John Michael is convinced he has the coolest vocation in the world. A native of Fayetteville, he earned his B.A. in Psychology, Master of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology & Counseling, and Master of Social Work all from UNC-Chapel Hill. He earned his Master of Divinity from Duke University (but framed the diploma in Carolina blue) and completed his post-graduate residency in Clinical Pastoral Education (chaplaincy training) at UNC Hospitals.
Prior to his appointment at Sunrise in July 2017, he served as pastor of Trinity UMC in downtown Raleigh, where he focused on connecting the congregation with the local community and young families, and developing a focus for mission – especially with persons who are experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty. He has also served as an associate pastor of a large congregation, as a youth minister, and as a hospice chaplain.
John Michael believes the transformational love Christ offers us ultimately leads us into our communities to share Christ’s love in real and practical ways. Ministry, he believes, must link individual spiritual formation with loving service that seeks justice and serves and blesses people of all backgrounds and walks of life. Beyond ministry, he loves spending time with his wife, cycling Wake County’s greenway trails, photography, exploring (especially big cities and the national parks), and excellence in pizza.