About Us

Welcome to Central United Methodist Church . . . Our Mission is to follow Jesus, make disciples and transform the world. We are about making connections - connecting people to God and to each other.

We'd like to invite you to visit with us this Sunday! Below is our staff and ministry team. You can also download a Sunday bulletin by clicking on the "Sunday Bulletins" link at the top of this page. 

Our Staff and Ministry Team:

Senior Pastor - Dr. JF Howard, Sr.


J.F. (as he prefers to be called) has served as senior pastor of Central United Methodist Church since July 2016. He is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and has served as a local church pastor in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference since 1984. His roles in the church include teaching pastor, pastoral care, administration, and vision casting. His favorite aspect of ministry is teaching the Bible, which he tries to do every Sunday in worship, as well as regular Bible studies, and team meeting devotions.


J.F. is a native of North Carolina and was born in Charlotte, NC. He grew up in Albemarle, NC and Durham, NC. He is a graduate of Albemarle St. High School.


Two of the Bible verses that especially guide J.F. in his life and ministry are Acts 5:20 and Acts 20:24:


20 “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!”

(Acts 5:20)


24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

(Acts 20:24)


J.F. has degrees from Greensboro College (B.A.), Duke University (M.Div.), and Asbury Theological Seminary (D.Min.).

J.F. is the husband of Kari (who is also an ordained United Methodist Elder and serves a local church in the Western North Carolina Conference), and together they are the parents of four sons: John, Jr.; Graham; Philip; and Josiah. John, Jr. is a local church pastor in the United Methodist Church. Graham is a manager and Vice-President with Kauffman Enterprises. Philip is a branch manager with the Enterprise Rental Company. Josiah is in the doctoral program attending Pharmacy School at High Point University.  


J.F. is the author of the book “Say What?”—(Understanding the Power of the Words We Speak), and “The Shepherd’s Staff” (a weekly prayer guide for laity to use in praying for their pastor). Both of these resources can be found at plowpoint.org (http://plowpoint.org/product/say-what/, http://plowpoint.org/product/the-shepherds-staff/).


J.F. writes a blog (infrequently) at offerthemchrist.wordpress.com, and can be found on Twitter @JFHowardsr; and on Facebook (search for John Franklin Howard). He can be reached by email at DrJFHoward@yahoo.com.

Pastor of Adult Ministry & Congregational Care - Fred Huffstetler






Pastor of Youth Ministry, Contemporary Worship & Outreach - Randy Lee









Day School Director - Camela Nixon



Chancel Choir Director - Barbara Strider



Handbell Choir Director - Bev Lawrence


Organist - Joy Menius


Church Office Manager - Jill Akins