Meg Peery McLaughlin
Temporary Associate Pastor for Campus Ministry
Berry French is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. He has long articulated that the heart of his call to ministry lies in mentoring young people. Berry is beyond thrilled to join us in ministry here at University Presbyterian Church and especially among the students at Presbyterian Campus Ministry.
He is a native of Lumberton, North Carolina where he was raised at First Presbyterian Church. He attended the University of North Carolina, graduating in 2003 with degrees in both Economics and Recreation and Leisure Studies. But between freshman dorm move-in and donning a cap and gown, he found a home here at PCM.
After two years of camp and conference ministry and extensive international travel in Central America and Africa, Berry discerned a call to ministry and attended Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond. From there, he has served as an associate pastor at both White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh as well as Black Mountain Presbyterian Church near Montreat. In 2017, Berry and Katie, their daughter Aubry and son Will embarked on a two-year journey sailing through the Caribbean and the North American Eastern Seaboard, visiting 12 Caribbean countries in their own 43’ sailboat from Grenada to Maine.
After serving briefly as Interim Associate Pastor in Greer, SC, he is now ready for the next chapter in ministry here with us and with the students of PCM. He will begin work on August 5th, just in time for the students’ return to campus. His enthusiasm, welcoming spirit, ability to quickly connect with individuals and groups, and theological depth will be a gift to our PCM students and UPC family. He loves the outdoors, hiking, camping, biking, gardening, and playing outside with his kids. Please give Berry a warm welcome any way that you can when he arrives.
Temporary Parish Associate
UPC is extremely pleased to announce the hiring of the Rev. Vanessa Hawkins for our part-time, temporary Parish Associate position. For this upcoming year, she will be the spiritual arms of the church providing Pastoral Care, as well as overseeing Adult Education and supporting the Presbyterian Women.
We are very fortunate to have her on staff as her professional and personal experience fit our needs in this particular time. Among her many varied roles, Vanessa was the Associate of Nurturing Ministries for New Hope Presbytery, has worked in three different positions around Racial Equity for the PCUSA Denominational Office in Louisville, KY and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Practical Theology with a sub-discipline focus in Christian Spirituality from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Once completed this will be her fourth degree. She already holds the following: Art of Spiritual Direction Program, San Fransciso Seminary
Master of Divinity, Interdenominational Theological Center
Master of Arts in Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Bachelor of Arts (English & Journalism), North Carolina Central University
Vanessa is back in town sharing the caretaker role with her siblings for her mother who suffers from dementia. Like many of our congregants, she is walking the path of care taking for a loved one while also navigating her own spiritual journey.
While the Personnel Committee was impressed by her outstanding credentials, it was Vanessa’s gentleness of spirit, enormous capacity for caring, and openness of heart that captured us. We truly feel blessed to have her join our staff, even if for a limited time.
Director of Music Ministry
Director of Children's and Youth choirs
Kathleen began as the Director of Children’s and Youth choirs in 2019. She grew up in Kansas City, KS and holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice from The Juilliard School and a Master of Music in Opera from Binghamton University. Kathleen owns a piano and voice studio in Chapel Hill, and is on the faculty of the Community Chorus Project’s Summer Glee Program each summer. In addition to teaching, she maintains an active performing career, working locally with the North Carolina Opera, Duke Bach Singers and as a soloist with the Hillyer Community Chorus in Raleigh. In her free time, Kathleen loves spending time with her pets (two dogs & one cat), trying out new restaurants with her husband, and enjoying time with her 3 year old son.
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.
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. Nancy is a Certified Christian Educator in the PC(USA) and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. In her free time, you’ll find her reading, watching Michigan State sports, and doing just about any craft imaginable! She also enjoys traveling to visit her family.
Director of Communications and Development
Erin joined our staff in February 2021 as our Director of Communications and Development. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Erin earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Divinity degree from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She is an ordained Baptist minister who has served in several congregations, most recently as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Lumberton, North Carolina. At UPC, she is looking forward to serving in a new capacity through the ministry of communication and storytelling.
