Meet Our Team


Ellen Barron, M.Div. / Spiritual and Wellness Center Director

Ellen Barron is a dedicated, high energy, enthusiastic spiritual leader who is committed to prayer and spiritual growth with a passion for learning and teaching Truth principles.  A strong communicator with excellent listening skills, she is dedicated to inclusivity and multi-generational ministry.


Ellen graduated June, 2020 with a Master of Divinity and was ordained by Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute.  A native New Yorker, she lived in Florida for a number of years before relocating to Raleigh, NC to serve as minister at Unity Church of Raleigh.  In this capacity, Ellen has focused on solidifying a hybrid ministry for weekly services, workshops, and prayer and meditation. She has also assisted in upgrading technology and social media to help garner a stronger online viewership. 

Ellen Barron

Before coming to UCR, she served as Director of Youth Ministry at Unity of Fort Myers, creating and providing community outreach programs for foster and under-served families and youth.  A Licensed Unity Teacher since 2015, Ellen worked as a Chaplain at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, and taught adult SEE classes for credit at various churches in Florida and online via Zoom.  Rev. Ellen was a regular speaker and workshop presenter at several Unity churches in Florida and the Keys.


Stacey Paige, Yoga Instructor / Spiritual Coach

Stacey Paige is a Licensed Yoga Instructor and a Licensed Spiritual Coach. She helps people from all walks of life connect to their authentic selves and personal rhythms. Her passion is to help you understand and embody spiritual principles and practices, aligning you with your best life.
For more, see


Nancy Davison, Physical Therapist / Acupuncturist, PT/LAc

Nancy has over 20 years as an integrated medicine practitioner. Licensed in North Carolina as an Acupuncturist and Physical Therapist, she is committed to providing her clients with individualized treatments for a holistic approach to health and wellness. By addressing the emotional and spiritual components that affect physical health, she assists her clients in restoring balance, relaxation, and peace in their lives.

Since the early 1990s, Nancy has served in various leadership roles at Unity Church of Raleigh, making numerous contributions to the growth of this spiritual community, including the Board of Trustees, Ambassador Team, Prayer Ministry, Platform Team, and Meditation Team.

Nancy Davison

Sharri Gaines / Integrative Reflexologist, Reiki Practitioner, Certified Yoga Instructor, Spiritual Mentor

Sharri is certified in Integrative Reflexology, Usui Reiki and Reiki Tummo Energy Healing, and Hatha Yoga (Asheville Yoga Center). She has a private practice in Raleigh, NC (20 years) and facilitates workshops on Meditation, Intuitive Development, Hatha Yoga, Creating a Spiritual Practice and Introduction to the Spiritual Journey.

For 35 years, Sharri has been devoted to her spiritual, mental and physical unfolding and evolution. Paths and practices have included the teachings of metaphysics, esoteric Christianity, Buddhism, Native North American Medicine Wheel, Yoga Sutras, and most recently The Urantia Book. She was a long-time student of former Unity Church of Raleigh minister Rev. Beverly Bockover.  Sharri utilizes her diverse experience, ongoing development, deep listening and reflection and intuitive nature to help co-create healing and wholeness in the lives of others. 

Sharri Gaines

Annie Nelson, Spiritual Counselor / Life Coach / Hypnotherapist

Reverend Annie Nelson is an ordained Minister with the Alliance of Divine Love (ADL) Interfaith Ministry.  Her transformational ministry includes spiritual counseling, coaching, and hypnotherapy.  Rev Annie is a board-Certified Master Hypnotherapist (MHt), and a Certified Life Coach (CLC) with decades of experience in the behavioral sciences, management, and public service. Her formal education, training and natural gifts of compassion bring insights to her ministry, offering a body, mind, and spirit approach to working with people: serving in a co-creator role with clients who wish to address life challenges such as work and personal transition issues, anxiety, career choices, relationships, grieving/loss, divorce, etc., in order to create a more balanced lifestyle for themselves.

Rev. Annie Nelson

Rev Annie transmits incredible energy and wisdom from her rich experiences and training over the years.  She served 30+ years in a multitude of supervisory, management, and federal executive leadership positions, while simultaneously serving as a military officer in the Army National Guard.  As a retired executive and military officer, she continued to live forward choosing a more natural/spiritual path of service, which led to her ministry.  Rev Annie is a member in good standing with the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists, The International Association of Counselors and Therapists, and a member of Unity Church of Raleigh.

For more information, visit:


Joanne ("JP") Pizzino, MD, MPH, FACOEM

Joanne is a physician, board-certified in Preventive Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. She was also board-certified in Family Medicine for 24 years. With over five decades working in healthcare, she has accumulated extensive knowledge and resources to mentor individuals and organizations to integrate self-empowered healing techniques for optimum well-being.  After her own self-empowered healing epiphany in 1998, Joanne has practiced using high-tech and high-touch techniques, including Medical Acupuncture, Reiki, Interactive Guided Imagery, Functional Medicine, condition-specific nutrition, vibrational medicine, and botanical medicine. A special interest is enhancing the effectiveness of allopathic therapies with mind-body and spiritual techniques. Her avocations include a passion for exploring the world's cultures, and the land and seas that surround them.

Dr. Joanne Pizzino

Tom Ronen Goddard, JD, Ph.D.

Tom is a psychologist with decades of experience in psycho-spiritual somatic modalities designed to foster healing and expand our capacities for loving. His counseling services, called “Integral Becoming” engage his clients’ body, heart, mind, and spirit in an integrated, whole-being approach to aliveness. Dr. Tom’s commitment to his clients is that they develop the knowledge, tools, and motivation to live the life of their dreams. Dr. Goddard has led retreats at Shalom Mountain, a retreat center in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, and elsewhere for nearly 20 years.

