Mt. Sylvan Church Staff


  • Rev. LArry Bowden

    lead Pastor

    Larry is an Ordained Elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Originally from Alabama, he earned his Master of Divinity from the Divinity School at Duke University in 1983. Larry’s wife, Julia, is the pastor at Bethany United Methodist Church in Durham, and they have two sons. As the lead pastor at Mt. Sylvan, Larry preaches regularly on Sunday mornings, and is responsible for growing and organizing the staff and lay leadership of the church. 


    Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9:00am - Noon

  • Rev. Kathie Wilkinson

    PASTOR of Congregational Care

    Kathie is an Ordained Deacon in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Masters of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Kathie is married to Tim, has four children and several grandchildren. In addition to being Minister of Congregational Care she leads music and worship ministries at Mt. Sylvan and is also very involved in children's ministry. Kathie has a passion for creating and leading people in worship.


    Office hours: Monday - Thursday: 10:00am - 12:30pm

  • Jay Butler

    Minister of Youth & Discipleship

    Jay started working at Mt. Sylvan in April 2016. He was born in Tulsa, OK but lived most of his life in metro Atlanta. He earned his Bachelor’s in Political Science at the University of Georgia, and received his Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Jay received his call into ministry while working as an intern at the University of Georgia Wesley Foundation. Jay loves working and living in Durham. He loves going to DPAC and the Durham Bulls, and trying out all the great restaurants the Bull City has to offer!


    Office hours: Monday 1:00 - 5:00pm ;  Tuesday - Thursday: 9:00am - noon

  • Elizabeth "EB" Tester

    Children's Ministry Coordinator

    Elizabeth Tester has been Mt. Sylvan UMC’s Children’s Ministry Coordinator since February 2017. She has been working with Children and their families since 2003. She has been married to her husband, Josh Tester since 2007 and share their lovely home with their 2 fur babies Jasper and Howie. Elizabeth and Josh met in Ministry serving families through an organization called Summershine where they lead games, crafts and worship events for a campground in Williamsburg KOA. They have been in Ministry together ever since.


    Elizabeth’s favorite memories have revolved around church. Before working at Mt. Sylvan she attended Pfeiffer University studying in the field of Child Psychology and Christian Education. She taught as a 5-star Preschool teacher at a school in Asheville, NC that met at a church and has taught preschool for more than 9 years. She also served as the Children’s Ministry Director for First UMC of Asheboro. Church is where Elizabeth finds refuge and joy and she looks forward to seeing what God has in store for her as she contributes to ministry here at Mt. Sylvan.


    Office hours:  Tuesday & Wednesday: 9:00am - 3:00pm- Other times maybe requested

  • Sophia Clark

    Office Administrator & Ministry Assistant

    Before taking her position at Mt. Sylvan in February of 2016 Sophia and her family had moved to the Triangle from Louisville, KY. In Louisville Sophia had acquired years of United Methodist administrative experience as the Administrative Coordinator at St. Paul UMC, where she helped launch their justice and homeless ministry programs. Sophia’s husband Adam Clark is the Director of World Relief Durham (refugee resettlement organization). Sophia's will be the first face you see when you enter the church office, so be prepared to be met with a smile :) 


    Office hours: Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 4:00p ;  Friday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

  • Jim Bock

    Business Administrator

    Jim became Mt. Sylvan's Business Administrator in May 2015. A native of Durham, Jim has lived in northern Durham County for the last 29 years. His wife, Kathy, a lifelong resident of Durham County, is an RN at Duke. They have two sons, Alex and Adam, both in their early twenties. Alex is a HVAC service technician with Brown Brothers Plumbing and Heating, recently purchasing a home in Bahama. Adam, their youngest son, is on track to become an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church alongside his wife, Hope, who is also on her way to becoming a UM elder. Jim’s family are members of Mt. Bethel UMC.


    As a Business Administration professional – by education and on the job work – Jim has years of experience at several large and small companies in the area, including Northgate Associates and Nortel Networks. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as Business Administrator at Mt. Sylvan, as he begins refocusing his efforts to more directly serve God, and look forward to working as part of the finance team, church staff and committees, and with church members.


    Office hours: Monday 1:00 - 5:00pm;  Tuesday - Thursday: 8:30am - 12:30pm