Anson was born on May 17th 1978 in Warner Robins, Georgia. As a 9-year-old little boy growing up fatherless and being raised by a single mother, Anson trusted in the simple yet glorious good news of the gospel that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died on a cross, in his place, for his sin. This was the defining moment of his life.
On August 26th, 2000 Anson was married to his beautiful high school sweetheart Heather Newton. They made their home in Ellijay, Georgia for the first few years of their marriage. Anson traveled and preached full-time as an itinerant preacher while attending classes at the extension center of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Atlanta during this time.
After spending 10 years a Student Pastor, Anson and his wife Heather obeyed God’s call to plant a new church called Emmaus in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Emmaus Church is a member of the Acts 29 network of churches; a global network of gospel centered churches collectively committed to intentionally plant more churches both locally and globally for the fame of Christ. Anson serves as the North Georgia regional director for Acts 29.
Anson and his bride Heather have two beautiful daughters: Annabelle Grace and Madeline Hope. Their fervent prayer is that their children will be overwhelmed by the grace and hope that can only be found in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.
Favorite Hobbies: Going to UGA football games with my wife, Heather; Going for long jogs with my wife, Heather; Eating good Mexican Food with my wife, Heather.
Favorite Book of the Bible: Whichever one I’m currently preaching out of. True story.
Favorite Food: A ribeye steak.
Pastor of Congregational Care and Assimilation
Travis was born on July 2nd 1986 in Tampa, Florida. His family eventually moved to Georgia where he grew up for most of his childhood. From the beginning of his life, Travis’ parents made sure that he and his siblings went to church consistently. When he was 11 years old, Travis put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. During his senior year of high school, Travis knew that God was calling him to eventually be in full-time pastoral ministry. Prior to coming to Emmaus, Travis worked in youth ministry at two churches in south Florida.
On August, 29 2009, Travis married his wonderful bride Kendra Mills. They met in Coral Springs, Florida while Travis was serving on staff at a local church. They have two children Zaeden Elijah and Livy Taylor.
Travis and Kendra came to Emmaus at the very beginning, during the core group phase. In October 2012, Travis obeyed God’s calling and came on staff at Emmaus as the Associate Pastor.
Favorite Hobbies: Spending time with Kendra and our kids; playing, watching, and talking basketball; reading; watching good TV shows and movies.
Favorite Book of the Bible: Hebrews. It’s so deep and rich theologically and every time I read it I learn something new.
Favorite Food: Tacos.
Pastor of Worship and Arts
Jeremy was born on November 20th 1986 in Algonquin, Illinois. He attended church regularly with his family from an early age. His parents were actively involved in the worship ministry at their church, which led to Jeremy’s similar interest in music. Eventually, his family moved to Flowery Branch, Georgia where he has lived ever since. When he was 9 years old, he put his faith and trust in Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
On September 23rd 2006, Jeremy married his beautiful bride Catherine Chase. In 2007, Jeremy followed God’s calling into ministry and he began traveling as an itinerant worship leader. During that time, he attended Truett McConnell College in Cleveland Georgia and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies. In May of 2014, God led the Daniels’ to Emmaus Church where Jeremy serves as the Worship Pastor.
Jeremy and Catherine have a daughter named Eliza Noelle. Their one hope is that they will raise their children to know and love Jesus.
Favorite Hobbies: Anything outdoors. Going camping, hiking, biking, boating, and fishing.
Favorite book of the Bible: The book of Psalms. I love how incredibly honest the Psalmists were. The book expresses the full gamut of human emotion in the midst of a fallen world. They demonstrate what is looks like to trust and worship a faithful God in all situations; good or bad.
Favorite Food: Themed dining. I am embarrassed to admit this but I am a sucker for any restaurant that offers an immersive sensory experience. Think tropical, prehistoric, or medieval and you get the idea.
Pastor of Discipleship and Missions
Brian was born on January 24, 1987 in Decatur, Illinois. His parents raised him in the church, teaching him from a young age of the nature and purposes of God. At the age of six, he first trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins and was later baptized. As a senior in high school, after a life-altering experience on a mission trip to Peru, Brian recognized and surrendered to a leading from God to a life in full-time ministry.
In May of 2009, Brian married his high-school sweetheart and love of his life Lauren McEachin. They have two beautiful children, Emmy (4) and Hudson (2), and they are currently expecting their third child, a little girl, who is due in February. There is nothing more important in the world to Brian than seeing his family fall more in love with Jesus every day.
Brian began serving as a Pastor at Emmaus Church in September of 2016 after previously serving as a State Missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board for eight years. He graduated with a BBA in Business Management and a BA in Spanish from the University of Georgia in 2008; and he completed his Masters of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012.
Favorite Hobbies: Cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs, reading, drinking coffee, watching movies, camping, and traveling. Basically, anything that I do with my wife, Lauren.
Favorite Book of the Bible: Romans. For me, there is no clearer picture of the glorious, eternal, and unstoppable work that Jesus accomplished on the cross for his church than Romans.
Favorite Food: All things Mexican.
Associate Minister of Administration
Jerod was born on September 29, 1993, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After 3 other moves, Jerod’s family settled in Braselton, Georgia in 2010. During his senior year of high school in 2012, Jerod fully realized the need he had for Jesus through a sermon from John Piper. He realized that he had been living only for himself, despite his life-long involvement in the church. The Lord softened his heart to accept the grace and mercy that Jesus so freely gives in salvation.
