Tom Hawkes, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor : Email Tom Hawkes, Ph.D.
Phone: (704) 564-8180
Tom has served as Uptown's senior pastor since 1994 and was a graduate of Gordon College (1978) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (1985). In 2014, he earned a Ph.D. from the London School of Theology. Pastor Hawkes has provided leadership as the Founding Director of The Arrow Leadership Program at Leighton Ford Ministries (1991-1995), Founding President of the Church Planting Center in Orlando, Florida (1990-1991), 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). From 1985-86 Pastor Hawkes served as Associate Program Director for Billy Graham's Amsterdam '86. Tom and his wife, Ann, have four sons, Collin, Taylor, Brandon and Preston. In his spare time Tom's favorite pastimes include mountain biking, road biking, and windsurfing.
Mike Kruger, Ph.D.
Associate Pastor of Teaching : Email Mike Kruger, Ph.D.
Phone: (704) 564-8182
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, one-on-one discipleship, Intern training, the Uptown Resource Center, and the bi-monthly P.U.B. Night event. In addition to his Uptown responsibilities, Mike is also a full-time Academic Dean at Reformed Theological Seminary here in Charlotte. He received his B.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in California, and his Ph.D. from New College, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the author of The Gospel of the Savior (E.J. Brill, 2004) and has had articles appear in such journals as The Journal of Theological Studies, The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, The Expository Times, Themelios, and The Master's Seminary Journal. Prior to his service at Uptown Church and RTS, Mike served in the pastorate for several years at Church of the Redeemer in Phoenix, AZ. Mike and his wife Melissa have three children: Emma, John and Kate.
Associate Pastor, Pastoral Care & Life Groups : Email Dave Kulp
Phone: (704) 564-8184
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 2008. Growing up in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA, he first worked in ministry as a high school student in his church's youth ministry program. He studied Art Education at Kutztown University (Go Golden Bears??), but during college felt called into full-time youth ministry. After graduating in 2000 he moved to South Carolina where he met his 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 and laughing and Mary enjoys cooking, running and Starbucks, and both of the Kulps enjoy family time with their three beautiful girls Celia, Bennett and Camilla.
Assistant Pastor of Youth & Families : Email Wes Andrews
Phone: (704) 999-5233
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 there 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.
Assistant Pastor, Mercy Ministry : Email Micah Vickery
Micah and Blair grew up in Georgia. They met at the University of West Georgia and married in 2006. Micah and Blair have two children, Lydia and Elli. They spent two years in Southeast Asia working in University Ministry in the same church with the Brubakers. Micah has just received his MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary, and joined the staff of Uptown as an Assistant Pastor. He hopes to work as a pastor in the US for a period and then return to Southeast Asia to serve the church there long term. He enjoys soccer, futsal, basketball, photography, listening to music, and long hang outs with Blair and friends.
Worship Director : Email Jeremy Goodwyne
Phone: (704) 564-8181
Jeremy and his lovely wife Julie came to Uptown from Greenville, SC. Jeremy was finishing a Masters of Church Music at Erskine Theological Seminary (Due West, SC) and Julie was working as an interior designer for MCA Architecture. They have been married since March 2007, and have a dog named Chloe who looks like a fox. Jeremy holds a degree in classical guitar, but he also plays acoustic and electric guitar and several other instruments. Jeremy's interests include, but are not limited to: reading, writing, studying, traveling, learning, playing games, listening to good music, enjoying good food and drink, building things, taking things apart, watching movies, watching good television, watching soccer, chopping wood, hiking, camping, setting fires, shooting the breeze, taking pictures, visiting, art, the south, house shows, the show House, playing any instrument regardless of proficiency, Cheerwine, theology, language, sociology, culture, and Flight 815.
Nursery Coordinator : Email Lisa Ellis
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.
Women's Ministry Coordinator : Email Melissa Kruger
Phone: (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.
Children's Ministry Director : Email Christy Talamo
Phone: (704) 564-8185
Christy Talamo graduated from Columbia International University with a degree in Bible and Intercultural studies in 2005. She taught 4th and 2nd grade at Southlake Christian Academy in Huntersville, NC for eight years. She has also taught the 3rd-5th grade Sunday school class at Uptown Church since 2006 and has interned with Uptown Church's children's ministry for the past two summers. Christy has a passion for God's word and a deep love for children. She has a strong desire to see God's word change the hearts and minds of little ones so they can know and believe that Jesus is Lord, and is very excited about using her gifts and passions to serve Uptown Church.
Nursery Coordinator : Email Chris Vaughn
Chris Vaughn was born in New York and grew up in Central Florida. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She and her husband, Jim, have four children and one sweet dog.
