Take a moment to get to know our small but dedicated church staff. 

Rev. Margaret LaMotte Torrence, Transitional Pastor

Margaret has called Swannanoa home since 2002, but has frequently left the area to serve as a transitional pastor in other communities. She is delighted to now be serving a church less than two miles from the house she shares with her husband, Lee, and parents, John and Olivia! Every chance they get, she and Lee also welcome home their adult kids: Nate (and wife Luiza) who live in Boston, and Hanna, who lives in Chicago. Margaret is never happier than when the house is full.

When there are quiet hours, you can find her dry-stacking stones, tending her moss garden, or walking local trails.

Associate in Ministry

We are currently in transition and looking for our next Associate in Ministry.

Donna Eagle Joslin

Donna Eagle Joslin, Church Administrator

Donna Eagle Joslin was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri, moving to North Carolina to attend Warren Wilson College in 1976. Completing her degree in Fine Arts, she did graphic work in Asheville until moving to Raleigh where she worked, and became Art Director for Southeastern Screen Printing. She returned to the mountains in 1989 to manage Seven Sisters Gallery in Black Mountain, and continued there until 1996 when she left to start her own small landscape design business. Her business, Eldergardens focused on helping older gardeners continue their quest to grow beautiful spaces on their property, even when their bodies could no longer handle the hard work.

In 2002 Donna was asked by Warren Wilson College to help create and run a unique Gallery/Shop in downtown Asheville called, The Warren Wilson Store. This unique shop ran until 2006, the year Donna was hired by Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church. She continues to work at the church as Church Administrator, Work Crew Supervisor and Facilities Manager.

Donna and her husband Blake have two wonderful kids, Josh and Emma and live in a beautiful spot not far from the church.

Ted Stewart, Interim Director of Music

Organist/Choir Director Ted Stewart retired to Swannanoa in 2016 after 40 years of music making in Independence, MO.  He served there and in Kansas City as music director at Immanuel Lutheran Church,  many years as a regular organ recitalist at the Auditorium, leader in the American Guild of Organist Chapter (from which he holds the AssociateAGO certificate)  and being a Board member, director and teacher at Music/Arts Institute. 

He has been happy to continue playing as a substitute church organist in the Asheville area.  His early organ study was at Ohio State University, Southern Illinois University and post graduate work at the University of Kansas.  In Swannanoa he is HOA Board President for the nearby Craggy View Cottages, and is happy to be Interim Music Director at  Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church.

Barbara Escalante, Bookkeeper

Barbara Escalante has served as bookkeeper since 2017. She and her husband, Ed, have three adult children, all of whom live in North Carolina. Her five-year old granddaughter is the light of her life. 

Barbara has a long interest in genealogy, and has recently become connected with Coming to the Table, an organization that addresses wounds caused by racism, rooted in the United States’ history of slavery. Barbara hopes to help individuals research their families’ histories with the intent of seeking to repair historic injustice.

Olivia Crescitelli, Chapel Crew

Olivia Crescitelli hails from Charlotte. She is a junior at WWC, working toward a major in archaeology, and a minor in history. She was drawn to the college by its emphasis on experiential learning and environmentalism. The spring of 2024 marks the end of her second year on the Chapel Crew. She credits her warm interactions with members of this congregation as part of the basis for her conversion to Christianity (most weeks Olivia worships at a Greek Orthodox church). Please thank Olivia for her loving care of our facility and community.

Will Griffith, Chapel Crew

Will Griffith (whose hometown is Asheville), is a Junior at WWC, working toward a major in Conservation Biology. Will is also an athlete, having played on the lacrosse team last year, and participating on the swim team this year. (The butterfly is Will’s favorite stroke.) 2023-2024 marks Will’s first year on the Chapel Crew. He says that the best thing about Warren Wilson is the community—the relationships he’s built through the years. When you see Will, please thank him for his hard work keeping our buildings and grounds in good shape.