C. Leonard Raybon, Chancel Choir Director
C. Leonard Raybon is happy to be returning to church work. He has served in churches for twenty years, most recently as the choir director at Lakeview Presybterian Church, New Orleans, for eleven years. He has been on the faculty of Tulane for thirteen years, and currently serves as chair of the Newcomb Department of Music. At Tulane, he is the Director of Choirs, resident musical director and conductor for the prestigious Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane, and voice teacher. He has presented papers in Honolulu, Hawaii, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and has had an article on Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude published in The American Organist. In 2009 he was invited as guest conductor in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Raybon has won two Big Easy Awards for musical direction in Pirates of Penzance and Man of La Mancha at Summer Lyric at Tulane. He was recently a featured soloist and chorister the Monteverdi Vespers at Marigny Opera House. Leonard and his choirs performed in Rome, Florence, and Venice last year. This summer, in Rome, he presented a paper on his innovative beginning voice teaching approach based in Aristotle, and an article on the topic will be published in the International Journal of Arts Education. Click here to email him.
Marcus St. Julien, Organist/Pianist
Marcus St. Julien is a native of New Orleans, where his earliest training included piano study with Marie Théard, and organ study with Anne L. Ganucheau, Elise Cambon and Herndon Spillman. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Loyola University, and the Master of Music degree in music theory from Indiana University. Dr. St. Julien earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, under the direction of Clyde Holloway.
From 1983 to 2004 Dr. St. Julien was Organist-Choirmaster at the Church of St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Sugar Land, Texas, and was the organist for many functions of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston. In April of 1992 he won first prize at the graduate level of the twenty-first annual Wm. C. Hall Pipe Organ competition in San Antonio, Texas. He has been heard in recital throughout the South, including a program for the 1989 national convention of the Organ Historical Society in New Orleans, as well as the dedication recital of the Dobson pipe organ at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington, Louisiana in 2001. Dr. St. Julien’s recording of the St. Joseph’s Abbey dedication program was released in 2004 by Raven Records. He is the organist of Temple Sinai Reformed Congregation, and is an instructor on the faculty of the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola University, teaching organ, music theory and voice. Click here to email him.
Nancy Hopkins, Lay Servant
Nancy is a retired biochemistry professor and serves Rayne as a Lay Servant. She is in process to become a certified Lay Servant as well as becoming certified in Youth Ministry with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. She attended Wesley Theological Seminary and received certification as a Lay Youth Minister. At Rayne, she assists the pastors by assuring that the chapel and sanctuary are in order for each service, helping to coordinate volunteers, by assisting the laity to find ways in which to serve and by serving as a leader for short term courses. You may call the church to reach her or click here to email her.
Natalie Derham, Director of Children’s Ministries
Natalie earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Studies from Clemson University followed by a Master of Arts in Secondary Science Education from Towson University. Natalie taught high school science locally for seven years before deciding to pursue a Professional School Counseling certificate. She worked as school counselor at a New Orleans public high school for five years and still continues to counsel part time. Looking for a new way to educate, Natalie assumed the role of Director of Children’s Ministries in September 2013, feeling excited and honored to have the opportunity to work and serve the children and families of Rayne, especially with two young boys of her own.
In her current role, Natalie is your go-to person for all children’s ministries ideas and events. You may call the church to reach her or click here to email her.
Earnest Lumpkins, Business Manager
Ernest earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University of Louisiana. Ernest has thirty-four years of business and accounting experience, including twenty plus years at the supervisory and management level (6 years as Business Consultant, 7 years as a Director of Finance for two non-profit charter schools and 6 years as a Finance Manager for Tulane-NCUC, 6 years as an Assistant Bureau Chief for taxes collection for City of New Orleans and 4 years as a Revenue Collections Supervisor) in budgeting and accounting; preparation of monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements.
Ernest and his wife are natives of New Orleans and they have two adult children.
You may call the church to reach him or click here to email him.
Allison Way Bunnell, Director of Children’s Music
Allison Way was born and raised in Winter Park, FL and was an active member at First United Methodist Church of Orlando before moving to New Orleans for college. She graduated in 2012 with a bachelors degree in music therapy and a minor in psychology. Following her four years of course work at Loyola, Allison completed a six month internship at Children’s Hospital New Orleans where she led therapy sessions daily and held weekly evening activities for the patients and their families. She enjoyed being a member of the chancel choir at Rayne during her schooling, and is so excited to be back at Rayne! Click here to email her.
Shaun Darnall, Administrative Assistant, Youth Coordinator, Wedding Coordinator
Before coming to the Rayne staff, Shaun worked almost two years very closely with us as the Uptown Storm Station Administrative Assistant, a position in which she proved to be an enormous asset in the United Methodist Churches disaster recovery efforts. Shaun manages our offices and buildings with grace and competence. You may call the church to reach her or click here to email her.
Susie Vanderkuy, Secretary
Susie works in the office on a part time basis, job sharing with Carol Thiele. She is also a part-time dental hygienist. Before joining the Rayne staff Susie was in pharmaceutical sales for 17 years, and prior to that was a reading specialist. Susie can be found on most Sunday mornings as a greeter in the chapel and a children’s Sunday School teacher. Susie shares her passion in Ikebana, quilting and other creative activities to enrich our ministries. You may call the church to reach her or click here to email her.
Carol Thiele, Secretary
Carol earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and graduate studies from Baylor University followed by Religious Education studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Carol is a creative web designer and newsletter editor with many years of experience in the church having served in a wide range of roles from teacher to writer to administrator. You may click here to email her.
Marcus Thompson, Building Maintenance Custodian
Marcus Thompson, Owner of Thompson Cleaning Service, serves as our part-time Building Maintenance Custodian. He brings to this position his vast array of handyman skills, his kind heart, his willing spirit, and his lifelong love of New Orleans, the city in which he was born and raised.