Ryan was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and grew up all over western Canada. Throughout his teen years he pursued political causes to make him feel righteous and then drugs and sex to make him feel happy. Thankfully, when he was 21 he found his righteousness was a joke and his happiness had turned sour. Through the simple and intelligent witness of his step-mom he came to trust Jesus Christ late in the evening just before Good Friday in 1995. Shortly after his conversion he studied at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills Alberta, and then at Tyndale College in Toronto, Ontario. In Toronto, Ryan worked in an inner city church under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Beck. He also met the lovely Christy Joy Teal who became Christy Joy Fullerton shortly after their graduation from college. The next eight years were a whirlwind and included drilling for oil, pastoring a church in a town with a population of 311, having four children (Jordana, Luke, James, and Christopher), starting seminary, stopping seminary, and becoming (somewhere in there) the Lead Pastor of Immanuel.
Pastor Jeff King came to Louisville from Florida. Chomp Chomp. Married to Christy who is his greatest joy in this life, Jeff serves as Immanuel’s Lead Community Discipleship Pastor and primarily oversees the Gospel Community Groups of Immanuel as well as our intensive counseling efforts. Jeff and Christy have two wonderful daughters, Alexis and Rachel who both follow their dad’s footsteps by running cross country.
Ben is a country boy at heart. Raised in Kansas loving the ‘amber waves of grain’, Ben came to Kentucky and stayed because of his wonderful wife Sarah whose family has been in Kentucky since 1790. Ben and Sarah have four children, (Karis, Frank, Daniel, and Benjamin) a handful of chickens, a big garden, and a chocolate labrador retriever. Ben serves Immanuel as Executive Pastor and oversees Immanuel’s ministry structures, organization, staff, and the execution of Immanuel’s vision.
Ward and his family migrated north from the Louisiana Delta. Ward and his wife Heather have three children, Baylee, Lydia, and Isaac. Ward leads Immanuel’s youth ministry and serves regularly on Sunday mornings as a part of the worship band. Ward drives a Nissan truck, sports a beard, and practices his duck calling skills during Elder and Deacon retreats. Ward serves as Immanuel’s Community Discipleship Pastor and helps raise up and coach Gospel Community Group leaders as well as leads our Youth and Men’s ministry.
Andrew has lived everywhere from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the deserts of the Middle East. Because of this, he can feel at comfortable in almost any environment as well as eat anything put before him. Since moving to Louisville for school, Andrew met his gracious wife Stephanie and has seen his family grow with the addition of his son, Micah. As Immanuel’s Network Director, Andrew is responsible for overseeing the care of our international and national workers as well as sending more men and women to the nations with the Gospel.
Brian Powell was born and raised in the deep South, splitting his childhood between Georgia and South Carolina. Because of this, Brian’s heart wrenches from the agony of choosing sides when Georgia (his birth state) plays Clemson (his alma mater) in football. Brian and his wife, Elise, have six children: Elijah, Ella Grace, Julia, Aidan, Winton, and a little girl due in December 2015. Brian oversees our Guest Connect ministry, helping guests become familiar with Immanuel and the membership process. His desire is to plant a church in Charleston, SC in Spring 2017.
JC Mojica and his wife Bethany have one son, Henry. The Mojicas are a joy and a blessing to everyone they know and JC diligently serves Immanuel as Lead Deacon. His responsibilities include leading the Deacon Team, managing daily financial details, building maintenance, and any other task/project he can get his hands on. JC can be found at the church building, at home in his garden with his family, or helping someone.
Mike and Patti Withers have been a profound influence at Immanuel. They have both exercised their gifts for ministry in many different ways and are widely trusted and looked to as ‘parents’ by many younger couples. The Withers are proud Texans and Patti totes a “don’t mess with Texas” coffee mug around the offices. Patti has filled many roles at Immanuel and is currently serving as our Women’s Ministry Director, where she oversees discipleship structures for women and equipping future women leaders.
Benjamin Brainard serves Immanuel in leading as our Worship Music Director. Benjamin is married to Amanda and they have three daughters, Eleanor, Scarlett, and Juliette. Benjamin studied music and holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Western Kentucky University. While his primary desire is to lead engaging worship and equip the saints for the work of ministry, Benjamin also enjoys carpentry work and spending any kind of time with his family. You can listen to some of Benjamin’s music on his website: www.benjaminbrainard.com.
Hayley Krahwinkel is a born ‘n’ bred Louisville native. Together with her husband Eric, she enjoys serving in various capacities around the church, including the Immanuel Kids ministry and Welcome Team. She also loves coordinating weddings and has an undying affection for the arts of painting and drawing. Hayley is Immanuel’s receptionist and assistant to the lead pastor, bringing order and hospitality to the office and facilitating logistics for church wide events.
