The Staff at Piedmont UU Church
Staff members can be reached by calling the church office at 704-510-0008.
Ali helps in the office with various communication and administrative tasks, and helps coordinate Religious Education classes. Ali is a nerd who loves scifi and fantasy, cosplay, Ren Faires, and traveling to various summer festivals.
Rev. Mary Frances Comer
Minister of Congregational Care
Rev. Mary Frances served for two years as a community minister and spiritual director before joining Piedmont as our Minister of Congregational Care in 2016. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA (2012), and has also taken courses at Starr King School for the Ministry. She received a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Winthrop University. She also holds master’s degrees in psychology and sociology and has a background in education (teaching behavioral and social sciences). Her experience in ministry includes field education during seminary as a Pastoral Care Associate and discussion group facilitator for the Church of the Larger Fellowship as well as six months of Clinical Pastoral Education spent as a chaplain at Carolina’s Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center. She completed her ministerial internship at Eno River UU Fellowship in Durham, NC, where she was ordained in September of 2014.
Deb Davelka has been with Piedmont UU Church since 2007. As congregational administrator, she manages the church office and is responsible for a variety of administrative tasks including: facilities care, church calendar, assistance to the treasurer, and communications.
Deb’s background is in communication design. Not long before she began working with Piedmont UU Church, she moved with family to the Charlotte area. She enjoys travel and the new experiences it brings. Deb is a member of the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators.
Dr. Carl DuPont
Dr. DuPont is multi-talented performer, singer, teacher and researcher, who currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Voice at UNC Charlotte. He is a graduate of Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, and University of Miami and has performed in North America, Europe, The Middle East, and Asia. Dr. DuPont was the Music Director at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami and is an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network. Previously, he has held positions as minister of music for congregations in his hometown of Daytona Beach, Florida in addition to Martinsville, Indiana, and is committed to the transformative power of worship through music.
Director of Religious Education
Jolena James-Szanton joined the Piedmont UU Church staff in August 2016 as its Director of Children and Youth Religious Education. She works with the families, staff, and Lifespan Religious Teams to create a safe and nurturing space for the children and youth’s spiritual development and journey. Jolena also oversees the nurseries in each gathering.
Rev. Justin Martin
Salisbury Gathering Site Minister
In August 2013, Justin joined Piedmont UU Church. His ministry with Piedmont UU includes providing engaging worship services, service opportunities and adult education classes. Justin has always been attracted to justice issues related to food. He has lived and worked in a soup kitchen in The Bronx, helped with a community garden in Washington DC and led churches to make meals for the people of Occupy DC. He is also a lover of baseball and jazz, but is good at neither. He and his wife have three children.