Jennifer Copeland, Executive Director
Jennifer's Latest Articles:
- Lament for Las Vegas
- Increased Energy Rates, Decreased Funds for Missions
- Regaining our Faith in Democracy
- The Infection in Our Democracy
- In the Face of Violence
Steve Ford, Volunteer Program Associate
Steve Ford has lived in North Carolina since 1981, when he moved here to join The News & Observer of Raleigh. He retired in late 2012 as the paper’s editorial page editor. In that job, he supervised the opinion pages, wrote editorials and wrote a weekly column.
Steve grew up in Northern Virginia. He graduated from Yale University and served in the U.S. Army as a photographer, including a year in Vietnam. He and his wife, Jeanne, who is an attorney, live in Cary and have three grown sons. He began volunteer work with the N.C. Council of Churches in the spring of 2013, helping to keep an eye on state government and writing about public policy issues.
In his spare time, Steve enjoys outdoor activities, taking road trips (back roads, especially) and playing the piano. He and Jeanne are members of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Cary.
Steve's Latest Articles:
- Defenders of Rights; Defenders of Privilege
- Post-Charlottesville: What Trump Said, and When
- Marching Orders for New Maps
- Rights Advocacy At Risk
- Uh-Oh – It’s the Legislature, Again
Andrew Hudgins, Program Associate for Operations
Andrew was born and raised in Virginia and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from James Madison University. That also happens to be where he met his wife, Kelly. He attended seminary in northern Virginia and worked at a church, primarily with the youth, before they moved to Houston, Texas as full-time volunteers with a Christian missions organization called Mission Year. While there, they lived in solidarity with their neighbors in an under-resourced community learning what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
When the program ended in July, 2016, they moved to Raleigh wanting to be a little closer to home and desiring to set down roots in a place for awhile. He enjoys reading, watching sports (primarily football and baseball), and playing board games.
Andrew's Latest Articles:
- Welcome Yolanda
- Time to Take a Knee
- Welcome Lindsay
- Welcome Katie
- Response to the Violence in Charlottesville
Sandy Irving, Volunteer Program Associate
Sandy Irving has been involved with the Council’s work for many years. She currently serves as the Volunteer for Health Care, worker’s rights and other federal issues. Sandy is an activist grandmother of six, a Presbyterian, and a retired research associate from the Biostatistics Department of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health. She currently serves on the board of NC Peace Action.
Sandy's Latest Articles:
- Do We Treat Workers as We Would Treat Jesus?
- North Carolina Passes a Decade with No Executions
- Payday Lending is Opposite Biblical Teaching
- Safety is Imperative to Worker Justice
- Reform Medicaid by Expanding It
Collins Kilburn, Executive Director Emeritus
Collins Kilburn served as Executive Director of the Council for 20 years prior to his retirement in 2000. He was named Executive Director Emeritus by the Council’s Executive Board in December, 2005.
A native of Memphis, Collins graduated from Memphis State College and received his M.Div. from Duke. He is an ordained United Church of Christ minister, a member of Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, and a watch care member of Olin Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.
Kilburn’s career with the Council spanned a total of 30 years, 10 of that as Director of Social Ministries, which included representing the Council on legislative issues. He wrote and performed folk songs linked to social justice issues of the time, such as “Take It All Off,” aimed at the repeal of the food tax and “Do You Have Room for a Little Boom Boom?” related to the MX missile.
Since retiring, he has found more time for tennis and for leading adult education programs focused on spiritual giants of our time. He and his wife, Martha Hamilton, share four children and seven grandchildren.
David LaMotte, Consultant for Peace
David LaMotte is a graduate of James Madison University, where he became passionate about mediation and alternative conflict resolution in the late eighties and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where he completed a master’s degree in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution. David is a member of the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting, but also has one foot in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
David's Latest Articles:
- David LaMotte: Celebrating Dad’s Day By Taking Mine to Jail
- Abraham Jam Poets Announced
- Abraham Jam Web Site Launched
- Interfaith Event – Your Opinion?
