The Local Church
love where you are

Pastor & The Lead Team

Meet the Team

Brent Levy • Pastor

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The Rev. Brent Levy is pastor, holy agitator, and spiritual entrepreneur of The Local Church. After serving for three years as Associate Pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, Brent was sent to begin praying and dreaming about what God might be up to in Chatham County. He's passionate about storytelling, finding the sacred in the mundane, and he longs for The Local Church to be a place where all find belonging, where grace abounds, and where love comes alive in hands, feet, hearts, and voices.

Originally from a suburb of Richmond, Virginia, Brent is married to his wife Natalie (from the same hometown), and they have a toddler human being named Emma. They also have a cat named Lily who is… fine.

An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Brent graduated from Duke Divinity School in 2015. Prior to coming to North Carolina, Brent and Natalie lived in Harrisonburg, Virginia where they attended James Madison University and helped start RISE, a United Methodist Faith Community for disconnected young adults and college students.

Brent can be bribed with burritos and coffee. Unless you have an hour to spare, don't ask him about his favorite podcasts. (Spoiler alert: The Memory Palace, 99% Invisible, and Heavyweight.) He also geeks out over U2 and Walt Disney World, is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, occasionally teaches improv, and is a very amateur birdwatcher.

Brent would love to connect with you in all the ways people do that these days – virtually and in real life, too. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, by email him at brent@thelocalchurchpbo.org, or you can send a carrier pigeon.


Alli Burks • Worship Leader

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Alli Burks is a Virginia native and grew up in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. She moved to Chapel Hill in July 2018 with her wonderful and talented partner, Matt, after spending the previous four years in Charlottesville, VA at the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing. She works full time as a nurse at Duke Regional Hospital in the Emergency Department (which is why she has developed a serious love for coffee).

From a young age, Alli developed a love for music, taking piano lessons for 13 years, voice lessons for 2, and picking up the guitar, ukulele, and banjo somewhere along the way. When she decided to turn down the opportunity to study music in college and instead pursue a career in nursing, she never would have guessed how big a role these gifts would play in her life still. Throughout her four years at the University of Virginia, she served as the Music Team Leader at the Wesley Foundation campus ministry. She is passionate about sharing music when it can bring people closer together and closer to the Lord, and she is so excited to continue getting to know this community and lead our church in time of worship.

When she is not in the hospital or sitting at the piano, Alli is probably out exploring a new running trail or indulging in some ice cream (probably vanilla). She appreciates the beauty and power of nature, and tends to feel more at home when there is any kind of body of water close by.

Alli would love to grab some coffee and/or create some beautiful music together. Connect with her through Facebook or e-mail (alli@thelocalchurchpbo.org).

Alli would love to know: What song or hymn has resonated with you? Which would you love to hear in worship? Click the button below, and let her know.


THE LEAD TEAM

Since the summer of 2017, this team has gathered regularly to pray and dream and discern this new faith community into existence. They are the dreamers and doers with vision and heart. They’re the faithful pioneers who help make God’s dream a reality in our corner of creation. Meet the Lead Team of The Local Church.

Katie Barnett

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WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

Cincinnati, OH

DESCRIBE THE PERFECT PIZZA.

BBQ Chicken!

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY BIBLE VERSE AS A TATTOO, WHAT WOULD IT BE, AND WHERE WOULD YOU PUT IT?

Honestly, I probably would opt for more of a theme, like “justice” or “love.” But if I had to choose today, I’d choose either 1 Corinthians 16:14 (Let all that you do be done in love.) or Lamentations 3:23 (His mercies are new every morning.)

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT CHATHAM COUNTY?

I moved from Ohio to Carrboro in 2016, so I’m still getting to know Chatham County! So far my favorite part is the people I’ve met.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A LOCAL?

At The Local Church, I appreciate the fact that we have talked explicitly (and repeatedly) about how Jesus is for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. A commitment real inclusion is an important part of my personal values system, and that is a core value of The Local Church.

LEE BOWMAN

Where did you grow up?

Fayetteville, NC

Describe the perfect pizza.

Any from the Roost on a Friday night enjoyed outside!