Women's Ministry Assistant : Email Lauren Palmer
Lauren recently joined Uptown Church's staff as Women's Ministry Assistant. 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. Lauren is now a stay at home Mom to Caroline full time. Lauren enjoys anything social, music, fitness, spending time raising her daughter Caroline, entertaining and planning events when time allows.
Office Manager : Email Meghan Newman
Phone: (704) 375-7355
Meghan and her husband Andrew arrived at Uptown after moving from Memphis, TN. Meghan grew up in Charlotte, NC and then traveled to South Carolina to attend Clemson University where she pursued a degree in Communications and Journalism. After college, Meghan stayed in Memphis working for various magazines and baking at a local bakery. After three years, Meghan and Andrew are thankful to be back in ACC country and enjoy the beautiful beaches and granola mountains of North Carolina. Meghan enjoys reading, farmers markets and her two dogs.
Bookkeeper : Email Sarah Delprete
Sarah recently joined the Uptown staff as the Church's bookkeeper. She and her husband Lee moved to Charlotte in June of 2011 from Chicago, IL, and have since welcomed their son, Daniel, into the family. 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 at Loyola University 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--the Lord never wastes a thing! Sarah and Lee are enjoying being in the south, spending time outdoors, and watching their little son become bigger every day.
Youth : Email Stacey Severance
Stacey grew up all around the Southeast, with stops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida. He attended Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, where he studied Professional Writing and English Literature. Stacey and his wife Lia were married in 2002. Lia grew up in Atlanta and attended Georgia College and State University. Stacey and Lia have four daughters: Abby, Josie, Noelle, and Eden. The Severance family moved to Charlotte in August 2014 for Stacey to attend Reformed Theological Seminary. After seminary, Stacey plans to pursue pastoral ministry. He enjoys singing and playing guitar, hiking with his family, and cheering for South Carolina Gamecock football.
Children's Ministry : Email Nathan Francis
Nathan grew up in Richmond, VA. He attended Virginia Tech and worked with the Navigators campus ministry during and after college. Through the Navigators, he received training and fell in love with discipleship and evangelism. During college, he spent several summers in Japan on short term missions trips. After graduating, he stayed in Blacksburg, VA and worked for about 10 years in graphic design, IT process improvement, and project management. During those years, the Lord grew his desire for pastoral ministry. Subsequently, he moved his family to Matthews, NC to attend Reformed Theological Seminary in preparation for becoming a pastor. He met his beautiful wife, Lori, in Blacksburg. They now have 4 daughters Emily, Katie, Amy, and Caroline. So needless to say, he is experienced in tea parties and dress up (as the king, of course).
The Gathering (Young Adults) : Email Harrison Ford
Harrison comes to Uptown from Chapel Hill, NC, where his wife, Brittany, was an RUF intern and he worked in financial services. Harrison is beginning his M.Div at Reformed Theological Seminary. Harrison is a proud Mississippian and and even prouder Ole Miss Rebel, where he studied International Relations and the Russian language. After graduating he spent two years with Mission to the World in Romania and was drawn stateside in an attempt to woo his now-wife. Harrison and Brittany are both very excited to be at Uptown and to be a part of its community!
Outreach : Email Edward Murray
Edward Murray grew up in Augusta, Georgia where he became a Christian during his third year of college at Augusta State University. After graduation, he worked in college ministry at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and then for a season with a small church plant in his hometown while employed by his Alma Matter. He and his wife Brittany were married in the Fall of 2010, currently have one son Mark, and are expecting their second child this November. His hobbies are running, and playing music (guitar, bass, or drums), and he's always on the lookout for a pickup ultimate frisbee game. Edward currently attends Reformed Theological Seminary, where he is set to complete his M. Div. in the Spring of 2015.
Worship : Email Andrew Newman
Andrew grew up in the great city of Greensboro, NC. Things only got better when he joined the wolf-pack of NC State in Raleigh. During his senior year he got involved with the campus ministry RUF. After getting involved he felt called to the RUF internship and was placed in Memphis, TN at Rhodes College. While he was an intern in Memphis he married his beautiful wife Meghan who he had met just a few years earlier as a camp counselor at Camp Thunderbird in SC. They moved to Charlotte so that Andrew could pursue an MDIV at RTS. Andrew and Meghan love living in Charlotte with their two wild and crazy dogs.
Adult Education : Email Aaron Gray
Aaron grew up around the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Calhoun, Georgia, attended Mercer University and then served with a campus ministry at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC for two years. He met Deborah at Mercer, she fell head over heels for him (as he describes it), and they were married in August after graduation in 2010. Upon finishing their internship in Cullowhee, the Grays moved to Charlotte so that Aaron could attend Reformed Theological Seminary and receive training before pursuing the pastorate. He and Deborah have one daughter (Carley, born 2013). Aaron likes most things. He enjoys being active; He doesn't like olives; and he thinks long walks on the beach are nice when the breeze is right.