- Wild Goose Festival a Great Success
Shannon Axtell Martin, Regional Coordinator, Partners in Health and Wholeness
Shannon has moved and traveled most of her life. After growing up back and forth between California, Connecticut and Saudi Arabia she finally settled in North Carolina. She came to the Council in 2012 after completing a yearlong Residency as a Chaplain at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Shannon graduated with her Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University School of Divinity and her B.A. in Religion and Philosophy (with a Concentration in Outdoor Ministries) from Catawba College. Shannon’s love for interesting, diverse, and healthy foods was instilled in her from an early age, and she has become increasingly interested in the intersections of justice, food, health, and faith. She is excited to join with congregations to work to increase the faithful health of the communities in and around the Triad. Shannon loves working with people, laughing, cooking, being outside, painting, and her husband Robert.
Shannon Axtell's Latest Articles:
- Partners in Health and Wholeness Announces Photography Contest
- Apply for PHW Collaborative by May 31 to be Eligible for June Mini-Grant
- Shine a Light on Postpartum Depression This Mother’s Day
- PHW Launches Collaborative; Certify for 2017
- 2017 Lenten Guide — Ash Wednesday
Michelle Peedin, Program Associate for PHW and NCIPL
Michelle was born and raised in North Carolina. She pursued higher education at UNC Chapel Hill where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies with a concentration in Economics, Trade, and Development. Identifying as half Peruvian, Michelle‘s area of study was Latin America. She credits her time studying in Ireland and volunteering in Costa Rica for how she was shaped both personally and professionally during her undergraduate time. She continued her education as a Fellow at Student Action with Farmworkers, a non-profit organization in Durham, NC. She has been a staff member of the NC Council of Churches since February of 2017. Michelle spends half of her time at the Council working for NC Interfaith Power & Light and half with Partners in Health and Wholeness. She strives to listen and empower all communities of NC through social and environmental justice. She enjoys traveling, singing, dancing, and sushi.
Michelle's Latest Articles:
- Join Us for the PHW Faith and Health Summit
- Wood Pellet Plant Would Be Environmental Injustice
- 2017 Lenten Guide — Second Sunday
- Ethical Debates on Industrial Agriculture
Chris Pernell, Program Coordinator, Partners in Health and Wholeness
Chris is a native Kentuckian and the daughter of missionary parents who served Eastern Kentucky for more than 40 years. She relocated to North Carolina in 1981 and has come to call NC home.
Prior to coming to the Council, she spent several years in corporate America with The Diabetes Treatment Center and Honeywell International before joining a faith-based, nonprofit medical clinic serving the uninsured and under-served of Franklin County. Chris is excited to be a part of the Council’s PHW program where she can utilize her background in health care and service. She and her husband, Joey, have two children, a cat, and a surprisingly friendly bearded dragon.
In her free time, Chris enjoys reading, basketball, and traveling, especially to the mountains.
Chris's Latest Articles:
- The Affordable Care Act Today
- With Prescription Medication, Verify Before You Buy
- 2017 Lenten Guide — Third Sunday
- Partners in Health and Wholeness Grant Cycle Opens January 6
- Advent Guide: Christmas Eve and Day
Jessica Stokes, Regional Coordinator, Partners in Health and Wholeness
Jessica Stokes is the PHW Regional Coordinator for Eastern North Carolina. She joins the Council with a deep love for North Carolina, returning home after directing an interfaith nonprofit in Washington State. Jessica has lived throughout NC, studying and working in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, and the Outer Banks. Jessica earned her Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University and BS in Clinical Psychology from Averett University. She is an ordained Baptist minister. Jessica’s background includes non-profit work, hospital chaplaincy, higher education, and the local church. Her convictions are rooted in experiences that range from ministry in Appalachia and a coastal psychiatric hospital to international travel. Jessica’s work for PHW will include a focus on mental health education and advocacy. Jessica is based in Greenville and connects with congregations and partners in the Eastern part of the state.
Jessica's Latest Articles:
- Faith and Health Summit Spotlight: Mental Health Workshops
- Suicide Awareness Prevention: Shalom Instead of Silence
- Emotional and Mental Health Storm Preparation
- 2017 Lenten Guide — First Sunday
- Advent Guide: Baptism of the Lord, January 8
Josie Walker, Regional Coordinator, Partners in Health and Wholeness
Josie Walker is a native of Eastern North Carolina, but has lived in different parts of the United States, as well as southern Germany. Traveling has exposed her to unique outlooks on life that help her keep an open mind in new situations. Josie has always had a passion for self-sufficiency, which led her to pursue a degree in Urban and Community Horticulture at North Carolina A&T State University. She feels that people should be able to have access to fresh, healthy food and growing it themselves should be a right, not a privilege. Prior to becoming a horticulturalist, Josie had a variety of jobs like teaching English as a Second Language, working as a barista, teaching high school mathematics, and coordinating volunteers for an after-school program. Working in different sectors not only gave her pragmatic experience that can be used to help others, but it has also given her an opportunity to make contacts in many different industries, which will benefit the PHW congregations.
