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Servants of Mt. Olive

Rev. Ryan T. Ray


Pastor Ryan began serving Mt. Olive in April 2017. A NC native, Ryan has served four NC congregations in the past 18 years, 15 of those years being 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 capella gospel group to leading a tour of reformation sites in Germany. Through it all, he's had a blast!
In addition to his role at Mt. Olive, he teaches a Christian Theology course at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
He is married to Kim and they enjoy working, walking, and sometimes singing together. He is the father of Liam and Nolan, ages 14 and 12. He loves good books, hot drinks, traveling, and anything that gets him outside in God's creation.


Deacon Lynne Bolick Reed

Minister of Worship & Music

Passion in Life: Spreading the Good News of Christ through music and mentoring young church musicians.

Education: Lenoir-Rhyne University, BA in Music with concentration in Sacred Music; UNC-Charlotte, Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management; UNC-Greensboro, Masters in Library & Information Studies.

Deacon Lynne grew up in Hickory, but has lived in Goldsboro, NC; Denver, CO; and Germantown, MD. She has served churches as a musician since she began playing piano for Sunday School openings when she was 12 years old.

In her first career as a public librarian, she promoted her great love for books, reading, and learning. She has 4 children and 7 grandchildren and is married to Dave, who (along with her children) is the best thing that has happened to her in this life!

Deacon Liz Brendle Fox

Children's Ministry Coordinator

Passion in Life: To lead the church in creating a vibrant faith formation program that points to Christ and promotes an understanding that our children are the church right now.

Education: Western Carolina University, BS in History; Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Master of Arts in Religion, Concentration in Christian Education.

Deacon Liz has lived and served in ministry roles in Hickory, NC; Lincolnton, NC; Columbia, SC; and Grenora, ND. She currently lives in Lincolnton with her husband, the Rev. Dave Fox, a Lutheran pastor, her son Oliver, and their little dog Pookie.

She loves Harry Potter books and movies, "The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree," and holiday movies. Her dream job after retirement is to be a coffee barista.

Jenna Waters


Jenna is a Sacred Music student at Lenoir-Rhyne University and has served as Mt. Olive 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 is also an advanced black belt in karate and loves her truck! Come and hear her play "her" organ each week at worship!

Karen Abernathy

Parish Administrator

Karen was born and raised in Rutherford College, NC.  She enjoyed 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 18 years.  They have two girls, Ella and Jenna.  Ella is twelve and Jenna is eleven and they both will be at Heritage Middle School in the fall of 2017.  Karen’s very  passionate about basketball and coaches for the Burke Jammers Lady Basketball Club.