Paul Gardner and his wife, Sharon, came to ChristChurch in 2005. Following a degree in Spanish from London University, Paul started a candle-making company with a partner in the early 1970’s, with the intention of being able to afford a theological education. In 1979, Paul received his Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS and later, his PhD from Cambridge University in England.
Paul is British, and Sharon was born in California, leaving for England when she was just twenty. Paul’s ministry in England has included teaching New Testament and Homiletics for seven years at Oak Hill Theological College, a seminary in London, pastoring a church in the northwest of the country for over twelve years, and most recently, serving as the Archdeacon of Exeter. This is a position appointed by the Bishop to help oversee clergy, parishes, and churches in an area in southwest England.
Along with his love of pastoral ministry and care for people, Dr. Gardner has been actively engaged in preaching and teaching both nationally and internationally. In England he served, for a number of years, as Chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council. Some of his teachings are available at www.paulgardner.org.
Paul and his wife Sharon arrived in Atlanta in November of 2005. Sharon is a qualified school teacher. Their family is now grown: Jonathan is married to Charlotte, and they live in London with their daughter Naomi, born June 28, 2006. David is married to Amanda, and they live on Seabrook Island, SC. Hannah is married to Steven Simms and she is pursuing studies at Richmont Graduate School.
Paul has published a number of books and articles, including commentaries in the Focus on the Bible Commentary Series from Christian Focus Publications. He has written on 2 Peter & Jude, Revelation, and Ephesians for that series. Further works include “The Gifts of God and the Authentication of a Christian”, “An Exegesis of 1 Corinthians 8-11,” and “The Zondervan Encyclopedia of Bible Characters” (as editor and major contributor). Dr. Gardner is also working on a commentary for Zondervan on 1 Corinthians and a pastoral book on the subject “When God Says No!,” which he describes as a “much-neglected area in Christian teaching.”
Sharon and I have a passion to love God and his people. We are always learning, but we are so thankful to God that he has called us to serve here. We long to serve the Lord at ChristChurch in whatever areas he opens for us. Whether it be visiting those in serious need, inviting people to our home, or teaching, or preaching the Word, our desire is that we grow continually in our knowledge and love of the Lord and help others to do the same. For both of us, the study of God\'s Word, and worship and prayer with God\'s people are foundational and the deepest joy of our own spirituality and love for the Lord.
My excitement about serving as the Pastor for Congregational Life comes from a great desire to see people gain a deeper understanding of God’s grace and reach out with that grace to our community. In my ten years as a youth pastor and nine years as an associate pastor at ChristChurch, I believe the Lord has given me a heart for shepherding and discipleship, and a real passion for the next generation.
Coming from a broken home, I came to know the Lord at a young age and have been influenced greatly by many godly people, including family members, teachers & coaches, Young Life leaders, youth group leaders, friends & mentors. After graduating from Anderson University in 1986 and spending 5 years in retail management, the Lord confirmed a desire to be in full-time ministry in the summer of 1991. While serving as a youth pastor, I completed my graduate studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1995.
The last several years have been a time of amazing growth in Christ and movement toward self-awareness and God-awareness. I believe the Lord has led my wife of 19 years, Paulette, and me on an incredible journey of our hearts. He has taught me much about myself, but more importantly, much about Him, exposing my idols and showing me His grace, His goodness, and His sovereignty. There have been times of struggle and difficulty, but a sense of wonder and “awakening” as well, with a new discovery and understanding of God’s grace and what that really means in our lives. It is truly irresistible and it’s truly amazing! Through the privilege of being a father to two incredible daughters, the Lord is redeeming my own experiences and revealing His character as I become more and more dependent on Him.
Ministry in God’s church, many times, involves deep personal struggle. Nevertheless, I have a great desire to deepen my personal relationship with the Lord and glorify Him with my work, for I “continue to work out [my] salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in [me] to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13)
I am passionate about God's Word, his people, and the gifts that he has given to his Church in order to spread the Good News of Jesus in a compelling and holistic manner. For those reasons I am most interested in how we, as the Church, can best enter into God's presence and make the most of the Bible, Bread and Wine, Baptism, and Prayer which are given by our Lord with the intended purpose that they nourish his people and call others to faith in King Jesus. Everything that I do at ChristChurch (see below) starts with worship. As a Christian and as a pastor I believe it is a joy to worship God and I hope to see others, those who confess faith in Jesus and those who as of yet do not, come to share the same joy and excitement of knowing our powerful creator God as a Loving Savior, a Loving Father, and a Loving King.
I grew up in a Christian home and for all intents and purposes I do not remember a day that I did not believe the good news that Jesus died for my sins and rose again from the dead having conquered sins grip on me. As I have grown older my spiritual maturity has increased and so has my understanding of how sinful I am and how beautiful God's grace is. In late high school and college I became enamored with Theology (the study of God) and I continue to loving studying God and his word and am humbled by how little I know and how many questions I still have.
