David Anderson, Jr.
Community Ministry Coordinator
When I made the decision in 2009 to give up my position as a news writer and enroll in seminary, I knew God was calling me to take a risk and set out on a new leg of my faith journey, but I had no idea where that path might lead. I am thrilled that it has brought me to Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.
I was baptized into church life early on, as my father served as a Baptist minister for most of my childhood and teenage years. We moved several times, and I was able to experience different ways of doing church in communities scattered across North and South Carolina. After graduating from Appalachian State University, I pursued a career in the newspaper industry, seeing it as a means to serve others while satisfying my own desire for knowledge. As a community journalist, I had the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life. I loved meeting people – listening to their stories, learning about their gifts, understanding their struggles and sharing in their dreams. I learned the freeing power of helping people find a voice of their own. In the process of listening to other people’s stories, I began to hear God speaking into my own life. I told my wife Kristen that I was considering going to seminary. With her encouragement, I enrolled at Campbell Divinity School, where I completed my Master of Divinity with a focus in biblical studies and urban/social ministries.
Pullen has a long history of working for social justice – following Jesus’ example of caring for the poor, the hurting and the disenfranchised. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue living out that mission with you.
When I am not at church, I enjoy reading with Kristen, pushing our son Samuel in his swing, making pictures, hiking in the woods or walking in the city. I enjoy drinking good coffee all the time, especially when shared with friends.
Laura Michelle Foley
Minister with Youth and their Families
“Laughter is carbonated holiness.”
There is something to be said for a family of four to have three ordained members. I think that something might be that we needed to get out more! Church and being in church and talking about church have always been second nature for me. Therefore the decision to attend divinity school after studying Art and Outdoor Education at Appalachian State University seemed logical. Perhaps by what some might call the mighty hand of God, or maybe the Universe’s providential persuasion, depending on your theological flavor palette, I managed to fall into and even graduate from a divinity school that felt tailor made. Wake Forest taught me the value of academia, the blessing of community, and the beauty of church. With that in mind, I could not be more thrilled to be a part of the Pullen family and to be doing justice, loving kindness, walking humbly, and surviving lock-in insomnia alongside the youth.
I joined Pullen for good in 1987. I remember walking into the church holding Audrey’s hand (she was 18 months) saying that if we didn’t like it, we didn’t have to stay. When we got to the toddler’s area Donna Steely was waiting in the rocker. The decision was made.
Because I am a musician I have floated in and out of Pullen. I have “played around” at various churches in the area while still trying to be involved. Currently I am playing on Sunday evenings at Fairmont United Methodist. I have served as interim organist at Pullen and as a substitute before being hired in 2009. But music is not all I do. I work full-time at the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education as the Finance Manager. I have worked at Poe since 2005.
I have two children, Audrey and David, who are pretty much grown, and Oliver (the bird).
I was born in Chapel Hill, NC, but grew up in Fuquay-Varina where I graduated from high school. I have four children–two sons and two daughters—and I am a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Past work experiences include being a manager in a large commercial maintenance company, but I really enjoy working at Pullen where I am able to get to know the people I serve.
Nancy E. Petty
If we want to have all our bases covered before we act, nothing exciting will happen. But if we dare to take a few crazy risks, because God asks us to do so, many doors, which we didn’t even know existed, will be open to us.
I often think about this quote when I am asked to reflect on my life journey, especially my journey with Pullen Church. While the risks I have taken in life have not always been intentional, I have been fortunate that most of them have opened exciting doors for me.
When I arrived at Pullen in 1992 I was 28 years old—a young minister ready to change the church. Over time, I learned that that process would work the other way—Pullen church would change me. While my time as a youth minister, first at Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh (1985-88) and then at St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte (1989-92), had somewhat prepared me for the challenges of ministry, nothing could have really prepared me for the exciting and meaningful journey I have had with the folks of Pullen church.
I started my ministry at Pullen as Minister of Christian Education, which gave me the opportunity to engage my love of learning and supporting others as they nurtured their spiritual life. My seminary training at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary prepared me well for this endeavor. As the needs of Pullen began to change in the mid-1990s the church decided to change my job title and responsibilities. I became the Associate Pastor with increased responsibilities in the areas of pastoral care and organizational/institutional support. Realizing that I could benefit from continuing education as I moved deeper into my new role, I began the Doctorate of Ministry program through McCormick Theological Seminary—a parish-based doctorate program. The work I did through that program opened new doors for my ministry. It was during that time that I realized that parish ministry was truly my calling and what gave my life meaning and purpose.
