First Reformed CornerstoneFounded in 1916 in uptown Charlotte as First Reformed Church, Holy Covenant is a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC) — one of the United States’ traditional Protestant denominations born of the merger of four historic American communities of faith. In fact, we trace our heritage in the US as far back as the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. These Congregationalists, and the many people who followed them, sought the liberty to believe and worship God as their conscience dictated. Several hundred years later, the UCC continues to believe that God is still speaking to God’s people — and we continue to build on our tradition of being The First to celebrate and honor the gifts of all of God’s people: women, people of color, LGBTQ and more.


The Rev. Dr. Nancy Ellett AllisonThe Rev. Dr. Nancy Ellett Allison
Senior Minister

Ordained in 1981 at Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas TX, Nancy has focused her life on advocacy for those Jesus identified as the last, the least and the little ones. Early in her career she served as a missionary to Liberia, teaching at Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary. Returning to the United States in 1990, she worked with young families in crisis as Chaplain Coordinator for Baylor University Medical Center and as Family Coordinator for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission. She founded CityChurch: A Baptist Community of Grace in Dallas (now known as Church in the Cliff), before moving to North Carolina in 1999.

After serving Holy Covenant as Interim Pastor, Nancy was called by the church in 2004 to accept the role of Pastor. Beyond her ministry within the congregation, Nancy has long served as a strong advocate for LGBTQ concerns — expressed in ongoing community leadership and as a former member of the Board of Directors for Time Out Youth (2006-2010). With African-American colleague The Rev. Dian Griffin Jackson, Nancy has addressed white privilege and racial relationships in joint preaching and seminar leadership. A founding member of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, Nancy served on the Executive Committee as team lead for Environmental Concerns. She has partnered with Greenpeace, the Charlotte Chapter of the Sierra Club and NCWarn on a variety of environmental protests, issues and concerns.

Nancy earned her BA from Baylor University and her MDiv and PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. A popular speaker, preacher and retreat leader, Nancy has written and edited for several publications, and served as Secretary of the Southern Conference of the UCC and a member of the board of directors. With her husband Dale, Church Administrator for Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Nancy has two young adult daughters. For fun and wonderful solitude, she enjoys working in her exuberant perennial flower garden.


Steve BurlesonMr. Steven Burleson
Pastor for Youth & Young Adults

“I have always been a strong proponent and advocate for students in the Church. When I was given the chance to minister to a caring community of adults and students that embodies love for all, there was no question in my mind that I would be investing in a worthwhile adventure!”

Steven, a native Charlottean, received his Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2011. He is presently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary with a concentration in Interreligious Engagement. Steven holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from The Haden Institute and is an active Spiritual Director. He has worked in Pastoral Care and Youth Ministry settings for the past 14 years, and serving Holy Covenant since 2011. Steven also serves as Chaplain and Care Coordinator for RAIN (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) in Charlotte, where he resides with wife Brittany and son Matthew. His passions include reading, hiking, cinema, browsing bookstores, and spending time with his wife and son.


Jared FischerMr. Jared Fischer
Music Director

Jared has studied piano with distinguished musicians such as André De Groote, Evelyne Brancart, and Edmund Battersby, and holds a degree in piano performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. An active performer, he concertizes regularly in both solo and chamber recitals on the East Coast, West Coast, and in the Midwest. He has taught piano for over 10 years to students of all ages and levels and continues to be involved in a wide variety of teaching engagements in addition to maintaining his own private studio. In addition to his studies and engagements in classical music, Jared is an avid rock ‘n’ roll musician. He has developed a unique style of playing that draws upon his eclectic taste in popular, folk, rock, and independent music, and plays often in such projects with his wife, Caroline.


Dawn SimmonsMs. Dawn Simmons
Executive Assistant

The support staff and “keeper of all things necessary, unnecessary, and questionable”, Dawn has served Holy Covenant since 2009. Dawn earned a BSB in Finance from University of Phoenix, and is multi-talented in organizing church financial resources, coordinating vendors and schedules, creating outgoing communications on various media, and overall managing church administrative activities. She’s helpful with dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s as a final step in many church projects and processes. To members, she is willing to “be the bridge” to keep people connected and to get them where they need to go. Dawn is often the first point of contact for people who are new to the church, and is an advocate and champion of both the UCC and Holy Covenant’s mission for equality and inclusion.

Dawn has a soft spot in her heart for animals of all kind, loves to garden and has taken an interest in supporting pollinators of various types. She’s committed to recycling and repurposing everything she  can, and connects people and things with those in need within our community. Her husband Jimmy & son Kyle will vouch for that!



CONTACT US


— OFFICE HOURS —
Monday–Friday
8am–4pm

— PHONE —
704-599-9810

— STAFF —
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Ellett Allison
Senior Pastor

Mr. Steven Burleson
Pastor for Youth & Young Adults

Mr. Jared Fischer
Music Director

Ms. Dawn Simmons
Executive Assistant

— MAIL —
PO BOX 481285
Charlotte NC 28269