Meet Our Staff
Jody Welker, Senior Pastor
Jody Welker has served as Pastor and Head of Staff since July, 2004. He has served congregations in Newton, NC, Red Springs, NC, Bristol, TN, Morehead City, NC, and Auburn, AL.
Jody was raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and is married to Sharon. They have two grown children, Anna and Joe. Jody’s education includes the completion of his B.S. degree in Education at Auburn University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He has received additional training in administration, leadership development, spiritual growth, preaching and worship from the Alban Institute and other organizations.
At the Kirk, Jody is the lead pastor for preaching and worship. He provides leadership to the Session (governing body) as the moderator. His staff responsibilities include support for the Finance Committee as well as other ministry teams. He not only enjoys preaching, but also enjoys teaching. Beyond the Kirk, Jody is active in Presbytery and was a 2004 Commissioner to General Assembly.
He has a passion for youth and children as he has been a presenter for the LOGOS Systems Associates for several years. Missions are important to him as he has led mission trips to Zambia, Mexico, and Honduras over the years. Most recently, he has been an active participant in the Kirk’s Guatemala Mission partnership.
Jody enjoys social time with family and friends and attending sporting events. He plays golf as a “social duffer” and enjoys running for exercise. Jody and Sharon like to travel and especially enjoy time in the mountains.
Send Jody an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Larry Abernathy
After being away from his home state over twenty-years, Dr. Larry Abernathy was called to serve as the Director of Music Ministries and Arts at the Kirk in January 2010.
Prior to being called to the Kirk, he served Reid Memorial Presbyterian in Augusta, Ga. He has served congregations in Columbia, SC, and Petersburg, VA. He has one son, Lawrence.
Larry’s education includes a DMIN degree from Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, a Master of Music degree from Southern Seminary, Louisville, KY, where he was awarded the performance award in organ performance, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wingate University. He has had post-graduate studies in Organ Performance and Choral Directing at the University of South Carolina and Peabody Conservatory. His choirs have recorded for the Georgia Public Broadcasting Network and been invited to sing at Westabou Arts Festival and at the yearly Lessons and Carols service with the Augusta Collegium. The Kirk choir has been invited to lead in worship at Montreat Summer Worship. In addition to presenting in the public school system in SC, and serving as clinician at handbell festivals, he has served as a presenter for LOGOS Systems Associates for several years.
Carl Daehler, the Kirk’s Business Administrator, hails from Portsmouth, Ohio, where he was executive director of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University for 18 years. For the past two years, he has been treasurer and chief financial officer and served as volunteer business administrator at Second Presbyterian Church in Portsmouth. He has served multiple terms on Session at both Second Pres and at First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Carl earned his DMA degree in horn performance from the University of Michigan and continues to perform in a variety of professional ensembles. He was founder and conductor of the Ann Arbor Chamber Orchestra that for ten years toured throughout the Midwest and received national awards for the performance of works by contemporary American composers.
Carl’s wife, Lynne, is currently on the teaching faculty of BalletMet Columbus where she has taught all levels of students since 2002. She has owned and operated her own ballet studio and currently is guest teacher at three area studios. Lynne is also active at Second Presbyterian serving multiple terms as President of Trustees and co-director of God’s Food Pantry.
Carl and Lynne love to cook, garden, and shop. Their daughter, Leda, following her graduation from the University of Michigan in December, will begin a career at Ford Motor Company’s advanced technologies division.