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Figure Eight Island Church

Figure Eight Island Church invites residents and guests to join its services each Sunday morning at 8:30 am in the Yacht Club. Weekly services are held each Sunday and continue through the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Once again this year our managing minister will be Rev. Bob Haywood, who has been with us since 1996.

2023 Summer Schedule


  • April 9, Rev. Jim White (Easter)

  • May 28, Gen. Dan McNeill

  • June 4, Rev. Bob Haywood

  • June 11, Rev. Lisa Saunders

  • June 18, Rev. Bob Haywood

  • June 25, Tara McClary Reeves

  • July 2, Rev. Ron Abrams

  • July 9, Rev. Gregory Jones

  • July 16, Rev. Paul Johansson

  • July 23, Colonel Gerald B. Hurst

  • July 30, Rev. Bob Haywood

  • August 6, Rev. Marty Hedgpeth

  • August 13, Dr. Greg Nelson

  • August 20, Rev. Bob Haywood

  • August 27, Skip Williams

  • September 3, Rev. Bob Haywood

Read more about this season's guest speakers below.

All services will be a time for refreshments and fellowship afterward in the Lobby Lounge.

Rev. Robert W. Haywood III

Bob is a retired Presbyterian minister who has served Figure 8 Island Church since 1996. He has spent his career as Campus Minister at universities in Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. Most recently, he served as Campus Minister twenty-eight years at UNCW Wilmington. A lifelong sailor, he and wife Deborah love to travel. They have lived in Wilmington since 1980 and are blessed to have two of their four children, and two grandchildren living nearby. 

Duke Ladd

Duke has provided music for Figure Eight Island Church for over 20 years. He is Wilmington's "go to" guy for solo piano music, jazz band entertainment, or ballroom dancing music for weddings, receptions, corporate or private events in the area.  Duke has over 25 years of experience playing piano for wedding parties, festivals, corporate functions, birthday or anniversary parties, theatrical shows, major fundraising events, and just about every special occasion.

Duke Ladd
Guest Speakers
Introducing our 2023 Guest Speakers
Jim White.jpg

Rev. Jim White, Easter Guest Speaker

April 9, 2023

After graduating from Davidson College and Union Seminary, Jim served churches in NC, SC and Mississippi. Jim and his wife Ann retired to Oak Island where they enjoy visits from their two sons and two beautiful granddaughters. Jim served as a Trustee of Dosher Memorial Hospital and is currently a Director of the Cape Fear Flyfishers after serving two terms as President.

Gen. Dan McNeill, Guest Speaker


May 28, 2023

Raised in the eastern North Carolina township of Warsaw, General McNeill was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry through the ROTC program upon his completion of the requirements for a Bachelor of Science at North Carolina State University in 1968. Within his forty years of commissioned service, he had repetitive assignments with Airborne Infantry, Special Forces, mechanized infantry, and aviation units. He served as Assistant Division Commander, 2nd Infantry Division; Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps; Deputy Commanding General, I Corps; Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division; Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps; Commander, Combined Joint Task Force 180 in Afghanistan; Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, US Army Forces Command; Commanding General, US Army Forces Command; and Commander, International Security Assistance Force (NATO) in Afghanistan. Since his retirement from active service in July 2008, Dan and his wife Maureen have resided in Fayetteville, NC, where both have been continuously involved in serving with community and veteran focused organizations.

Rev. Lisa Saunders, Retired, Guest Speaker

Lisa Saunders.jpeg

June 11, 2023

Lisa oversees pastoral care ministries at Christ Church in coordination with the other clergy. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Theological Seminary. Her first church was St. Philip’s in Coral Gables, Florida.  She came to Christ Church in 1988, and has worked here through most of her adult life.


She is married to Tim Saunders, a pediatric ophthalmologist (and sometimes drummer for the band at our contemporary worship). Their children, Caroline, Julia Gray and Rob, are adults now and all UNC Tarheels. Lisa and Tim enjoy biking, travel, movies and being with friends and family. Lisa loves that her dog, Millie, can come to work with her.

Tara McClary Reeves, Guest Speaker

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June 25, 2023

Tara McClary Reeves is a passionate teacher of the joys and challenges that come from being a committed follower of Jesus Christ. She is the author of six books, including the award-winning children’s book, The Knight and the Firefly, and family devotional, Point Me to Jesus. Most recently, she and Amanda Jenkins released, The Chosen for Kids, a 40-day devotional based on the ground-breaking TV series The Chosen.


The daughter of Clebe and Deanna McClary, Tara grew up on Pawleys Island and graduated from Furman University. She attended Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, AL for post graduate studies until she was summoned back to her beloved home state by then Governor-elect David Muldrow Beasley to serve as Personal Assistant to the First Lady of South Carolina, Mary Wood Beasley. Tara married attorney Lee Reeves in Charleston, SC on September 19, 1998 –the same year her new father-in-love, Dan Reeves, took the Atlanta Falcons to their first-ever Super Bowl.


Tara resides in Greensboro, NC and is a loving wife to Lee and doting mother to twenty-one-year-old twins, Caroline and Daniel, and ten-year-old Harrison. She hosts “Point Me to Jesus,” a vlog cast highlighting people and ministries proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and teaches a weekly women’s Bible study.

Rev. Ronald G. Abrams, Guest Speaker

Ron Abrams.jpg

July 2, 2023

Ron currently serves as Priest in Charge at Holy Trinity in Hampstead and previously served as the Rector of St. James’ Parish, Wilmington from 1999 to 2019. Before moving to North Carolina, Ron served as Assistant Rector of St. Mark’s, Westhampton Beach, New York from 1982 to 1984 and as Rector of St. Ann’s Church in Bridgehampton, New York from 1984 to 1991.