I started teaching in the local church when I was in college. At that time I also led some small group Bible Studies, mentored some fellow students, and began to be more interested in actively telling others about Jesus (you know without lowering my voice and being a little embarrassed!). I was encouraged by pastors, elders, and friends to seek out God's calling for me with regard to Gospel Ministry. So in June of 2006 my wife, Julie, and I headed out to St. Louis where I was enrolled in the Masters of Divinity program at Covenant Theological Seminary. At that time Julie was pregnant with our first child, Hadden who is now 6 years old, and since then we have added Tennyson (4), and Roan (1). As a result our house is full of lots of sword fighting, super-heroes, and weird smells. After seminary I interned at a church in San Diego, CA for a few months and then moved to Georgia where I continued to pursue ministry while working a number of sales jobs. God taught me many things about his faithfulness, his love, and his desire to see Christ formed in me during this time. I subsequently learned much of my doubting heart, my lack of patience, and my obsession with control (among other things). But during all of that time God was preparing me for gospel ministry in ways that I still struggle to describe.
In May of 2012, two years after graduating from CTS, I was called by the elders of CCP as the Assistant pastor of Outreach and Home Groups. That means that I am responsible to insure that everything we do as a church has an outreach - evangelistic - focus. This is an exciting calling at a church where many people want to tell others (friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members) about the hope that we as Christians have in King Jesus and where people, young and old, are eager to see visitors at Church!
One way that outreach is fostered, at CCP, is in our Home Group ministry where Christians are encouraged to grow deeper in their faith, grow closer to one another, and engage others in the growth of that geographically based community (see Home Group link).
Beyond Outreach and Home Groups I also offer pastoral oversight to "Sunday's at Seven" (our bi-monthly evening worship). At this service we dig deep into the word of God, sing and pray to him in the Spirit, and engage the questions that people have always wanted to ask but have, maybe, never had the opportunity to ask them. In all of these ministries it is a joy, and a labor of love before God, to serve the people of ChristChurch, and encourage an outward face that seeks the peace, flourishing, and salvation of those in the City of Atlanta.
Greg joined the ChristChurch staff as the Director of Music and Arts in 2006. He is a graduate of Belmont University with a Bachelor of Music in Church Music, emphasis in conducting and piano. He completed a Master’s in Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Greg has served the local church for over twenty years, specializing in blending old hymns, modern songs, and liturgy into services of worship that undergird the spoken word. At ChristChurch, he is responsible for the training and development of instrumentalists and vocalists from within the body to lead weekly worship. He also leads seasonal choirs and produces Christmas at ChristChurch, an annual event including adult and children’s choirs, orchestra, dance, and drama.
Greg also oversees the ChristChurch Arts Ministry, which includes the Genema Gallery, located in the church foyer. The Genema Gallery hosts rotating exhibits by artists both inside and outside the church. The ministry has grown to include Expressions, an art show celebrating talent within the church body.
Greg is married to Kristi, a preschool teacher and freelance graphic designer. They are parents to a son and a daughter. Together, Greg and Kristi enjoy leading worship for Mission to the World (MTW) conferences, both in the US and abroad. They also enjoy writing and composing.
I was born in India, but I spent most of my life growing up in Lawrenceville, Georgia. My family is culturally Hindu, which translated the same for me as a child. As I got older, I found myself being humiliated much of the time while growing up: this pushed me to take religion more seriously. In middle school my friend wanted to know if I wanted to play basketball at his church. They had church service you had to go to afterwards, but attending the service was of little importance to me since I loved playing basketball. It was this weekly service that laid the foundation of my early teachings from the Bible, a foundation that would come to play a greater role later in my life. The teachings of the Bible remained neutral when I entered high school, where I focused on getting into a good college, and playing in the high school band. However these feelings changed when I went to Georgia Tech. In my freshman year my life was falling apart. It was a time where my grades were bad, friends and family were mad at me, a long-term girlfriend broke up with me, and other problems seemed to pile up. Yet at the crux of my loneliness, all that I had learned from the Bible during middle school came flooding into my mind. I decided then to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. A friend of mine was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and really took me under his wing at the beginning of my walk as a Christian. After being involved with campus ministry and my home Church I felt God calling me to Seminary.
After I graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity in May 2009. I fully realized God put in my heart a calling and passion for student ministry, since it is this ministry that has transformed my own life. But, it was hard to find a Church that my wife I could work and call home. My wife and I also decided that God was calling us back to Atlanta, and that is why I have been looking for and applying to jobs in this area. Eventually, we both felt that calling was answered and met at Christ Church Presbyterian.
The church and denomination has the elements we valued, which was a reformed belief system, outreach-oriented ministry, belief in the inerrancy of Scripture, and cared about reaching students. I ended up working two internships at Christ Church doing both youth and college, and starting last year I came on staff as the Director of College and Youth and now Next-Gen Director. My time working the many internships and seminary allowed me the time to understand what are the things God values. It also allowed me to learn from His servants about how to carry out His kingdom work.
I love children and families! God is so good, creating an amazingly structured organism that provides a beautiful image of the tri-une God. When I think about families, and God’s plan for them to reflect who he is and his love for us, I get really excited!
