Hello, I’m Pastor Kori, and I have the incredible opportunity of serving as the associate pastor here at Orange UMC. Before arriving at Orange, I attended Duke Divinity School (class of 12′) and have served churches in Durham, Chapel Hill, Western North Carolina, and even Ireland! As a pastor, I am passionate about sharing God’s word with others through relationship building, worship leading, and Bible study. I love working with others to discern how God might be calling them to do/be a part of Christ’s body. Beyond pastor, I am mom to a very spirited (almost 2 year old) Ephraim and partner to my husband, Tyagan. We love being outside together, whether it’s biking a new trail or just having a cup of coffee. I also love doing improv and applying it to our lives as disciples of Jesus. But most importantly, I can’t wait to meet you–at church, over coffee, or maybe even on the trail.
Peace in Christ, Pastor Kori
of Youth and Congregational Life
Brad was born and raised in Sylvania, OH, near Toledo. He attended Miami University (OH), where he first felt called into youth ministry during his freshman year. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Comparative Religion, he attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston. While earning his Master of Arts in Religion with a focus on youth ministry, he worked for Compass, a Christian leadership development program for high schoolers across the nation.
After graduating and serving a church in Michigan, Brad came to Orange UMC in the summer of 2013. Brad is passionate about helping students build an authentic relationship with Jesus that affects the way that they think and act in their everyday lives. His favorite thing about youth ministry is helping students ask the tough questions of themselves and of God. Brad is married to his lovely wife Elyn. In their spare time, they love exploring new restaurants and watching documentaries. Brad is also a passionate Pacers fan and cook.
of Children’s Ministry & Preschool
Diana Backus, who has been involved at OrangeUMC really for her entire life, is the director of the preschool at Orange and
also serves as director of children’s ministries.
She grew up in Chapel Hill and is a graduate of Louisburg College and then of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington,
with a degree in early childhood education.
Diana says that one of her passions is to listen to the children in both preschool and the church’s children’s ministries and to help
them grow, learning about the world around them. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious.
She and her husband Dave enjoy spending time with their three adult children and she also enjoys movies, theatre and walking
their two dogs!
Director of Music
Derek was born in San Diego, where he lived until high school graduation. In 1982, he moved to Los Angeles, where he majored in music at the University of Southern California. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in music, he worked as a freelance musician playing keyboards and percussion, and serving as musical director for numerous shows in Los Angeles and around the United States. He also played and sang in various ensembles in Taiwan and Japan. Among the highlights of his career are stints with the Los Angeles Lakers band, 1984 Olympic Opening Ceremonies All-American Band, Statue of Liberty All-American Band, and multiple performances for President Reagan’s second inaugural celebration in Washington, D.C. He has composed and arranged music for countless live productions, and has done work for film and television as well.
In 1999, he moved to North Carolina and began graduate studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He earned his Master of Arts in Teaching Music degree in 2002, and began teaching instrumental music at Southern Alamance Middle School the same year. He currently holds this position.
He has been Director of Music at Orange United Methodist Church since 2006. He counts this position among the greatest blessings in his life.
He is married to Stacey, and they have five children between them: Aidan, Miles, Kailey, Aidan and Levi.
Pathways Worship Leader
Josh is from Raleigh and has been involved in contemporary worship and art for over 12 years. He attended Campbell University where he felt a calling to ministry. After he graduated with a degree in Religious Studies, he attended Duke Divinity where he learned to enjoy modern as well as ancient worship styles. Josh enjoys every kind of music and loves to explore how worship shapes our lives. He has enjoyed getting to use dance, painting, and drama in worship and loves to use the gifts and talents of others to help people proclaim God’s love in this world. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Laura, cooking, Duke basketball, and the Pittsburgh Steelers!
Sheila was born in Atlanta, GA and raised in Greenville, SC. She graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Administrative Management and a minor in psychology. While there, she worked for The Tiger newspaper, sang in several choirs and belonged to the Honorary Music Fraternity. After school, she went into the travel industry and worked in Florida, Texas, Iowa and South Carolina before settling in Chapel Hill.
Sheila and her husband, Tim, became members of Orange in 1996 and she joined the staff in January 2002. She loves college football season and has learned to accept basketball season. She also spends a great deal of time at DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro watching her daughter, Sarah, perform improv.
Raye was raised in Lumberton, NC with frequent weekends and summers spent with both sets of grandparents in the Chapel Hill area. She is a graduate of Kaplan University with a BS in Web Design and Development with a minor in Digital Graphic Arts. She brings a diverse skill set to her position from her experiences in customer service, retail, and office settings. Raye, along with her parents and brother, became a member of Orange in April of 1991. She joined the staff as a volunteer in December 2016, then as a part-time employee in January of 2018. She loves singing and all types of music. Her hobbies include crochet, beading, and all things crafty.