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 2006, he earned his MA from Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam and 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, 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 www.michaeljkruger.com or on Twitter @michaeljkruger.
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 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.
Associate 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 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.
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.
Co-Children's Ministry Director : Email Sage Andrews
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.
Co-Children's Ministry Director : Email Kat Powell
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.
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.
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 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.
Women's Ministry Assistant / Special Events Coordinator : Email Lauren Palmer
Phone: (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.
Office Manager : Email Julia King
Phone: (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, 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.
Bookkeeper : Email Sarah Delprete
Phone: (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.
Outreach : Email Travis Brown
Travis grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2012 where he studied Journalism and Electronic Media and minored in Portuguese. After a brief stint at a local radio station, he married his wife, Rebekah (everyone calls her “Reebok”) and moved to Charlotte immediately after to pursue an MDiv at RTS. After seminary, Travis hopes to go into pastoral ministry. He is always up for a hike or a game of hockey and is a strong supporter of Tennessee football, Nashville hockey, and any business that serves chicken and waffles.
Mercy : Email Brittain Brewer
Hailing from Nashville, TN--Music City, USA--Brittain attended New College Franklin in Franklin, TN. He graduated in 2014 with a BA in Moral Philosophy. While in college, he met the Lord Jesus and fell in love with His Word and His church. He interned at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church and upon graduation moved to Charlotte to pursue and M.Div at RTS. He has taught a number of tangential subjects such as Latin and Rhetoric, and he enjoys running, reading, and eagerly anticipating the days the Chicago Cubs win the World Series, this side of heaven or the other. He is excited to be on staff, particularly working with Mercy ministries working to spread the love of Christ to those both in the body and in the city.
Adult Education : Email Braden Benson
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.
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).
Worship : Email Barr Overcast
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.
The Gathering (Young Adults) : Email Wade Savant
Wade grew up in both South Carolina and Florida but claims the Carolinas as his home. He attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!) and studied European History. During his time at Clemson, he was forever changed by the grace of Christ and was eventually led to spend a summer serving as a missions intern in Prague, CZ. Through connections from Prague, Wade met Aly and, after moving to Memphis, TN to continue their relationship, they were married in August 2013. They spent their first year of marriage on the mission field in La Paz, Bolivia before coming to Charlotte so Wade could pursue an MDiv at RTS. After seminary, the Savants hope to return to the mission field. Wade loves soccer (particularly Liverpool FC), hiking/camping with Aly, the mountains, cold weather, books, and Europe.
Youth : Email Taylor King
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.