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Spotlight: Summit Ward

Getting To Know Bishop Kelly Tucker

Posted: Sunday - August 6, 2023

Today we'll get to know Kelly Tucker, the bishop of Summit Ward. 

How did you find Jesus in your life?

When my mom was in college, one of her roommates was engaged to marry a "good Mormon boy" so they went to the library to research Mormons. When I was eight years old, my mom started working at a monogram shop in High Point. The owner, Bill Harvel, was a member of the church who gave my mom a Book of Mormon. She chose to be baptized. My dad said that she could do that but that he and the boys would continue to attend the Methodist church. Three years pass in which my mother faithfully attended the church and we attended the Methodist church. My father would take us to Stake Conference on occasion. We attended the dedication of the stake center by Elder LeGrand Richards.

After one stake conference, my dad invited the Harvels to come to our house for dinner. My grandfather raised beef cows so we always had great steaks and my dad was pretty good at cooking them. After the meal, the doorbell rang. My mom answered the door. It was the missionaries. You need to understand that at the time, there were very few houses in our general area. My mom said, "Elders, what can we do for you?" They answered "We were told that someone here wanted to have the discussions." Perplexed, she said "You must have the wrong address." About that time, my dad comes up behind her and says "Come on in elders". My mom about passed out! We had the discussions and my dad, brother, and I were baptized several weeks later.

How did you meet your spouse?

Dorothy’s family moved into the ward shortly after we were baptized. We knew of one another but didn't really have much to do or say to each other until we were both in high school. She was interested in me first but it took me a while (guys are so clueless). Her dad was the bishop at the time. The Washington DC Temple was our temple. For youth temple trips, we would board a bus at the stake center on Friday night, arrive at the temple early Saturday morning, perform baptisms, and drive home.

One of these temple trips did not go as planned. Her parents went on the bus as chaperones. We have younger brothers about the same age so her younger brother stayed at my house with my parents. It started snowing shortly after we left the stake center. The snow chased us all the way there (unknown to us, no cell phones). The stake president was also on the bus with us. When we got to the temple, there was a message for him to call his wife. He did and she informed him that there were already six inches of snow and it was still falling. The girls did baptisms and confirmations and the boys did confirmations. It took us six hours to get to DC and 12 or 13 to get home.

In the end, I stayed with Dorothy’s family for three days once we got back because my parents didn't want me to drive in the snow. During those three days, my eyes were opened, so to speak. We dated through high school. While I served a mission, she went to Ricks College. She wasn't waiting for me, per se. I got home several months before she did. We picked up where we left off. We were engaged in November 1984 but didn't get married until August 1986 because she was finishing her degree at Appalachian State and I was working on my degree at NC State. That was a long year and a half.

What General Conference talk has been on your mind lately and why?

Elder Gong's ministering talk and Elder Cooks talk "Safely Gathered Home". I was struck by how much more needs to be done to find, minister to, and gather in all of the members of the church in our ward.

What is your go-to ice cream flavor and why?

Chocolate Mint. When I was young, Baskin-Robbins was a new thing. Chocolate Mint was one of the rotating flavors and I loved to go in the store. If it was available, that's what I wanted.

How many children, in-laws and grandchildren do you have?

We have four children, two sons and two daughters. Our oldest, David, is married to Meagan and they have three children (two boys, one girl). They live the farthest away in Hartsville, SC. He is an accountant and she is a hair stylist. Next, Kim is married to Chris Earl and they four children (three boys, one girl) and live in Gibsonville. Both she and her husband work for Crumbl. Our younger son Christopher is married to Natalie. They live in the Summit Ward. He is a software engineer. Katelyn is married to Matthew Ray and they have two sons. They live in the Lake Brandt Ward. She is a nanny and he is a butcher and manager-in-training for Harris Teeter.

Where else have you lived and how long have you lived in North Carolina?

Other than serving a mission in the California, San Jose Mission, I have lived in North Carolina all of my life. I was born in Greensboro where my parents lived for a brief time. They bought a house in High Point and we lived there until I was nine. They built a house in Browns Summit where I lived until my mission and for a few months after. I moved to Raleigh to attend NC State where I lived in apartments with roommates and eventually my wife. We bought a house in Cary and later moved to Mebane and then back to Browns Summit.