Hickory – In October the Unitarian Universalist Church of Catawba Valley (UUCCV) asked The Rev. Melissa Mummert of Charlotte to become their new consulting minister, following the retirement of Rev. Bob MacDicken, their former minister.

Known to be an open-minded yet principled kind of church, UUCCV had come to know Rev. Mummert as an invited speaker in the past.  Impressed by her talks, as well as musical abilities, they also knew that she was a leader who “walked the walk” with a passion for social justice.

UUCCV Board President Elizabeth Braun shared her excitement in having “such a wonderful, multi-talented minister accept this position and be a part of our community.”

Rev. Mummert received her Master of Divinity degree from the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, and was ordained in 2003 by All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City, MO.

Her husband Jay is also Unitarian Universalist minister, called to serve as senior minister in 2003 by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, where they live with their 10 year old daughter.

Rev. Mummert continues to teach life skills classes for incarcerated women in Charlotte and to connect women released from prison with employment opportunities.   She has also produced two documentaries about families impacted by the criminal justice system, and has delivered a talk at TedX Charlotte.

Her experience made her “aware of the extreme injustice of mandatory minimum sentences and racial disparities in the justice system. It is exciting to see new attention being paid by so many to criminal justice reform. I personally think that the times in which we are now living call each of us to attend personally and organizationally to racial justice and environmental justice.”

Rev. Mummert will be in the pulpit once each month at UUCCV, where members have a wide range of views.  She stresses that Unitarians “agree that every human being has inherent worth and dignity, that we need to respect the web of life, and that human beings can be trusted to search for their own sense of meaning. We come together in community to celebrate these areas of commonality, to inspire each other and to work together where we see opportunities to spread kindness and to further justice.”

Speaking of UUCCV she says the “group already has strong leaders and an extraordinary amount of talent for what is now a small group. They are passionate and excited about the future and the energy there is contagious. We will be working together to craft a vision for the future, honoring where they’ve been and thinking creatively about where we want to go.  How can we meet the deep needs and longings of 21st century people? How can we be a beacon of hope in the Catawba Valley? I am excited for the newcomers who will happen upon this congregation and experience something that they didn’t know existed.”

A schedule of Sunday speakers and topics can be seen on the UUCCV website.  The church is located in the Kenworth neighborhood at 833 Fifth St. SE in Hickory.  For more information call (828) 270-7826 or learn more at