Welcoming Mallory and Mary

May 23rd, 2024

This spring continues to bring about exciting additions to our church staff. Beginning in June we welcome Mary and Mallory.

Welcoming Rev. Mary Kaylor, Minister for Newcomers and Young Adults

The Personnel Committee is delighted to welcome Rev. Mary Kaylor as our Minister for Newcomers and Young Adults! In this part-time position, Mary will continue the work that Zack Jackson began in serving the communities of new members and young adults. In her work with new member ministry, Mary will be the first point of welcome, oversee our new member programming (including First Impressions, First on Fifth 101, and the New Member Meet and Greet) and work to cultivate connections between newcomers and the existing congregation. Her work among our young adults will include offering leadership with young adult Sunday School, fellowship gatherings, ministry team formation, and pastoral care. Mary will serve with our pastoral team, lead in worship, and serve the congregation as a whole. This position represents on average 15 hours per week, and is contracted through December 2024.

Rev. Mary Thomas Kaylor has served communities and churches in India, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. She’s worked in the area of missions, children’s and youth ministry, and spiritual formation. She has been a member of First on Fifth 2019 and previously served as Interim Youth Minister during the pandemic days. While it was indeed challenging this time was also full of meaningful engagement with our youth and their families. She is excited to be a part of this fabulous staff team again ministering alongside this loving community!

The guiding principle for Mary’s ministry is, “You will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love,” which reflects the truth of 1 John chapter 4. This thought serves as the catalyst for her to meet people where they are, love them exactly as God created them and to walk with them as they live into who God has called them to be.

Mary holds a Master of Divinity with a Christian Education concentration from the McAfee School of Theology, an MBA and a BBA in Accounting from Campbell University. She has completed a Thriving as a Congregational Ministry Associate Program at Columbia Theological Seminary, a Death & Dying Guide Training and a number of training workshops through the Racial Equity Institute.

In her free time Mary enjoys reading, trying new recipes, shopping for a bargain and decorating.  She is married to Joey, a horticulturist at Reynolda Gardens. Together they love playing with their dog Binx, seeking out new local restaurants and going on adventures.

Welcoming Mallory Challis, Summer Pastoral Intern

The Personnel Committee and church extend a warm welcome to Mallory Challis, who joins our staff team as our Summer Pastoral Intern! In this role, Mallory will experience a wide range of pastoral ministry, including worship leadership, pastoral care, missions, administration, communications & outreach, and a special focus in youth ministry. Her internship will begin June 3. Read more in the newsletter and website. Welcome Mallory!

Mallory just finished her first year as a graduate student at the Wake Forest School of Divinity and is excited to continue her theological studies in pursuit of a career in congregational ministry. Outside of school, she is a freelance journalist and most often writes columns for Baptist News Global covering social justice issues like clergy sex abuse, LGBTQ+ rights, and women’s rights. She also does academic projects studying the effects of purity culture and chastity in the ancient and modern church. In her free time, Mallory enjoys taking walks, reading for fun, baking, and listening to new music. (And she is always open to new book suggestions, recipes, or musical artists to try out!) Most of all, Mallory is very excited to work with First on Fifth this summer as a ministry intern!