Meet our Pastor & Staff

Dr. Jeff Jackson

Senior Pastor
After graduating from Georgia Tech as an Electrical Engineer, Pastor Jeff enjoyed a 10-year career in the telecom industry before joining the staff of First Redeemer Church. He says that his greatest accomplishment was marrying ‘way over his head’ in 1992; he and his British wife, Catherine, have two married children, Morgan (and her husband, Dylan) and Cameron (and his wife, Mary Beth). He loves college football, traveling (especially to sandy places), and Buffalo wings.

Dr. Larry Aultman

Missions & Adult Education Pastor
Prior to joining the staff of First Redeemer Church, Larry served churches in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Georgia including thirty years as senior pastor, as well as five years with the North American Mission Board. He met his wife Donna at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and they are the proud parents of Jessica who lives in Texas, Joel who lives in Georgia. He is a marathon runner, loves traveling and enjoys working in his yard. 

Jeff Baggett

Director of Audio
Jeff came to First Redeemer in 2010 from Nashville, Tennessee where he worked in studios for over 20 years, tracking, mixing, and mastering for artists such as Mercy Me, Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant & Brooklyn Tabernacle.  Jeff loves golf in his free time, and spending time with his wife, Christy, and their 3 children, Talan, Presley & Ashley.

Karen Bundy

Director of Conservatory
Karen received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Memphis. Karen was called into the ministry and served at Germantown Baptist Church as the Worship & Music Associate where she directed the Orchestra, Youth Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Orchestra, and oversaw the Children’s Choirs and the Conservatory of Music. Karen loves music, sports, painting and spending time with her children.

Adi Coe

Girls' Ministry Director
Adi was born and raised in Forsyth County and joined the First Redeemer family at 11 years old. She loved volunteering in various ministries for years, but didn’t take the plunge into full-time ministry until 2019, three years after receiving her Bachelors from Furman University. From 2019, Adi worked stateside and overseas with an international missions organization before finding her way back home to Cumming and joining the First Redeemer staff in 2022. She loves spending time with her big Filipino-American family, being outside, and crying over a good book.

Mike Cogland

Adult Ministry & Contemporary Worship Pastor
Mike grew up in Thomasville, Ga and is a big UGA fan! He is the father of 4 children, Cooper, Carly, Claire and Carson, and Pops to grandson, Judah! His wife, Jan manages her own custom sewing business. He enjoys listening to all styles of music, coaching sports, Disney trips, and lake life.

Andy Darnell

Children's Minister
Andy grew up in Norcross, GA and has never lived outside of Gwinnett Country. He and his wife, Gina were married in 1998 and have two daughters, Tabitha and Phoebe. Andy graduated from Georgia State University and has worked in Marketing/Advertising for over 20 years. He and his family joined First Redeemer in 2018 and he joined the staff in late 2020. He loves teaching the Bible to kids. He is a huge Star Wars and Marvel fan, enjoys grilling out and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Andy Edwards

Director of Instrumental Music
After graduating with music education degrees from Furman University and the University of Georgia, Andy spent 14 years in the high school classroom as a band director and music technology teacher. He has no greater joy than when he spends time with his wife Kinsey and daughter Ansley. He enjoys making all kinds of music, woodworking (especially lutherie), and sports.

Jan Elrod

Pastor's Executive Assistant
 A true Georgia native, Jan was born and raised in Alpharetta, GA. After being a stay home mom for 18 years, she joined the First Redeemer Staff in 2012. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, personal training and crafting.

Connor Frick

Associate Student Pastor
Connor “grew up” at First Redeemer Church upon his family joining in 2008. Those spiritually formative years in Connor’s life have to this day, fueled his passion for Middle School ministry. In 2019 Connor earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Religion from Liberty University majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, Disney, UGA football, movies, boating, grilling, and spending time outdoors 

Jose Gallardo

Director of Facilities
Jose joined the First Redeemer staff in 2001 after arriving in Atlanta from Guanajuato Mexico chasing the American dream.  When not working, Jose enjoys spending time with his wife Lupita and their 2 daughters Sofia & Isabella.  In his free time he loves working in his garden, excericising, and watching baseball.  Go Braves!

