Pastor Mike Derflinger - Senior Pastor
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Carolyn Mills - Organist and Children's Choir Director
Carolyn Mills began her music ministry when she was just 11 years old as church organist at her home church, Straightstone Baptist Church in Long Island, VA. She played for the Youth Sunday School class starting at just 9 years old. Through her middle and high school years, and even through her years studying music education at Radford College, Carolyn continued to serve as organist at her home church. After college, she began serving as organist at Inglewood Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA, then at Lane Memorial Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church in Altavista, VA.
In 1987, Carolyn and her family moved to Christiansburg, VA. In the New River Valley, she served as the organist at Main Street Baptist Church in Christiansburg for 11 years, Radford Presbyterian Church for 9 years, and starting in August 2009 she became the organist at St. Paul United Methodist Church, where she still serves to this day. Throughout the years she has been a choir director to all ages from preschool through adults at various churches. She was the choir director of three children’s choirs with combined 72 members at Main Street Baptist Church. Presently, she is the Children’s Choir Director at St. Paul Methodist Church.
Carolyn earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Radford University with concentrations in piano, organ and voice, and a masters of education degree in reading from Longwood University. She holds a Level I Orff-Schulwerk certification. Working alongside Radford University Music Department, Carolyn has been an adjunct professor working with numerous college music education students in their blocking and student teaching experiences. Nine of her students went on to be music teachers in Montgomery County Public Schools. She retired in 2016 after 33 years of teaching music in the public school system of Virginia.
Carolyn and her husband Gerald have known each other since the first grade and have been married for 47 years. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters, Angela Mills and Heather Mills McClaugherty. Angela works with Virginia Tech in the advancement for the College of Engineering. She recently became engaged. Heather is the music teacher at Christiansburg Primary School and the choir director at St. Paul Methodist Church. She is married to Brandon and they have blessed us with two precious grandchildren, Braxton and Zoey.
For over 57 years, Carolyn has taught children and adults private piano lessons in her home music studio. She continues to instill a love of music and understanding of the fundamentals into her students of all ages.
Heather McClaugherty - Adult Choir Director
Heather McClaugherty is the Adult Choir Director at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Christiansburg, VA. She has been the Adult Choir Director officially since July 2014, but started as the interim director in April 2014.
Heather resides in Christiansburg, VA with her husband and two children. She has taught public school music since Fall 2009 and is currently the elementary music teacher at Christiansburg Primary School in Montgomery County. She has also taught elementary music in various schools in Pulaski County Public Schools and Wythe County Public Schools.
Heather has earned a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She also earned her teaching credentials through the Western Virginia Public Education Consortium Career Switcher program that at the time was in conjunction with Radford University in Radford, VA. Heather earned her Orff Schulwerk certification for Levels I, II, and III at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
Heather was named Teacher of the Year at Rural Retreat Elementary School in Wythe County, VA for the 2012/2013 School Year. She was also named Teacher of the Year at Christiansburg Primary School in Montgomery County, VA for the 2019/2020 School Year.
Prior to teaching music, Heather worked in marketing at country music recording label companies including Universal Music Group Nashville and ShowDog Nashville. Other notable musical achievements during her school days include Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity membership with Vice President of Ritual duties for the 2002/2003 School Year, Middle and High School choir participation with class nominated duties as Swing Choir President for the 1999/2000 School Year, participation in Church Youth and Children Choirs, as well as, Handbell Choir at the former Main Street Baptist Church in Christiansburg, VA. Heather McClaugherty has always had music as a part of her life and loves being able to be a part of such a wonderful and dedicated group of singers at St. Paul UMC!
Carol Slaughter - Administrative Assistant
Carol was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA. She came to the New River Valley in 1996 when her husband transferred to Virginia Tech.
Carol has always had a love for photography and graphic design. Her photography has been published in newspapers and calendars. She was also a wedding photographer for many years until she decided to go back to school. She received her A.A.S. degree in Information Technology & Computer Graphic Design (more design than IT) from New River Community College with plans to transfer to Radford University. Those plans changed quickly when she and her husband were blessed with triplet boys.
Carol and her husband reside in Christiansburg, VA with their triplet boys, who are graduates of Christiansburg High School and are off to college in the fall of 2021. They are members at Wesley Memorial UMC.
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