About Us

The New Bern Rotary Club was founded in 1920, fifteen years after Paul Harris and three others formed the first club in Chicago.  The oldest and largest Rotary Club in New Bern, we meet at lunch each Tuesday at the Chelsea Restaurant downtown.

Our club is involved with numerous local charities such as the Literacy Council, Merci Clinic, and Wash Away Unemployment. We also support community nonprofits with funding earmarked for special projects.


Follow these links for:


Rotary Leadership 2017-18

Rus Clark



Robinson and Stith Insurance

Individual Life, Disability, Long Term Care
Group/Employee Benefits


David Baxter, Jr.



Areas of Practice

  • Health Care Law
  • Local Government and Municipal Law Representations
  • Estate Planning and Probate
  • Incompetency and Guardianship
  • Landlord/Tenant Disputes
  • Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (“LLCs”) – formation, restructuring and management



  • North Carolina Central University (J.D., 2009)
  • Appalachian State University (B.S.B.A., 2006)


Bar Admissions

  • State Courts of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

Keith Merritt

Immediate President


Keith is an advocate for local charities and has served on the boards of MERCI Clinic, Craven Literacy Council and led the Non-Profit Council of the New Bern Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife have been prison volunteers since 2001.  Keith Merritt, a graduate of West Point retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army. He spent the next four years leading the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry in Newton Grove N.C. before moving to New Bern in 2001.


Clayton Cheek



Mr. Cheek, J.D. is a partner with Oliver & Cheek, PLLC in New Bern, where he provides legal services in the areas of bankruptcy, estate and succession planning, and business contracts.


Bill Sherman



Bill Sherman is Pastor Emeritus at Centenary United Methodist Church in New Bern.


Directors at Large

Director                    Walt Kerner

Director                    Tripp Eure

Director                    Thomas Smith

Director                    Darlene Brown

Director                    Nancy Houyoux

Membership – Keith Merritt and Phil Swain

Fundraising – Meloni Wray, Phil Swain, and Nancy Houyoux

Grants and Projects – David Baxter, Jr. – President-Elect

Program – Gray Wheeler

Youth Services – Walt Kerner

  • Interact New Bern High –
  • Interact Epiphany – Walt Kerner
  • Rotaract – Ray Staats
  • RYLA – Rex Bennett
  • Scholarship – John Kirkland

Administration – Bill Green

Foundation – Tripp Eure

Public Relations  – Darlene Brown

  • News Articles – Sandy McKinney
  • TV Spots – Bob Manning
  • Website – Darlene Brown
  • Social Media – Darlene Brown and Bob Manning

Family of Rotary – Rheta Matthews, Phil Swain, and Bob Manning

Greeter – Walt Crayton

Sergeant-at-Arms – Dennis, Doug, Zan, and Cindy