Our Staff

Reverend Varonica M. Livingston

Reverend Varonica M. Livingston

Pastor, pastor@newcreationumcnc.org

A lifelong Methodist, Varonica grew up in Red Springs, a small town in southeastern North Carolina. She began serving at New Creation as pastor in June 2020 after serving as the pastor of Millers Chapel for nine years and Beauty Spot for eight years. Varonica completed the Advanced Course of Study at Duke Divinity in 2011. She has a background in education, county government, and leadership development. 
During a transitional time in her life, Varonica heard and obeyed God’s call to preach the gospel. She credits her grandmother, the late Velma B. Morton, for laying a solid spiritual foundation in her life. She has a passion for youth, children, preaching/teaching, and believes the church should be an extension of God’s love to all people. Varonica shares her life journey with her husband, Lee, and enjoys watching Family Feud, Andy Griffith reruns, listening to jazz music, and spending time with their grandchildren.
Melanie Blom

Melanie Blom

Administrative Assistant, secretary@newcreationumcnc.org

Melanie Blom is a native of Liverpool, New York, but has called Raleigh home since 2014. She graduated with a BFA from SUNY Purchase College and later received a Certificate of Business Office Administration. She has combined her art and design experience with her administration knowledge in her role as Administrative Assistant for New Creation UMC. In this position, she manages day-to-day operations, including congregant communications, management support, scheduling meetings, social media, and designing publications for church events and services. She enjoys spending time with her family, walking at local parks, Qigong, yoga, painting, and reading.

 

Rufus French

Rufus French

Custodian

Rufus French has been employed by New Creation UMC since August 2019 as the custodian. Rufus attended Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC, majoring in chemistry. He worked 17 years in the laboratory as a chemical processor with Fiber and Armageddon Chemical. Rufus retired from First Baptist Church in Durham after 22 1/2 years as the lead custodian and building engineer. He is married to Rhonda Powell French. His favorite pastimes are listening to music and doing yard work. 

Yo Gidney

Yo Gidney

Nursery Attendant

Yo Gidney was born in Columbus, Ohio to Charles and Dee Gidney. She has one sister, Natalie. Her first experience with church was with Mentor Community Church of God (MCCG) in Mentor, Ohio. By age 10, she was volunteering in the church nursery at MCCG. She was the neighborhood “sitter” in both Ohio and in North Carolina. She realized her passion with children in high school when she took an elective course called early childhood education.  In college, she studied and majored in child development and family relations. Upon graduation from UNC-Greensboro, she began working for Durham Public Schools as an Instructional Assistant. Currently, she works as a Behavior Support Specialist for the school system, which includes providing direct services to students whose behaviors impede access to general instruction. Her parents have been members of New Creation since inception and knew a great connection for her with church would be working in the nursery.  Her hobbies include board games, hiking, weight training, walking, and hanging out with kids. She also enjoys playing 4-square and table tennis.

Theous Jones

Theous Jones

Musician

Theous Jones is a freelance drummer, educator, and small business operator based in Durham. He is an alumni of North Carolina Central University, graduating in 2010 with a bachelors of music. His leisure activities include rollerblading, working on cars, hitting the gym, and much more.

 

Lance Scott, Jr.

Lance Scott, Jr.

Musician

Lance Scott, Jr. was born and raised in Durham. His love for music began at a very early age; at five, he started taking piano lessons. His mother and father would always play gospel and oldies in the home, which became the very foundation of the type of musician he is today. Lance played trombone before picking up the bass guitar. He was intrigued by bassists, such as Verdine White and Aaron Mills, and ultimately accepted the bass guitar as a major part of his musical journey. Lance received a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from North Carolina Central University. It was there where he met Lenora Helm Hammonds, and would later join the Lenora Zenzalai Quartet. With this group, he has performed in Johannesburg, South Africa and in Denarau, Fiji. Lance is credited on over a dozen albums ranging from straight ahead to hip hop. In 2021, he received two Grammy nominations for his work on Pierce and Nneena Freelon’s albums in the categories of Best Children’s Music and Best Vocal Jazz. Above all, Lance is most proud of being a husband and father of 4 beautiful daughters.

Teerayut Teerasupaluck

Teerayut Teerasupaluck

Intern

Teerasupaluck, Teerayut, or Tee. Before joining New Creation UMC in 2021 and serving with the church through the field education program, Tee relocated from Thailand to pursue a Master of Divinity at Duke Divinity School. With his previous work experience and training in business consulting, public policy, and nonprofit management in Asia and the United States, Tee is discerning and pursuing a call to ministry in a pastoral vocation and/or bi-vocation. Tee finds New Creation UMC his safe and supportive home church, with a wonderful pastor, ordained ministers, laity, congregation, and office staff while spending his formative years in Durham.

 

Ernest Turner

Ernest Turner

Music Director

Award-winning and Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Ernest Turner’s professional career has spanned 20 years, and has included performances and recordings with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop music, including Delfeayo Marsalis, John Legend, Raphael Saadiq, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. His latest album, My Americana (2019), offers an understated “ode to black American music” rooted in an innovative reimagination of pieces by Stevie Wonder, Fats Waller, and others, alongside original compositions. In addition to an active performance schedule, he has conducted numerous music clinics and educational performances, and was a former faculty member at East Carolina University. Turner placed second in the 2019 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, and his trio was selected as the winner of the 2019 DCJazzPrix Competition. 

M.M. University of New Orleans (2005)
B.M. Loyola University New Orleans (2003)

 

Yazmin Washington

Yazmin Washington

Nursery Attendant

Yazmin Washington is from Lumberton, NC and currently resides in Raleigh, NC. Yazmin graduated in 2016 from North Carolina Central University with her Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration with a Concentration in Recreational Therapy. She is currently enrolled at Walden University obtaining her Master of Social Work with Children and Families. Yazmin is currently a Behavioral Therapist working with children with Autism. She began working at New Creation United Methodist Church in 2019 as a Nursery Attendant. When Yazmin is not busy with work and school she enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, trying new restaurants and going to the beach.

Robert Weeks

Robert Weeks

Technology Lead

Robert Weeks has been a member of New Creation since 2018. He has a wife, Nicolette Weeks, and a two-year-old child, Hamilton. He may have been born in Virginia, but he was raised in many places, including Germany, where he first got a taste of electronics. He graduated from Jones County High School in 2000 and eventually served his country during a pair of deployments, once as a United States Army soldier and the other as a North Carolina National Guardsman. He currently lives in Durham, where from his previous churches and now New Creation, he has slowly learned and developed his technical skills from Microsoft Office to video editing and video switching. As our Technology Lead, he aims to help create the best version of New Creation possible.