Interim Pastor, REv. Dr. Ted Rust

 He served 4 Congregations over 42 years:  (1) St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Farmersville, Ohio (1980 to April 1984),  (2) Mission Developer for All Saints Lutheran Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky (near Lexington) (May 1984 to 1989), (3  St. Paul Lutheran Church in Smithville, Ohio (near Wooster and Akron) 1990 to 2005.  (4) St. Andrew Lutheran Church in New Bern, North Carolina from December 2005 to November 2022.

His family includes his wife Beverly.  She is a 6th Grade Math Teacher at Carroll Magnet Middle School in Raleigh, N.C.  He also has a Daughter named Hope who is 29 years old and is a graduate of Lenoir Rhyne University.  She ran Cross Country and Track for LR and received a scholarship.  Hope sells Computers for Lenova.  Ted has 3 sons.  Christian is 27 years old and is a graduate of N.C. State University.  He was one of the 40 "Park Scholars" and majored in Chemical Engineering.  Christian works at Merck. Daniel is 25 years old and a graduate of University of North Carolina in Greensboro.  Daniel also works for Merck.  Andrew is 23 years old and a graduate of Wake Forest University where he played baseball. Andrew is currently in New York City at Columbia University working on his Master's Degree.  Andrew started his own online Tutoring Business which is helping him work his way through Columbia.  Andrew also edits his Father's Online Preaching Service.  Both Daniel and Hope also have Master's Degrees.  Ted's Mother Ann is still living in Ohio at a  Lutheran Retirement Home.  She is 91 years old.  My daughter Hope served as a Young Adult In Global Mission to Australia 4 years ago for a year. My son Christian just completed his first full Ironman face in Oklahoma in May of this year.  I was there to cheer him on and greet him at the finish line.

My hobbies include running, lifting weights, hiking, golf, travel, playing piano and guitar and spending time with family.  I have qualified and run in the Boston Marathon 3 times and run 22 marathons in total.  I also love Japanese and Thai food as well as North Carolina BBQ.

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.

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.