Staff Team

Our staff team is a group of bi-vocational leaders who serve our community together as friends and equals. As bi-vocational persons, our staff bring passion and experiences from other venues to their work at Emmaus Way. As professional staff, they use their experience and gifts to support a community of co-ministers who all work to embody Christ's transformative Kin-dom.

    Rebecca Hewitt-Newson, Pastor

    As a pastor at Emmaus Way, Rebecca gives special attention to the children, youth, and their families within the context of the wider community. She is passionate about the ways that adults and children can learn and grow together through embracing common joys, igniting imagination, and working alongside each other to build just and loving community.


    Rebecca grew up in Virginia, studied Religion and Women’s Studies at Elon University, and then

    attended Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Previously a board-certified chaplain, Rebecca spent a few years working in the Providence Health Care System in Los Angeles, supporting patients, families, and medical staff. She then served as Minister for Family Life at Millbrook Baptist Church in Raleigh prior to joining the Emmaus Way community in 2020. Rebecca previously served on the board for Baptist Women in Ministry of North Carolina and is currently on the board of Pastors for North Carolina Children.


    Rebecca currently lives on the south side of Raleigh with her husband, Ryan, and two children, Atticus and Isaac. They love to play outside and enjoy listening to and making music together.

    Ben haas, 

    pastor

    As a pastor at Emmaus Way, Ben draws liberally on the community's vision of staff as multi-dimensional, bi-vocational people. His weeks take shape around pastoral collaboration with staff team and work as Director of Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham. Harmonizing those two is his chief pastime, and keeps him busy nudging the diverse expressions of Emmaus Way toward the fullness of God's work in our city. Harboring a lifelong fascination with the places art and faith intersect (MM, University of North Texas; MA, UNC-Chapel Hill), Ben also curates Emmaus Way's engagement with art and local artists. 


    Ben and his wife Amanda recently marked their first decade in Durham, and live in the Southside neighborhood with their daughter Rowan, son Callum, and a cat named Neko.

    elizabeth efirD,

    Co-Minister on Staff

    Elizabeth serves on staff team as its lay person among the pastors. She offers unique and thoughtful perspective as a founding member of the community. Since its inception, Elizabeth has served Emmaus Way in a variety of roles and currently serves as chair of the Children’s Team. Elizabeth was a NC Teaching Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill and taught English at Durham School of the Arts for six years. She is a Durham native and lives with her husband, David, and three children: Anna, Everett, and Grace.

    MollY Wummett, 

    Pastor ON LEAVE

    A native Tennessean, Molly Brummett Wudel first came to North Carolina ten years ago on a Wait Fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She is recipient of Baptist Women in Ministry’s Addie Davis National Award for Excellence in Preaching (2013), and is published in The World is Waiting on You: Celebrating the 50th Ordination Anniversary of Addie Davis (2014) and Believe the Women: A Journey of Liberation with Alliance of Baptists' Women (2019). 


    As a pastor at Emmaus Way, Molly focuses her time on curating the weekly worship gathering, creating space for theological and spiritual formation, cultivating deeper community relationships, engaging local missional partners, serving as the co-chair of Durham CAN's clergy caucus, and visioning alongside staff and lead teams. In addition to Emmaus Way, Molly teaches as a preceptor in the Department of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School. She lives in the Forest Hills neighborhood with her husband, James, their daughter George, and a precious pup named Greta.

    Lead team

    Lead Team is a governing body of lay leaders drawn from and representative of the co-ministers of Emmaus Way. Lead Team serves its fellow ministers by facilitating Emmaus Way's community and missional life, and overseeing the finances and logistics of our community. Members typically serve three-year terms, with new members rotating on and off each year.


    Year Three: Russell Brun, Marie Curran (Lay Leader), & Clinton Dreisbach

    Year Two:  Kaleb Naegeli

    Year One: Jessica Boyter, Brett Fox, & Sallie Gentry