Pastors & Staff
I’m Tom. I have been a pastor for a Long Time. I’m in my ninth year at Hawthorne Lane. I play bass in a garage band, Charlie the Pig—only the latest in a long line of decent bands with above-average and marketable names. I love good bourbon, mild cigars, and conversation about sports, theology, movies and the few books I have read. People learn VERY quickly I am deaf as a post (no, not related to rock and roll); but when I can hear, I listen pretty well. Well, sometimes. I have two great adult kids, two amazing granddaughters. I like to fish, to watercolor…oh, oh, oh… and especially to cook! Nothing fancy yet, but I do enjoy prattling about the kitchen (you should see my really cool new knives!). And writing sermons. And books. And the Braves. And, GO VOLS!!!
Pastor Tom has his Bachelors degree from Belmont College, 1976. Master of Divinity, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1980 and Doctor of Ministry, Emory University, 1995. He is an Ordained Elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.He is the author of 6 books.
- The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ: The Messiah
- Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn: A Lenten Journey with Jesus
- A House of Prayer: The Power of Praying in Community
- Praying for Dear Life
- Every Disciples Journey: Following Jesus to a God-Focused Faith
- Sacred Days: Following Jesus through the Christian Year
Direct Line: 980-859-2851
I am a worship leader, musician, wife, mother and most importantly a follower of Jesus. When I was 8 years old my mother asked if I wanted to take piano lessons since there was a 2 for 1 deal! I have been in love with music and the arts ever since. I learned to play lots of instruments but my real passion is enabling people to learn to play and sing and find their God calling. Whats funny is that I never sung anything growing up – I wouldn’t be caught dead singing in public let alone even in my own shower! God has amazing ways to guide us into the beautiful creations we were meant to be. When I’m not leading worship I love to bake pastries for the staff at HLUMC, run and bike, play fetch with my sweet border collie, Lucy and do various home repair projects. My husband Clay and I together have 4 children, Eleana, Kaden, Zane and Nina.
Director of Children’s Ministries
Direct Line: 980-859-2852
I love my job!!! I am passionate about bringing children closer to God and creating a strong spiritual foundation in their lives. We try to offer the children opportunities and experiences that they will not get anywhere else. I truly believe that children who experience Christian Education at any age will be provided the tools they need to have a joyful and blessed life. I am also a wife and mother of 2. I love to sing, run and eat good food that others make, I cannot cook at all…ask my kids!
Ms. Lizanne has a Bachelors in Music from Appalachian State University
I love traveling and trying out foreign cuisines so much so that I have lived in three countries and two continents. Even with all that travel I still call Rwanda, Burundi and Shelby, North Carolina, my homes. I speak 5 different language. During high school, in Massachusetts, I played varsity soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball and cross-country. I also was once a radio host in Wisconsin that played African Christian music while touching on Spirituality and inequality topics. I am passionate about social justice issues, playing video games, dangerous sports/adventures, Korean food, Kdrama, Kpop, writing poetry, doing photography and watching videos of pandas on Youtube
Miss O (we call her Miss O here at HLUMC) has a degree in Religion, Sociology and Leadership from Ripon College – Wisconsin, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary – Chicago and a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Garner Webb, in NC.
I have been the Preschool Director at Hawthorne Lane UMC since the start of the program Fall 2018. While teaching Sunday School at HLUMC with my husband and after having our third child, I decided to take time off from 12 years working in the corporate world to spend time with my children. During that time, I agreed to do research on starting a preschool program at HLUMC. I’m grateful for the continued support from church members and preschool families for the growth of this ministry. I enjoy working with children, reading books, exercising, most of all spending time with my family, husband Rick and our daughters Ashlyn, Ellie and Carly.
Ms. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of NC at Charlotte
Direct Line: 980-859-2849
I am Jeanene Rushing. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Brian, since 1994. We have been blessed with three beautiful, smart and talented daughters, who are all grown now, who in turn, blessed us with three granddaughters, who all know me as Mae Mae!! My family means everything to me. Spending time with my daughters and granddaughters is a tremendous blessing and probably my most favorite hobby. I enjoy reading, listening to music, and singing along!! Another one of my favorite hobbies is taking in a baseball game, preferably a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. Thanks to my baseball loving husband, who is well-versed in the game, I have developed a love for it also over the years and this has become something that we both enjoy greatly doing together.
Jeanene has a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Direct Line: 980-859-2853