Rev. Karen Easter-Bayne

Lead pastor

As Lead Pastor, Karen serves as the spiritual leader of FUMC, preaching and teaching the good news of Jesus Christ, leading the staff team and laity to carry out the mission of the church and share Christ’s love with the community and world, connecting with new people, and providing pastoral care.  Pastor Karen grew up in Asheville.  She earned a BA degree and Master of Regional Planning degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her MDiv degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.  She and her husband Nick Bayne have three adult children and two grandchildren.  Pastor Karen enjoys hearing people’s stories and sharing how our own stories are part of God’s great story of love and hope.

Rev. kelli mullinix

Associate Pastor

Kelli is the Director of Contemporary Worship and Children's Choirs. She is a native of Asheville and studied Vocal Performance at Mars Hill University and Sacred Music at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. As a cancer survivor, she believes God is calling her to live out Matthew 25:35-37 especially “I was sick and you took care of me.”  Kelli is a candidate for ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church and is a full-time Master of Divinity student at Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC.  She and her husband Jeff Messer live in Asheville with their children Nicholas, Latham, and Mary Grace. They like to play board games and four-square, go to concerts and plays, and eat ice-cream. 

Rev. Jeremy Morris

Associate Pastor   

Jeremy and his wife Laura moved to Hendersonville from Black Mountain, NC. Jeremy attended Pfeiffer University where he majored in Religion and received his M.Div from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has a passion for forming disciples of Jesus Christ and equipping the church to serve the needs of a diverse and changing society.  Jeremy and Laura have one daughter, Juniper. In their free time can be found riding mountain bikes, running the occasional ultra marathon, or walking their rescue dogs, Blake and Colby around the mountains of WNC.

Contact:   828-435-3530

michael stephen brannon  

director of music 

Beginning a career at the age of eight may seem strange, but that is just what Michael did. He started piano at the age of seven.  Took his first organ lesson at the age of eight, played in church the following Sunday and has been on the bench for 50 years. As the Director of Music, he coordinates the music for traditional Sunday worship services and other special worship services, including leadership and direction of choral and instrumental groups. Michael also provides organ, piano or harpsichord accompaniments for traditional Sunday worship services. He and his husband, Dennis live in Tryon with their two Shih Tzu's Ming-Ho and Manchu. Skylar, their granddaughter, is the love of their life.


director of youth ministry

Drew, his wife Morgan, and their 3-year-old daughter Rylee live in Hendersonville. Drew found his passion for ministry with children, youth, college students and young adults when he joined the staff of Camp Tekoa. He worked for Tekoa for a number of years and is still involved as a volunteer. Drew also brings his experience as the Director of Youth Ministry at Etowah UMC, and he brings business, organizational and supervisory experience in his work as Guest Services Manager at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. 

brianne Deusa

Director of Children's Ministry

As the Children’s Ministry Director, Brianne implements curriculum and programming from birth through fifth grade, while mainly overseeing nursery through preschool programming. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Science from Messiah University. Since 2015 she has worked in Children’s Ministry and church administration in the Wesleyan Church in both the Chesapeake and Northeast Districts. Brianne moved with her husband, Tyler, and their two-year old son, Pierce, to Hendersonville in 2021. 

lauren tilden

director of elementary ministry

As Director of Elementary Ministry, Lauren implements curriculum and programs for Kindergarteners through 5th graders. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Education in Community Counseling. Previously, Lauren worked at Birmingham-Southern College in the Counseling Center and at the YWCA of Central Alabama in their domestic violence shelter. Lauren moved with her husband, Grey, to Hendersonville in 2010. They have two children, Emme and Bennett.


Robert Doughty

Church Administrator

As Church Administrator, Bob provides managerial support to all church staff and committee functions.  He grew up in eastern North Carolina and graduated from University of South Florida with a BA in Business. Bob worked 34 years at Hughes Aircraft and Raytheon, directing various Radar Systems Manufacturing Operations.  He is an avid golfer and sports fan of UNC and UGA sports teams.  Bob is married to Maggi a retired executive assistant at Raytheon.  They are the proud parents of three Siamese rescue cats. 

caroline easley

financial Manager

Caroline's manages all general accounting functions, including contributions;  payroll-related transactions, cash receipts, accounts payable transactions, and coordinating bank transactions.  She is a graduate of East Henderson HS and Mississippi State University.  Caroline has one daughter.  She enjoys all sports, but closely follows MSU baseball, football and basketball.