In her spare time, Erin enjoys reading, catching up on shows on Netflix and Hulu, and spending time with her husband, their energetic daughter, and their extroverted dog.
Director, University Presbyterian Preschool
ELLEN PARKER was hired as Director of University Presbyterian Preschool in August 2009.
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 reading, working out, or watching various shows on Netflix.
Melanie began her work as Administrative Assistant on December 3, 2019
Katharine is the Controller here at University Presbyterian Church. As the Controller, she is responsible for everything related to finance. This includes internal and external reporting, governmental filings, investments, audits, payroll and benefits. Katharine has a B.S. in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University and holds a C.P.A. license in Illinois and North Carolina. She has experience in public accounting, internal audit and manufacturing, but prefers to work for not-for-profits. Katherine joined the administrative staff at UPC in June 2014. When asked why she likes working at the church, Katharine said, “I enjoy being able to help everyone at UPC in some way. I am fortunate to have found a place to use my accounting skills to serve God and my fellow man.”
Melani serves University Presbyterian Church as the part-time Financial Assistant. In this role, she assists with the day-to-day financial duties of the church and of University Presbyterian Preschool (UPPS). Melani grew up in Watkins Glen, NY and moved to NC in 1999. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004 with degrees in Management and Society and Sociology. With her husband, Patrick, she has four daughters. When asked why she enjoys working at University Presbyterian Church, Melani said, “I love working with the congregation and my fellow staff here at UPC. I started working here in 2004, took some time off to be at home with my children, and am happy to be back as a part-time employee.” We’re so glad to have you as part of our administrative staff, Melani!
Rob is the Sexton here at University Presbyterian Church. He’s responsible for helping to clean, set up and generally maintain the church property and building. Dennis Dallke, UPC’s Property Manager, oversees all aspects of the property, and as a team, Rob and Dennis ensure the building is always in suitable condition for staff, Sunday mornings, events and meetings. The flexibility of Rob’s position has enabled him to have other jobs to provide for his family. When asked what he likes most about working at UPC, Rob said, “Dennis and I want the church to be a place where people come together to serve, learn and teach for a better community. It’s been a pleasure watching families grow and seeing how the church becomes an important part of their daily lives. As members of the UPC staff, we’re here to serve and to make your church an enjoyable place to be, no matter how or when you choose to use it.”
Dennis Dallke is UPC’s Property Manager. He takes care of the church building so members never have to worry about the facilities when coming to worship, meetings, events or other gatherings. Dennis couldn’t do his job alone. Together with Rob Kurtz, UPC’s Sexton, Dennis keeps the building and facilities running smoothly and looking great. Through his diverse career, Dennis has gained the skills and knowledge he uses to serve the congregation at UPC. He’s worked in hospitals, in a hotel, for a railroad, as a freelance potter and in churches, including Methodist and Episcopal churches and a Jewish synagogue. He grew up in the church in Southern California and is the son of a Methodist minister who exemplified service. After school, Dennis moved to Oregon where he married his first wife. He also served in a hospital as a conscientious objector instead of going to Vietnam. He then moved to Alaska to work on the White Pass and Yukon Railway. After their daughter was born, Dennis and his family moved to Florida and eventually to a small community outside Elkin, North Carolina. After the death of his first wife, he felt called back to the church. He married his wife Becky in 1987 and began working at UPC in 1992. Becky and Dennis have two sons together, and now, they have a young granddaughter whom they adore. Dennis would like to share with you why he enjoys working at UPC: “In my time here, you all have helped me learn that the church is all about the people. The building is secondary and wouldn’t be of any use if you weren’t here. It’s really been a pleasure to be working with and serving all of you these last 25 years. I have found that I would rather work in the Lord’s house than anywhere else.”
University Presbyterian Church
P. O. Box 509
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-0509
University Presbyterian Church
110 Henderson Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Telephone (919) 929-2102
FAX (919) 929-7669
Church office email: firstname.lastname@example.org