Rev. Clarinda E. Crawford, Pastor (Email)
Rev. Crawford, known to her parishioners as Clarinda, or “C.C.” or “Pastor C” to younger folks, came to Flat Rock UMC and NC in July 2017. A native of Indiana, this was a big, and not typical, United Methodist pastor move. In July 2018, she also began to pastor Rankin Memorial Mission UMC in High Point, NC. This means, Rev. Crawford splits her time between both churches, while living in Stokesdale. Raised on a livestock and grain farm in Attica, IN, she graduated from DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) in 1999 with her Bachelor of Arts (majors and minors in Communications, Political Science, Economics, and Earth Sciences). She later completed her Master of Divinity (Theology & Pastoral Care & Counseling) from Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis) in 2006. Recently, she just completed a degree program through Indiana University-Bloomington for a Master of Public Affairs (Nonprofit Management, July 2018). Rev. Crawford has served in six churches previously. Her last appointment in Indiana was at Congress Street in Lafayette where she also held part-time jobs working as a Program Director at Lafayette Urban Ministry, a Resource Coordinator for Food Finders Food Bank, and a bus driver for the Lafayette School Corporation.
From 2012-2014, Rev. Crawford was accepted into the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program. This is a program funded through the Lilly Endowment in Indiana and targets talented, young pastors in all denominations who demonstrate high potential for significant community leadership. Through this program, Rev. Crawford was exposed to knowledge in leadership and social justice issues. She traveled to southern California and Mexico on an Immigration Study Tour and also to South Africa on a tw0-week study tour of Post-Apartheid Race Relations in the country. It was through this program – and some culmination of life experiences through ministry – that she began her current degree program. The continuation of transformation also led to the nonprofit sector positions mentioned above as she felt heavily called to Jesus’ work toward “the least of these.”
Rev. Crawford is happily single. Her parents, Howard & Sallie, still live in Attica. Her younger brother, John, lives in Indianapolis, and she has a younger sister in Aukland, New Zealand. Her hobbies beyond discipling work and studies are few and far between at the moment. If given a moment, she’s perfectly content to binge watch just about anything on television. She likes houseplants and palm trees (they’re doing much better here than in Indiana during cooler months) and regularly gardened in Indiana. She is also renewing her love for basketball after a lifelong love affair with football, but that’s another sermon for another day. She has avidly played tennis and will look to renew that as time moves forward here in NC. While she was a self-proclaimed dog lover, when asked, “Dog or cat person?” (She had previously had two dogs, Fuzzy and Bentley.), in May 2018, she took in her first kitten, a 6-week old orange tabby named Tigger (girl) and now she also has Tutu (boy) as Tigger’s beloved playmate.
Clarinda’s prayer and dream for FRUMC is to develop a vision and identity consistent with Jesus and also as nuanced by The United Methodist Church. From that vision and identity, may the love of Jesus shine forth from Flat Rock and as a beacon of hope and comfort to all those who struggle with their lives, for whatever reason.
Elena Derzhavina, Music Director (Email)
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Elena graduated magna cum laude from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and organ performance and an emphasis in piano pedagogy. Elena holds two graduate degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN, and a master degree in Piano Performance and a Graduate Performer Diploma in piano.
Elena moved to North Carolina in 2008 and has been with FRUMC ever since. Elenda also works at RTI-International (Research Triangle Institute) in Raleigh as a Project Supervisor and Corporate Trainer. Elena is a member of SAPOR. In her spare time, Elena volunteers for UMW initiatives.