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LEADERSHIP and Staff

Jeff Hamm, PhD
Jeff Hamm, PhD
Senior Pastor

Dr. Hamm (Jeff) was born in Germany and adopted by an American couple stationed there with the U.S. Army. His parents also adopted a daughter of Polynesian descent. Jeff thus experienced the diversity of growing up in a bi-ethnic family. He has lived in Europe and Asia—in addition to multiple states in America—plus toured over a dozen foreign countries.  

Jeff graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Mathematics (1990). Afterward, he served in the U.S. Air Force for 6 years but separated at the rank of captain in order to pursue the call to ministry. He attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi where he received the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree for ordination. Jeff then enjoyed the pleasure of serving as the pastor of the Thomson–Memorial Presbyterian Church in Centreville, Mississippi, for four years. He was also honored to serve as the pastor of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, Alabama, for ten years. Most recently, Jeff earned the Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (est. 1495). His dissertation—in the field of presupposition apologetics—was published as a book entitled Turning the Tables on Apologetics: Helmut Thielicke’s Reformation of Christian Conversation (Eugene:  Pickwick, 2018). Jeff has also accomplished additional research on the doctrine of Christ’s descent into hell. His unique contribution on the matter, challenging 500 years of Reformed interpretation, was published in the Westminster Theological Journal (“Descendit:  Delete or Declare? A Defense against the Neo-Deletionists.” WTJ 78 [2016]: 93-116).

When Jeff was 38 years old, he experienced a life-changing event: meeting his own biological mother and German family. The wonderful reunion has been truly remarkable in multiple ways.  For example, after learning of his family history, Jeff realized that he had read the work of his ancestor—a 19th century Old Testament scholar and professor at the University of Göttingen—in his own research while yet unaware of his lineage from this forefather. The new relationship with his German family naturally directed the focus of Jeff’s Ph.D. thesis to the work of a 20th-century German theologian which served to help him learn some of their language, history, and culture.    

The purpose of Jeff’s life is to know God and make Him known. This goal has a significant influence on his preaching ministry (which he considers as the art of Christian conversation—occurring either publicly from the pulpit or privately in personal dialogue). For example, before conversing with non-Christians he first tries to identify with and understand them by viewing the world from their standpoint. This identification does not take place in the comfortable armchair of rational certainty, but rather pushes him to the edge of the abyss of unbelief. For Jeff is convinced, following Luther’s Anfechtung theology, that it is not until one’s faith is challenged to the point of crisis can one truly perceive what is genuinely real. Indeed, his life-long prayer has never advanced beyond that of the father of the demoniac, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mk. 9:24; KJV).

Jeff gives glory and thanks to God for Kelly, a true companion in his pilgrimage on this earth; and for their four children, Joshua, Hunter, Luke and Betsy, whose lives and love are a shelter in the storm and stress of his very existence.  

Pete Jackson
Pete Jackson
Pastor of Congregational Life

My excitement about serving as the Pastor for Congregational Life comes from a great desire to see people gain a deeper understanding of God’s grace and reach out with that grace to our community. In my ten years as a youth pastor and nine years as an associate pastor at ChristChurch, I believe the Lord has given me a heart for shepherding and discipleship, and a real passion for the next generation.

Background

Coming from a broken home, I came to know the Lord at a young age and have been influenced greatly by many godly people, including family members, teachers & coaches, Young Life leaders, youth group leaders, friends & mentors. After graduating from Anderson University in 1986 and spending 5 years in retail management, the Lord confirmed a desire to be in full-time ministry in the summer of 1991. While serving as a youth pastor, I completed my graduate studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1995.

Incredible Journey

The last several years have been a time of amazing growth in Christ and movement toward self-awareness and God-awareness. I believe the Lord has led my wife of 19 years, Paulette, and me on an incredible journey of our hearts. He has taught me much about myself, but more importantly, much about Him, exposing my idols and showing me His grace, His goodness, and His sovereignty. There have been times of struggle and difficulty, but a sense of wonder and “awakening” as well, with a new discovery and understanding of God’s grace and what that really means in our lives. It is truly irresistible and it’s truly amazing! Through the privilege of being a father to two incredible daughters, the Lord is redeeming my own experiences and revealing His character as I become more and more dependent on Him.

A Great Desire

Ministry in God’s church, many times, involves deep personal struggle. Nevertheless, I have a great desire to deepen my personal relationship with the Lord and glorify Him with my work, for I “continue to work out [my] salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in [me] to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13)

Drew Jones
Drew Jones
Executive Pastor

Drew Jones is the executive pastor of ChristChurch Presbyterian in Atlanta. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, he grew up all over the US as an Army brat before settling down in Huntsville, Alabama in high school. Drew has served in lead and staff pastor roles with churches in Illinois and Mississippi, in addition to five years as an active-duty Navy chaplain in Japan and the Seattle, Washington area.

