Robert E. Dunham
Bob is grateful for the privilege of serving as pastor and head of staff of University Church since 1991. He is particularly thankful for the colleagues, officers and members who have served the church with great love and care during the last quarter century.
Bob is a Florida native and a graduate of Davidson College, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and Yale University Divinity School. He began his ministry as associate pastor and campus minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, Alabama; he also served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Covington, Georgia, and the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Charleston, South Carolina, before coming to Chapel Hill.
His wife, Marla, is a retired English professor, and they have two grown children and a wonderful granddaughter: son Aaron, his wife Natalie, and their daughter Catherine live in Greenville, SC, and daughter Leah and her husband Prentice live in the Asheville area.
Bob is the author of Expecting God’s Surprises: Devotions for the Advent Journey, published in 2001 by Geneva Press. His sermons have also been featured on the Day 1 national radio broadcast.
Bob enjoys reading and music of all kinds, and he finds relaxation on long walks in the woods (whether on hiking trails or near fairways, while chasing golf balls).
Associate Pastor for Campus Ministry
John was born in Raleigh, lived in Cary and then Fuquay-Varina until he was 11. From age 11-18 John spent most of his time on the golf course and mowing lawns in central Florida. While in Florida John’s Lutheran mother and Baptist father found their way to a Presbyterian church in DeLand. Since then, 1986, John has grown to love the connectionalism and theology of the Presbyterian church. After graduating from DeLand High School John attended and graduated from Greensboro College where again he spent many hours on the golf course playing collegiately for four years. While at GC John felt a nudge to pursue seminary and a career and calling working in the church. John attended Duke Divinity School (but with two parents as UNC-Chapel Hill alums, kept faithful to his Carolina athletic allegiance). While at Duke Divinity John did several internships ranging from directing Presbyterian Point Camp, youth work at First Presbyterian Church Durham, a summer with Southeast Alaska Volunteers in Mission, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at UNC Hospitals, and as campus ministry intern at UNC PCM with Ollie Wagner. After completing his MDiv degree John accepted a call to be the Chaplain at McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN. While at McCallie John oversaw the chapel schedule, taught in the Bible department, coached golf, and served on several committees. In the spring of 2008 John accepted the call to be the Associate Minister for Campus Ministry at University Presbyterian Church and started in July.
As the campus minister John works with a congregation of mostly undergraduate students that ranges from about 50-70 students each year. Students at PCM come by for Thursday night dinner, small groups, fellowship, programs, and throughout the week for other activities and worship at UPC. John also staffs the outreach committees at UPC.
John is excited about his part in this longstanding ministry and UPC’s wholehearted commitment to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s students, faculty, and staff. John is married to Trina Rogers. They have two daughters, Liza (11), who lives in Chattanooga, TN, and Cate (toddler) and one son, James.
Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries
Kate joined the staff in November of 2014 as the Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries. She focuses her energy on strengthening the adult education program, coordinating congregational life events, and extending warm hospitality to new members.
Kate grew up in Virginia and North Carolina, and she has moved back and forth across the state line seven times. She is a graduate of Davidson College and Union Presbyterian Seminary. Before arriving in Chapel Hill, Kate served as the Associate Chaplain at Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte–teaching third through eighth graders–and then as the Director of Admissions at Union Presbyterian Seminary.
Kate enjoys road trips, live music, reading, exploring new restaurants, and cheering on her favorite sports teams: the Bears, the Cubs, and the Tar Heels.
Staff Associate for Children's Ministries
Nancy began as the Staff Associate for Children’s Ministries in October 2014. Nancy grew up in west central Illinois and graduated in 2005 from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She continued on to get a Master of Arts degree in education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Before joining the staff at University Presbyterian Church, Nancy served congregations in Knoxville, TN, and Indianapolis, IN. Since moving to the Triangle, Nancy is having fun becoming a Tar Heels fan. In her free time, you’ll find her reading, surfing on Pinterest, watching Michigan State sports, and doing just about any craft imaginable! She also enjoys traveling to visit her parents, brother, sister, and their families.
