H. Gray Southern, District Superintendent
Gray Southern is a native of Smithfield, NC. After graduating Smithfield Selma High, he received his BA in psychology and religion from UNC-Chapel Hill, his Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, and a D.Min from Columbia Theological Seminary.
He has been deeply involved and committed with NCCUMC for over 36 years. His most recent appointment, Lead Pastor at the Apex UMC Campus. Gray’s hopes for the Capital District: Witness for the sake of the Kingdom and to increase and build upon the strong commitment and connection that we already feel.
He has been married to his wife, Susan, for over 33 yrs and they have 2 children : Mary Gray and Kirk.
Claire grew up in Sanford, NC in Pocket Presbyterian Church. She graduated from Lee County Senior High School and Hardbarger College of Business with a degree in Business Administration. Her professional background includes retail management, upper level management in the direct sales industry and management in a broadcasting and publishing company with duties including production of the Efird Bible Study series and other spiritual formation resources. She has been an active member at St. Francis UMC in Cary for over 22 years, serves on the leadership team for the NC Academy for Spiritual Formation and was elected to serve as a Delegate to the 2016 Jurisdictional Conference.
Claire has been married to husband David for over 29 years and they are the proud parents of three young adult children: Jacob, Kali and Jonathan. She enjoys cooking, boating, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Jin was born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to New York City with her family at age 12. Being raised in the “Melting Pot”, Jin experienced people of various cultures and languages, where she embraced and thrived in the beauty of diversity.
She graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and with her husband, John, operated a business in New York City for almost 25 years.
Jin and her family served in Korean United Methodist Churches in New York and New Jersey until moving to North Carolina in 2007.
Since then, she served actively at Agape Korean UMC in multiple capacities including Sunday School teacher, VBS coordinator, Youth activities coordinator, small group leader, college Bible study leader, Lay Member of the Annual Conference, UMW Korean Language Coordinator, Education Ministry chair, and sermon translator.
She is presently serving on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, Multi-Cultural Ministry, Asian Ministry, Committee on Monitoring & Accountability, and United Methodist Women Conference leadership team.
Special interests for Jin are Congregation4Children Ministry, Gender and Racial Inequalities and Racial/Ethnic representation in the North Carolina Conference, to name a few.
Jin and John have 3 children and have made North Raleigh UMC their church home in 2015.