For more information, visit:

Dr. Tom Goddard

Larry Burk, MD, CEHP

Larry did his medical school and residency training at the University of Pittsburgh. He trained in acupuncture and hypnosis and is a Certified Energy Health Practitioner.  He was co-founder of Duke Integrative Medicine and has a coaching practice online at Healing Imager, LLC, specializing in EFT, hypnosis, dreamwork, and the Enneagram.

Dr. Burk retired from Duke University Medical Center in 2021 after a 40-year career as a holistic musculoskeletal radiologist. He has been a guest trainer for workshops at The Monroe Institute and at The Art of Living Retreat Center. He is a founding member of the American Board of Scientific Medical Intuition and a former board president of the Rhine Research Center.

Dr Larry Burk

His book Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist was published in 2012. He gave TEDx talks on Cancer Warning Dreams that Save Your Life in 2016 and on The Spiritual Alphabet Soup of Death and Dying in 2022.  His book Dreams that Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases was published in 2018.  The books, talks, and EFT/dream coaching program are at


Kelly Nembhard, NBC-HWC, CPMC

Kelly is a Reiki Master Teacher with 5 years of experience as an energy healer. As a former biologist and clinical researcher, Kelly has been an advocate for using both conventional and alternative therapies, including energy healing, to create a self-care toolbox for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Kelly received her Reiki certification training from Marcia McCollum Hebrank of One Light Center, Bryce Goebel of A Reiki Place, and Colleen Benelli of Reiki Lifestyle. Kelly is also a national board-certified health & wellness coach, and her Reiki and coaching practice, My Wealth in Health, is based in Durham, NC.

For more information, visit

Kelly Nembhard

Dianne D. EvansMA, BBA, Ord. Minister, Reiki Master/Teacher, Healer, Past Life Regressionist, and Humorist to the world


Dianne is a certified direct lineage Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master/Teacher who also uses shamanic and other natural healing techniques in her intuitive Energy and Reiki Healing sessions.  She officially began her energy healing work in 1987 and became certified as a Reiki Master/Teacher in 2001. Dianne is also certified in Past-Life Regression Hypnotherapy by the Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Center, Virginia Beach, VA. She is a published author and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology. She is also an ordained non-denominational Minister and spiritual 

Dianne Evans

counselor. In tandem with her Energy/Reiki work, she interacts holistically with each of her clients. She has been and is a gifted speaker/teacher/trainer on both the East and West Coasts providing programs for healing body, mind, and spirit, as well as other metaphysical workshops. Dianne has worked extensively with persons experiencing serious mental illness, as well as seniors and aging through her programs for the American Heart and Stroke Associations.  Dianne is a former Vice President of the UCR Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Prayer Team. She also enjoys being the periodic Oneness Blessings Giver for UCR congregants and guests.


Wende Essrow

Wende Essrow is a local author who has published a coffee table poetry and photography book, At First Light, that received a national book award. She has also written and illustrated several children’s books. Wende has a background in literature and has been writing poetry and stories as long as she can remember. She looks forward to sharing the joy and powerful healing process that writing has offered her over the years. Wende has a degree in teaching Secondary English and Special Needs -- birth through kindergarten. She taught preschoolers with special needs for 30 years. From Buffalo, NY, Wende moved to the Triangle area five years ago to be closer to her grandchildren.

Wende Essrow

Carolyn Bard and Deanne Mott, Tai Chi Instructors

Carolyn fell in love with Tai Chi more than 11 years ago when she realized that it was meditation in motion and, despite being older, her health improved dramatically. Excited to share this internal art, Carolyn taught Tai Chi in the style of Moy Lin Shin through a large international organization, including at the Unity Church of Raleigh for about 3 years. She also enriched her practice and knowledge of the internal arts under the guidance of a longtime instructor of the same lineage. Carolyn is a retired psychotherapist and enjoys sitting meditation and spiritual study.  

De (Deanne) has been studying and practicing Tai Chi as a student and as an assistant instructor for many years. Her advancement in this art under the close guidance of a direct student of Moy Lin Shin has brought her numerous benefits to the mind, body and spirit, along with a desire to share these with others. De’s goal is to help people gain the health, vitality, and calmness of mind that she feels when practicing Tai Chi. To enhance her knowledge of the internal arts, she also studies the complementary ancient Chinese internal arts of Liu He Ba Fa and Yi Quan. De and Carolyn have been team teaching Tai Chi in Raleigh since co-founding Connection Tai Chi in 2021. 

Carolyn and De have been team teaching Tai Chi in Raleigh since co-founding Connection Tai Chi in 2021. You can read more about their backgrounds and teaching philosophy at

Carolyn Bard

Carolyn Bard

De Mott

De Mott


Amy Murray, Yoga Instructor

Amy is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Amy found yoga over 20 years ago when she began seeking a form of exercise that was not gym-based or competitive. She discovered her body’s abilities and resilience through an intentional practice of self-compassion and mindful movement. Through the study and practice of yoga and yogic philosophy and her work as a psychotherapist, she developed the belief that yoga is a pathway to personal transformation regardless of age or experience. Amy views yoga as a mindful practice that enriches mind/body/spirit wellness, encourages a supportive community, and offers personal development that can lead to experiencing life in a healthier and more joyful way. Amy’s favorite styles of yoga are slow vinyasa, yin, and restorative.

Amy Murray.jpg