Derek's main job is communicating in the adult large group worship environment, leadership development, and casting vision. He utilizes his gift to preach by speaking at various church conferences, leadership events, and revivals. He is married to his best friend Ashley and has a blended family with four of the coolest kids ever: Hannah, Mason, Ava, and Landon. Ashley serves in a church administrative role and also serves alongside Derek in their personal/joint ministry endeavors.
Ashley and Derek launched this church because they believed God called them to start a church that embodied everything they needed: new grace. Their personal story speaks to many people who feel as though hope is gone, dreams are lost and life is over, but find that God, in all His grace, is never done with them. "We have many failures and shortcomings in our past but we know that we are living proof that God can do anything with anybody that has done anything."
Derek's favorite restaurant is Ted's Montana Grill. Ashley loves Fixer Upper, farmhouse decor, and all things Joanna Gaines.
Jeff's main job is overseeing the day to day operations of the church and leading groups and teams. He also serves as the primary communicator in the student (6th – 12th grade) large group worship environment. He is married to Heather and has a son named Jaxon.
Jeff didn't grow up in or around the church and had little exposure to religion outside of attending a few services here and there with friends and other family members occasionally. He accepted Christ at the age of 22 in late 2001, he surrendered to the call to preach in 2005 and has served in various positions and roles since. Jeff is passionate about reaching the next generation with the gospel through practical teaching and preaching with an emphasis on boundless grace and love that comes through knowing Jesus Christ.
"True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of your self less." C.S. Lewis
Jeff's favorite movie is The Waterboy and he enjoys hiking.
Jake’s main job is worship. His passion is leading people into the presence of God and developing worship leaders.
Jake grew up in Watkinsville, GA. After giving his life to Christ at age 11, God began to plant within him a dream to minister to the world and to God's people.
In the summer of 2008, Jake moved to North Augusta, SC where he met his wife, Courtney. There they attended Bible college and began serving full time together in ministry. Until 2018, God allowed Jake and Courtney to serve as leaders in music and worship.
In early 2018, Jake and Courtney sensed God's call to this church. They have since moved to Athens, GA and are so excited for the future He has for them here!
“We are at home here and overwhelmed at what God is doing!”
Jake’s favorite movie is anything Marvel and His favorite food is steak.
Jo's main job is creating environments, images, videos, and providing leadership support. She is married to Robby and loves what they are able to accomplish by putting their gifts together.
Growing up Jo was blessed with grandparents who modeled and lived their faith. At eight years old she came to understand her sinful condition and need for a Savior. Difficulty and life circumstances caused her to question God and the existence of pain and hardship in the world through her teen years. Called to ministry in high school, she tried to pursue her own career path but had no success. After attending college and seminary she served at Southpointe Baptist Fellowship in Leesburg, Florida for seven and a half years. Moving to Pendergrass, GA after her marriage, she has been part of this church since November 2014.
Jo's favorite thing in the world is coffee and she loves great sci-fi (LOST, X-Files, Star Wars, Star Trek).
Michael's main job is overseeing all tech and A/V elements. He is passionate about audio engineering, lighting, and all technical elements that go into a worship experience. He loves to bring functionality to our church by managing a variety of technical equipment. He also helps with arranging and assisting instruments on the worship team.
Saved at a very early age, he made very little progress in his Christian walk. In fact, he walked the opposite direction of what he knew was right, and found himself in a dark place mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. His first visit to newgrace reminded him that he was meant to do more for God than simply live a life of apathy. God called Michael into ministry at newgrace and has given him opportunities to grow and serve others.
Michael's favorite restaurant is Barberitos and he loves playing guitar.
Nikki’s role at newgrace is creating an inviting learning atmosphere in the children’s worship environment. She uses her love for children and God to inspire others to teach the next generation of God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice for them. She is married to her soul mate, Richard and they have two wonderful kids, Drake and Abby. They serve together in the church as a family.
As a child, Nikki grew up in a home that did not attend church but was blessed by an aunt who made sure that she got to go church and learn about God’s love for her. As she grew older, she pursued God, going to any church that would send a church van to pick her up. At thirteen, she heeded her Savior’s call and accepted His salvation. Her path was not straight, but she never strayed too far away from God. In 2014, she was invited to a church called newgrace at a movie theater. There she found true healing and her calling, and she has continued to serve at this church ever since.
Nikki’s favorite food is pizza and Mexican.