A graduate of Auburn University (BS) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv), Drew is currently finishing his MBA at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He and his lovely wife, Janel, have four children and reside in Marietta. When not at the church or spending time with his family, Drew enjoys backpacking, photography, and exploring his new hometown of Atlanta.

Abe Okie
Abe Okie
Director of Music & Worship

Abe hails from Warner Robins, GA but moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. As a sophomore he found a role leading music for campus ministry meetings and conferences. Around the same time, he providentially began attending a newly-planted church in Buckhead called ChristChurch which became his first introduction to the reformed faith and the historic beauty of Christian hymnody.

After graduating he took a corporate job but stayed involved in church music while working towards a music degree from Georgia State. During this time, an old ChristChurch friend introduced him to Bethany, who shortly became his wife and favorite collaborative pianist.

In 2010 Abe and Bethany moved to India to teach music and drama at an international boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas. There they learned how broad and multifaceted the Church is, how beautiful big mountains are, and how delicious Tibetan food can be. Before returning to the states in 2016 he earned an MA in Psychology of Music from the University of Sheffield.

Once back in Atlanta, Abe taught at a local school before joining the staff at ChristChurch in 2019. He counts it an unexpected joy to once again serve a congregation in the worship of their God and he is thankful to be a part of a church that celebrates the art of the city and the diverse musical gifts of the congregation. Abe lives in East Atlanta with his wife and three perfectly-behaved children, Caroline, Sam, and Scarlett. In his free time, he does house projects but dreams of riding his bike.

 

 

Kutania Ingram
Kutania Ingram
Director of Children’s Ministry

Kutania is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and has served in ministering to youth and young adults for over 18 years with her husband Brian of 19 years.  She and her husband share a love for music and have recorded several underground musical projects with a style of hip hop alternative and contemporary worship for the local congregation. Their message is to bring hope to the broken hearted and encouragement to strengthen the weak.  Kutania and her husband have two lovely daughters, Kenya age 17 and Zionne age 10 and they reside in Powder Springs, Georgia.

 Kutania has received her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Luther Rice University and has served in children's ministry for over six years.  She has a passion for reaching the next generation while leading them and their families in a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  Her two favorite passages of Scripture are Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and Jeremiah 29:11, “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  To her, these are messages of hope to all people for knowing they have purpose and knowing they are loved by God.  Kutania finds joy in giving endless energy, honesty, creativity and resilience to the next generation in helping them to discover their part in God’s story.

Katy Cahill
Katy Cahill
Preschool Coordinator

Katy is a Georgia native, born in Macon and raised in Atlanta, having graduated high school from Pace Academy.  She earned a BA in Spanish from Furman University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Emory University and has worked as a pediatric RN for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta since 2007.  Katy and her husband, Paul, started attending ChristChurch in 2005, the same summer they were married. Together with Paul, she has served in the children’s ministry for 11 years in various capacities, most recently as the Preschool Coordinator.  In this role, Katy is passionate about teaching children about God through His living and active Word. In addition, she feels a strong desire to help equip parents in their God-given roles to disciple the children within their home to know and love Jesus.  Katy’s three children, Mary Frances, Margaret, and George, are a strong motivating force to reach ChristChurch’s children for the glory of God and the joy of the next generation.

 

Karen Johnson
Karen Johnson
Accountant
Carl Jones
Carl Jones
Facilities Manager

Carl is originally from Birmingham, Alabama where he began his career in facility
management at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. After 5 years, he then moved to
Atlanta where he served at the Perimeter Presbyterian Church for 15 years. Carl has
been at ChristChurch since 2002. When not putting out fires at the church, he enjoys
bowling, lifting weights, and dreaming of Christmas.

Lisa Griscom
Lisa Griscom
Office Administrator

Lisa joined the ChristChurch staff as Administrative Assistant in June 2018 and moved into the Office Administrator role in July 2019. A native of metro-Atlanta, she graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. Lisa has been attending ChristChurch since 2010. During her school years she worked in different administrative roles and went into her degree program feeling God’s leading to work in the non-profit world. Lisa married fellow CCP member Matt Griscom in August of 2019.

Rebecca Peed
Rebecca Peed
Arts & Media Assistant

Rebecca grew up in Zambia and moved to the Chicago area when she was fifteen. She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in Art and a focus in studio painting. Upon graduation, she moved to the city of Chicago where she worked as an Image Specialist for a children’s illustration studio. She then moved to Atlanta to escape frigid Chicago winters and became the studio assistant to a prominent Atlanta area painter. After three years of soaking up as much business and artistic wisdom from this successful painter as possible, Rebecca left to pursue her own fine art career. She continues to paint and exhibit her art online and at shows, while also working as the Arts and Media Assistant for ChristChurch. 

Shaun Smith
Shaun Smith
Facility Assistant