Committed to our mission and ready to serve our congregation and community with joy and passion, here is a brief introduction to our professional ministry staff.
Rennie began ministering at Acton in July 2015. A graduate of Duke Divinity School (2011), he is also married to a UM pastor, Lauren. Together with their dog, Toby, they enjoy exploring the wilds of the Asheville city and mountains. In his free time, Rennie also likes to hang with friends and family, woodwork, sample the local cuisine, hike, and Netflix. When it comes to ministry, he is most passionate about vibrant worship, connecting the church with the world through service and relationship, creatively reaching people with the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, and growing in discipleship as a follower of Christ’s life example. If you want to talk about faith, life, or the work of God, Rennie is ready and willing to engage you.
Helen has been all over the world. Born and raised in Meadville, Pennsylvania, she attended Clarion State Teachers College (now Clarion State University) obtaining a Bachelor’s in Library Science. After working in a high school library in Pennsylvania for one year, Helen traveled to Argentina where she served as the librarian of the Facultad Evangelica de Teologia in Buenos Aires. Shortly after returning to the U.S. in 1965, she and husband Ray finally settled in Latrobe, PA, where they lived happily until Ray’s passing. From there Helen moved to California to begin work as the Office Secretary at West Anahelm UMC. Eventually “retiring,” Helen worked her way to Western NC where she has served Acton UMC for several years.
Todd began his music ministry at the age of 11 when his home church needed an organist. He went on to direct music and youth ministries at several churches before coming to Acton UMC to serve as Director of Music in 1994. Todd enjoys working with musicians of varying ages and abilities to prepare music for worship. He appreciates choral anthems in a variety of styles and classic hymns in an inspiring worship space. He is grateful to be part of a congregation where a typical Sunday includes a vibrant worship service, a thoughtful theological discussion, and at least one colorful Appalachian story. Todd also works as a farmer and real estate developer.
Machelle has served as organist of Acton UMC since 1994. The daughter of a church musician, she was an enthusiastic participant in church music from an early age. Studying both piano and organ, she enjoys the range of musical expression that both instruments offer in worship services. Most of her favorite organ works are Baroque. She is especially fond of Bach. Sacred choral music awes and inspires her. Machelle holds a BA in English from Mars Hill College and an MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Western Carolina University. She puts these skills to use as a pediatric speech therapist at Mission Hospital.
Andi came to work at Acton Preschool in the fall of 2003. A child at heart, she loves connecting with the children and helping them learn through play. As preschool director, she wants to see each child grow into the person God created them to be. Andi desires for them to not only learn and grow intellectually but most important, spiritually. Supported by a wonderful staff, she is proud to share her love of children with the teachers and families at Acton Preschool. Married to Jason, an electrician, she and their two children love to camp and explore God's creation in addition to antiquing, reading historical fiction, kayaking, hiking, biking, and enjoying the beach.