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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Jeff Renn

Executive Pastor

A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Jeff Renn has served in a number of evangelical churches throughout the United States, and has coordinated short-term mission projects in over 20 countries. He has also authored a book entitled "Worship Redeemed", and recorded several musical worship CDs.  Jeff has a BA in Music & German from Wake Forest University.  Jeff currently serves full-time as Executive Pastor at Living Hope Church. He and his wife Leigh are the parents of three daughters, Gracie, Isabelle, and Lilly, who are students at UGA and Berry College. They reside in Athens, GA.

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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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Jimmy Bamberg

Associate Pastor of Counseling & Prayer, Elder

Jimmy Bamberg has been a pastor for 50 years, serving the past six years as Pastor of Counseling and Prayer at Living Hope Church.  He has been married to his wife, Susan, for 47 years, and they have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. He has an undergraduate degree from Dallas Baptist University and a Masters degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.  He enjoys travel, time with his family and riding his motorcycle.

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Rev. Jerry Kiser 

Freedom Minister

Director of Fresh Wind Recovery and Celebrate Recovery.  Fresh Wind Recovery Ministry is a healing ministry for men who are struggling with substance abuse issues.  Celebrate Recovery is a ministry to help folks recover from hurts, habits, and hang-ups that are keeping them from coming close to Christ.  Jerry is a graduate of Asbury Seminary with a Master of Divinity. He also has a certificate from the American Association of Christian Counseling in addiction recovery coaching. He has been a church consultant in North Georgia for over 20 years in several areas of church growth and evangelism and has consulted with over 250 churches. His wife Phyllis is a LPC and a Christian counselor in Athens. He was the Executive Director of Victory Home, men’s long term recovery facility, Tallulah Falls, Ga as well as Board Chair of The Healing Place of Athens, - Christian alcohol & drug rehab facility and homeless shelter for men, Athens, GA.

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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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Rachel Simms

Prayer Ministry Coordinator

Rachel is a mother of three and a grandmother of five. She is an honors graduate of Athens College of Ministry in her studies for Prayer Ministry Leadership.  She is a graduate of Central Georgia Technical College with honors majoring in information technology.  She interned with the International House of Prayer in 2006.  She has served in ministry for 19 years at Living Waters, Harvest Cathedral, Awakening Fires Redeeming Hope Center,  and International House of Prayer Macon in Macon, Georgia.  She is a certified minister in Restoring the Foundations and Transformational Healing Prayer.  She has served in many areas including children's ministry coordinator, intercessor, and recovery ministry leader 8 years.  She heads up the prayer ministry at the House of Prayer.    Rachel has a heartfelt desire to serve through prayer for inner and physical healing, transformation, and freedom from issues.  She has served at Living Hope Church since 2016.  

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Rich and Mary Suplita

Evangelism and Outreach

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 Director

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

Coordinator of Men's Ministry, Young Adult's Ministry, and Discipleship Ministries

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.

Brooks Lemmon

Staff Intern

Brooks is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia. While at UGA he studied Advertising and Graphic Design. He is currently discerning a call to pastoral ministry. As a college student he served with Phi Slam, a group that seeks to live as disciples, in community, on mission. He now serves as the Campus Director of Phi Slam at UGA. Brooks is especially interested in personal and communal spiritual formation, the church as a family, and missional living.

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?"

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.

Jimmy Bamberg

Associate Pastor of Counseling & Prayer, Elder

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 owns and operates a poultry farm in Comer, GA. Cathy is on 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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Jimmy Bamberg has been a pastor for 51 years, serving the past six years as Pastor of Counseling and Prayer at Living Hope Church.  He has been married to his wife, Susan, for 48 years, and they have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. He has an undergraduate degree from Dallas Baptist University and a Masters degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.  He enjoys travel, time with his family and riding his motorcycle.

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

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!

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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.