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Caitlin Lai

Senior Pastor

Caitlin Lai

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Pastor Caitlin Lai (pronounced "lie") is a lifelong United Methodist, but it wasn’t until college that she started exploring questions of faith and discerning a call to parish ministry. She is Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and holds degrees from Duke University and Appalachian State University. Prior to her appointment to Hickory Grove, Caitlin has served under appointment as a Solo Pastor and as an Associate Pastor, and has served many ministerial internships in varying contexts. Pastor Caitlin has experience in refugee resettlement and immigration, as well as working in home care. While a graduate student at Duke, Pastor Caitlin spent a year studying at a seminary and interning at a church in Hong Kong, where she deepened a call to intercultural, urban ministry. It was through this global experience that she also discovered one of her favorite aspects of the United Methodist Church and the family of God: through our connection as the body of Jesus Christ, we can find friends and partners for the journey, anywhere we go.

Pastor Caitlin seeks to cultivate a community rooted in the love of Jesus Christ: one where everyone knows they are deeply loved and embraced for who they are. She is delighted to be serving with the good people of Hickory Grove UMC to share the love of God in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and beyond.

Fun fact: Pastor Caitlin enjoys learning about cultures different than her own and traveling through food. If you have a dish that is unique to you or restaurant(s) that you love, reach out to Pastor Caitlin. She'd love to get to know you, especially through a good meal!