Kane Gonzales

Pastor of Sports Ministry
Kane joined the staff of First Redeemer Church in 2012 after moving to the area in 2011 and coaching a youth baseball team. He has a degree in Biblical Studies with emphasis on youth and student ministries. Kane met his wife Joy, while serving in a pastoral internship in Wisconsin. They were married in 2008 and now have two imaginative and active daughters, Maria and Elayne. Kane likes to watch football, coach baseball, and enjoys making burgers on the grill.

Jim Gunter

Director of Food Services
Prior to joining the staff of First Redeemer Church, Jim served as Pastor of Food Service at a church in Alabama, and earlier as Director of Food Service for First Baptist of West Palm Beach. He has been in full time Christian service since 1990. He and his wife Barbara have been married for 40 years and have two married sons, and a granddaughter and a grandson. Jim was raised in Ft Lauderdale, FL. He and Barbara enjoy cruises, mountains, waterfalls, camping and boating.

Jill Hackney

Children's Music Director
Prior to joining the staff at First Redeemer, Jill taught school music, all grade levels, but mostly elementary. She loves all kinds of music but is especially fond of classical piano styles, children’s folk songs, and classic jazz. Jill enjoys books about history, music, and art. She’s been married more than three decades and enjoys hanging out with her three grown sons. Jill has a passion for making music with children, especially her sweet grandson.

Ally Heck

Director of Children's Worship and Acting Up
Ally has worked in customer service in the corporate world, as high school drama director at Fideles Christian School and also as an actor in film and TV in the Atlanta area including a several community theater shows .  She is excited to teach kids to shine for Jesus on and off the stage. Her favorite reminder is to be a light for Jesus in everything.   John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Steve Husk

Consulting Manager & Project Supervisor
Steve has been on staff at First Redeemer since 2002. When he’s not keeping things running around the church, he is working at his family owned Pre-school. He and his wife Tammy have been married for over 40 years; they have 3 sons, Andy, Jeremy and Zachary. Steve prides himself in the fact that his sons are much more intelligent than he is. He loves The Lord, his family and Braves baseball.

Catherine Jackson

Director of  Women's Ministry
Prior to joining the staff of First Redeemer Church, Catherine worked as an elementary school teacher for Forsyth County Schools and is a graduate of the University of North Georgia. Originally born in Wales, Catherine met her husband, Jeff while working for a summer at a church in Norcross, GA. Jeff and Catherine were married in 1992 and have two grown children: a daughter, Morgan (married to Dylan) and a son, Cameron (married to Mary Beth). Catherine loves spending time with her family, baking, crafting, watching GT football, traveling, and reading a good book with a cup of hot tea.

Dr. Wendell Jackson

Adult Ministry Pastor
After initial degrees in Chemistry, Wendell completed a career in educational leadership, and after retirement joined the staff of First Redeemer Church as the Senior Adult Pastor. He describes his greatest blessing as his family: his wife, kids, and grandkids, all of whom attend First Redeemer. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, electronics in any form, traveling, and being with his family.

Michele Jarvis

Chief Business Officer
After graduating from North Georgia College, Michele earned her CPA license and worked in public accounting for almost 20 years before joining the staff of First Redeemer Church. She married her high school sweetheart and they have two children, Taylor and Bailey. She enjoys reading dark chocolate, novels, watching baseball and college football.

Terri Lincoln

Director of Adult Life Ministry
Terri grew up in North Carolina and her family moved to Georgia over 20 years ago. As a stay at home mom, Terri began volunteering in the Children’s Ministry at First Redeemer Church, and then came on staff in 2007. Terri also stays busy with her two sons, Ryan and Tyler, which are her greatest joys in life. Terri enjoys exercising, shopping, listening to gospel music, and spicy…extra spicy food.

