MCF Staff

Leslie Lang

Assistant Director

Leslie Lang is the Assistant Director for Mere Christianity Forum who became a South Carolina resident after spending the previous six years in Nashville, TN. Originally from Hendersonville, TN, she received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2009 from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. After graduation, Leslie moved to Nashville to spend a year as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) doing a year of service at Room in the Inn and living in intentional Christian community. After spending another year as a full-time staff member there, she went on to Vanderbilt Divinity School and received her Masters of Divinity in 2015. Leslie is ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the PCUSA Foothills approves MCF as her validated ministry position.
           

Leslie brings her experience in a variety of ministry contexts over the past several years to MCF. For six years she worked in various capacities at Room in the Inn with people who are experiencing homelessness and became passionate about issues of poverty, housing, and homelessness. While pursuing her Masters of Divinity, the field education program offered opportunities for year-long internships at Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville and at Cumberland Heights Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center, as well as experience in hospital chaplaincy at St. Thomas, Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospitals. In her free time, you can usually find her hanging out in a coffee shop, cooking, reading, or attempting to improve her Zumba moves. Leslie feels so grateful to have found such a unique ministry as MCF, and she is very excited to become a part of this rich community.

 

Rimes mcelveen

Executive director

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Rimes McElveen, Executive Director of Mere Christianity Forum, is a native of Gainesville, GA, who graduated from Furman with a BA in Political Science and Urban Studies. After finishing Furman, he worked for the YMCA and for Bell South before entering Duke University’s Divinity School to earn a Masters of Divinity. While at Duke, Rimes met his wife, Kathryn, who also finished Duke with an MDiv in 2000. Shortly thereafter Rimes and Kathryn married and began working for Hinton Rural Life Center, a United Methodist Mission Agency located in Hayesville, NC. Rimes and Kathryn went on to serve as pastors of United Methodist churches in northern Georgia and North Carolina. Rimes served as Sr. Pastor of Bethelview UMC in Cumming, GA, and Bethpage UMC in Kannapolis, NC before joining MCF as the Executive Director in July of 2007.

Rimes was ordained to Christian ministry in the summer of 2001 by First Baptist Church, Gainesville, GA, and after serving in Methodist churches for several years became a member of the Order of Elders in the United Methodist Church. Kathryn is also an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and they are both members of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the UMC. Kathryn has become a certified leadership coach and is the president and founder of InVision Ventures, a coaching, training, and consulting company.

Rimes and Kathryn have four children they adore, three boys and a girl, two of whom they adopted from Haiti and North Carolina. The McElveen’s enjoy making their home in Travelers Rest and Rimes loves his work with Mere Christianity Forum serving the Furman and greater Greenville community, particularly undergraduates, with MCF’s unique blend of “faith, reason, and tomfoolery.”

 

sherri CARSWELL-WHITTINGTON

director of operations

Sherri is the Director of Operations and is charged with developing and implementing internal systems, operational practices, and organizational strategies to strengthen MCF and Vista House institutionally and facilitate the organization’s growth and development.

A native of North Carolina, Sherri attended University of North Carolina undergrad and UVA –Darden School for grad school. She has spent her business career translating benefits of new technologies to end-users —whether the benefit of microwave ovens to consumers in the 80s or the business benefits of massively parallel processing to IT leaders today. Sherri’s most recent role was leading the marketing organization for a tech startup in Vancouver. Prior to that she had various leadership roles at Teradata Corporation and Duke Energy.

Sherri is passionate about intentional community and serving up radical hospitality. Since arriving in Greenville she served a 3-year term on MCF Board of Directors, Executive Committee Secretary and lead for Strategic Planning initiative. In Greenville, she has served in Support Circles at Triune Mercy Center, as volunteer in the Girl Scouts of Mountains to Midlands region, Education Track Chair for the Greenville Urban Farm Tour and is the community garden coordinator for her neighborhood. And has enjoyed such great opportunities as being Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build project manager, a cookbook co-author, recipe tester for Cooks Illustrated magazine, Warehouse242 church (EPC) -Ruling Elder and has done numerous stays at L’Abri centers around the globe.

Sherri and her husband Tom have really enjoyed getting to know Furman students and the Upstate area since moving here in 2011. Sherri loves cooking (obviously), reading, camping and ACC basketball.