Fun Facts About Your Appalachian District!
By: Lindsay Hampton
The Western NC Conference is starting a new series where we highlight each district and their staff, clergy, laity, churches, and events.
This week's district is the Appalachian District!
Follow along this week as we post more fun facts, events, and highlights! Make sure to like/follow @appalachianumc on Facebook and visit their website at appalachiandistrict.org.
Here are some fun facts about the District Office Staff, the District as a whole, & more!
1. This district consists of 105 churches with the District Office in Wilkesboro, NC.
2. The staff consists of Rev. Lory Beth Huffman (DS), Rev. Gloria Hughes (District Vitality Associate), and Katie Hutton (District Administrator).
3. They each have last names that start with "HU" so they often refer to themselves as "The Hu's"!
4. The office was previously a doctor's office.
5. The office is currently under construction undergoing renovations with an expected end date of mid-August.
6. They often have deer, turkeys, hawks, etc. right outside their office windows!
Get to know your Appalachian District Staff!
Katie Hutton has been the District Administrator since January 2015. She is married to Stacy Martin and together they have a blended family of Gracie (20 a jr. at APP state), Brody (Senior at East Wilkes High School), Ellie (Jr at Elkin High School) and their combined Beckley who is 3.5 going on 10! Haha! They have 3 dogs (Gracie’s Lab-Bailey, Brody’s Lab-Mae, Ellie’s Chihuahua-Boo) and 15 Chickens. She supplies the district office staff with eggs �� Their family lives in Roaring River (so small it doesn’t have a stop light but you will get stopped by a train or tractor). She loves to spend time with her family. You will see them cheering from the sidelines on Friday nights at the East Wilkes Football games for Brody or on the sidelines of soccer games for Beckley on Saturday mornings this fall and t-ball games this summer on Tuesday/Thursdays! They are one BUSY family! Katie enjoys doing crafts in her free time (what free time?) and traveling. She has 21 states left to visit! She loves her job at the district office and hosting many online and in-person events and looks forward to many years to come serving the Lord in an administrative role as she does see that is her true calling.
Rev. Gloria Hughes is married to Chris Hughes. Between them, they have 5 children, 6 grands, and 2 rescued pup dogs; Cheyenne and Boone. They live in West Jefferson where they enjoy the gifts of the beautiful Appalachian mountains, cooler temps, the New River, and the glorious opportunities to be in nature whenever possible. Their grands call their home, “Mimi and Pops Mountain” and genuinely believe the entire mountain belongs to them – please don’t tell them otherwise.
Gloria enjoys each day of being a part of the Appalachian District Ministry Team of "the 3 Hu’s" as well as the collaborative ministry amongst our gifted laity and clergy making each day joy-filled. She serves as the Appalachian District Vitality Associate and thank God for the opportunity to partner in ministry with all the churches within the district, each unique and beautiful.
Rev. Lory Beth Huffman is the District Superintendent of the Appalachian District. She is a United Methodist first off because she was born into The United Methodist Church as a multiple generational Methodist from all sides of her family. She has remained a UM because she loves the theology of the church. Two things in particular have become important to her faith journey:
One is John Wesley's Personal Piety and Social Holiness. Jesus would call this love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. I call it a vertical faith (Love God) and a horizontal faith (love neighbor). It takes both in balance to be a faithful disciple. Rev. Lory Beth loves God better by loving her neighbor better.
The second aspect of being a United Methodist that she loves is the Wesleyan Quadrilateral as a way of understanding how God works in our world. While Scripture is primary as a theological source, it's not the only way we understand God. Our tradition teaches us about God - what our for-fathers and for-mothers got right and what they got wrong. We also learn from experience - the Holy Spirit can take moments in our lives and bring Scripture to life through our interactions with one another. And the final leg of the quadrilateral is reason - God expects us to use our brains and weave all of these sources together to understand a bigger picture of God interacting in our lives and world. She loves that we are expected to be thinking Christians and have tools at hand to help us all be theologians.
Rev. Lory Beth loves being a DS in the Appalachian District because she thinks it's the most beautiful district in the WNCC! As she travels around the district, she loves crossing the mountains, smelling the Christmas Tree Farms across Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, & Watauga Counties and counting cows in the rural foothills of Iredell and Alexander Counties. Most importantly, she loves the work of resourcing and empowering both pastors and church leaders as they work to faithfully serve the Kingdom in their communities. To help problem solve, dream God-sized ideas, and affirm creative and innovative ministry is life-giving and causes her to be more hopeful that when all of the dust settles in our current denominational shifting, the UMC will continue faithfully making disciples and transforming their communities. As a DS, Rev. Lory Beth has the privilege of seeing the bigger picture of the Kingdom work taking place across the Appalachian District.
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