Pastoral Staff

Dr. Thomas D. Hawkes, Ph.D.

Senior Pastor
(704) 564-8180

Tom Hawkes is the founding Senior Pastor of Uptown Church, PCA, which began in uptown Charlotte in 1994 and has since planted a number of churches locally and internationally. Recently, he was also named the founding Director for the Center for Church Planting, RTS- Charlotte. Tom is a graduate of Gordon College (1978) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1985). In 2006, he earned an MA from Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and in 2014, he earned a Ph.D. from the London School of Theology (Middlesex University), writing on Calvin’s theology and practice of sanctification. Dr. Hawkes has provided leadership as the Founding Director of The Arrow Leadership Program at Leighton Ford Ministries (1991-1995), as U.S. Director of Church Growth for the Presbyterian Church in America, Atlanta, Georgia (1986-1990), and as the Director of Church Growth Services for the Evangelistic Association of New England, Boston, MA (1980-1985). During 1985-86 Dr. Hawkes served as Associate Program Director for Billy Graham’s Amsterdam ’86. Tom and his wife, Ann, have four grown sons, Collin, Taylor, Brandon, and Preston and one grandchild, a girl, Findlay Anne Hawkes.  In his spare time, Tom’s favorite pastimes include mountain biking, road biking, hiking, and windsurfing.

Dr. Michael J. Kruger, Ph.D.

Associate Pastor of Teaching

Mike has served as a part-time pastor at Uptown Church since 2002 and he is responsible for Discipleship Training and Adult Education. He oversees the variety of ways that church members receive theological and biblical training, including Sunday School, men’s discipleship, and the Uptown Resource Center. In addition to his Uptown responsibilities, Mike also serves full-time as President and Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary here in Charlotte. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The Question of Canon (IVP Academic, 2013). Mike and his wife Melissa have three children: Emma, John, and Kate. You can follow his blog at or on Twitter @michaeljkruger.

Dave Kulp

Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care & Life Groups

The Kulp family came to Uptown in 2005 when they moved to Charlotte for Dave to begin seminary at Reformed Theological Seminary. Dave has been a pastor at Uptown since graduating in 2008. Dave grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA, and graduated from Kutztown University (Go Golden Bears??) with a degree in Art Education. After graduating he moved to South Carolina where he met his beautiful wife Mary while working on summer camp staff together. Mary grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and studied Recreation Therapy at Clemson University (Go Tigers!). After getting married in January 2002, the Kulps lived in Georgetown, South Carolina where Dave served as a youth director for 4 years. Dave enjoys football, fishing, laughing and exercise (well…kinda love/hate) and Mary enjoys reading, Starbucks, and playing the Banjo.  Both of the Kulp’s enjoy family time with their five children Celia, Bennett, Camilla, Christian, and Emmie.

Wes Andrews

Associate Pastor of Youth & Families

Wes Andrews grew up in a military family and lived in several states before his family returned to South Carolina. He is a graduate of Clemson University where he majored in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and minored in Fine Arts. He met his wife Sage at Clemson through their involvement in Campus Crusade for Christ. They have four children (Wyatt, Walker, Lalla and Waylon). He came to Charlotte from Florence, SC where he spent eight years working in youth ministry before the Lord called him to seminary. He has served at Uptown for the past three years as youth director. For fun, he enjoys: anything related to boating, cooking, family movie nights, camping, manual labor, coffee and Clemson football.

Dave Latham

Assistant Pastor, Men's Ministry

Rev. Dave Latham was born in Charleston, SC but was raised in Greenwood, SC. He graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC with a business management degree in 2003. After college, he married his Camp Greystone sweetheart and worked at Greystone full time until 2007. After serving as an RUF intern at Furman University, he completed his MDiv from RTS Charlotte in 2010. After seminary, he planted RUF at Christopher Newport University and was a campus minister from 2010-2015. He is married to Rebecca and has 2 children. Dave is a former intern at Uptown Church and also serves as the Director of Admissions at RTS Charlotte.

Ministry Staff

Jeremy Goodwyne

Worship Director
(704) 564-8181

Jeremy and his lovely wife Julie came to Charlotte from Greenville, SC in December of 2009. They met while students at Anderson University (Anderson, SC) and were married in 2007. Jeremy earned a BA in Music Performance from Anderson and a Masters of Church Music from Erskine Theological Seminary (Due West, SC) before accepting the call to direct the worship ministry at Uptown. He and Julie welcomed to the world their long-awaited firstborn son, Abel Watts Goodwyne, in December of 2016.