I was born and raised in Southern California...yes, a Los Angeles native!
Due to my parents love for children, working in both local churches as well as community-based programs we moved around a lot. These experiences early in life laid the foundation for what the LORD would use to develop my “call” to shepherd and equip adults how to diligently disciple their children in the Word of God.
To get where I am today was a long, and at times sordid journey…but always one in which the LORD guided and directed me toward his ultimate plan for my life. After graduating from BIOLA University with a degree in psychology (emphasis in child development) in 1992, I have worked in camping, urban and suburban settings, in both church and community-based programs and ministries.
In 2001 I met my wife, Kelly, when mutual friends bugged me until I asked her out. Being we were in our early-mid 30’s at the time, I was a bit leery having been set up on many blind dates that clearly did not turn out so well. Needless to say, we hit it off right away, getting married a year-to-the-day we met.
Interestingly enough, while we have many things in common, what most drew me to Kelly were our differences...differences that the Lord has used to mature me into a man. Including such things as her being from the Northeast (New Jersey) and my being from So-Cal. However these cultural differences may have challenged us, God has used them to bring him glory in how we serve him together.
In addition, God has also used Kelly’s completion of her Masters in Theology in my life, which she has used not only to lead and teach women in various capacities, but to also support and challenge me in my thinking and approach to ministry.
From the moment we met Kelly and I wanted to be involved in foster care and even possibly adopt. However, it was not until we struggled with infertility for 8 years and in our early 40’s that we began to realize if we wanted children we need to act soon. In 2011 we would be introduced to our boys, Jacob and Makiah, but it would take another two years before we would adopt them officially. It has been amazing to see how the LORD has answered a 25-year prayer of mine to have a family of my own.
My Calling to Serve God’s Family
In a nutshell, this is what drives me and what I believe God has called me to focus my serving of he and his church (from Deuteronomy 6, Leviticus 19:17-18; Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34-35):
• Every child valued
• Christ-centered relationships
• Diligent discipleship
• Biblically-focused teaching
• A safe and secure environment
• A high standard of excellence
Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you have...I love to talk with those who have a passion for teaching kids God’s word!
Robin serves as the Business Manager and also as Interim Children's Nursery Coordinator. She has worked at ChristChurch for over 10 years, and manages the day-to-day operations of the church.
Robin is married to Jay Parten, who manages customer support at Horizon Software. Robin and Jay live in Marietta, and worship at Johnson Ferry Baptist.
Sermerlyn and her husband, Jerry, came to ChristChurch in 2007. She began working as Assistant to the Senior Pastor in March 2010 and and transitioned into the role of Next Generation Coordinator in 2013.
Sermerlyn is a native Atlantan and is married to Jerry, who is a master beekeeper. Over the years Sermerlyn has worked in the Atlanta corporate offices of R. H. Macy & Co., home schooled her daughter, Esther (now grown), was licensed to sell real estate, had a booth at the Scott Antique Market (Lakewood), assisted in renovating 2 older houses, coordinated a senior adult ministry, and loves the beach.
Beryl and her husband came to ChristChurch in 2005. She graduated from Nyack College in New York and received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education at Georgia State University. She taught both public and private school for several years, and worked as the Director for the girl’s division of Youth Guidance, a ministry to troubled inner-city youth in Atlanta. Beryl has played piano, organ and keyboard at various churches and conferences over the years. In addition, she served as the Director of Music at Grace Church in Duluth, GA.
Presently, Beryl is the Assistant to the Director of Music and Arts at ChristChurch and occasionally serves as worship leader and pianist. She assists in the preparation of weekly Sunday worship services, seasonal choirs and orchestras, special events such as concerts, musical theatre and art exhibits. She sees music and the arts as a vital part of our worship and a means to glorify God through the creative gifts that God has given his people.
Beryl is married to Bob Fowler, an architect and President and CEO of Fowler Design Associates. They have been involved in the community through a variety of ministries and music/arts organizations. They have two grown children and 3 wonderful grandchildren.
Kelley has been working as the Accountant at ChristChurch since 2010. She is a graduate from Georgia State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting.
Kelley is married to Charles Miller who works as the budget director for the Counsel of Superior Court Judges. They have one grown son, Steven, who is currently serving in the US Navy. Charles and Kelley live in Locust Grove and are members of Salem Baptist Church.
Rachael began attending ChristChurch in 2011. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Theory and English from Mercer University, she joined the staff of Reformed University Fellowship at Emory. Through the RUF internship, she met Jake, an intern in Mississippi who drove six hours to take her out on their first date. They were married in July of 2012. Jake is now a mechanical engineer working out of Adairsville.
Rachael joined the ChristChurch staff in 2013 and is currently pursuing her M.A. at Reformed Theological Seminary.
Jessica first came to ChristChurch in 2011. After earning a B.A. degree from Covenant College in 2001, she worked in teaching music, studied music on the master\'s degree level, and earned a degree in library science in 2006 from the University of Kentucky. She moved to Georgia in 2009 and worked as a librarian and in the denominational office of the PCA and joined the ChristChurch staff in 2013.