Rev. John Stein
Rev. John Stein began his tenure at Zion United Methodist Church in July of 2013. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1961 to Rev. Neil & Carolyn Stein, John grew up in St. Louis. He is a graduate of Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, and received his Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.
In the late 1990s, John served as Director of Communications for the Missouri West Conference of the United Methodist Church. His tasks in that capacity included publishing the conference newspaper, media relations, consulting with local churches on communications issues, and managing the conference Internet site. During his tenure in communications, Rev. Stein served as a primary spokesman for the church in a 1998 statewide political campaign to defeat the expansion of casino gambling in Missouri. For three years, he was a part-time religion instructor for Central Methodist College. He was ordained at the 1985 session of the Missouri East Annual Conference, and returned to St. Louis in 1986 to begin his first pastorate. John began serving the church during his youth. In 1979, at the age of 17, the Missouri East Annual Conference elected him the first lay delegate to the 1980 Southcentral Jurisdictional Conference in Little Rock. He also served as an alternate delegate during the 1980 General Conference in Indianapolis.
Through World Methodism, he has enjoyed opportunities to serve beyond his own country. In 1991 and again in 1996, he served as a member of the North American delegation to the World Methodist Conference and to the World Methodist Evangelism Convocation. In 2001 he was a member of the 500-member World Methodist Council that met in Brighton, England. In 1996, John was one of the initial members of World Methodist Evangelism’s new Order of the Flame.
He has served on the staff of several World Methodist Evangelism events, including the Sixth International Evangelism Seminar in
1997 and the International Christian Youth Conference in 1998. He has provided technical and computer support for Regional Evangelism Seminars as near as Atlanta and as far as Singapore. In 2011, John was a part of the regional seminar in Indonesia. While there, he preached in the Central Methodist Church, the oldest Methodist church in Jakarta.
In 2007, Rev. Stein was fortunate to be cast in a feature film titled “Wesley,” about Methodism’s founder, John Wesley. He played the role of John White, an Oxford friend of John and Charles Wesley. Rev. Stein’s two sons were also cast in the project. Filming was completed in 2007 and the movie released in US theaters in 2010.
The desire to reach young people and their families – along with a great appreciation for sports – has prompted John to conceive a ministry called T.E.A.M. SPIRIT. In part, this developing effort seeks to equip coaches to combine teaching a sport along with faith-based character elements and mentoring that will help young athletes find success both on and off the field. He piloted the program in cooperation with the YMCA of Eden, North Carolina while coaching a 12U softball team. John loves baseball; he sometimes coaches little league ball teams and is presently on the coaching staff of the Firecrackers 14u Futures fastpitch team, and for two years was Assistant Coach of the Piedmont Middle School Panthers softball team. He enjoys table tennis, camping, occasionally dabbles with photography, and is a PADI-certified Advanced SCUBA diver. He was an active volunteer Scouter for more than 15 years, serving in a variety of roles including Den Leader, Unit Commissioner, and Troop Committee member. As a Boy Scout, John achieved the rank of Eagle in 1976.
John and his wife, Renay, live in the parsonage along with Hannah, the only child still at home. Renay is the daughter of Ken and Mary Jo Walraven of Pinconning, Michigan. She completed a M.B.A. in Logistics at Michigan State University in 1992, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and is a teacher and workshop leader in the Charlotte area for Engineering for Kids. She also makes a mean dish of ham and noodles. Hannah is 14 and a high school freshman. She is a gifted artist and has a passion for softball. She pitches for the new Firecrackers 14u Futures travel softball team. Caleb completed his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts, has been a BSA certified lifeguard, and is becoming proficient in American Sign Language for the deaf. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC works for Clark Landscaping, and is a member of the University United Methodist Church choir. Josh, the oldest son, also attained the rank of Eagle Scout. A recent graduate of High Point University, he has performed professionally on stage with the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre and with Parkway Playhouse. He now resides near Charlotte, NC, and is the Director of Music at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church.
Director of Christian Education
Barbara has served as Music Director at Zion since 2008. She has four children and eight grandchildren. Barbara attended North Carolina State University, Central Piedmont Community College and Anson Tech Community College. Her experience as music director has spanned many years as she has served at Hopewell Baptist Church (11 years), Spencer Memorial United Methodist Church (10 years), Dulin’s Grove Advent Christian Church (1 year and 3 months) and New Covenant Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (13 years).