A multi-instrumentalist and stylistically ranged singer, Jeremy loves to identify and develop artistic ability in others, and Uptown has proved fertile ground for just that. His desire is to direct worship that honors God, encourages his people, and facilitates divine encounter. He believes that the Creator and originator of art and beauty made creative people in his image to create beautiful art. Helping people live out the Imago Dei in their musical and artistic creativity is a passion of his.

Sage Andrews

Co-Children's Ministry Director

Sage grew up in Greenville, SC and attended Clemson University where she met her husband Wes through their involvement in Campus Crusade for Christ. Sage is still, and always will be, a die hard Clemson fan and always wears orange on game days! Sage and Wes moved to Charlotte several years ago from Florence, SC so that Wes could attend RTS.  The Andrews have four kids, Wyatt, Walker, Lalla and Waylon. Sage enjoys teaching, eating anything sweet and spending time with her family.

Kat Powell

Co-Children's Ministry Director

Kat, a native of Columbia, SC, moved to Charlotte and joined Uptown Church after marrying her husband, Daniel, in 2013. Kathryn received an undergraduate degree in special education from Clemson University and a master’s degree in early childhood special education from the University of South Carolina. She taught in the public school system for five years before staying home with their precious daughter, Harper Grace. Since joining Uptown, Kathryn has loved teaching Sunday School and volunteering at various children’s ministry events! Kathryn is passionate about equipping families and children to grow in their love for Christ and knowledge of the Bible.

Lisa Ellis

Nursery Coordinator
(704) 591-5381

Lisa is officially an Uptown old-timer. She and her husband Tom attended services on Uptown’s second Sunday, way back in October 1994. She holds a BBA and MBA from the College of William and Mary, and worked for IBM in finance and project management for almost a decade before leaving to raise her three children, Claire, Lindsay and Emery Jane. Lisa has both southern and northern roots, having been born in New Orleans, raised in New Jersey, and schooled in Virginia, with a little time in Venezuela and the Chicago suburbs as well. When she’s not in the church nursery, you can probably find Lisa within a mile of her house…volunteering at school, on the soccer field with her girls, running, walking her dog, or dreaming up another home improvement project.

Melissa Kruger

Women's Ministry Coordinator
(704) 996-6271

In 2009 Melissa joined Uptown’s staff for a second time. After serving for a year as our Children’s Ministry Director, she spent a few busy years raising her growing family full time. Melissa is a North Carolina native and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied math and education, as well as met her husband, Mike. She currently works part-time as our women’s ministry coordinator, acting as a liaison between the women’s prayer team, program team and staff team. She enjoys meeting with women, studying the Bible, running with friends, reading, and spending her days raising her three children, Emma, John, and Kate.

Lauren Palmer

Women's Ministry Assistant / Special Events Coordinator
(704) 502-0055

Lauren joined Uptown Church’s staff as Women’s Ministry Assistant and recently stepped into the role of Special Events Coordinator as well. Lauren moved to Charlotte from Orlando in 1997. She graduated from East Mecklenburg High School and got her Bachelor’s Degree from The University of North Carolina Asheville in Business Management. After college, Lauren traveled the world helping companies plan and execute their corporate events abroad. She then continued her event management career with Wells Fargo planning customer and team member events for the Commercial Banking group. She married her husband Joel in 2010, after meeting him through a mutual friend from high school. Lauren and Joel’s daughter Caroline was born in March 2013 and Jennings in April 2015. Lauren is now a stay at home Mom to Caroline and Jennings full time. Lauren enjoys anything social, music, fitness, entertaining and planning events when time allows.

Rebecca Latham

Nursery Coordinator
(828) 674-5169

Rebecca Latham is a native of Memphis, TN but has lived in several places since leaving for college. She holds two degrees in geological engineering: one from the University of Mississippi and one from the Colorado School of Mines.  While that might not naturally transfer into working with children, she has spent many years serving in various children’s ministries: long-time camp counselor, children’s church coordinator at a previous church, and preschool aid.  Rebecca and her husband Dave lived in Charlotte from 2007-2010 while Dave attended RTS, and returned to Charlotte in 2015 when Dave took a job at RTS. The Lathams have 2 kids: Stokes and Ellie Grace. Rebecca loves college football (Go Rebels!), hiking, fishing, cooking, trying to keep up with her kids, and pretending to be a runner.

