Staff Team

Our staff team is a group of leaders who serve our community together as friends and equals, bringing their passion and experience from other areas to this work. Using their gifts and training, they support a community of co-ministers working together to embody Christ's transformative Kin-dom.

    Rebecca Hewitt-Newson, Pastor

    Rebecca grew up in Virginia, then studied at Elon University and Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Previously a board-certified chaplain, Rebecca worked 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.


    As a pastor at Emmaus Way, Rebecca brings passion for 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 is also an advocate for public education, currently serving on the board of Pastors for North Carolina Children. Rebecca lives in Raleigh with her husband, Ryan, and two children, Atticus and Isaac. They love to play outside and enjoy listening to and making music together.

    Molly Brummett WUDEL,Pastor

    A native Tennessean, Molly 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, serving on Durham CAN's strategy team and as a co-chair of the clergy caucus, and visioning alongside staff and lead teams. In addition to EWay, Molly has taught within the Department of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School. She lives in Durham 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. 


    2022 Lead Team Members

    Year Three: Jessica Boyter & Sallie Gentry

    Year Two: Becca Lamb, Joy Williamson, & Jim Thomas

    Year One: Elan Hope & Dave Thiessen


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    Ministerial Interns

    Emmaus Way is fortunate to have two Duke Div interns this academic year--Katie Mangum and Claire Shelnutt. 


    Katie is from St. Louis, Missouri, where she previously studied earth science at Washington University and worked in philanthropy with a group of spunky Franciscan nuns. Katie is happy to be part of vibrant communities of progressive, open-minded Christian faith—including Emmaus Way and her home denomination of the United Church of Christ—as she explores the intersections of ministry and community-centric environmental work. She loves being outside, gardening and farming, hiking, reading, and spoiling her Westie, Lona, with her husband Daniel.  If you want to chat with Katie, don’t hesitate to reach out!


    Claire  is a second year MDIV at Duke, studying Christian Education and the intersection of theology and the arts. She hails from Athens, Georgia, where she attended UGA and studied Art History. She has been one of the children’s teachers at Emmaus Way for about a year now, and she is super excited to explore new roles in this community as an intern! Claire likes coffee, knitting, and hanging out with her two cats, Utah and C.S. Lewis. If you want to chat with Claire, don’t hesitate to reach out!

    • Katie Mangum

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    • Claire ShelNutt

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    Artist in residence, chessa rich

    Chessa Rich is a singer, songwriter, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist based in Durham, NC. After a period of living and teaching in Spain, Chessa moved back to her North Carolina home in 2013 and quickly became a sought-after collaborator, adding keyboards, flute, and vocals to projects by NC artists including Dante High, Skylar Gudasz, and Hiss Golden Messenger. She grew up singing hymns in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Burlington and experiences spiritual connection most often while making music with other people. She currently teaches music to young people and will release her debut full-length record in early 2023.