Board of Directors

Carol L. Ellis

Founder/ Executive Director

Carol was born in Raleigh, NC and lived there until age 6 when she then was placed in a children’s home to live for the next 12 years.  Carol credits this experience of growing up with so many brothers and sisters, where everyone was the same and each carried his own load of work and play, as being a foundation stone for understanding the power of community.  “This was my home; there was no other place to go which enabled me to accept and be thankful for this unique and generous expression of the love and care of God over all my life.” Carol graduated from Campbell University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Development.  After teaching first grade for 5 years she became a stay-at-home mom for her three children, Joshua, Joy and Sarah.  Carol and Buddy, her husband of 42 years ran a small business 15 years prior to founding House of Joy in 2000.  They also have 4 grandchildren; Glory, Sophie, Scarlett and Andy.

David McLean

Board Member

David has been the senior Pastor of Fellowship of Christ EPC Church, Cary, NC since 1990. He was born in Belgium Congo, raised by missionary parents and lived in Africa until age 13. He served in the United States Marine Corps 1965-1970 (Vietnam ‘66-’68) before beginning his pastoral ministry in the early 1970’s. David received a Master of Divinity at Duke University. Ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1974, he served in the Methodist church for 10 years and an independent church for 9 years prior to beginning his service at Fellowship of Christ Church. David and his wife, Sheila, have 4 children and 11 grandchildren and live in Holly Springs, NC.

Jeffrey D.E. Jeffries, Ph.D., P.E.

Board Member

Dr. Jeffries is President of Paradigm Consulting Services, Inc, a management and technical consulting firm specializing in the areas of nuclear safety and risk assessment.  He holds a B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, along with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Penn State University.  He is also a graduate of an Executive MBA Course at UNC - Chapel Hill.  He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and in 1999 he received the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus (OEA) award at Penn State, the highest award conferred by the College of Engineering.  He and his wife Cathy live in Cary and are members of Fellowship of Christ, EPC; his son and family live in North Raleigh.  Jeff enjoys reading, and playing golf.    

Kathryn Harper

Board Member

Kathryn is a graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in chemistry.  She worked as a research technician for tobacco chemistry at NCSU. Born in Lenoir County, she took a community role as an officer for the North Carolina 4-H while teaching Chemistry and Physics in Jones and Lenoir Counties.  She has served as a deacon at Gordon Street Christian Church in Kinston.  At North Cary Baptist Church she served as the chairman of the Finance Committee and worked on the Long-range Planning Committee.  She has also been a study guide for Stonecroft Ministries.

Kathryn has been a part of House of Joy since 2006 and a real champion for our international outreach in Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.  She has a tremendous grace for expressing compassion for the “least of these.” Kathryn was married to Virgil Harper until his death in 2002.  She has 4 beautiful daughters and 11 grandchildren.