Administrative Staff

Julia King

Office Manager
(704) 375-7355

Julia grew up in the sunny city of Pensacola, FL.  She earned her degree in Recreational Administration from the University of South Alabama in Mobile.  Upon graduation, she pursued a career in Parks and Recreation as the “Leslie Knope” of Fayetteville, Arkansas.  During her time in Fayetteville, she met her wonderful husband, Taylor. The two got married, and work moved their lives to Baton Rouge, LA. In February of 2016, they moved to Charlotte so that Taylor could begin his MDIV at RTS.  Julia loves playing in the great outdoors with her pup Edith (Edie Pie), campfire cooking, gardening, and biking the streets of Charlotte with Taylor. They are thrilled to be a part of the Uptown community and love to call the Queen City home sweet home.

Sarah Delprete

(704) 375-7355

Sarah joined the Uptown staff as the Church’s bookkeeper in May 2012. She and her husband Lee moved to Charlotte in June of 2011 from Chicago, IL, and have since had two sons and a daughter. Sarah comes from an education background; she taught high school History and English for six years in the Chicagoland area at both a public school and private Christian school. While completing her Masters in American history in Chicago, she was fortunate to work in the accounting department of a staffing firm. The skills she learned and used in that position have prepared her to fill the role of bookkeeper at the church.  Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, reading, studying the French language, cooking, and going on adventures exploring Charlotte and the region’s many things to do, see, and taste.

Pastoral Interns

Nathanael Miller

Outreach : [email_link]

Nathanael is from Asheville, North Carolina. He attended Appalachian State University, graduating with a degree in History in 2015. After spending some time in Houston, Texas working in college ministry, he moved to Charlotte to pursue a MDiv at Reformed Theological Seminary. After completing his degree, Nathanael hopes to return to work in college ministry. He enjoys hiking, reading, and drinking coffee.

Braden Benson

Adult Education : [email_link]

Braden grew up in Madison, Mississippi.  He graduated from Mississippi State University in 2015 where he studied Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy and minored in Religion.  He married his wife, Victoria (who is also a MSU graduate) June of 2015 and then they moved to Charlotte so he could pursue a MDiv and MACC at RTS.  After seminary Braden hopes to go into the Biblical counseling ministries in the local church. He enjoys hunting and fishing, as well as art and music, and will talk to anyone anywhere about the great sport of Hockey.

Barr Overcast

Worship : [email_link]

Barr is a proud native of Memphis, TN. He attended college at Samford University in Birmingham, where he met his lovely wife, Becca. After college, Barr moved to Chattanooga, TN where he worked as an intern for RUF at Covenant College. During his time with RUF, Barr began to feel God’s call to pastoral work, so after his time with RUF was done, he and Becca made the move to Charlotte to attend RTS. Barr enjoys hiking, basketball, and all things nerdy: especially Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. His love for BBQ and the Memphis Grizzlies goes deep, and he’s excited to be back in a city that loves BBQ and basketball as much as he does.

Mark Skylling

The Gathering (Young Adults) : [email_link]

Mark grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with a degree in Accountancy and Theology. Afterwards, Mark moved to Chicago, where he worked in public accounting and corporate finance. In 2013, Mark married his best friend Maria, whom he met while they were both students at Notre Dame. They now have a daughter, Faith, who keeps them on their toes. After discerning a call to pastoral ministry Mark and his family moved to Charlotte to pursue a MDiv at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (for his first couple years in seminary he also worked as a financial analyst at Bank of America, but recently left so he could attend seminary full time). During his free time, Mark enjoys hiking in the mountains, reading theology books (seriously!), drinking coffee, and watching baseball (Go Cubs!). He has a heart for church planting, and his desire is to see God’s glory spread across the nations as people’s lives are transformed by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Taylor King

Youth : [email_link]

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Taylor brings his passion for the Vols and Chickfila to the staff at Uptown Church. After studying History and Political Science at Tennessee-Chattanooga, work moved him and his wife, Julia, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  From there, they found their way to Charlotte so Taylor could begin his M. Div at Reformed Theological Seminary. Outside of spending time with his beautiful bride, Taylor enjoys vacuuming, consuming fantasy football statistics, and watching endless movies. Both he and Julia are thrilled to be a part of the Uptown Community, and look forward to coming years in the Queen City.

Aaron Harding

Mercy Ministry : [email_link]

Aaron grew up just outside of Raleigh, NC and attended North Carolina State University where he studied Philosophy. He graduated with an MDiv from Westminster Seminary California in 2013, and he and his family moved to Charlotte this Spring so that he could start the Masters of Christian Counseling program at RTS. Aaron and his wife, Brook, have two children, Everett (5) and Adele (1). After seminary, he hopes to serve on a pastoral staff in with a focus on biblical counseling.