Staff

Pastoral Staff

Tom Hawkes

Senior Pastor : Email Tom Hawkes
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). He is currently a PhD candidate at 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.

Dave Kulp

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.

Wes Andrews

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.

Jason Piteo

Assistant Pastor, Church Planter : Email Jason Piteo
Phone: (704) 323-8389

Jason was born and raised in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. He ventured to Purdue University in Indiana where he met his wife and earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. He worked for 10 years in the IT industry before moving to Charlotte in 2010 to attend Reformed Theological Seminary and to begin the pursuit of a call to ministry. He and his family have been at Uptown Church ever since and will be part of a new church plant being planned for 2014 in East Charlotte. He is a sports enthusiast with an undying loyalty to the Cleveland sports franchises, despite their unfortunate lack of championship fruit. He has been married to Jill for 13 years and they have three children: Anthony, Abby, and Lucy.

Tyler Dirks

Assistant Pastor, Church Planter : Email Tyler Dirks
Phone: (980) 254-4588

Tyler was born in The Wild Wild West (Dodge City KS). After graduating from Kansas State University in Manhattan KS (The Little Apple), Tyler voyaged to the East Coast to marry his beautiful bride (Carrie). Tyler obtained his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte NC in 2007, and then took a call to shepherd students and faculty members at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte as the RUF Campus Minister from 2007-2013. Tyler then took a call to plant a church in Central Carolina Presbytery on the East Side of Charlotte in June of 2013. Tyler & Carrie have 4 lovely and rambunctious children - - - > Maggie, Henry, Haven, and Phinehas.

Ministry Staff

Jeremy Goodwyne

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.

Shannon Arendt

Children's Ministry Co-Director : Email Shannon Arendt
Phone: (704) 564-8185

Shannon serves as the Director of Children's Ministry and is mainly responsible for shepherding and serving the children and families of Uptown Church. Shannon comes to us from Covington, Louisiana near New Orleans. Upon graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi she joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ working with college students at Mississippi State University. After spending a year in Southeast Asia with Campus Crusade, Shannon moved to Charlotte where she taught at several urban elementary schools for seven years. In June 2007 Shannon left teaching to become the Director of Children's Ministries at Uptown Church. In her free time, Shannon loves cooking, reading, going to the dog park with her dog Libby Sue and renovating her newly purchased first home.

Lisa Ellis

Nursery Coordinator : Email Lisa Ellis
Phone:

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 : 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.

Christy Talamo

Children's Ministry Co-Director : Email Christy Talamo
Phone: (330) 412-7084

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.

Chris Vaughn

Nursery Coordinator : Email Chris Vaughn
Phone:

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.

Administrative Staff

Meghan Newman

Office Manager : Email Meghan Newman
Phone: (704) 375-7355

Sarah Delprete

Bookkeeper : Email Sarah Delprete
Phone:

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.

Interns

Andrew Shank

The Gathering (Young Adults) : Email Andrew Shank
Phone:

Andrew Shank grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and moved to Weddington, NC, in '99. He went to NC State for a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but while there, felt a call to ministry and left with degrees in ME and Religious Studies. He worked with RUF at Virginia Tech for two years right after college, and is a 2nd year student at RTS. He hopes to be an RUF campus minister after seminary, and has his sights set on Virginia. If you're trying to find him at church or on the RTS campus, just look for the man with a cup of coffee in his hand.

Harrison Ford

Worship : Email Harrison Ford
Phone:

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!

Micah Vickery

Mercy : Email Micah Vickery
Phone:

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 is at Reformed Theological Seminary and plans on graduating in 2014. He hopes to work as a pastor in the US for a period after graduation and return to Southeast Asia to serve the church there long term. Currently he serves as the Mercy Intern and a Church Planting Intern while also serving on the Missions Committee. He enjoys soccer, futsal, basketball, photography, listening to music, and long hang outs with Blair and friends.

Aaron Gray

Adult Education : Email Aaron Gray
Phone:

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. 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.