Pastor & Staff

Rev. Dr. John Frye
Interim Pastor

John currently resides in Mooresville, with his wife, Celia, and will commute back and forth from his home while occasionally spending a night or two in the Gingerbread House, behind the Museum. He began his ministry with us on February 2, 2021.

John attended Davidson and earned an English degree, followed by Union Theological Seminary fifteen years later for his Masters of Divinity and finally Columbia Theological Seminary to obtain his doctorate. Combining that educational background with seventeen years of experience serving as pastor and head of staff  (including First Presbyterian in Gastonia) gives Rev. Frye the credentials we needed for our interim pastor position. John highly values pastoral care, education, and mission, which dovetails perfectly with our established ministries at Waldensian.

Rita Spivey
Office Manager

Rita Spivey joined WPC’s staff in June of 1996 and has just celebrated 24 years with WPC.  Rita loves interacting with church members and that feeling is reciprocated.  She sets aside her time and makes each and every one of us feel welcomed even when we intrude into her busy day.  Although modest and humble by nature, Rita is THE person you go to if you have a problem.  We are indeed blessed to have Rita as our friend and office manager.

Jason Adams
Director of Christian Education

Jason Adams has 18 years of experience working with students through Christian ministry programs and federally funded educational and workforce programs.  He has been at WPC since December of 2014. Jason writes:  My time at WPC has been wonderful! I am amazed by the continued love, grace and support I receive from the congregation. This fellowship has taught me about the rich value of traditional congregations. During my time here I have developed a better understanding of how a church can maintain its heritage as it moves into new decades. I love interacting with students! Helping students realize the power and relevance of the Bible always excites me. Encouraging a student to wrestle with God’s plan for their future is my wheelhouse!  WPC is a church for children. The children here truly understand that this church is their church. Our children enjoy the benefits of having an extremely talented and educated volunteer base. A large portion of our congregation has or had careers in education. This church will continue its tradition of serving students and has a bright future because of the youth it celebrates.   What can we add to that?

Laurie Nicholson
Director of Music

Laurie Nicholson has served as a church musician (director or organist) for a total of 17 years.   She came to Waldensian in August of 2018, partly drawn here by her own Waldensian heritage. When asked what attracted her to WPC she states “the strength of the music program throughout the church’s history,  the genuine welcome of those I first met here, the commitment to include children and youth in worship and the continued respect for the history of Waldensians through use of the French hymns .” 

Laurie states that the “social aspects of gathering and caring about one another as we learn, and "practice" makes the musical offering to God in worship or concerts even more meaningful to me”.  The vision Laurie has in nurturing a new generation of young musicians at WPC will undoubtedly come about because of her excellent leadership and, in fact, has already started through the increasing attendance of both youth and adults at the Montreat Worship and Music Conference.    We are blessed to have Laurie as our Music Director at WPC; for her energy, her leadership and her love that enriches an already solid program.

Carla Sperry

Carla Sperry has been playing the organ in churches since she was 21 years old. She has a BMus from Houghton College and an MMus. from Westminster Choir school.  Carla feels a calling to serve the Lord by helping congregations and choirs to lift their voices in praise. WPC and the Valdese community benefit immensely by her beautiful and elegant playing of our Letourneau organ.  Paired with Laurie, we simply could not ask for a better for our choirs.

Coron Jordan
Kitchen Coordinator

Coron has been our Kitchen Coordinator since May 2019 after teaching in the Burke County Public Schools for almost 30 years.  Coron is married to her husband Jake with two daughters attending state universities; one a senior at UNCG, the other is a junior at NCA&T.   After retiring from the school system, Coron wanted to remain active by seeking a part time job.  Luckily, she landed at WPC.  Although Coron states we have given her a new community to enjoy and have added to her Christian outlook, our congregation members are the ones who have actually benefited the most.  We all have enjoyed her delicious meals and recipes, her giving ways and, of course, her warm smile rules the day.

Kela Cannon
Financial Secretary

Kela has been with us a little over a year since the summer of 2019.  WPC is a very diverse church financially.  We support mission ministries both local and international, we have over 15 committees whose books need to be kept in order, countless line items on in the budget, the constant inflow and outflow of pledges and funds that need to be accurately accounted for and the list goes on.   The requirements of our financial secretary are exacting and precise.  We cannot think of anyone better in this position than Kela for whom we are grateful to have with us.

Fred Smith
Facilities Manager

When asked for this bio, Fred Smith mistakenly put down he was born on New Year’s Day 1449.  That’s right, Fred is 571 years old!  I suppose all that experience he has gathered over the last 500+ years makes him the good “jack of all trades” that he is today.    In all seriousness, Fred has served this church and it’s needs faithfully and well for the last ten years.   Fred is married to his wife Denise for 39 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren.