Pastor David Holt

Senior Pastor & Founder

Dr. David Holt has been married to Dede for 35 years and they have four children and 3 grandchildren.  He has been a pastor for over 30 years. David has earned degrees from the University of Georgia (BBA; 1983), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MDiv and ThM, 1990) and Trinity International University (DMN, 2005).

 

Pastor David served as a college pastor for four years at Grace Church, Eden Prairie, Minnesota; the Senior Pastor for 17 years at the First Evangelical Free Church, Onalaska, Wisconsin; and the Pastor of Discipleship at Watkinsville First Baptist for four years.  He is the author of five books: “Meeting You Where You Are,” “Pastoring with Passion,” "Serving with Passion," "Well Done," and "God Does What?"

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Shanon Hayes

Connections Pastor

Pastor Shanon Hayes has been happily married to Cathy for over 32 years.  They have two sons Will and Samuel.  Shanon was ordained in 1997.  And has served in various ministries for over thirty seven years.  Prior to coming to Living Hope Church in 2013, Shanon served as the senior pastor for seventeen years throughout Georgia.  

Pastor Shanon attended Tennessee Temple University and Covington Seminary and Bible College.  Pastored at Maple Grove Baptist Church in Chatsworth, Georgia; the Pastor at Broad River Baptist Church in Eastanollee, Georgia; the Pastor of Joy Baptist Church in Hull, Georgia.  

Shanon has served as an elder at Living Hope Church since 2014.

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Jonathan Kilgore

Worship Pastor

Jonathan has been married to the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Ayanna, for 24 years. They are the parents of three beautiful young adult children: Jonysia, Jemarcus and Jadyn. Jonathan has a true heart for worship and discipleship. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Point University and his Masters in Ministry Studies from Lee University. Jonathan has over twenty years of musical experience. He’s a professional saxophonist and a he disciples worship teams from all over the world. He has a personal passion and desire to be live and operate in the presence of God and has committed himself to helping others experience God’s presence through musical worship.  Jonathan is an avid sports fan and enjoys watching the GA Bulldogs and the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Jonathan House

Youth Director

Jonathan House has been serving in the Living Hope Youth Ministry for the last 4.5 years. He and his wife Ashley have been happily married for a little over 9 years. They have 3 wonderful children: Selah, Arlie, and Arrow.

 

Jonathan has earned an undergraduate degree from Mercer University and a Master's Degree from Montana State University. His family and he love camping, boating, fishing, hunting, snowboarding, and nearly everything else under the sun.

Jonathan has now accepted the position to serve as our Youth Director. Jonathan is especially honored to be entrusted with the cultivation and the spiritual advancement of the Crafted Youth Ministry here at Living Hope. His desire is to see every kid that comes through that door, walk in a whole hearted relationship with Jesus.

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Cathy Hayes

Children's Ministry Coordinator

Church Office and Communications Administrator

Cathy Hayes has been happily married to Shanon for over 31 years and they have two sons, Will and Samuel. Cathy works full-time at Living Hope.  Cathy has a passion for serving children and their families, and has joyfully served in Children’s Ministry for over 20 years.  Family adventures, reading, and cooking are some of Cathy‘s favorite hobbies.  One of her favorite Bible verses is Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

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Rich and Mary Suplita

Apologist and Outreach Directors

Rich is a native of West Virginia and a graduate of WVU and the UGA (Ph.D. in Neuroscience, 2005). Mary Kathryn hails from North Carolina and graduated from NCSU before completing her master's at Appalachian State. 

 

Rich and Mary Kathryn were born again in their early 40’s, spending several years as close friends before marrying in 2017. They have powerful testimonies of God changing the heart of a former atheist professor (Rich) and a person who was distracted by the ever-elusive “American Dream” (Mary Kathryn). They have four children: Annabel, Lydia, Ben  and Lola. 

 

The Suplitas’ heartcry is to carry the gospel to the frontlines of spiritual warfare on university campuses, outside of abortion clinics, and “to the highways and hedges” throughout the southeast. 

Geoff Peacock

Facilities Manager

Geoff has lived in the great state of Georgia most of his life.  His relationship with his Lord and Savior, along with his wonderful family, are most important to Geoff as he lives out his life for Jesus - Geoff's family includes his mom, brother, sister, and everyone
that comes along with them!

