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The Rev. David Drysdale was called as Pastor to Zion in March 2018. Born in Maine’s Aroostook County, he graduated the Maritime College of the State University of New York in 1986 with a B.S. in Meteorology & Oceanography and a U.S. Coast Guard license for Third Mate Oceans/Unlimited Tonnage. After 22 years in metropolitan New York working in industries ranging from maritime shipping and admiralty law to computer retail sales, information technology, and financial industry research, he entered Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Columbia, SC, in 2008. After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in May 2012, he began serving the Church in the North Carolina Synod in August of that year. Pastor David and his wife, the Rev. Judy Lewis Drysdale, are residents of Hickory. When not enjoying time with family and friends, David might be found in the backyard brewing an ale, waist-deep in a mountain stream fly-fishing for trout, or visiting son Rev. Joshua Copeland and his wife Emily in Christiansburg, VA.

SPENCE ROBERTSON, director of music

Director of Music, Spence Robertson joined the Zion team in 2015. A lover of sacred choral music, Spence enjoys composing, playing organ and piano, a round of golf, and being with family. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Pfeiffer University, and a Master of Music in Church Music from Samford University. Spence also directs the Catawba Valley Community Chorus in Conover, NC, is accompanist at Caldwell Community College, and has taught at Lenoir-Rhyne University in the Music Department, directing the Handbell Ensemble, teaching Hymnody and Aural Skills, playing in the Wind Ensemble, and singing in the A Cappella Choir. Recently, Spence has graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, obtaining a Master of Divinity, and is an approved Minister of Word and Sacrament in the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

SANDRA PARKER, church administrator

A native of Vale, North Carolina, Sandra Parker has served as Zion’s church administrator for 26+ years. She is a graduate of Fred T. Foard High School in Newton, NC and, prior to coming to Zion, served as a Deputy Register of Deeds for Catawba County for 16 years. Sandra has four adult children and three grandchildren. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Mary Wepner, director of youth and children

My name is Mary Wepner and I have been serving as Zion's Children and Youth Director since January 2023. I was born and raised in Catawba County and now live in Newton with my husband, Franklin, and our two kids: Bonnie and Ruben. I have always loved to work with children. I earned my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and my master's degree in Educational Media from Appalachian State University. I taught in an elementary school for three and a half years up until I had my daughter. I left teaching to spend more time with her- and then God led me to Zion. I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful community and to work with such amazing children and youth!

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