Josh Ruud and his wife, Kelly, come from the lake towns of big & beautiful Wisconsin. Together they have one daughter, Cadence, and are thrilled to call Immanuel their home away from home. You can usually find Josh with a camera over his shoulder and a coffee cup in his hand. He serves as Immanuel’s Communications Coordinator, overseeing the efforts to inform others regarding all facets of Immanuel’s pursuit of her vision: building a community from all cultures where Christ is King.
Ben and his wife Sarah have three kids, Elijah (Eli), Norah, and Julia. Soft spoken, yet strikingly clever, Ben is an accomplished Duke basketball fan and works for a non-profit foundation here in Louisville. Ben is the mastermind behind Immanuel’s Pastoral Apprenticeship program which trains men to be leaders in the church both here in Louisville and around the world.
Dominic and his wife Rebecca have two children they adopted from Ethiopia, Levi and Sophia. Dominic leads at a local financial technology company geared towards financial institutions. He is constantly helping people think about how to use their gifts and skills for the Lord. Dom proudly hails from Texas, hopelessly pulls for Houston sports teams, and fervently longs for someone in Louisville to make good BBQ and Mexican food.
Doug was raised in Louisville and remembers when horses trotted down the bridle paths that used to trace their ways down Southern and Eastern Parkways. Doug is married to Joy and together they minister to many at Immanuel in countless unseen ways. Doug works at an architectural firm in the Louisville metro area and has also pastored churches in rural Shelbyville, KY as well as Louisville. Doug loves to garden and can readily tell you at any time of the year what the last frost date will be. Regardless of what that date is, in accordance with Louisville tradition he will only plant his garden on the first Saturday in May, which is Derby Day.
JC is the program director atLouisville Rescue Mission, the city’s oldest homeless shelter. He and his wife Randi have five children—Isaiah, Ava, Tabitha, Stephen, and Roman—and regularly care for multiple foster children through Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. JC is a dedicated competitor and is the last one to leave the field in almost everything in which he is involved whether it is an ultimate frisbee game or a ministry of the church.
Jay Haynes works in Louisville’s most prominent coffee shops: Sunergos Coffee. Raised in Alabama but with a desire to eventually church plant in Hawaii, Jay is married to Melissa and together they have two boys, Micah and Judah. Jay has some interesting hobbies which include slacklining and spear fishing. He has not been able to enjoy a spear fishing adventure while living in Kentucky since in the Ohio River you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
Pastor Jay Shreve grew up in South Carolina, where he owned and operated a coffee shop for a number of years before the Lord saved him. It was fitting, then, that God brought him to Louisville, where good coffee is always just around the corner. Jay came to Immanuel where he met his wife, Lynn, and together they have 5 kids. He works as a nurse here in Louisville and has been a faithful member of Immanuel for many years, as well as a Godly husband and father.
AJ and his wife Jordan have three kids: Jesse, Eden, and Lydia. Together, AJ and Jordan serve in Immanuel’s nursery ministry and also lead a Gospel Community Group. AJ works in Bio-Med at one of Louisville’s hospitals and looks forward to deer season every year.
Jon Meacham and his wife Bethany have three sons—Jonah, Malachi, and Isaac. Jon is a graduate of the University of Kentucky which means Jonah learned the UK fight song right after the Gospel Song. Jonah sings the UK fight song during basketball games, and the Gospel Song during football games. Jon and Bethany are adoption champions at Immanuel and Jon works as an engineer for one of Louisville’s utility companies.
Spencer was born and raised just north of Cincinnati, and came to the Ville in 2009 to for school. He is 6’5, loves baseball, and has a strange affinity for hip-hop and buffalo sauce. He loves serving the saints at Immanuel through filling in the gaps wherever there is a need, through nursery, welcome team, chair stacking, or hug-giving. He and his wife Taylor love playing with their baby daughter, Melody, eating chocolate together, and having people over for dinner. He works in Student Life at Boyce College here in Louisville, KY.
Kris Burns came to Immanuel via his home state of Arkansas. An indefatigable Razorbacks fan, Kris can sometimes be heard uttering a distinctive ‘woooo pig soooie’ while excitedly talking about the upcoming football season. Kris regularly serves in Immanuel’s worship bands as a bassist and an audio tech. Kris is married to his kind and joyful wife Emily. Kris is a faithful and diligent follower of Christ who loves people and enjoys serving the church in any way possible.
Ben comes to us from Lebanon, Tennessee, and works as a civil engineer for Strand Associates here in town. He and his wife, Naomi, have one son, Daniel, and they’re thrilled to call both Louisville and Immanuel their homes. When he’s not outside on adventures, you can find Ben enjoying his wife’s cooking and reading books like Piper’s Think and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Ben is excited to serve Immanuel in any area that the saints are in need.