Staff Associate for Youth Ministries
Kim McNeill began as the Staff Associate for Youth Ministries in November of 2007. Kim graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2003 with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies and Psychology.
As a product of University Presbyterian Church’s Campus Ministry program, she spent the fall of 2003 as an intern in the Center for Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Montreat Conference Center. In January of 2004, she returned to Chapel Hill as the Camp Director at New Hope Camp and Conference Center.
Kim grew up in the small town of Red Springs, NC, where she developed her southern accent and love for bluegrass music. Kim bleeds Carolina Blue and knows the words to all of the UNC fight songs. She loves leading games that make you laugh, organized chaos, and trips in the van.
Kim lives in Durham with her dog Murphy.
Minister of Music
THOMAS BROWN is an award-winning pianist, organist, composer and improviser, and has been the Minister of Music of University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill since June, 2002. He is in his fifth decade as a church musician, and has served a variety of congregations in Colorado, Missouri, Connecticut, Brooklyn Heights, New York, and New York City. He brings a broad and diverse element to his work at University Church.
Tom made his critically-acclaimed debut in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall at the age of twenty-one as part of the prestigious Allied Arts Piano Series, whose other artists that season included Artur Rubinstein, Alfred Brendel and Vladimir Horowitz. He was re-engaged on the spot and has since performed around the world as both pianist and organist, with appearances throughout the United States and in Canada, England, France, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Israel. He performed as concerto soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony on its first tour of North America. During his third tour to Southeast Asia, he was the featured soloist at the International Bamboo Organ Festival in The Philippines, and was the first American ever invited to record on the famous Bamboo Organ there.
He is a graduate of the University of Missouri/Kansas City Conservatory of Music and is a recipient of the University’s Alumni Achievement Award. He also holds the Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York City and, while a student there, was named an Outstanding Young Artist of America by the Editors of Musical America magazine. He can trace his musical tutelage directly to Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms through important student/teacher relationships. He has a keen interest in organbuilding and design, and his articles have appeared in The American Organist, The Diapason, The Herald and The Northeast Organist magazines. His performances have been heard on Pipedreams, National Public Radio and the CBC, and he has recorded for The Repertoire Recording Society, RBW Records, Viennola Gramophone Austria and Raven Recordings. Visit him at www.ThomasBrownMusic.com.
Beth Auman Visser
Director of Children's and Youth Choirs
BETH AUMAN VISSER has been the Director of Youth and Children’s Choirs at University Presbyterian Church since 1986. She earned her Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and, as a student there, served as Soprano section leader for the University Church Chancel Choir. She also holds the Master of Music degree from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
For two seasons, Ms. Visser was the Coordinator for the USO Touring Shows in Southern Germany, as well as the Director of Music and Publicity for the American Theatre in Stuttgart. During her time in Germany, she also served as Director of Music for Robinson Barracks Chapel in Stuttgart, and was soloist with the German-American Community Chorus.
Ms. Visser has an extensive background in the musical theatre, which includes leading roles in outdoor dramas, dinner theatres, church productions, community chorus and opera theatre. She has enjoyed a variety of educational responsibilities, encompassing elementary, middle school and high school public music as well as private vocal teaching and coaching,
Her responsibilities at University Church include the direction and development of the Youth, Junior and Children’s Choirs, and the cultivation and nourishment of music in the Church’s PreSchool. Ms. Visser is married and has three children.
Interim Associate Pastor
DENNIS DALLKE was hired in July 1992 and serves as Property Manager.
Kaitlin began her work as administrative assistant in January of 2014.
ROB KURTZ was hired in June 2001 and serves as Sexton.
Katharine Yager was hired in June 2014 and serves as Controller.
Jeanette joined the staff of University Presbyterian Church in August of 2007. Her initial role was church secretary and in 2011, she was promoted to office manager. She enjoys meeting and talking to all the members of UPC and is happy to help people with their upcch.org questions and/or issues.
In her spare time, you can usually find her doing school work, working out, or watching various shows on Netflix.
Jennifer Johnson began her work as Publications Coordinator on January 18, 2012.
Director, University Presbyterian Preschool
ELLEN PARKER was hired as Director of University Presbyterian Preschool in August 2009.