 

Geoff loves the outdoors, especially activities that allow him to travel, be on the water, and anything sports related.  Geoff has served in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, which is truly where his heart lies.  Geoff is passionate about creating events which support positive environments for people to come
together to enjoy fellowship and friendship with one another.


Geoff is so thankful for the redemptive power of God’s love in his life and love to share God's message of hope and grace with others.  Geoff is forever thankful for the Lord's endless love and grace in his life!

Dustin Butler

Director of Young Adults and Men's Ministry

Dustin and his wife Lori have been married for 13 years and they have 2 amazing kids, Caden and Kirsten! He graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry with intentions to pursue medical school. Instead, Dustin was ultimately led by the Lord to go on staff with a worldwide, interdenominational missions organization called the Navigators, whom he has served with for 16 years. In the summer of 2021, he came on staff with Living Hope part-time to serve in men’s ministry, young adult’s ministry, and discipleship ministries. He and his family love Living Hope and are passionate about seeing "laborers" (Matt. 9) for God's Kingdom of all ages raised up whom God will use to transform the world through generational discipleship and evangelism.

Phyllis Steinborn

Director of Celebrate Recovery

Phyllis serves as Living Hope’s Celebrate Recovery Director. She has been involved with CR for over 8 years. This is a program that helps folks recover from life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups that are keeping them from coming closer to Christ.  

Phyllis loves the Lord, has a heart to minister God’s healing to others and to serve this community. She founded Athens Master’s Academy of Fine Arts and for 3 years served as director.  In addition, she served on the Executive Board for Athens Area March of Dimes and was their Special Events Coordinator for 8 years. She also served 3 years as co-chair for one of the Clarke County’s Citizen Panel Review Boards.

Phyllis attended Jacksonville State University and Auburn University in Alabama where she majored in Interior Design with a minor in Home Economics.  She was married to her husband, Mike, for 36 years before his passing in 2021. They were foster parents for 11 years and cared for 51 children. Phyllis has one daughter, Eva.

Alex Fields

Director of Missions

Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Georgia and a Master’s Certificate in Intercultural Studies from Columbia International University. Alex currently serves as the Director of Outreach & Student Affairs at the Athens College of Ministry, a Christian college in Athens, GA. He and his wife, Anna, are members of Living Hope Church and currently serve as the mission team leads. He is passionate about God’s mission to see every nation come to know and worship Jesus and is committed to helping students and the larger Body of Christ discover their role in the Great Commission. In their free time he and Anna enjoy spending time with friends and family, running, hiking, various other sports, traveling and reading.

Judy Childs

Director of Strategic Placement and Leadership Support

Judy is married to her beloved husband, Mark, of 38 years. They are parents to Christa and Josh, in-laws to Allan and Hannah, and grandparents to their “grand-loves”, Hallie Grace and Maddie Brooke. Judy is a life-long learner, educator and educational administrator. She received her B.S.Ed. from Georgia Southern University, her M.Ed. from UGA, and her Ed.S from Lincoln Memorial University. Her life’s mission is to daily live out Jesus’ greatest commandment; to “love the Lord and to love others” (Matthew 22:37-39), living by the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Judy loves leading mission trips, reading, hanging out with family and friends and being outdoors whenever she can.

Brooks Lemmon

Director of Home Groups

Brooks is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia. While at UGA he studied Advertising and Graphic Design. As a college student he was in Phi Slam, a group that seeks to bring renewal to UGA’s campus. He now serves as the Campus Director of Phi Slam at UGA. Soon after graduating from college he married his wife Eliza. They quickly began to feel a burden for the city of Athens and the people in it. Brooks believes that the Church comes alive most when it gathers around the table just as Jesus did with his disciples. At the table, Brooks has a desire to equip the Church to follow the Way of Jesus, together, for the renewal of Athens. He is passionate about monastic living and the role of eating and drinking in the Kingdom of God. Brooks’ plan is to partner with Christ to renew the world one meal at a time.

