Pastor & Staff

Sunday Services

Drive-In service weekly at 10:30am (weather permitting)

Pastor & Staff

Meet our staff. To know them is to love them. 

Rev. Laura Dunlap

Pastor

     Walnut Grove UMC welcomed Rev. Laura Dunlap as its new pastor as of July 1, 2020.  Rev. Dunlap has been in ministry for over 14 years with experience in a variety of settings.  She is excited to be serving Walnut Grove UMC!  Pastor Laura looks forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit will continue to move at Walnut Grove.  She enjoys preaching and equipping laity to serve in ministry.  In her spare time, Pastor Laura enjoys spending time with family, seeing what new adventures are on her horizon, and trying out new restaurants for takeout.

Email:  ldunlap@nccumc.com

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     Walnut Grove UMC welcomed Rev. Laura Dunlap as its new pastor as of July 1, 2020.  Rev. Dunlap has been in ministry for over 14 years with experience in a variety of settings.  She is excited to be serving Walnut Grove UMC!  Pastor Laura looks forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit will continue to move at Walnut Grove.  She enjoys preaching and equipping laity to serve in ministry.  In her spare time, Pastor Laura enjoys spending time with family, seeing what new adventures are on her horizon, and trying out new restaurants for takeout.

Email:  ldunlap@nccumc.com

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Amanda Dodson

Director of Christian Formation

Amanda has been the Director of Christian Formation since January 2017. She is an Orange County native who grew up on her family's farm in the Orange Grove community. Her favorite part of the job is working with the youth. Witnessing teenagers worship Christ and gain an understanding of the Bible is worth every sleepless lock-in and prank-filled trip. During her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her 2 nieces and 3 nephews. Due to the fact that Amanda tragically killed an aloe plant from neglect several years ago, she's chosen not to have children or pets at this time.  

Email:  walnutgrovemethodist@gmail.com

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Amanda has been the Director of Christian Formation since January 2017. She is an Orange County native who grew up on her family's farm in the Orange Grove community. Her favorite part of the job is working with the youth. Witnessing teenagers worship Christ and gain an understanding of the Bible is worth every sleepless lock-in and prank-filled trip. During her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her 2 nieces and 3 nephews. Due to the fact that Amanda tragically killed an aloe plant from neglect several years ago, she's chosen not to have children or pets at this time.  

Email:  walnutgrovemethodist@gmail.com

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Leigh McFalls

Director of Music

Leigh has served as the Music Director at Walnut Grove UMC since June 2001.  She provides leadership to the Sanctuary Choir (adults), Hallelujah Choir (children) and various instrumental groups. She also leads the music for the  Contemporary Worship Service which includes the Praise Band and Singers. Originally from the foothills of North Carolina, she has served in several capacities such as organist, accompanist, choir director and pianist for a campground ministry (complete with a snake). As a former elementary school nurse in the Orange County Schools, Leigh's favorite part of the job is working with children. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, swimming and taking care of her 2 grandsons as well as her 2 dogs, Petey and Daisy.

Email:  leighmcfalls@gmail.com

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Leigh has served as the Music Director at Walnut Grove UMC since June 2001.  She provides leadership to the Sanctuary Choir (adults), Hallelujah Choir (children) and various instrumental groups. She also leads the music for the  Contemporary Worship Service which includes the Praise Band and Singers. Originally from the foothills of North Carolina, she has served in several capacities such as organist, accompanist, choir director and pianist for a campground ministry (complete with a snake). As a former elementary school nurse in the Orange County Schools, Leigh's favorite part of the job is working with children. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, swimming and taking care of her 2 grandsons as well as her 2 dogs, Petey and Daisy.

Email:  leighmcfalls@gmail.com

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Kim Combs

Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper

Kim is the newest member of the staff, joining the WGUMC family in January of 2021.

She is an Orange County native, having grown up in Hillsborough.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. She most enjoys time with her 2 children and 2 grandchildren. 

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Kim is the newest member of the staff, joining the WGUMC family in January of 2021.

She is an Orange County native, having grown up in Hillsborough.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. She most enjoys time with her 2 children and 2 grandchildren. 

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Lorraine Parker

Organist

Lorraine has served faithfully at Walnut Grove UMC as the organist since 1975. During a portion of this time, she also served as choir director and accompanist.  She is a former middle school music teacher and program coordinator for at-risk children in the local school system. In addition to her musical duties at church, Lorraine is currently a local realtor. One of her spiritual gifts is that of  evangelism and she loves to be a witness to all she meets. She grew up on the family farm in Hurdle Mills near the church with her 3 brothers, one of which is her twin. She has one son, James.    

Email:  lorraineparker53@yahoo.com

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Lorraine has served faithfully at Walnut Grove UMC as the organist since 1975. During a portion of this time, she also served as choir director and accompanist.  She is a former middle school music teacher and program coordinator for at-risk children in the local school system. In addition to her musical duties at church, Lorraine is currently a local realtor. One of her spiritual gifts is that of  evangelism and she loves to be a witness to all she meets. She grew up on the family farm in Hurdle Mills near the church with her 3 brothers, one of which is her twin. She has one son, James.    

Email:  lorraineparker53@yahoo.com

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Natalie Day

Duke Intern

Natalie  is from Houston, Texas, but has been living in Durham since 2018 to complete her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. Natalie has her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering but ran straight to Divinity School when God called her to pursue vocational ministry! 

Since being at Duke, she has learned a lot from her studies, but has grown the most through her friendships and internship experiences. She has worked at a church plant, a non-profit, and as a chaplain intern at UNC hospital. She’s excited to work alongside and get to know the community at Walnut Grove over the next year. If she’s not at church or school, you’ll likely find Natalie baking, watering her plants, or reading a novel on her patio.

Email:  Natalie.Day@duke.edu

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Natalie  is from Houston, Texas, but has been living in Durham since 2018 to complete her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School. Natalie has her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering but ran straight to Divinity School when God called her to pursue vocational ministry! 

Since being at Duke, she has learned a lot from her studies, but has grown the most through her friendships and internship experiences. She has worked at a church plant, a non-profit, and as a chaplain intern at UNC hospital. She’s excited to work alongside and get to know the community at Walnut Grove over the next year. If she’s not at church or school, you’ll likely find Natalie baking, watering her plants, or reading a novel on her patio.

Email:  Natalie.Day@duke.edu

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Kyle MacDonald,

Duke Intern

Kyle was born and raised just outside Louisville, Kentucky, but moved to Durham in 2016 with his wife, Becca, so that she could earn her Master of Divinity. Kyle had no such plans for himself, but the Lord had other ideas. And so, in the fall of 2018, he started at Duke Divinity for the same degree as his wife. He is currently seeking ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church, specifically in the North Carolina Annual Conference.

Kyle and Becca have a two-year-old goldendoodle named Charlie who loves taking them on walks and playing with them whenever they’re free. Kyle and Becca also like to make music together, play video games, and do puzzles in their free time.


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Kyle was born and raised just outside Louisville, Kentucky, but moved to Durham in 2016 with his wife, Becca, so that she could earn her Master of Divinity. Kyle had no such plans for himself, but the Lord had other ideas. And so, in the fall of 2018, he started at Duke Divinity for the same degree as his wife. He is currently seeking ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church, specifically in the North Carolina Annual Conference.

Kyle and Becca have a two-year-old goldendoodle named Charlie who loves taking them on walks and playing with them whenever they’re free. Kyle and Becca also like to make music together, play video games, and do puzzles in their free time.


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