Tyler Deusa

Communications Director

Tyler and his family come to us after pastoring a church in New Jersey.  He has been serving in ministry along his wife since they met at a kids camp (as counselors not campers). Tyler loves spending time with his family hiking, biking, and playing board games. He and his wife Brianne have a son named Pierce who insist that he is Batman, and a dog  Avie who also insist on being batman. Outside of his family and playing Batman Tyler finds joy in helping others share what God is doing through them and their ministries. 


sherry lindsey

Administrative assistant

As a administrative assistant, Sherry does everything from the church calendar, working on copiers and phonelines to setting up for most events held at FUMC.  Sherry has been on staff for thirteen years.  She was born in Asheville and has lived in Henderson County her whole life.  She is a breast cancer survivor and participates in local awareness events.  She is married to Keith and has one son,  Caleb.  


Erin Holbert

Director Weekday School

Erin Holbert is our Weekday School Director.  Erin has been with FUMC for three years.  Erin started at the Weekday School as a Lead Teacher.  Erin believes that children are a gift from God.  Her mission is to give children the support to create their own relationship with Him.  Erin has worked in early childhood for over 20 years. She has worked in both the classroom and in administration.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Birth Through Kindergarten with a teaching license from Western Carolina.  She has an Early Childhood Degree from Blue Ridge Community College with an Early Childhood Administration level III and Graduate work from Western Carolina University in Special Education.  Erin lives with her husband Josh and three children Cameron, Brooke and Quinn in Mills River and enjoys the small-town friendly feel of Hendersonville.  

Sadie Crum

Assistant Director Weekday school

Sadie Crum is our Weekday School Assistant Director and Lead Teacher.  Sadie has been with FUMC for five years as the Lead Teacher in the Transitional Kindergarten Class.  Sadie was born in South Florida, but moved to the mountains of WNC in 2010.  She has always known that she wanted a career in education.  In addition to being a camp counselor and camp director, she has worked as a teacher in public, charter, and private schools both in Florida and North Carolina in kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University, and obtained a teaching license in Florida and North Carolina.  In addition, Sadie furthered her studies in order to be certified to teach ESL learners kindergarten through 12th grade.   Sadie lives in Hendersonville with her husband, Sage, and her three children Lily, Josie, and Roddy.  She loves being outside, getting her hands in the dirt, and having adventures with her family.  

john watterson

facility manager

John oversees the Facilities Department and is responsible for all housekeeping, building maintenance and landscaping.  Following his service in the US Air Force, John spent the last 30 years as the Plant Operations Director for several retirement communities and a 9 – 12th grade boarding school.  A former rock climbing instructor, John now prefers  ballroom dancing and cruiser bike riding with his wife Janice.  They have two beautiful adult daughters, Desiree and Candis.  

Dennis Sanders

Facilities Assistant

Dennis assists the Facility Manger with landscaping and maintenance. After retiring as an Optician, Dennis enjoys singing and ringing with the FUMC Music Ministry and his hobbies which are dancing and gardening. Dennis is married to Michael Brannon and has four grown children and a beautiful granddaughter, Skylar.


wayne monroe  

security officer

Wayne is responsible for the general security of all people in the church.  He provides security through entry control, observation, security camera monitoring and periodic security rounds of church property.  Wayne retired from the Burke County Transportation Authority as Fleet Manager and Scheduling Supervisor.  He has an Associates Degree in Business Administration.  He currently resides in Old Fort with his wife, Susan.  They have three adult children and two grandchildren.  Wayne enjoys NASCAR racing and major league baseball.

coe raulerson  

food service manager

As the Food Service Manager, Colleen oversees all kitchen operations including creating menus and preparing meals for the Gathering and Meals4Missions as well as many other special events.  Colleen hails from San Diego, California and now lives in Hendersonville with her husband, Michael and son, Finn. She enjoys kayaking, off-grid living, homesteading, and playing in the forest where they live with their two dogs. 


jason gardner

audio/visual technician

Jason's responsibilities include, directing, overseeing, planning, implementing and running the various equipment involved in our worship service audio and video production. He has worked professionally in the audio/visual field for 25+ years and has the necessary experience and expertise to run this important department effectively. Born and raised near Atlanta, GA, Jason obtained a degree in the applied science of electronics.   He has lived in Hendersonville since 1999.  Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter, as well as 'tinkering' with anything that needs to be repaired.