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Psalm 70

What do you love most about Chatham County?

the diverse landscape and people

What does it mean to be a Local?

I love the commitment to community, the sense of familiarity, and the strong connections that are made.

LAUREN FRADY

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Where did you grow up?

Columbia, MD

Describe the perfect pizza.

There's just something comforting about a good cheese pizza. To anyone out there who thinks that's boring... Haters gonna hate.

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Ecclesiastes 3:1a - "To every thing there is a season" on my wrist.

What do you love most about Chatham County?

All the new restaurants — Town Hall Burger and Beer is my go-to.

What does it mean to be a Local?

Being a Local is all about journeying with God, loving your neighbor, and building community. But what do I love MOST about The Local Church? I love that The Local Church is passionate about creating an inclusive environment and making a difference in the world around us, starting with those closest to us in Chatham and Orange Counties. I love that The Local Church forces you to interact with your faith and really grapple with the hard questions, because religion is not meant to be passive. I love that by becoming involved with Local Tables, we are building deep friendships and a network of people who care about one another. I love that The Local Church is accessible, no matter where you are in your faith journey, and it extends the invitation to travel alongside others who are in a surprisingly similar place. I love that The Local Church is about being authentic and vulnerable, since I think that is crucial to deep transformation. I love that The Local Church is always surprising people - focusing on small groups rather than big weekly worship, meeting for meaningful conversation at a bar, being welcoming of ALL people. Being a Local means that you belong here.

WES FRADY

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Where did you grow up?

Lexington, NC

Describe the perfect pizza.

Pizza Hut Pan Meat Lovers

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Isaiah 40:31 — across my shoulders above my eagle wing tattoo

What do you love most about Chatham County?

All the local food and drink places.

What does it mean to be a Local?

It doesn't matter where you are — here are the other side of the world. The best places to go are local.

JIMMY GARZONI

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Where did you grow up?

Monroe, NC

Describe the perfect pizza.

Breaded chicken with fresh garlic… with ranch replacing the pizza sauce.

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Matthew 22:35-40 on the side of my calf, for love is what all of the laws are held up on.

What do you love most about Chatham County?

I love that it feels like a small town but is progressive and trying new things.

What does it mean to be a Local?

The friendship and community that I have made with my neighbors and the sense that I belong to something bigger than myself.

Susan Harris

Where did you grow up?

in the small town of Pinetops, NC

Describe the perfect pizza.

One I’m sharing with friends

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Hmm, let me think about that…

What do you love most about Chatham County?

I love that it’s really easy to be in nature. To feel it, see it, hear it, experience it. There are great places to hike, paddle, and bird watch.

What does it mean to be a Local?

It means to share in the intimacy of Local Tables.

KRISTA JETT

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Where did you grow up?

Lewisburg, WV

Describe the perfect pizza.

My husband John has been making amazing homemade pizza crusts on weekends. I top my personal pizza with pizza sauce, pesto, spices, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach — phenomenal! Yes, I eat the whole thing.

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Philippians 4:13 "For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." on the back of my shoulder

What do you love most about Chatham County?

I love the small-town vibe and sense of community in Chatham County. I love taking my children to story time at the Chatham Community Library, taking them for a walk around the trail at the community college, visiting the chickens and campus garden, then stopping at Phoenix Bakery along the trail--all in one outing! What more could my 2 preschoolers want?! Chances are, we'll run into at least 5 people we know.

What does it mean to be a Local?

I love the unconditional sense of love and belonging — for me, my husband, my children. That same acceptance is extended to all.

Catherine Neal

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Where did you grow up?

Stone Mountain, GA (mostly)

Describe the perfect pizza.

Thin crust with thin slices of zucchini on top (and no garlic butter on the crust)!

If you could have any bible verse as a tattoo, what would it be, and where would you put it?

Psalm 46:10 inside my right wrist, so I'd see it before I pick up my phone (or whatever). It would help me remember to be still with God.

What do you love most about Chatham County?

The Carolina Tiger Rescue

What does it mean to be a Local?

It means being connected and present where and with whom I am!

Bios AND PICS Coming Soon:

Daniel Jackson
Matt Paysour
Colleen Sharp
Steve Sharp