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, manages a shipping warehouse in eastern Louisville, 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.
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 and Hospitality Coordinator where she oversees discipleship structures for women, equipping future women leaders, and also coordinates various hospitality logistics for church wide events.
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.
Chelsea is the joyful voice you hear on the phone when calling during our office hours. If you are inclined to ask, she would be happy to sing you the Florida State University fight song in German. Hailing from Lakeland, Florida, Chelsea made her way to Louisville by way of Washington D.C. Chelsea is responsible for facilitating the day-to-day operations of the offices at Immanuel. At any given point during the week she can be found serving one of our families or assisting with the Special Needs children in our nursery.
Keith grew up on a farm in western Canada and can tell you how to compost an entire cow carcass in a total of two days. His impressive characteristics do not end there though. His wife Teresa and children Ellie, Megan, and Luke are a blessing to the church and a true delight to Keith and anyone who knows them. Keith’s experience in farming gives him a unique and profound insight into the pastoral role and he is a model of what it looks like to obey Jesus’ instruction “feed my sheep”.
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 in a financial processing company 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 works as a program director at Louisville’s oldest homeless shelter, Jefferson Street Baptist Center. He and his wife Randi have three children, Isaiah, Ava, and Tabitha and they 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.
AJ and his wife Jordan one son, Jesse, and are expecting their second child. AJ and Jordan help lead Immanuel’s nursery ministry which means they are truly amazing and uniquely capable individuals. 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 one son, Jonah. 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.
Hailing from the lofty bluffs of beautiful Southern Indiana, Jason plays a mandolin. In addition to his multifaceted musical skills, Jason is the proud husband of Donna and father of their two children Gracie and Emmett. Jason serves Immanuel by leading the Saints to ensure there is not a needy person in our midst and by serving special needs children and their families. Jason works for Humana, which is one of Louisville’s largest corporate citizens.
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 is married to Taylor and loves eating chocolate with her 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. He also teaches regularly in an area nursing home and a local homeless shelter. Kris serves as the House Chief at Immanuel’s Saint House which is the residence for a handful of Pastoral Assistants. Kris is a faithful and diligent follower of Christ who loves people and enjoys serving the church in any way possible.
Phil grew up in Mississippi. He enjoys reading (yes, people who grew up in MS can read), college football, and southern cooking. After graduating from Ole Miss (Go Rebs!) he grew tired of the MS heat and decided to move to Kentucky to attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2008 he joined Immanuel and that’s where he met his wife, Laura. Together, they serve in the ImmanuelKids Ministry, laboring to see the next generation set their hope in God. They have two children, Grayson and Lydia. In the near future they desire to spend their lives taking the gospel to the unreached of South America. Until then, Phil provides for his family by selling fish.