Pastor David Holt

Dr. David Holt has been married to Dede for 35 years and they have four children and 2 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?"

Jimmy Bamberg

Assoc. Pastor of Counseling & Prayer

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.

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 currently serves full-time as Executive Pastor at Living Hope Church, in addition to overseeing the Worship and Missions ministries. 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.

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.

Kevin Stout

Student Pastor

Kevin Stout is the husband of Caroline Stout and the father of Emma Stout. He has served in youth ministry for 10 years and currently serves as the Youth and College Pastor at Living Hope Church. Kevin is passionate about leading students to become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ while encouraging them to share the Gospel at every possible opportunity.  Kevin received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Georgia.  Kevin enjoys off road exploration, hiking, camping, and spending time with family in his free time.

Cathy Hayes

Children's Coor & Communications

Cathy Hayes has been happily married to Shanon for over 30 years and they have two sons, Will and Samuel. Cathy works full-time at Athens Christian school where she has been the secretary for over 14 years.  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.”

Rachel Simms

Prayer Ministry Coord.

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.  

Alicia Prow

Financial Secretary

Alicia is married to Buddy Prow and they have three sons (Cody – 21, Austin – 19 and Matt – 18). Alicia currently works as a Client Implementation Specialist for an outsourced accounting firm. She is working on her Bachelor’s degree in Business/ Accounting from Liberty University. She has been working in the Accounting and Business field for over 15 years.

Judy Childs

Assistant to Lead Pastor

Judy is married to her beloved husband, Mark, of 35 years. They are parents to Christa and Josh, and in-laws to Hannah and Allan.  Judy is a life-long 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 mission is to live out Jesus’ greatest commandment -“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… and love your neighbor as yourself…” (Matthew 22:37-39), living by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Judy’s great passion is to serve and love others.  Judy loves leading mission trips, sports, hanging out with family and friends, and being outdoors whenever she can.

Body of Elders

Ralph Motsinger

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.

Shanon Hayes

Shanon is married to Cathy they have two sons – William who attends Liberty University, 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 works at Athens Christian School. Shanon loves spending time with his best friend Cathy and their sons at the beach, or on the farm, and serving the Lord together.

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.

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.

Deacons and Deaconesses minister under the authority of the Elders and are involved in many physical and other servant ministries in the church.

Can a single or divorced man serve as a deacon or elder?  We believe they can based on the following biblical interpretation of 1 Tim. 3:

see and

In addition, see Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology p. 916-917