Senior Pastor

Rev. Herbert Lowry, Jr., is a native of Pembroke, Robeson County, North Carolina. He is the father of three children, Chassadie, Jordan and Altmann  and has five grandchildren. He and Connie have been married since 1987. Rev. Lowry has served as a Pastor since 1990. His appointments has been across two Conferences, four Districts and several local congregations. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Religion from Pembroke State University (UNC – Pembroke) and a Masters of Divinity degree from Duke University. He also has three years towards a Doctorate of Ministry at Hood Theological Seminary. He is an Elder within the United Methodist Church and serves on both Conference and District boards and committees. He is president of the Native American Clergy. He was one of 16 clergy persons elected to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference during Annual Conference of this year.

Director of Adult Education and Music

Jan Kennedy is a graduate from Methodist College in Fayetteville, NC with a degree in Music Education. She has taught Public School Music at the middle and high school level.  She has also had many private piano students.  Jan has been at Chestnut Street Church as Director of Christian Education/Youth Director since 2000. She is married to Garry and has three daughters, Beth, Joanna and Rebecca, and 11 grandchildren.

Director of Christian Discipleship

Allison DeSmit will work with our children, youth, and their families.  As the daughter of Finley and Ruth Read, she has always had close ties to Lumberton.  Allison is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She spent many years in education, including public schools, home schooling, and serving families through the pandemic.  Earlier in her career, Allison served as the Director of Christian Education, at First Presbyterian Church, in Lumberton.  CSMC is blessed to have Allison on our staff.  We are excited to have as our Director of Christian Discipleship a person of strong Christian faith.

Administrative Assistant

Debbie Powers came to Chestnut Street UMC as she started her semi-retirement in 2020 under the guidance of her best friend “God” after finishing up 12 years of office manager at Rockfish Camp & Retreat. She is married to her second best friend “Jerry”. They have two sons, Jared and Ryan. She graduated from Womick Selenia Business College with a secretarial degree and two weeks later started working for E. L. Robinson, DDS for 31 years.  Her hobbies are tennis, gardening, reading, Bible Study, Genealogy and her granddogs.  Chestnut Street UMC has been an active part of her life since birth and a huge part of her Christian Genealogy Tree, which now has become another new branch. She is looking forward to the New Day here at Chestnut St. as we witness daily for Christ and extend more branches in OUR Christian Genealogy Tree….to the unknown.

Financial Processor

Debra Lewis has been the Financial Processor at Chestnut Street since July, 1992.  She attended the Business School at Stratford Women’s College at Atlanta, Georgia.  She works for Megaforce and is married to Ed Lewis. Her hobby is scrapbooking.


Dennis McBayne was born in Newburgh, NY and lived there until he was 9 years old, at which time, he and his parents, younger sister moved to Albuquerque, NM. After graduating, he moved to San Angelo, Texas where he worked in the oil fields drilling for about 5 years. He then moved to New Jersey where he began a career in moving household furniture which lasted about 15 years. A visit to his family in New York resulted in the meeting of his wife Lisa, and they married and have brought 5 beautiful children into the world.  Eventually, they moved to NC. He worked at Smithfield packing for 3 years and also worked at Cold Storage for 3 years as well as Kayser Roth. They moved to Robeson County in 2003. He came to Chestnut in 2009. He likes listening to Christian Podcasts, lawn care, music, reading and putt-putt golf.