Jennie Belle, Director, Immigration and Farmworkers
Jennie was born and raised in Savannah, GA. She moved to Texas for her undergraduate education at Rice University, during which time she studied in Mexico, Peru and Argentina and participated in service projects in Central America. After graduation she moved to Spain for a year to teach English. Jennie then came to North Carolina for a dual degree M.Div./M.S.W. graduate program at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill where her work focused on advocating for farmworkers and organizing churches for social justice. Jennie is excited to use these skills in her role at the Council of Churches as she works to help improve conditions for immigrants and farmworkers in the state.
Jennie lives in Durham with her husband and attends that city’s First Presbyterian Church. In her free time she enjoys dancing, traveling, trying new restaurants, and walking her dogs.
Jennie's Latest Articles:
- Blessed Are the Dreamers
- Praying for a Total Eclipse of the Heart
- Opposing the RAISE Act
- Supporting Young Immigrants’ Dreams
- The President’s New Policies are Bad for Cuba and the Church
Nicole Johnson, Regional Coordinator, Partners in Health and Wholeness
Nicole has had the wonderful opportunity of living in different countries, having been born in Belize City, and currently calling North Carolina home. She is deeply convicted in her belief that faithful congregations can meet the environmental, social and ethical challenges of the 21st century in practical and tangible ways. Her travels and beliefs have motivated her to seek ways of merging faith, health, sustainability, justice and ethics. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be working with congregations and individuals in creating and supporting more healthy communities. Nicole is a graduate of Salem College and of the dual degree MDiv/MA program in sustainability at Wake Forest University. Her favorite things to do include traveling, hiking, growing things, trying new recipes, and spending time with her husband and two boys. Nicole began her time with PHW as an intern and has remained as the regional coordinator based in Asheville.
Nicole's Latest Articles:
- 2017 Lenten Guide — Maundy Thursday
- Advent Guide: Epiphany, January 6
- Health, Wholeness, and Climate Change?
- Untapped Resources: A Treasure for One Congregation and Their Community
Susannah Tuttle, Director, NC Interfaith Power & Light
Susannah Tuttle joined the staff in August 2011. She received a Masters of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. In 2004 Susannah was hired as UNC Chapel Hill’s first Sustainability Research Associate and went on to co-initiate Trace Collaborative, LLC a consulting firm specializing in the implementation of sustainability within the design and construction industry. Susannah currently serves on Interfaith Power & Light’s national Board of Directors, We Own It’s Board of Trustees, Duke Energy’s NC Eastern Advisory Council, and UNC School of Law’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3) Advisory Board.
Susannah's Latest Articles:
- Don’t let Trump Repeal and Replace our Clean Power Plan
- What should the Peoples Climate Movement do next?
- Praying in Opposition to Fracked Gas Pipelines
- Hurricanes and Interfaith Power & Light
- Gov. Cooper Speaks Up for Protecting NC’s Coast
Lindsay Barth, Office Manager
Lindsay is a native of Western North Carolina. She continued her education at UNC Chapel Hill where she studied Communications and Hispanic Literature and Culture. While at UNC, Lindsay realized her passion for public health education through working with a student-led nonprofit called GlobeMed. She also had the opportunity to intern with Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, a crisis management nonprofit in her hometown community.
Lindsay is excited to begin working with the NC Council of Churches on its many programs and events. When she’s not at work, you can catch her playing the flute, reading, exploring new places, and watching UNC basketball.
Yolanda Santiago-Correa, Duke Divinity School Intern
Yolanda Michelle Santiago-Correa is a 3rd year student pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Duke Divinity School. A drummer, liturgical dancer and singer, she has always sought to include the arts in the theological. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She is a member of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. After graduating in May 2018, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Religion and Culture, particularly focusing on Afro-Latinidad and how the experience of colorism, racism, and the denial of African descent in the Latinx community shapes theology, life, and identity. In the process, she will seek ordination in the United Methodist Church.