Bishop Carter Announces Conference Staff Changes

April 25, 2022

Bishop Carter and the Cabinet announce conference staffing changes, effective July 1, 2022. “I am grateful for the gifts and leadership of Renee Easter, Caroline Wood and Jae Lee. In a season of adaptation to change, the conference is seeking to align God’s resources in partnership with local churches and their needs in serving our communities,” Bishop Carter said.
Rev. Renee Easter will transition to a different role on the conference staff as she becomes the Yadkin Valley District Vitality Associate. Since 2017, she has served in extension ministry as part of the conference’s Church Legacy Initiative, helping to guide churches to assess vitality and leading them through next steps so that they may provide a legacy which will help to make disciples in this and future generations.  Previously, she served Bethlehem UMC in Waxhaw, Greer’s Chapel UMC in Linwood, Linwood UMC in Linwood, Gamewell UMC in Lenoir, and Tyro UMC in Lexington. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Pfeiffer University and a Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary. Renee served as an SLI ABIDE Coach in the WNCC and Northern Alabama Conferences, working to strengthen rural churches' vitality and ministry for several years and now volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for foster children. She is married to Gary and has three children, three grandchildren, and a spoiled dog. 
Caroline Wood will transition to a different role on the conference staff as she becomes the Catawba Valley District Vitality Associate. In addition, she’ll continue to focus on equipping laity through the Board of Laity, Lay Servant Ministry, and the Certified Lay Minister training. Most recently, she has served as the conference Director of Missional Engagement and Connectional Ministries. Before joining the Conference staff in 2008, Caroline had a career in international missions with Global Teams where she served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. Caroline is a member of Salem UMC, Bostic. She is a lifelong United Methodist and has served in many leadership roles. A few of her passions include laity engagement and transformation, group and individual spiritual direction, and art as a spiritual practice. She views her role as a spiritual director as curating an environment for transformation. Caroline loves to laugh, especially with her husband Gary of almost 36 years, their three grown children, five grandchildren, and four dogs.  
Rev. Dr. Hyung Jae Lee will take over the conference Connectional Ministries role, in addition to his current appointment as District Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District where he has served since 2021. Since the Smoky Mountain District is our Conference’s smallest by number of churches, the decision was made to align these two roles. Previously, Jae was pastor of Calvary UMC, Wesley UMC and Thrift UMC, all in Charlotte, and associate pastor at First UMC in Brevard. Jae completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. He earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a Doctor of Ministry at Duke Divinity School. Jae is married to Kim, a registered pharmacist (PharmD) in North and South Carolinas. Jae and Kim have three children, Jung Woo, Joanna, and James.