Senior Pastor

Phyllis Coates

  Send Email  •  (336)508-0291

Rev. Phyllis K. Coates is a native of Pittsboro, N.C. in Chatham County. After graduating from the Chatham County Schools, she received an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Durham Technical Institute, a B.A. from Shaw University in Religion and Philosophy and a Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary. She is an Elder in Full Connection in the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Coates is married to Rev. George Melvin Coates. They have one son, the Rev. George Marcell Coates and a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Keita T. Coates and grandchildren, Peter Emanuel Coates and Alana Patience Coates.

Occupationally, she is a retired magistrate and Administrative Hearing Traffic Court Judge and has served as the pastor of Zion Hill, Peace, Raleigh’s Crossroads, St. Mary’s, and St. John’s United Methodist Churches, all in the Northern Piedmont District. She also served the Empire Circuit in the Uwharrie District, which includes Stout’s Chapel, Pleasant Hill and Piney Ridge United Methodist Churches.

She loves music and most importantly, she is a Child of God.

Assistant Pastor & Latino Pastor

Candido Albino

  Send Email  •  (704)995-2302

Candido was born in Puerto Rico on February 3, 1960. He received his associate degree on Social Work from the World University in Guayama, Puerto Rico. In 2016, Candido completed his fifth year of Course of Study at Garrett Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.  Candido has served as Director, Pastor and Founder of Ministry Cave of Adulam and Remembranza Music Ministry from 1997 to 2006, and his first pastoral assignment was from 2000 to 2004 at Comerio Puerto Rico United Methodist Church. In 2006, Candido was called to the WNCC Conference for mission work with Latino Ministries in North Carolina.  Candido was appointed to Blair Road United Methodist Church Blair Road in Mint Hill , NC from 2007 to 2010 and then to Forest Hill United Methodist Church in Concord, NC as Associate Pastor and Pastor of the Latino Ministry.  Candido is married to Pilar Perez and has three bright children Tanairi, Thamar, and Uziel.

Associate Pastor African Venue

Preciouse Wilson

  Send Email  •  (704)756-6553

Preciouse was born in his native homeland of Liberia, West Africa. He was reared by his aunt an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He has been married to his lovely wife Loretta for eighteen years. They have two beautiful children, Elijah and Faith. Preciouse and Loretta are both registered nurses. Preciouse holds a dual master degree in Business Administration and Health Care Management. Recently Preciouse graduated with a Master of Divinity. However,  it is the degree in religion that brings about fulfillment, contentment and desire to serve God. It is the studying and living the Word of God that continues to transform our lives. Preciouse and his family are Christians who have made Jesus the Lord and Savior of their lives. Preciouse believes that serving God and humanity is paramount in his walk with God. All that I am and all that I surrender to God because all belongs to God.

Assistant Pastor of African Venue

Jon-Alexander Kwiagaye, Jr

  Send Email  •  (401)632-8068

Jon-Alexander Kwiagaye, Jr., (he prefers to be call Alex) was born and raised by his deceased parents in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. He is married to his beautiful wife DeBorah Klimeh-Kwiagaye, a Middle School Teacher in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School. Their marriage is blessed with a blended family of six children, three adults’ children and three minors. Alex presently works for the City of Charlotte in the Finance/Revenue department and has been there for the last nine years. Alex has two bachelors of science degrees, one Accounting with a minor in Economics from the A.M.E Zion University, Monrovia Liberia, West Africa and another in Accountancy from Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island in 2009.

Alex is a member and a Reverend at Hickory Grove UMC in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a candidate for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church of the Western North Carolina Conference. He is also presently, a student at Hood Theological Seminary work to obtain his Master of Divinity Degree.

“I love and enjoy serving God and the Church and it is so important to me.”

Preschool Director

Sharon Freeze

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Sharon has been involved at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church for over 20 years.  She became a teacher here in our preschool in 2004 and has served as the Preschool Director since 2008.  Her position allows her to use her gift of administration and her love for children at the same time.  She enjoys talking with preschoolers and their families, gardening, and loves her Carolina Panthers! 

Director of Music & Organist

Jim Lowery

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Jim is a native of Lakeland, FL and lived there half his life. He has been married to his wife Judy for 32 years. They moved to Rock Hill in 1996 after a six year stay in Pennsylvania where his wife is from. They have three grown children and numerous grandchildren. He has been playing and/or directing in churches for 40 years and served in a wide variety of denominations. He works for a computer networking company in Belmont. Along with music, his big interest is model trains. He has a side business manufacturing wooden building kits for model railroads.

Office Administrator/Financial Secretary

Gail Reynolds

  Send Email  •  (704)537-4686

Gail joined our staff on December 18th, 2017. Gail is a native Charlottean and a graduate of UNCC. She and her husband Morris have a Pomeranian named Lady. Gail has been an elementary school teacher and church office administrator. She is a member at Durham Memorial Baptist Church and enjoys crafts and gardening.


Matthew Baucom

  Send Email  •  (704)537-4686

Matt is a native of Gaston County and he and his wife have been married for 19 years. They have three teenaged children whom they homeschool.  Before coming to Hickory Grove, he worked at Walmart for 18 years. He is a dedicated Christian who is a Deacon at Garver Memorial Baptist Church.  There he teaches Sunday School, Children’s Church, and the Wednesday night youth group.  He loves working outside and owns his own lawn care business (his children work for him).  Matt’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

  March 2023  
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