Lead Pastor & Teen Ministry
Pastor Ryan began serving Mt. Olive in April 2017. A North Carolina native, Pastor Ryan has served four North Carolina congregations in the past 20 years, serving most of those years in the Hickory Metro area. He sensed a call to ministry while in college and has done a variety of ministry from singing bass in an A Cappella gospel group to leading a tour of reformation sites in Germany. Through it all, he's had a blast!
He is married to Kim and they enjoy working, walking, and sometimes singing together. He is the father of Liam and Nolan, both teenagers. He loves good books, hot drinks, traveling, and anything that gets him outside in God's creation.
Organist & Choir Director
Jenna graduated in 2020 from the Sacred Music program at Lenoir-Rhyne University and she is currently a graduate student in organ performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has served as Mt. Olive's organist since May 5, 2016. When she began her work at Mt. Olive, she was only 17 years old! She had studied piano with her grandmother since she was a young child, but had only had some organ lessons on and off for about 18 months when she was hired. Her talent and passion for playing the organ is obvious to all who hear her play. She has a very promising future in sacred music and Mt. Olive is so happy to help mentor her growth.
Jenna loves animals and helps her mom provide "pony parties" for children's birthdays and loves riding her own horse. She has a precious dog named Kobi. She is also an advanced black belt in karate and loves her truck! Come and hear her play "her" organ each week at worship!
Karen was born and raised in Rutherford College, NC. She enjoys being the youngest of three children and the only girl. She is married to Justin Abernathy from Hildebran, NC, and they have been married for almost two decades. They have two teen girls, Ella and Jenna. Both are active ball players and excellent academic students. Karen is very passionate about basketball and coaches for the Burke Jammers Lady Basketball Club.