Rev. Ashley Crowder Stanley
Senior Pastor


The Reverend Ashley Crowder Stanley began her ministry at Mills River United Methodist Church in July 2013. She attended Duke University for both undergraduate and Divinity School. After school, she and her husband moved to Minneapolis, MN. where, in 1985, she was ordained and served her first church. After returning to North Carolina, she rejoined her home conference (WNCC) and was appointed as an instructor of pastoral care and counseling at Duke Divinity School from 1987-1994. Since that time she has served as Pastor of Biltmore United Methodist Church in Asheville, as the Asheville District Superintendent, as the Senior Pastor of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in High Point, NC and most recently as the Director of the Transition into Ministry program for the Western North Carolina Conference.

Throughout her ministry, Ashley has been actively involved in the work of the Annual Conference, her alma mater and her local community. She was privileged to serve on the Conference Re-Organization Task Force, the District Committee on Ordained Ministry, the Conference Transition Team and the Board of Ordained Ministry. She is the past president of the Duke Divinity School National Alumni Association and has been a member of its Board of Visitors. While serving in Asheville, Ashley co-founded Room in the Inn, a homeless ministry for women, which has now celebrated its 12th anniversary. She has been a delegate to the United Methodist General and Jurisdictional conferences. In 2011, Ashley was named a Trustee at Duke University. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Western North Carolina Board of Ordained Ministry.

Her ministry passions include preaching and worship leadership, teaching, community building and seeking ways to reach marginalized persons. She loves to laugh, hear great music, be trusted with the holy moments of pastoral ministry and work with a team committed to making the world a better place. She knows she is greatly blessed to be at Mills River UMC!

Ashley is married to Dr. Thomas (T.) Stanley, a cardiac anesthesiologist with AllCare Clinical Associates (formerly Asheville Anesthesia), and they are the grateful and proud parents of Laura, Catherine and Jake.