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 five children, (Karis, Frank, Daniel, Benjamin, and Ruby) 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.
Donnie has a hard time answering the question, “where are you from?” He was born in North Carolina, but at eight weeks old his family moved to Germany where his parents were missionaries. At twelve, they moved to Lakeland, Florida. He eventually married Becca (after many years of working up the courage to ask her out) and moved to Minneapolis where his two kids (Tripp and Scout) were born. Donnie loves reading great stories. Look no further than his daughter’s name to guess his favorite. He also loves Immanuel and is excited to continue serving this diverse body.
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.
Andy and his wife have been members at Immanuel for over a decade and have been instrumental in seeing the Gospel go forth to the nations. As Immanuel’s Global Missions Pastor, Andy is responsible for overseeing the care of our international and national workers as well as sending more men and women overseas with the good news of Jesus.
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.
Nicole came to Immanuel from the beautiful islands of Hawaii, where she lived before moving to Louisville to attend Boyce College. She is an avid book-lover, will stop to pet any and every dog in sight, and proudly sings Christmas songs all year round. With an attention to detail and penchant for organization, Nicole serves Immanuel as the front office administrator and assistant to Pastor Ryan.
Josh and his wife, Kelly, come from the lake towns of big & beautiful Wisconsin. Together they have two daughters, Cadence and Leah. In his free time, Josh loves being with his family and usually has photography, coffee, or chess on the brain. He oversees all aspects of Immanuel’s communication, including the website, printed materials, signs, and app content. Josh also gratefully serves alongside Immanuel’s deacons to extend mercy and help to those in need.
Cindy and Bill moved to Louisville from Bowling Green, KY, in the Fall of 2014. Before coming to Louisville, Cindy taught preschool and early elementary for 10 years and was the children’s ministry director at their church in Bowling Green for 9 years. Bill taught high school for 6 years and then worked 30 years for General Motors in manufacturing. They have 3 grown daughters, who are married and have blessed them with 8 grandchildren. Their desire is to serve the children and families of Immanuel and help equip the next generation of believers for a lifetime of ministry and service.
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 serves the ImmanuelKids ministry by coordinating volunteers and various administrative tasks.
Courtney and her husband Nick are proud Canadians (eh?) who moved to Louisville at the start of 2016 so that Nick could attend Southern Seminary. Courtney earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Administration from The University of Western Ontario, and loves being able to use her gifts and volunteer her time here at Immanuel as the bookkeeper & all things finance go-to-gal. In her spare time, Courtney loves to go on coffee dates with her husband, hone her cooking skills, and open her home to old and new friends alike.
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.
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 owned and operated a coffee shop in South Carolina 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 6 kids. He works as a nurse here in Louisville and has been a faithful member of Immanuel for many years. He’s also a Godly husband, father, and shepherd who loves nothing more than to see his children walking in the truth.
Jonny hails from the great Northern Ireland and came to Louisville in 2010. He and his wife, Janaye, have two boys, Owen and Walter. Jonny enjoys a wide variety of recreational activities like reading, grilling out, playing rugby with the boys, and watching baseball (while his wife explains the rules). The Lord has gifted him in teaching and serving others in hospitality along with his wife.
Pastor Jones was born and raised in a town in the North West Region of Cameroon in Africa, and God gave him new life when he was teenager through the preaching of a missionary. He’s married to the love of his life, Nicoline, and together they have two boys—Nethanel and Mishael—with a third child expected late 2016. The Lord has gifted Jones in preaching and shepherding the saints, and he’s excited to help Immanuel grow up into maturity in Christ. In his free time, he’s usually got his nose buried in a book.
Matthew is a true Renaissance man: coffee shop owner, outdoor adventurer, purveyor of eclectic goods, compassionate people-person, loving father & husband—and now, caring pastor. Matthew and his wife, Aleasha, have three daughters, and they’ve all been dearly loved Immanuel members for a while now. Matthew serves Immanuel by leading a Gospel Community Group and bringing his “nothing is impossible” wit to the elder board.
Evan was born in raised in Louisville and is proud to be a part of the small (but growing!) population of locals at Immanuel. He attended and graduated from the University of Louisville, where the Lord saved him during his senior year. He serves as a leader in the Immanuel youth group and is also leading Immanuel’s college ministry at U of L. Evan loves playing basketball (and most other sports, really), reading, and playing dominoes. He’s also an avid tea drinker and would love to chat with you about the finer points of both theology and tea. Click here to email Evan.
Ramny was born on the beautiful Island of the Dominican Republic, where he lived until 8. He had a stint in Miami but spent the rest of his time growing up in NYC. Ramny is married to his best friend, Dayami, and they’re expecting their first child in February 2017. He loves to read, play sports, listen to good hip hop, and spend time with the body of Christ. The Lord has gifted him with a love for people and bringing the word of God to bear on their lives.
Jay became an elder in June of 2017. He grew up in the hills of Northeast Alabama, but he relocated to Louisville with his local Louisville wife, Amy. Jay and Amy have three children: Anna, Judson, and Benjamin. Jay teaches ESL to international students and trains future teachers as well. If he had free time, it would be spent outdoors hiking with the family or hunting. Fun fact: It was only after joining they learned that Amy’s grandma had been baptized at Immanuel when she was a girl!
Trevor is married to Amber and they have one son, Reuben. Trevor was born and raised in Hawaii and desires to make it back to the islands one day. Since moving to Louisville he has fallen in love with good coffee, books, and bluegrass.
Jon Meacham and his wife Bethany have three sons—Jonah, Malachi, and Isaac—and a daughter, Eliza. 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.
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.
Rob grew up in Indiana, where he spent most of his life on a soccer field or a basketball court. After coming to faith in Christ, meeting his wife Sarah (the love of his life) and graduating college, he and Sarah moved to Louisville. His greatest joys include spending time with Sarah, serving at Immanuel and Louisville Rescue Mission, playing basketball with friends, reading good poetry (as all real men do), and hanging out with loved ones.
Andrew comes to us from just up the road—Lexington, Ky. Andrew’s love for the Kentucky Wildcats is only outpaced by his love for his wife, Rachel, and for the saints at Immanuel. Andrew enjoys playing trombone in the worship band and welcoming image bearers on Sunday mornings with the Welcome Team. He also serves as a deacon, helping to care for the physical needs of God’s people at Immanuel.
Josh grew up in Tracy, CA and in God’s providence moved to Garden Valley, TX in 2008 to work for Teen Mania Ministries. There I met a girl named Abbey Bennett, and we began a friendship that turned into marriage in 2012. When I’m not working or reading for school, I enjoy hanging out with Abbey, going to the creek with my dog Watson, running, and being in the great outdoors.