Jacob Walton

Intern

Jacob is a senior at Toccoa Falls College where he is pursuing a dual degree in Counseling Psychology and Theology with a minor in Business. He is expected to graduate with honors in December 2022.  Jacob is assisting with the youth ministry as well as volunteering with Celebrate Recovery.

 

In his free time, Jacob enjoys sports, reading, traveling, exploring the outdoors, as well as spending time with family and friends. Jacob is passionate about helping others find the peace, love, and redemption of Jesus Christ as well as fully understanding their identity in Him.

 

One of Jacob's Favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

BODY OF ELDERS

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Pastor David Holt

Senior Pastor & Founder

Dr. David Holt has been married to Dede for 35 years and they have four children and 3 grandchildren.  He has been a pastor for over 30 years. David has earned degrees from the University of Georgia (BBA; 1983), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MDiv and ThM, 1990) and Trinity International University (DMN, 2005).

 

Pastor David served as a college pastor for four years at Grace Church, Eden Prairie, Minnesota; the Senior Pastor for 17 years at the First Evangelical Free Church, Onalaska, Wisconsin; and the Pastor of Discipleship at Watkinsville First Baptist for four years.  He is the author of five books: “Meeting You Where You Are,” “Pastoring with Passion,” "Serving with Passion," "Well Done," and "God Does What?"

Shanon Hayes

Shanon is married to Cathy and they have two sons – William, Liberty University graduate, and Samuel who attends Emmanuel College. Shanon was previously a pastor in Chatsworth, GA, Eastanollee, GA, and Hull, GA. Shanon attended Tennessee Temple and Covington Theological Seminary. Currently, Shanon and his wife Cathy both serve on the staff at Living Hope.  Shanon loves spending time with his best friend Cathy and their sons at the beach, or on the farm, and serving the Lord together.

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Robert Sekandi

Robert was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, and graduated from Makerere University of Uganda, with a degree in Business Administration majoring in Accounting. He has been married to Dr Juliet Sekandi for 14 years. They have five girls and one son.

David Russell

David has been married to Kim for 32 years and they have 5 children and a grandson. He recently retired from UGA as a carpenter after 26 years. David enjoys working on the family farm, being outdoors and meeting new people.

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Steve Chambers  (passed away 1.28.2022)

Steve married his high school sweetheart, Elissa Hamilton, 60 years ago! Together they have three sons, 9 grandkids, and one great granddaughter.

 

A graduate of the University of Alabama with a BS in Math, Steve worked as a Systems Engineer on the Saturn V launch vehicle in Huntsville, Alabama. Subsequent to the Sat V program, he worked on the Apollo Mission Simulators at Manned Space Flight Center, Houston, Texas. He joined Digital Equipment Corporation after Apollo, and he retired from DEC after a career in Sales and Marketing in Houston, Birmingham and Atlanta.

 

Steve and Elissa have been Blessed by God over their lives and give Him all Praise!

JANUARY 29, 2022  

It is with deep sadness that we share with you the passing of Steve Chambers.  Steve died Friday night in his home, surrounded by his family. 

 

Steve and Lisa have been part of Living Hope for four years, where they have led a home group, and Steve was currently serving as an Elder.  Countless lives have been touched by the Chambers.

 

A Memorial Service will be held in our Chapel on Saturday, February 12th at 11:00 AM.

 

As hard as death is, and it is still called “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26), we rejoice that this enemy has been defeated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15).  Why is this? Because God loves to welcome to heaven those who have loved Him and walked with Him. 

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Ralph Motsinger Adv. Elder

Ralph has been married to Lavon for 61 years, has 2 sons, 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He has a doctorate in Plant Pathology from Auburn. He was on the faculty at Univ. of Maryland, Auburn Univ., L.S.U.; College of Agriculture, Malaysia, & UGA. He and Lavon were missionaries to Honduras for 5 years.

Jeff Paulk Adv. Elder

Jeff has been married to Janet for 30 years and has two sons and an adopted daughter. Jeff was an F-16 pilot in the USAF for 24 years and retired as a Colonel. He played on the 1980 UGA National Championship football team. He currently owns his own consulting business and is the head football coach for Johnson Ferry Christian Academy in Marietta Georgia.