Joy Harrison Rust, Organist, has been a keyboardist almost her whole life. She grew up on a farm in northwestern Ohio, where she started playing the organ and piano for Sunday services as a 6th grader at her Methodist church. She was a piano and music education major at Capital University (ELCA) in Columbus, Ohio. She served as the accompanist for the Men’s Glee Club, which is where she met her husband. Her church music experience includes work at churches in 4 states with duties ranging from organist, pianist, children and adult choir director, handbell director as well as director of music.  Joy has been on staff as high school accompanist during Lutheran Music Week at Lutheridge (Asheville).  She was most recently served at Alamance Lutheran Church (2015-18) and Macedonia Lutheran Church (2005-2014). Joy retired in June 2018 after 40 successful years of K-12 music teaching in Ohio, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina. She taught 18 years in ABSS, in the Graham zone (elementary and middle schools) and most recently at Elon Elementary.  She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, AIG license for gifted education, and National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music (ages 3-12). She has given presentations and served on numerous committees at the local, county and state level as an advocate for students in music as well as technology. In June 2018 Joy and a colleague along with 5 students from Elon Elementary presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) in Chicago. Joy and her husband, Stephen (an ELCA pastor), reside in Burlington. Their 3 children (who live in Sweden, Birmingham and Burlington), spouses and six grandchildren (3 boys and 3 girls ranging in age from 0-7) make for a fun family gathering! Joy can be reached at

Priscilla Cotton, Nursery Attendant

Dr. Stephen A. Futrell, Chancel Choir Director, (DMA, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music) is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Elon University in North Carolina, where he teaches conducting, directs the auditioned Elon Camerata, teaches contemporary commercial studio vocal style and technique, and is director of élan, a select a cappella, vocal jazz, commercial/studio ensemble. He currently serves as Artistic Director/Conductor for Voices – The Chapel Hill Chorus, conducting two ensembles: Voices, a 130-member chorus; and Cantari, a chamber choir of 30-36 members. The Mission of Voices is to foster, sustain, and share the art and joy of choral music and to enrich the Triangle community through excellent performances of music from diverse cultures and historical periods. With the Baton Rouge Symphony, as former Chorus Master and Staff Conductor, Dr. Futrell conducted annual Messiah concerts, Christmas Pops concerts, as well as their summer concert series. He made his European conducting debut in June 2002, appearing with the Sinfonia Dell’Arte di Arezzo at the Teatro Petraca, Arezzo, Italy. Then in 2006, he served as conductor for the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall, as a guest conductor at New York’s Lincoln Center, as well as appearing as Associate Conductor/Chorus Master for the Aegean Verdi Festival on the island of Lesvos, Greece. Among Futrell’s publications, his most significant are his modern performance editions of three Classical motets by Anna Amalia von Sachsen (1739-1807), published and available through Fred Bock Music Publishers. As a recording artist, and former music producer for DreamWorks Animation SKG International, with more than three decades of experience, Dr. Futrell has performed in live and studio settings as a vocalist, trumpeter, writer, arranger, and producer throughout the metropolitan areas of Kansas City, Chicago, Orlando, Nashville and the Gulf Coast region. Stephen has led church choirs in Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist, and has been involved with even Catholic and Orthodox music programs! Stephen can be reached by email at

Delinda Anderson, ​Custodian

Claire Jurs, Bell Choirs Director, Claire just recently moved to Greensboro, NC and is in her first year of directing the Apprentice Choir with the Greensboro Youth Chorus. She holds a BM in music education from Furman University and a MM in vocal performance from Cleveland Institute of Music. As a certified Kodály instructor, Claire has taught general music in public and private school settings in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. She has also served on the faculties of Allegheny College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College as an adjunct voice professor and has maintained a private voice studio for many years. She started and directed a community children’s choir in Meadville, PA which evolved from early childhood music classes that she created and led since 2015. Additionally, she has a wealth of experience directing choirs of all ages in churches and is currently serving as the Children’s Music and Handbell Director for Elon Community Church. Throughout all of her many teaching experiences, Claire remains committed to sharing the joy of music while creating a welcoming, supportive, and inspired community of singers. Outside of directing and teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Doug Jurs (piano professor at Elon University) and their two children. Claire can be reached by email at

​​Mrs. Lori Watson, Finance Director and CLC Ministries Coordinator, (x. 104) grew up in North Carolina and graduated from Western Alamance High School. She attended Guilford Technical Community College and runs her own real estate group, Star Real Estate Company. Lori currently lives in Burlington and has three daughters and a grandson. Her oldest, Whitley (Chandler) is a lawyer residing in Texas, and mother to Jonas; Her second, Erika (Mason) lives locally working as a school librarian; and her youngest, Katy, is living in Florida. Lori can be reached by e-mail at: or you can call/text her direct line at 336-510-7439.

Rev. Sharon Wheeler, Associate Pastor, (x. 103) grew up in Burlington, North Carolina and graduated from Williams High School in 1974. She attended Appalachian State University for two and a half years and completed her B.A. degree in Elementary Education at Elon College in 1978. Sharon taught in the Pitt County school system during 1979-1980. Upon her return to Burlington in 1980, she was employed by Biomedical Reference Laboratories, now known as Laboratory Corporation of America where she served in various positions for over 30 years before retiring. In 2004, she became part of the first class of The Pastoral Leadership Development Program of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ, where she completed her studies and graduated in June, 2007. She is a life long member of First Christian United Church of Christ where she has served as Chair of the Board of Christian Education, Youth Ministries Coordinator, and Intern Pastor for Christian Education. Sharon was ordained on April 13, 2008 at Elon Community Church. She has three grown sons, Ron Ingalls, Scott Ingalls (who is married to Morgan), and Keith Ingalls, and two granddaughters, Grier and Olive. Sharon can be reached by e-mail at:, or you can call/text her direct line at 336-370-7964.

Elon Community Church UCC Staff Photos and Biographies

Rev. Randy Orwig, Senior Pastor, (x. 102) was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Randy earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of Toledo in 1982. He felt a call to ministry when he was 19 years old, so after graduation, pursued a Master of Divinity degree at Methodist Theological School in Ohio graduating in 1986. As a United Methodist pastor, Randy served 4 congregations: Trilby UMC in Toledo 1983 (student associate), Hyatts UMC from 1984-1986 (student pastor), First UMC Greenville, Ohio 1986-1988, and LaPointe UMC in Port Clinton, Ohio from 1988-1992. At that point Randy left the United Methodist and moved to Virginia Beach, VA as a United Church of Christ pastor to plant and establish a new church for the Southern Conference. During the next 16 years, Tidewater UCC was started, a building built, and a family was raised. Randy and Bev moved to St. Louis, MO to serve for a short time at Immanuel UCC. Randy and Bev have two children; Ryan and Lyndsay. Lyndsay is a graduate of University of Virginia and resides in Winston Salem, NC. Ryan resides in Elon with his wife. They have one son, Brayden, and one daughter, Brielle. Bev is a retired school teacher. Randy can be reached by e- mail at:  ​, or you can call/text his direct line at 336-365-9077.