Staff


Lead Pastor: Alan Felton

I am a lifelong Methodist and North Carolinian. I grew up in Edgecombe and Wilson Counties. My wife, Joan and I are parents of two children, John Alan and Virginia Gayle, as well as two beloved dogs, Lucy and Freedom.

 

I earned a B.A. in History (concentrations in American and African history) along with a minor in political science from North Carolina Wesleyan College. I received my M. Div from Duke University’s Divinity School along with a specialization certificate in gender studies there. I served in the U.S. Army infantry and almost fifteen years in politics and government before entering the ministry, including nine years at the North Carolina Department of Revenue where I held various positions including planning director, assistant secretary for tax compliance, assistant secretary for business systems, and chief of change management and organizational development.

 

I am the vice-president of the Methodist Federation for Social Action’s NC chapter and a member of the advisory board for Duke Divinity School's Center for Reconciliation.I worked for a number of years as a teaching assistant at DDS in the areas of worship and sacraments, preaching, Methodist polity and doctrine, Christian ethics, Black Church studies, and leadership. I continue to teach various courses as a part of Duke’s Course of Study Program. I am a member of the NC Conference’s Connectional Table, a body charged with helping to cast and implement the Conference’s vision for healthy congregations and effective leaders in every place making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and I serve as chair of the Table’s Diversity and Racial Equity Team. I also serve as chair of the Capital District’s Racial Healing Team and the District’s Buildings and Relocation Committee. I sit on the board of directors for the NC Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation. I serve on the Governing Board of the NC Council of Churches and chair its Legislative Advocacy Committee. I am currently pursuing my doctor of ministry degree in the area of preaching and homiletics at Hood Theological Seminary. 

 

I have a passion for the proclamation of the Gospel, making disciples through personal and organizational development, and working for justice in the world particularly at the intersections of race and gender. Before arriving at Benson Memorial, I served as pastor in churches in Oxford, Henderson, Apex, Durham, and Raleigh North Carolina.

 

Click here to email Pastor Alan.


Minister of Families and Outreach: Cortney Babajtis

 

Cortney joined the staff at Benson Memorial UMC in July 2011, and began her ministry career in 2003. She earned her degree in Christian Education and Psychology at Bluefield College, a small private school in Virginia. From there, she attended Divinity School at Gardner-Webb where she graduated with a Masters of Divinity degree.

 

Cortney served first as Youth Minister at Benson Memorial UMC, then after a few months, took on the job of Children’s Minister as well. That role led to leadership of all of the missions under her current role as Minister of Families and Outreach. 

 

She brings many passions to her position, such as:

  • The love of getting to know people and loving them and supporting them through whatever journey they find themselves in;
  • Finding needs in our community and putting a team of people together to be helpers and fulfill that need;
  • Having authentic conversations about the Bible/Jesus/God/faith;
  • Knowing that there’s always room for laughter; and
  • The love of teaching and learning from others.

A native of Pearisburg, Virginia, Cortney found the greatest sense of belonging and love and support at her home church and youth group. Ever since then, she knew she wanted to be a part of and help offer that for other people. Cortney's hope is that our community would experience Benson Memorial UMC to be a place of love and support—a church that loves, helps, and seeks justice for their neighbors, no matter what the differences may be and despite whether they ever come and sit in our pews. 

 

When Cortney is not at work, she enjoys doing anything outdoors with her family, watching horror movies and reality tv with her husband, listening to music, laughing, and just taking it all in.

 

Click here to email Cortney.


Director of Communications and Office Administration: Martha Johnston

Martha is originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she attended the University of Arkansas, majoring in graphic design. She enjoyed a career as a graphic/multimedia artist and web developer, working for Tyson Foods, Inc., in their corporate marketing group, and also for Alice Walton at her boutique investment firm, Llama Company.

 

Martha also has several years of experience working as a publications director for University Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, and Ventures for Christ in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

 

She and her husband, Kerry, moved to Cary, NC, in 2014 and attend church at First United Methodist Church where Kerry is the Director of Music Ministries. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren who live across the U.S. Martha enjoys spending her time enjoying wildlife, being creative, knitting, and hanging out with her husband and two fluffy keeshonds, Rala and Rumo.

 

Click here to email Martha.


Business Manager: Elizabeth Moy

Elizabeth Moy serves as Business Manager for Benson Memorial UMC and joined our staff in February of 2019. She is married to her husband, Steven, and they have two children, Olivia and Isaac.

 

Elizabeth grew up in Cary, NC, and earned her B.S. in Accounting from Elon University in Elon, NC, and her Master's in Accounting from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  She has a range of accounting experience as a bookkeeper with an accounting services provider in Enterprise, Alabama; as an auditor and tax preparer for a national CPA firm in Raleigh, NC; as an independent contractor in IT audit with a Managed Service Provider; and as the Business Manager here at BMUMC.

 

When Elizabeth is not at work, she can be found chasing her kids around a playground, in a class at burn boot camp, or cooking and baking in the kitchen at home. Elizabeth is a friendly face in our office who loves to use her organizational skills, affinity for numbers, and fondness for working with others to serve the Lord in this administrative role with our church staff.

 

Click here to email Elizabeth.


Director of Music Ministries and Organist: Anthony Roncolato

Anthony is from Emmaus, Pennsylvania, where he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree at Penn State in 2019. While completing his undergraduate degree, Anthony served as an accompanist and section leader in the University Choir and participated in the Concert Choir. It was on a 2017 Concert Choir tour where Anthony first visited the Triangle, visiting UNC and performing in Raleigh before traveling to Georgia for more performances.

 

After graduation, he moved to Colorado to accept a position teaching K–2 music and science before deciding to relocate to the Triangle. Anthony has served as an organist and church musician for a variety of denominations, including the United Methodist Church, over the course of his musical career, and is very excited to join the community at Benson Memorial.

 

Anthony lives in Chapel Hill with his partner, Mia, and also teaches private piano and voice lessons with a local music studio. When he’s not making music, Anthony enjoys playing with his cat, Prosciutto, and hiking with Mia and their dog, Hoagie, in the many beautiful forests of the area.

 

Click here to email Anthony.


Chimes Choirs & Instrumental Ensemble Director: Jennifer Riggert

 

Click here to email Jennifer.


Preschool Director: Shannon Luxford

 

 

Click here to email Shannon.