In 1991 Ron began a new ministry as Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Fayetteville. During his time there Ron worked extensively with military families and was the guest lecturer for the Bishop of the Armed Forces at conferences in Japan and Germany.


Active in the life of the Diocese of East Carolina and the larger Episcopal Church, Ron has served in various capacities including President of the Standing Committee and a three-time Deputy to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Diocese. Ron is married to Kathleen who is an Interior Designer and they have two sons.

Rev. Greg Jones, Guest Speaker

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July 9, 2023

Greg Jones was called in 2004 as the fourth rector of St. Michael’s. He grew up in Washington D.C. at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in the 1970s and 1980s, before going to the Chapel of the Cross while in college at UNC Chapel Hill. After college, Greg worked in Washington for a few years while attending Christ Church, Kensington, Md. From 1994-1996, he served as an Episcopal missionary in Honduras, where he was chaplain of a bilingual Episcopal school and worked in a small church in an industrial village outside of San Pedro Sula. He met his wife, Melanie, in Honduras, where she was also an Episcopal missionary.


Greg attended General Theological Seminary in New York City from 1996-1999, while serving internships at Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Church, in Southport, Conn. His first full time parish ministry began in 1999 at St. James's in Richmond, Va.


In addition to playing bass for many years in the indie rock group Balsa Gliders and recording a number of albums, Greg published a book in 2004 entitled Beyond Da Vinci, a reader's guide of the popular Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Greg and Melanie have three daughters.

Rev. Paul Johansson

Rev. Paul Johansson, Guest Speaker

July 16, 2023

Paul is a Lutheran Pastor and the son-in-law of the late Van Weatherspoon and Kay Weatherspoon, long-time homeowners on the island. Paul and his wife Martha are blessed with two sons, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. Paul grew up in East Africa as part of a missionary family and has served as a Pastor in Charlotte, NC, Hartford, CT, St. Cloud, MN and Elk River, MN.


Colonel Gerald B. Hurst, Guest Speaker

July 23, 2023

Colonel Gerald B. Hurst, U. S. Air force (Retired) was born in Wilmington and raised in Jacksonville, NC.  He holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree from NC State and entered the Air Force in 1956. After completing pilot training, Gerald flew single engine jet fighters at various bases in California, Japan, Korea, Washington State, Kansas, Alaska, Virginia, and Thailand.  He flew 91 combat missions in the F-105 jet fighter in the Vietnam conflict. On his 38th mission, he was shot down. Ejecting successfully, he was picked up by helicopter.

He retired from the Air Force in 1982 after 26 years of service. Returning to Jacksonville, he started and ran a successful construction and land development business, building custom homes.

In 1984 Gerald was elected to the N.C. House of Representatives, serving a two year term for Onslow and Carteret Counties. In 1986, he ran unsuccessfully for the 3rd District Congressional seat.

Gerald was fortunate to own and fly his personal aircraft up until 2020. He and Amelia, his wife of 65 years, divide their time between Jacksonville and their Figure Eight Island home.

Marty Hedgpeth

The Rev. Canon Martha Hedgpeth, Retired, Guest Speaker

August 6, 2023

Marty was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1982. After serving in parishes in New York City, Wellesley,  MA, and Newington, CT, she returned to her native North Carolina and served as Associate Rector of Christ Church in Charlotte for 22 years. She retired in 2018 and remains a Charlottean, where she stays busy keeping up with her 2 dogs and 1 cat.


Marty loves to travel (especially to Scotland), read, take online courses, and spend time with family (especially on the NC coast where she has family roots).

Greg Nelson

Dr. Greg Nelson, Guest Speaker

August 13, 2023

Greg Nelson has been a resident of Figure Eight Island for over twenty-four years and is a long time supporter of our little church. He is honored to call Nancy his bride of 43 years; together they have four beautiful children, who found the loves of their lives, and have blessed Greg and Nancy with seven incredible grandchildren. He is an orthopedic surgeon who has practiced for over 32 years and calls Rocky Mount home when not in residence on the island.

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Rev. Skip Williams, Guest Speaker

August 27, 2023

Skip Williams retired from full-time ministry as an elder in the United Methodist Church in 2021. A native of Raleigh, Rev. Williams is a graduate of NC State, received his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained in the United Methodist Church, serving seven appointments in North Carolina.


He has been married to Betsy for 49 years and they have two sons, Sam and Matthew, who with his wife Sarah, have provided them the joys of their lives… two granddaughters, Lana and Fiona. Rev. Williams is currently active in several churches and in the mortuary industry.

About Your Church

Our island church was founded in 1986 by residents in order to enjoy worship services during the summer while away from their home churches. Services are held each Sunday at 8:30 AM indoors at the Yacht Club.  There is a time after each service for fellowship and refreshments.  Services are interdenominational, brief and family-friendly. The dress is casual and all residents, guests and visitors are welcome.

This summer, services will begin on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and will continue through the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

Church Committee Members

Cliff Benson • Frannie DeWitt Browne • Jim Douglas • Leigh Edwards

Beth Howard • David Kellam • Yvonne Rayburn • Mike Smith • Jim Stone


Rev. Bob Haywood


Worship with us

Service: 8:30 - 9:15 am
Fellowship immediately following.

If you would like to send a prayer request for a loved one or notify the Church of the death of an immediate family member, please contact us.

Prayer Request
Contact Us

Figure Eight Island Church
15 Bridge Road
Wilmington, NC

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