Pastor Heather Langan, Senior Pastor

Pastor Heather joined St. Mark's in February 2020 and was ordained on March 1, 2020, as the Associate Pastor. In January 2023, St. Mark's voted to call Pastor Heather as the Senior Pastor, of which she was installed on March 5, 2023. She is a graduate of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. In 2019, she graduated from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a Master of Divinity degree with a focus on Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. She has served several congregations in the North Carolina synod as a Youth Director and Deacon before earning her Master of Divinity degree. Pastor Heather has two children and three dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching Broadway musicals, reading, gardening, and napping. She hopes to visit all 50 states and to travel to Greece and Italy one day. Pastor Heather believes that relationships are the heart of discipleship and the ministry all believers are called to share.

Wendy Hefner, Family Ministries Director

Wendy joined St Mark’s staff in March 2023 as our interim Family Ministry

Assistant. She has previously served in ministry as the Youth and Family Ministry

Director at St Mark’s from 1990 to 1999, St James Lutheran, Concord, and Zion

Lutheran, Hickory. She and her husband, Mark, raised four children and have been

Blessed with eight grandchildren.

Wendy’s passion for ministry started in high school and led her to attend Lenoir

Rhyne College/University, majoring in Theology and Christian Education. One of

her ministry milestones have been having the opportunity to work with the

Children of her many ‘church kids’.

Wendy is always ready for a quick trip to the mountains or a lazy afternoon of

Fishing with her grandchildren. And anytime outside, on a beautiful day, brings a

Feeling of Peace!

Emily Schuttenberg, Organist, Music Director

Emily Schuttenberg grew up in metro-Atlanta.  She completed her Master of Music degree at Western Carolina University and her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in piano and musical theatre from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL.  Emily is a music faculty member and coordinator of community music programs at Mitchell Community College. She also has over 20 years of experience in sacred music for numerous denominations across AL, TN, and NC, serving as vocalist, accompanist, and choral director. Emily enjoys being an active adjudicator and pianist for area schools, theatres, and special events. Additionally, she has performed on stage for various professional and community organizations including the Knoxville Opera, NYC Fringe Festival, Mosaic Arts, St. Thomas Players, Piedmont Players, Theatre Statesville, and Hickory Community Theatre. Emily lives with her husband and their three cats.

Rachel Isaac

Rachel Kay Isaac is a 27-year-old Claremont native. She graduated from East Carolina University in 2017 with her Bachelors of the Fine Arts degree in Theatre For Youth and also obtained her K-12 Theatre Arts Teaching License. Rachel currently teaches Theatre at Newton Conover Middle School and Discovery High School. In the past, she has worked as the Youth Programming Coordinator at the Arts of the Pamlico and as a teacher at D.H. Conley High School in Greenville, NC. Rachel loves teaching students of all ages and is very dedicated in making sure all of her students feel welcome and have a safe and loving learning/working environment. When you don't find her teaching or directing, you can find her acting on the stage at the Green Room in Newton, dressing up as Disney Princesses, or spending time with her loved ones.

Debbie Smith, Church Secretary

Debbie worked at Abernethy Laurels for 28 years in many roles, the last 17 years she was their Business Office Manager. She has taught the teen girls Sunday school class at PRBC in Maiden for 33 years, she has been the Women’s ministry leader for the past 20 years.

She has been married to her high school sweetheart Kenny for 40 years, they have 2 children, a son Christopher and his wife Felicia they have 2 daughters, Blakelee and Emmalee. They also have a daughter Angela, she was adopted from Bulgaria in 1997, and their American Bully dog, Maddie.


In her spare time she enjoys gardening, reading, quilting ,antiquing, traveling and an occasional deer hunt with her husband.