Meet our worship leaders and staff at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church!

Rev. Lance Perry

Rev. Lance Perry, Interim Pastor, arrived in July 2024. He plans to be with us through early 2025. Rev. Lance brings a wealth of experience to BEPC. For 25 years, he served as a solo pastor and head of staff in congregations in North Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky. In 1999, he completed his Doctor of Ministry Degree in Congregational Studies at Union Theological Seminary. In 2014, Rev. Lance sensed a call to transitional ministry and completed specialized training. Since then, he has served eight congregations as transitional pastor, just completing a year with the Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese, NC. He also recently served St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Raleigh and First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia. Rev. Lance lives in Blowing Rock, where his wife, Rev. Kathy Beach, is the pastor of Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church. (You might remember that Rev. Edgar Tufts would often travel from our church to preach in Blowing Rock.) Together they have five children. In his spare time, he loves to play guitar, hike, read, travel and attend folk/bluegrass music festivals. He is at the church offic Sunday-Wednesdays and works remotely on Thursday.

Nina Allbert, choir director

Director of Choral Activities Nina Allbert began her career as a church musician at the age of eleven playing for her small hometown church. Since then she has been a soprano soloist/ section leader for Woodmont Christian Church and West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. She has sung with these choirs and the Nashville Symphony for many concerts including a production of Handel’s Messiah with the symphony and ballet as the soprano soloist. She also led children and teen choirs at both churches.

In addition, she taught choral music and drama for 26 years with an age span of 3 years to adults. She has been an active participant with Lees-McRae Summer Theatre as an actor and music director. Nina has a very talented daughter, Roxie who lives in Connecticut. Nina and her husband Alan live in Roan Mountain with their new puppy, Dipsy Doodle.

David Soyars, Organist / Pianist

Pianist/Organist David Soyars began playing piano for church at age sixteen and has been in music ministry for most of his adult life, with more than thirty years experience. Born into a musical family, David was singing in the church choir by age 10. Formal piano lessons and choral training began in Junior High, and High School was busy with marching band, musical theatre and choral ensembles– selected twice for All-State Chorus. Most previously, he served as organist/pianist for fifteen years at College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC.

Some of his highlight musical experiences have included an organ tour in the UK with the opportunity to “test drive” organs at five major cathedrals and singing with a 250-voice choir and orchestra at Carnegie Hall to premiere Pepper Choplin’s “Our Father”, a musical study of The Lord’s Prayer. In 2012, he recorded the Christmas CD Peace and Joy with modern piano arrangements of traditional favorites. He and his husband Mark File live in Banner Elk.

Alisa Ballard

Alisa Ballard, Church Administrator, began coming to the Banner Elk area in 1977, little did she know that she would return to the area 39 years later to be a permanent resident. Alisa is originally from Lenoir, North Carolina, graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University and moved to Wilkesboro, North Carolina where she became involved in the Wilkesboro Presbyterian Chapel, which is the historic mother church established in 1837 of North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church. Alisa became very active in the North Wilkesboro Church working with Presbyterian Women, Vacation Bible School, Presbytery, volunteering in the church office and later as Interim Director of Christian Education.

In 2005, Alisa moved to Winston-Salem area where she became a member of Highland Presbyterian Church. Alisa has been a Vista Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and worked in various corporate environments during her career before moving to the Banner Elk area.

Dedy Traver

Dedy Traver, Office & Finance Manager, says the love of skiing brought her to Banner Elk many years ago, soon after the Sugar Mountain Resort opened. She has wide-ranging experience in office management, and everyone in this church knows how pleasant, informed and helpful she is. However, some folks may not know that among certain circles, Dedy is known as the “Duchess of Who-Dunnit Mysteries.” An avid reader of English cozy murder mysteries, Dedy and several friends write, produce and host mystery productions along with high tea parties in her home each year as fund raisers for Holy Cross Episcopal Church.

She also sings in several choirs, plays hand bells, golfs, has been Clerk of the Vestry in her church for 36 years, is an election poll worker, serves on the Avery County Board of Equalizations. She is known for her work in various forms or arts and crafts—including expert jam and jelly-making. Dedy is a dauntless hostess, entertaining large eclectic groups of friends for holiday feasts as well as serving “proper” English teas featuring her to-die-for-hot-from-the-oven scones. What a versatile lady—and what a lucky day for our church when she began working here in 2011!

Jarrett Koski

Jarrett W. Koski-Kohler (Mr. K): Preschool Director
Mr. K is a proud alumnus of Lees-McRae College where he obtained his B.F.A in Musical Theatre with an emphasis in Theatre Arts Education K-12. Mr. K. has had the privilege of working with BEPC Preschool since 2020. During the 2020 pandemic, he served as the director of the S.A.V.E (school age virtual education) program. He then later joined the Preschool staff as the Pre-K 4 lead teacher. He enjoys every moment of teaching.

In addition, Mr. K has taught theatre and dance for more than 10 years. He has also has been an active performer with companies such as Lees-McRae Summer Theatre and Ensemble Stage. He is very grateful to be able to be able to do what he loves every day! Mr. K and his husband Sam live in Banner Elk.

Margaret Trivette

Margaret Trivette, Church Housekeeper, has been on our staff longer than anyone else, serving as Church Housekeeper since 1985. One look around the building and it’s evident how well she does her job, but her influence reaches much further than keeping the building neat and clean. She is known throughout the community for her helpfulness and compassion. Her daughter, Rebecca Bivens, describes her mom as “the most giving and caring person—always putting others first.” When not working at BEPC or helping others in the community, Margaret is busy supporting her husband Richard’s work as pastor of Faith Missions Baptist Church in Watauga County. They’ve been married for over 60 years and have three children and six grandkids, and one great grandchild. They are very proud of their daughters, Rebecca and Tammy live here in Banner Elk, Tammy who lives in Boone, and son, David, a missionary/minister in Tampa, Florida. Margaret’s smiling face and upbeat spirit are inspirations to us all.

Suzie Fisk

Suzie Fisk, Handbells Director
Suzie Fisk has called Banner Elk “home” for 35 years.  Her first musical love is the flute which she started at an early age.  Since moving to the mountains, handbells have captured her interest and are now her main musical focus. “Bringing a group together to make beautiful music is such a Joy. Working with others and sharing an appreciation for the harmonious resonance of the bells adds an uncommon element to the worship experience.”

Suzie is the middle sister of three girls born one year apart, all in August. Their mother taught them each to play the piano. She was the Sunday School Pianist at the church they attended as young girls. All three sisters were in the Marching Band during high school.  Suzie and her husband Larry can be seen frequently walking their beautiful Toy Sheltie Dixie Belle in the park. They enjoy doing woodwork and making stained glass together.

Pete Welter

Pete Welter, Media & Sound
Pete has been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years providing services for many weddings, events, celebrations and charities. He is also a premiere DJ for Disney Cruise Lines. Locally, you can find him hosting trivia, karaoke, music bingo and even game shows! He has engineered sound for many bands and worship services and continues to do so for BEPC – including our worship live streaming.

Pete also has TV and radio credentials as a co-host and music producer for a TV dance show as well as on-air personality for WMCT FM radio in Tennessee. His company, Welter Entertainment is also honored to have the amazing vocal talent of his wife, Geana! And if that wasn’t enough, in the wintertime, Pete is a ski instructor at Beech Mountain. His youngest son, Shane is here from Arizona attending Watauga High School and helps his dad with several things.