Jay McSwain

Discipleship Pastor
After graduating from the University of Georgia with his degree in sociology Jay attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity in Theology. Jay met his wife Ginger at Rehoboth Baptist Church (First Redeemer’s mother church) and was married in 1991. Jay and Ginger have two children, Maggie and Mary. Jay loves being involved in his kids’ lives and attending EVERY basketball and volleyball game his girls play.

Ryan Moon

Communications Director
Ryan has been an ordained minister for over 25 years working in Communication & Media Production.  A graduate of Louisiana State University and New Orleans native . . . Geaux Tigers, Ryan and his wife Kristen have 4 children and  1 golden doodle.  Their entire family loves and plays music of all kinds together.  His passion is helping the church spread God's Word.

Amanda Myers

Director of Kids Ministry
Amanda was born in Pennsylvania and raised there until she moved to Georgia in 2003. She has been serving in a variety of ministries at First Redeemer since 2006. Amanda earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Georgia. She and her husband, Cody, have three sons, Easton, Ryder and Crew. She enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, and the Georgia Bulldogs.

Patty Redding

Director of Hospitality
Patty was born and raised in the South. She worked in the hospitality industry prior to joining the First Redeemer staff over 20 years ago.  She is vivacious, enthusiastic and loves people and hospitality. She and her husband Steve have two grown children and several grandkids. She loves grits, anything monogramed, rock and roll, traveling, and spending time with family; and not necessarily in that order. Life verse: “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” Colossians 3:23

Kevin Richmond

Praise & Worship Pastor
Kevin grew up in Southern Illinois where he completed an undergraduate music degree at Southern Illinois University and a graduate degree in religious education from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his lovely wife Rae Lynn and their two children Dana and Cameron moved to Atlanta in 1998 to help begin the ministry of First Redeemer Church. Kevin likes all types of music (especially classic rock), growing tomatoes and Nascar racing.

Debbie Schmid

Director of Preschool Ministry
Debbie loves children. She is the mother of four grown children-Michael, Daniel, Timothy, and Amelia and “Nana” to Autumn Rae, Mac and Molly Jane! In her spare time, she will be reading the latest novel!

Mike Schmid

Administrative Pastor
Upon graduating from Emory University with a degree in Chemistry Mike spent 18 years in the plastics industry, after which he answered God’s call into ministry. He and his wife Debbie have four grown children and two grandchildren, all of whom are his greatest blessings. He enjoys cooking for family, time afield with his German Shorthaired Pointer, Max.

Will Smith

Pastor of Creative Arts & Digital Engagement
After graduating from Liberty University with degrees in both theatre arts and strategic communication, Will spent several years working in the entertainment industry prior to joining the staff of First Redeemer. He and his wife Kaitlin have three kids: Elizabeth, Patrick and Liam. Outside of his passion for creative arts and technology, he enjoys traveling, staying active through running and CrossFit and cheering for the Tennessee Vols!

Don White

Executive Director of Media & Production
Don has been on staff at First Redeemer since 2001, where he writes, produces, and directs video content. He also serves as director over the multi-camera production of weekly worship services for the live webcast.  Prior to coming to Redeemer, Don worked in the film and video industry, producing films, documentaries and television commercials. A native of Virginia, he married his college sweetheart Shannon, both graduates of Liberty University, and have two wonderful children, Jacob and Abbey. Don loves spending time with family, college football, and going to the movies.

JJ Yount

Student Pastor
JJ grew up in South Mississippi where he developed a love for the outdoors through hunting and fishing. He met his wife Jesse, a Tennessee girl, in West Africa while they were both working for the International Mission Board. They have 3 children, Emma, George, and Lottie. JJ attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a Masters of Arts in Christian Education. He also enjoys coffee, to a near unhealthy level, music, disc golf, and learning new hobbies.
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