Meet Our Pastor:  

Rev. Wallace Johnson

djohnson@nccumc.org.  919-365-6266

Wallace was born in eastern North Carolina but grew up in the mountains of southwest Virginia. He enjoyed most of the extracurricular activities his little mountain high school offered. He played golf, basketball, and baseball, played a little music, and had fun with a little theater. After graduating from Rural Retreat High School, he moved back to eastern NC to attend Campbell University, studying Social Work. Not quite able to make the cut for collegiate sports (ok…not even close…), Wallace found his home in campus ministry. As the son and grandson of clergy, he never imagined he would find his life’s work in the church. It was his experience in campus ministry which led him to chase higher education in theology. He moved to Durham to pursue a degree at Duke Divinity School after graduation from Campbell with a Bachelors of Social Work, hoping to serve the local church in some way. It was through his experience in seminary while serving various local churches that Wallace answered God’s call to serve the local church.

Wallace lives into his call to the church by helping people experience the joy of belonging and purpose which the grace of Jesus Christ offers through the local church. His life is dedicated to bringing the grace and love of Jesus to the places people live, work, and play. As a minister of the gospel in The United Methodist Church, Wallace answered God’s calling to serve Wendell United Methodist Church as their pastor in June 2018.

Wallace lives in downtown Wendell with his Campbell University sweetheart, Ashley, their twins, Liam and Lillie, and little sister, Hannah.  Their home is FULL of energy and organized chaos with the kids, Maverick, the German Shorthaired Pointer, pet rabbits, chickens, and Wallace’s new venture of raising quail for hunting.  Ashley works as a bench scientist for research and development pharmaceuticals. Liam and Lillie enjoy carefree play at their pre-school while Hannah spends the days with a nanny.

Rev. Becky Bradley

Associate Pastor   .  bbradley@nccumc.org    .   443-690-0589

Becky is a cradle United Methodist who was born and raised in Baltimore (yes, she’s a fan of crabs and the Orioles). She also loves books, history, camels, travel, and all things Disney. She studied English and History at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and intended to be a teacher, but God had other plans. She worked as an English teacher, a nanny, and a special education TA before responding to God calling her to vocational ministry. Becky studied at Duke Divinity, graduating Summa Cum Laude in May 2020, and began her first appointment as a UMC pastor weeks later at a two-point charge in Goldsboro. Her dream job would be serving as a Chaplain at Disneyland Paris (a position that does not currently exist… but it’s a dream!). For now, serving in the NCCUMC is a joy and a blessing.

Becky strives to live into her call by loving people well. With the local church as a starting point for preaching, teaching, and connection, Becky is passionate about meeting people where they are and drawing them into authentic relationship with Jesus and each other. Knowing the transforming impact grace herself, she’s driven to help others recognize, receive, and respond to God’s grace. She is thrilled to return to Wendell UMC as the Associate Pastor, 3 years after her internship here.

God has equipped Becky for her vocation by providing a loving and supportive family. She and Doug were married in June 2001, had Mikayla 363 days later, then welcomed Andy in July 2007. The Bradleys have called Wake Forest, NC home since 2006. Doug is a computer engineer at MetLife, an Arsenal fan, and the primary pet caretaker (currently 4 cats and 2 dogs). Mikayla (Becky’s mini-me) will graduate from American University in May ’23 with a degree in Strategic Communication & Public Policy, then continue at AU to earn her master’s. Andy is a history & geography obsessed high school sophomore who plays video games and the French horn. The Bradey family is excited to reconnect with WUMC!

Meet Our Staff:

LeeAnne Thornton, Director of Music Ministries    .  music@wendellumc.org.  .   919-365-6266

LeeAnne was born in High Point but came to NC State at 18 and never left the area. Music was born in LeeAnne and has always been with her through all the joys and trials of her life. Singing her first solo (“All Night, All Day”) on stage in first grade, she was always in a music group throughout school, either singing or accompanying. She directed a choir for the first time at the age of 14 at her home church. She has played the organ in many types of churches – Baptist, Quaker, Catholic, Disciples of Christ, and Methodist – and enjoys all genres of music. LeeAnne has been a member of the music staff at Wendell UMC since 1988, first as the organist/accompanist and then as the Director of Music Ministries.

After a career as a communications strategist with the NC Conference of The United Methodist Church for 34 years, she has lightened her workload and is a part-time processing tech with Wake County Public Schools. When she is not working, she spends as much time as possible with her family, especially her grandson, Macon.