Mt. Bethel engages all members in the task of caring for one another. We organize congregational care in this way:

Prayer requests may be sent to the church office via phone message or email Please indicate whether the request should be shared only with the pastor or whether it can be shared with the Board of Deacons and congregation.

The Board of Deacons is a group of ordained, caring individuals who each have a “flock list” of church friends and members. Members are encouraged to contact their deacons with prayer requests, meal train requests, and any celebrations we can share together. Each regular worshipper at Mt. Bethel should have an assigned Deacon and know who their deacon is, so they can contact them when needed.

Each month, a deacon serves as Deacon On Call. So does an Elder. These folks are elected to their ordained positions by the congregation and are your representatives and resources. If you have any questions about the church they will be happy to answer them or direct you to where the answers are.


Beverly King    

I’m the lady you see wearing my favorite straw hat around Mt. Bethel. I was born and raised in Minnesota. I moved here by way of Idaho, Washington and Colorado. I’m widowed and thankfully my daughter Heather, her husband Mykel and their daughter Isabella live just 15 minutes from me. I have enjoyed camping, traveling, gardening, baking, family time and football (GO Vikings!). I am a retired R.N. after 40+ years. Nursing was a calling for me as long as I can remember and I loved every bit of it. I worked from neonatal ICU through all age groups to an Alzheimer unit. Empathy, caring, supporting and being an advocate for others have been the tools of my vocation. I have been a member of Mt. Bethel for a few years and felt at home here from my very first visit. Folks at Mt. Bethel have been so friendly, welcoming and great partners in my faith journey. I accepted God’s call to be a Deacon to continue serving Him, my Mt. Bethel family and my community using the gifts God has given me.

Vicki Chappell 

I have lived in Durham for 35 years and began attending Mt. Bethel in 1994. My sons, Blaine and Cape, grew up in the church and were very active as youth. I am a registered dietitian and Food Service Director at Murdoch Developmental Center. My family and I have enjoyed attending Mt. Bethel, and over the years my favorite activities have been working with the Mt. Bethel children, coordinating Jr. Church, fellowship activities, attending Sunday school, and helping with the annual St. Nick Breakfast. As a deacon I am humbled to offer Christ’s encouragement, companionship, care and prayer.

Josette Collen

I am asked on a regular basis where I’m from since people can’t pin point my accent. My usual response is all over. I was born in France to Italian parents. My family moved to Toronto, Canada, when I was 8 years old. I am married to Gordon, and we have one son Matthew.  Matthew  married Christina Cosby in 2018. They live in Arlington Virginia. We have lived in Durham since 1997, and have been members of Mt Bethel since February 2009. I am a registered nurse and currently work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Duke. I have been serving as Mt. Bethel’s parish nurse for a while and was a member of the Reopening Task Force guiding our church through the complexities of COVID.  I enjoy reading, hiking, cooking, visiting the beach, the mountains and international travel.  I love our congregation and find people to be truly caring, loving and genuine. Mt Bethel has allowed me to continually grow in my faith. I believe God has called me to help others, and I strive to do that at work, with my church family, and in my life.

John Alling 

I was born in Durham and baptized in the Presbyterian church before moving out of state.  I returned to attend Duke, which also allowed me to be close to my grandparents.  I have many fond childhood memories visiting them, including walking to their church across the street from their home.  

Years later after we settled into our current home it seemed only natural to visit and join Mt. Bethel which is just a few minutes’ walk away.  We frequently stroll by and enjoy chatting with the families visiting the church playground along with seeing the choir and others come and go in the evenings.  Though we are now adjusting to life as empty-nesters, Linda and I were blessed to have Mt Bethel as a church home while raising our three children.  Apart from previously serving as a deacon, most of my church activities have focused on the youth, including teaching Junior church. 

After getting a Master’s degree from UNC I started my tech career, spending many years in RTP, though I now work in downtown Durham as a Support Manager.  I’ve always enjoyed sports, especially the Blue Devils, though recent years also find me frequently watching the Hurricanes and Durham Bulls.


Helena Coman

Originally from Rockwell, NC, I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and then taught school at Carrington Junior High and at Duke Memorial Weekday School. I am married to Stuart Coman, a sports publisher, and we have two adult sons, Jay and Jack. We have been members of Mt. Bethel since 2009 when we transferred our membership from Pilgrim UCC. I was ordained and began serving a term as a deacon at Mt. Bethel in 2010. I have also enjoyed singing in Mt. Bethel’s choir, teaching Sunday School and serving on various church committees.

Rosita Garrett

Although I grew up on a dairy farm in western Piedmont NC, after graduating from Appalachian State, I moved to Durham to begin my teaching career.  Getting married and having 2 children, Jordan and Valerie, followed.  It was 1992 when we first came to Mt. Bethel. I immediately felt the welcoming atmosphere. In 1994, we had our third child,Lane and the Mt.Bethel families showered us with love and meals! I got involved with the nursery, teaching a 3-4 year old Sunday School class,and enjoyed helping with Vacation Bible School. 

I teach 5th grade Math at Easley Elementary where I get to enjoy the community feel of Mt. Bethel since my school,church and home are all in close proximity.In my free time, I love the Durham area and  enjoy the ease of going west to see my hometown folks, or east to see my daughter or the beach. I enjoy visiting with friends and spending time with my children and my two grandchildren, Nicholas and Haven. I love the opportunity of being a deacon and having the chance to be of service to anyone in need, which I also enjoy  on the Outreach Committee.

Deborah Huffer

My name is Deborah Huffer, I currently live in Hillsborough, but am originally from Staunton, Virginia, a magnificent place to live.  I have lived on both coasts as well as the North and the South, but mountains are always home to me.  

In college I originally planned on a law career but switched paths to education and never regretted it. I am certified to teach at pre-school through high school levels and had the luxury of moving from grade to grade. It made for a wild roller coaster of a teaching career, and it has enriched my life in more ways than I can count.

I moved to North Carolina at the end of 2010 and spent three years living with my son, Dan and my daughter-in-law, Emily. The summer of my first year with them, my granddaughter, Alex was born. I found my way to Mount Bethel when I noticed the immense joy and peace that membership in this church was bringing to Emily and Alex. I felt at home the moment I walked through the door.  I love working with Junior Church, the Youth Group, Shine, and helping with handbells when Amy has an empty spot in the kids’ practice.  

I also enjoy baking, cooking and I’m increasing my gluten-free repertoire. I’m fairly athletic and plan to start running again for the first time in seven years.

Jane Venable

I am a Durham native and grew up attending Mt Bethel which was just down the street from my childhood home. The same generosity and spirit of kindness I witnessed at Mt Bethel as a child and young adult still exists here today. My husband Ed and I have been married for 35 years. We have two adult daughters; Catherine and son-in-law Nick, live in New Jersey and our youngest, Caroline, lives in Tennessee. Both of our girls were baptized at Mt Bethel as infants. I retired from Grey Stone Pre-School and Kindergarten after working 19 years as a Teacher’s Assistant in Kindergarten. Before this I worked as a dental assistant, RN, and a stay-at-home mom. Attending Sunday services and other church activities here has given me the opportunity to grow in my faith and journey as a Christian. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as Deacon at Mt Bethel for the next three years and am excited to see all the ways God will lead us and love us.


Other Forms of Care

The pastor also welcomes invitations to home visits or outdoor visits with those who are more comfortable, given COVID concerns. Call the church office if you would like to schedule a home visit with the pastor. Once hospital visits are allowed again, the pastor will be making visits to area hospitals.

In the meantime, if you have a family member or friend staying at one of the regional hospitals, you can have a card with a personalized message delivered at no charge.