and eat!
Favorite Bible Verse? It rotates to something new often, but I currently love Romans 5:1-5 – I like the idea that suffering (training, sacrifice, bettering yourself in some manner) can produce endurance, character, and hope.
Middle School Youth Associate
Office phone 704-295-4834
Sarah is an outgoing, joyful, passionate and retired collegiate soccer player from Atlanta. She is a graduate of Presbyterian College (Go Hose), but her, along with her family, bleed purple and orange (Go Tigers). She enjoys exploring her city, while meeting new friends along the way. When she isn’t co-leading the most amazing Youth Ministry in the world, you may find her reading, being active, traveling, and/or taking her dog to the park. After interning for us back in 2017, Sarah is excited to be a part of this team full-time, and she truly feels called to a ministry that genuinely seeks after the heart of the Lord.
What is your favorite movie? The Lion King, hands down -- ask me about my collection of t-shirts!
What is your favorite food? Sushi
What was your first job? Technically, this is my first big girl job, but my actual first job was at Salsaritas rolling burritos (wasn't very good at it).
What was your childhood ambition? To climb trees and go to outer space (that didn't work out).
Who inspires you? People who seek and are in tune with the Lord by participating in different spiritual practices (i.e. prayer, meditation, etc.), so that they may experience more of God's presence and holiness.
What makes you laugh? Our team
What do you do for fun? Play tennis, watch movies, and pet dogs (I'll pet sit for you anytime)!
Favorite Bible verse or passage? Jeremiah 17:7-8
"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit."
Ellen grew up in the MPUMC Youth Group and is so excited that things have come full circle and she is now working here. Her passion for photography, design and communication help us get the word out to you about the amazing things happening in Youth. She and her husband Simon have two teenage boys, Jacob and Ethan and one daughter Megan.
What is your favorite movie? Sound of Music
What is your favorite food? My mom's lasagna
What was your first job? Cashier at Harris Teeter
What was your childhood ambition? Be a radio host
Who inspires you? My Dad
What makes you laugh? Lauren
What do you do for Fun? Travel, go to music festivals, watch my boys play soccer.
Favorite Bible verse or passage? I can do all things through Christ who gives me faith. Philippians 4:13