Now, after nineteen years and yet another change in my job title and responsibilities, I continue my journey with you as your senior pastor. I do so with excitement and hope that the risks we continue to take together will further God’s love and grace in the world.
Larry E. Schultz
Minister of Music
Since 2001 I have enjoyed the opportunity of equipping Pullen to provide an expansive church music ministry that engages all age groups in meaningful experiences through congregational, choral, and instrumental music.
At an early age I discovered an interest in and developed a focus for work in music ministry. The Baptist congregations of my childhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nurtured that interest and led to my attending the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts at Oklahoma Baptist University. After the happy surprise of winning the high school division of a composition contest sponsored by Oklahoma Baptists, I decided to study music theory and composition at OBU and apply the skills of composition to my ministry in the church.
My wife, Cindy, and I met in the church music school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, where we both received the Master of Church Music degree in 1989. After graduation and our wedding in the seminary chapel, we left Louisville to serve together in music ministry at the First Baptist Churches of Walterboro, and later, Greenwood, South Carolina. Our two children, Ryan and Kelly, complete our family and bring us much joy.
Minister with Children and their Families
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be a minister. I grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where I spent most of my time reading, playing in the school band and taking dance classes. I attended college at Marshall University (Go Herd!). My initial plans were to be a teacher, but by the time I graduated I was not sure what I wanted to do. After college, I was a full-time volunteer in Hamilton, Ontario for 1-1/2 years leading programs for inner-city children at a Mennonite outreach center and church. When I finished my term of service, I thought I would never do anything like that again. Never say never! Two years later, I surprised myself more than my family when I decided to go to seminary.
Even during my time at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond I shunned the idea of working in a church. My desire to work with children did become clear during that time, and I served my seminary internship in a Jewish preschool. I met my husband, Nathan, at seminary, and about a year after we were married, I surprised myself (again, more than him) when I announced that I wanted to start looking for a job working with children in a church. That job search led us to Raleigh and Pullen. I have been on staff since October 2000.
At Pullen, I am constantly learning something new and being challenged to look at things from different perspectives. I love getting to play and learn with the children of Pullen. They are the coolest kids!
The Pullen community is an integral part of my family’s life. My husband, Nathan jokes that as the son of a Baptist preacher he is well prepared to be a minister’s “wife.” He loves that Pullen is a place where lay people are fully involved in the ministries of the church.
In 2004 when our son, Henry, was born, the Pullen family surrounded Nathan and me with love and support and welcomed Henry with open arms. Henry truly feels at home here (maybe, a little too much).
When I am not at Pullen, I still spend most of my time reading (and dancing around the living room with Henry on occasion). My family loves to cook together (fajitas and homemade pizza are our specialties), go camping, work in our garden, have cook-outs, and watch movies on the shed in our backyard.
Being in full-time church ministry is my third career. For nearly ten years, serving as staff to Pullen’s outreach ministries and adult education was my ideal job. My current role as Associate Pastor allows me to be involved in a wide range of ministries that I find both challenging and fulfilling.
In high school, I felt called to be a teacher and coach, so I earned two degrees in physical education, one from UNC-Greensboro and one from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Following that path, I came to Raleigh in 1978 to serve as assistant women’s volleyball coach at N.C. State. I enjoyed the work, but exposure to poverty while on a church work team in rural Appalachia sent me down another path.
After pursuing a law degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, I began my second career as a legal aid lawyer in downtown Raleigh in 1986, providing civil legal assistance to low income residents. I understood my flavor of lawyering to be ministry and stayed with it for eleven years. During that time, I was a student as my clients taught me what it’s like to be poor in our community. I also became a member of Pullen Church during this period because of its commitment to social justice and its willingness to wrestle with hard issues.
As the years passed, I felt increasingly drawn to full-time ministry where I could be explicit about the connection between my concern for the poor and my faith. So at the age of 44, my career path took another turn that led me to Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. I relished my seminary experience as I studied in a diverse environment, worked in an inner-city church, and experienced the nation’s capital in all its shame and glory.
I returned to Raleigh and Pullen after graduation from Wesley, and was hired by the church in 2001. Since then, I have loved being a part of this wonderful faith community and our gifted staff. Because Pullen people are deeply committed to worship, learning, and ministry beyond our walls, the job keeps me very busy. But I am inspired daily by the faithfulness of our staff and congregation as we try to join our efforts with what God is doing to bring justice and peace to our world.
I share my life with Felicia and Lizzy, a college student, and our two cats, Brie the Magnificent and Annie the Bold. In my spare time, I like to garden, read, and return to the South Carolina beaches where my childhood heart is at home.