Started UPSem 2007: Rev. Ken Fuquay (MACE 2011 / MDiv 2015)

  1. Started UPSem 2002: Rev. Lori Raible (MDiv 2006)
  2. Started UPSem 2003: Rev. Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown (MDiv 2008)
  3. Started UPSem 2004: Rev. Nadine Ellsworth-Moran (MDiv / MACE 2011)
  4. Started UPSem 2005: Rev. Noe Juarez-Loayza (MDiv 2010)
  5. Started UPSem 2006: Rev. Lorenzo Small (MDiv 2013)
  6. Started UPSem 2007: Rev. Ken Fuquay (MACE 2011 / MDiv 2015)
  7. Started UPSem 2008: Rev. Jonathan Davis (MDiv 2014) 
  8. Started UPSem 2009: Rev. British Hyrams (MDiv/MACE 2016)
  9. Started UPSem 2010: Rev. Charmaine Smith (MDiv 2017)
  10. Started UPSem 2011: Rev. Vikki Brogdon (MDiv 2016)
  11. Started UPSem 2012: Rev. Dr. Doug Harr (MDiv 2018)
  12. Started UPSem 2013: Martin Pruitt (MDiv 2018 / MACE 2019)
  13. Started UPSem 2014: Rev. William Joseph “Joey” Haynes III (MDiv 2019)
  14. Started UPSem 2015: Rev. Gail Henderson-Belsito (MDiv 2020)
  15. Started UPSem 2016: Rev. Eric Tang (MDiv 2021)
  16. Started UPSem 2017: Rev. Marina Luckhoo (pursuing MDiv)
  17. Started UPSem 2018: Jason Smith
  18. Started UPSem 2019: Ryan Atkinson
  19. Started UPSem 2020: Sedae Slaughter (pursuing MACE)
  20. Started UPSem 2021: Matt Wiedle (pursuing MDiv and MACE)

The following is part of a series of 20 profiles that represent each year that Charlotte has been enrolling students. 

President and CEO
Matters to Mission

Mount Holly, North Carolina

Calling Asheboro, North Carolina, his hometown, Rev. Ken Fuquay (MACE 2011 / MDiv 2015) had many “hometowns” as a kid. His father was a Pentecostal Holiness minister, moving the family from place to place as he assumed different pastorates. Fuquay remembers, “We lived in Mount Pleasant, Asheboro, and Raleigh. My formative years were during Dad’s tenure as pastor in Asheboro.” Fuquay’s induction into church life and ministry came early and was pervasive. From Wednesday night Bible study to Sunday school to youth camps to church choirs, Fuquay found himself deeply immersed in ministry from a young age. Receiving degrees from Emmanuel College and the Carolina School of Broadcasting, prior to his pursuit of a seminary degree he worked in broadcasting and engaged with music, singing in southern gospel groups.

Having spent years away from church life, Fuquay found his way back one Sunday morning after hearing about a church on Seigle Avenue in Charlotte that welcomed everyone regardless of age, race, or sexuality. “To offer a short version of this story, being wounded by the church and being told that God did not and could not love me, I ran from anything that had anything to do with organized religion. On a divinely appointed Sunday morning after a long weekend of ‘partying,’ a voice stirred my spirit. I felt strongly that I had run long enough, and I found myself sitting in a multicultural Presbyterian church.” After he joined his new church home, one of Union Presbyterian Seminary’s faculty, Rodney Sadler, was invited to guest preach. For Fuquay, that sermon was igniting. “The context of Sadler’s message combined with his delivery style pierced through the garbage on to which I was holding, and the call to pastoral ministry was rekindled.”

To pursue his call, Fuquay enrolled at the seminary’s Charlotte campus, initially most appreciating its location and weekend format, and later valuing the enduring friendships he developed with the faculty, staff, and students. As he sees it, the work of the seminary in Charlotte is part of a long line of innovation and adaptation lodged firmly in the school’s and our faith’s past. “Throughout the Old Testament, whenever the wanderers would settle in a new geographic location, they would dig a well. The well was a source of life and became the center of the community. I am confident UPSem Charlotte is a well, dug sound and deep.” He continues, “Look at the graduates: where they’ve gone, what they’ve done, and what they’re doing. They are carrying water from the well to the dry and thirsty parched places in the world. Charlotte is the 24th largest market in the United States and is growing in diversity. Now more than ever, the city needs a well, a life-giving well.”

After his second graduation from UPSem Charlotte, Fuquay was ordained in the PC(USA), helping found a new congregation in Charlotte as part of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities initiative. In addition to his pastoral work, he serves as the CEO and President of one of the largest nonprofits in North Carolina, LIFESPAN Services. Today, Fuquay makes his home in Mount Holly, NC, with his husband and partner of more than 30 years.