On May 21, 2016, Jerod married his incredible wife Hannah Wilbanks. They met in 2010 while both high school students at Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula, Georgia. Hannah currently works as an oncology nurse at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
Jerod began serving as a minister at Emmaus Church in 2018. Prior to that, he worked in many other jobs including working for Honda, working as a financial advisor, and even driving from rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Jerod graduated with a BBA in Business Management from the University of Georgia in 2015.
Favorite Hobbies: Exercise in general, hiking, playing music, reading, and anything involving aviation.
Favorite Book of the Bible: Leviticus. Ask me about it.
Favorite Food: Prime Hanger Steak from Sweet Basil in Vail, CO
Kids Ministry Coordinator
Jessie was born on November 11, 1980 in Jonesboro, Georgia, where she lived and attended school until college. In elementary school, Jessie trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins, and continues to feel her life radically changed by the good news of Jesus’ grace.
Jessie went to the University of Georgia and graduated in 2003. She met her husband, Matt, while she was in college, and they married in June of 2004.
Matt and Jessie felt led to come to Emmaus during the core group phase, and Jessie answered God's call to lead the Emmaus children’s ministry soon thereafter. She enjoys her role as the Children's Ministry Director and loves being a part of teaching kids about Jesus.
Jessie and Matt have three beautiful children: Kyla Marie, Rayna Isabelle, and Lincoln Matthew.
Hobbies: Traveling, hanging out with my husband, playing games with my kids, doing any activity with my family.
Favorite book of the Bible: The Gospels & Proverbs
Favorite Food: Salad -- any & all types of salad!
Bill was born a long time ago in a small town in New England. He and his family moved to Savannah, GA when he was in high school. Bill attended and graduated from the University of Georgia, becoming an honorary southerner and married Leslie, a genuine southern belle.
Bill and Leslie learned about Christ through invitations of friends and first experienced authentic Christian community in a church in St. Louis, MO, where they lived for several years. It was through those initial experiences that Bill and Leslie came to understand the gospel message and the importance of Christian community. They have been active members and leaders of small group Bible study fellowships ever since.
Bill works for a large multi-national insurance company in the Atlanta, GA area, teaches insurance agent licensing certification classes across the country, mentors members of the U.S. Armed forces transitioning to civilian careers and leads Missional Community and men’s discipleship groups at Emmaus church, where he serves as an elder.
Bill and Leslie have two grown sons, both working and living in the Atlanta area. As empty nesters, they share their home with an irrepressible Boston terrier named Scarlett, they enjoy the outdoors, playing tennis and golf and spending time with their family and friends.
Favorite Hobbies: Tennis, golf, exercise, outdoor activities, travel, reading, hosting friends for dinner, coffee and conversation.
Favorite Book of the Bible: James – “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”.
Favorite Food: That which they share together or with friends.
Tom Watson was given the blessing of growing up in a Christian family who put him in front of the Scriptures on a regular basis. He came to faith in Jesus in elementary school during a chapel service. Throughout his life the Lord has continued to be gracious in giving him a deeper understanding of his sin and the implications of the gospel in all areas of his life.
Tom married Rachael in 2000 and they have had 4 children (Benjamin, Caleb, David, and Esther).
Favorite Hobbies: Photography, Coaching Sports, Firearms
Favorite Book of the Bible : Numbers and Song of Solomon...just kidding, I don't have a favorite.
Favorite Food: Rachael's cooking
Brian Abernathy is an Atlanta native. Brian was taught the Bible in his home, church, and in Christian schooling through out his life, but it was during his freshman year of college while reading through Paul’s letters that Lord graciously revealed the truth of the Gospel of Grace to him and began the refining work of sanctification in Brian’s life.
Brian and Starla live in Buford, GA with their daughter, Nora, 2 dogs and 14 chickens.
Favorite Hobbies: Braves Baseball, general DIY-ing, Shooting, Learning new things.
Favorite Book of the Bible : Proverbs
Favorite Food: That’s tough… I’m a big fan of red meat and cheese, together or separate.
It was a telephone company lineman who led Greg to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior, during a junior high youth group meeting at the local Episcopal Church. This set Greg’s heart on fire for Christ, and throughout his school years he felt a calling into vocational ministry. But something was holding him back. It was during an international flight in 1998 when Greg realized that he had been trusting God with everything in his life, except his family and his career. That’s when he went “all in” with Jesus (Romans 12:1), and surrendered everything to His lordship.
Today, Greg oversees broadcasting and operations for an international discipleship ministry, Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, located here in Duluth, Georgia.
Greg and Sheila married in 1985, and are the blessed parents of Zach and Megan. Megan, and her husband Josh Cofield, have two children, Saan and Hadleigh, making Greg and Sheila overjoyed grandparents. Greg’s father, Ron Kucala, rounds out this four generation family here at Emmaus.
Favorite Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends; discovering and employing cool technologies into everyday life; and mentoring couples and young pastors.
Favorite Book of the Bible : The one I’m currently reading.
Favorite Food: Honeycomb from MacKenzie’s Chocolates, Santa Cruz, California.