New Staff Structure

New Staff Structure Overview:

In November 2020, the Personnel Committee approved the establishment of a new staff structure to begin in the fall of 2021. The new structure seeks to meet the emerging dynamics and changes in our congregational life, while preserving and building on our church’s many strengths. The model also includes two part-time Ministry Associates, advised by Amy Stertz and Casey Callahan, to help lead in the areas of children and youth ministry. David Blackmon will retire in November 2021. Karen Sorrells will become the full-time director of the Academy for the Arts on January 1, 2022.

Staff Descriptions

Tate Addis, Organist — Tate is the organist and pianist for worship, and he leads adult and youth handbells. He also serves on the faculty of AFTA and accompanies the Asheville Youth Choirs.

Tommy Bratton, Coordinating Pastor — Tommy coordinates and supports the staff and church leaders as they imagine, communicate, and implement the church’s future together through our collaborative ministry model. He assists in budget planning. Tommy is the liaison to the Communications and Outreach Council and is on the advisory board of the Center for Faith & Life (CFL).

Leah Brown, Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care — Leah coordinates and provides pastoral care for the congregation. She provides both individual and family counseling. Leah is the liaison for the Sacred Garden and the First Shine Learning Center.

Casey Callahan, Associate Pastor, Mission and Students — Casey coordinates the mission and reconciliation work of the congregation, guiding our vision and practices ever towards the city and beyond. In his ministry with students, he seeks to help students deepen their relationships with God and one another. He also provides fellowship & community opportunities. Casey is the liaison to the Mission & Reconciliation (currently Missions and Hands On Ministry) council.

Wally Davids, Director of Operations and Finance — Wally coordinates and supervises the budget and finances, facilities and custodial staff, food service, and operations at One Oak Plaza.

Mack Dennis, Senior Pastor — In both his pastoral and scholarly work, Mack commends the ways God’s reconciling love is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the church and world. He has a deep sense of call to pastoral ministry, bearing witness to the gospel’s transformational power, and honing the art and craft of Christian preaching and teaching. He leads the visioning, administration, and outreach oversight for the church. Mack is the liaison to the deacons, personnel, finance, and endowment committees.

Clark Sorrells, Associate Pastor, Worship and Music — Clark coordinates the worship life of the church, conducts the Adult Choir, selects and supervises the choral scholars, and is Director of the Asheville Youth Choirs (AYC). Through the Academy for the Arts (AFTA), he teaches private voice and piano lessons. Clark is the liaison to the Music & Worship council.

Amy Stertz, Associate Pastor, Christian Formation and Children — Amy leads the church’s Christian formation ministry, exploring the connection between faith and everyday life through spiritual practices, Bible study, theological reflection, and cultural engagement. She has oversight for curriculum and teacher training, and she collaborates with the Center for Faith & Life in adult programming. In her ministry with children, she works to create ways for families to deepen their relationship with God and each other while they are at church, in the community, and at home. Amy is the liaison to the Christian Formation council and the Child Development Center (CDC) / FirstKids committee.

*All members of the ministerial staff participate in worship planning and leadership.

Ministry Associates

Laura Addis, Ministry Associate (part-time), Students — Assisting youth and young adult programs under the direction of Casey Callahan

Ministry Associate (part-time), Children — Assisting children and family programs under the direction of Amy Stertz

Ministry Assistants

Kim Garner, Ministry Assistant, Finance & Christian Formation (supervised by Amy Stertz)

Ministry Assistant, Music & Worship (supervised by Clark Sorrells)

Heather Swanson, Ministry Assistant, Senior and Coordinating Pastors (supervised by Mack Dennis)

Sarah Whitlock, Ministry Assistant, Students & Missions (supervised by Casey Callahan)

Cristi Wunsch, Ministry Assistant, Communications & Congregational Care (supervised by Tommy Bratton)