Meet Our Pastors and Elders
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Pastor Gilbert Kelly was ordained and served as an elder at New City Church for eleven years before becoming Lead Pastor, along with his wife Mona, in 2011. He is passionate about pastoring and equipping the people of God, as well as encouraging everyone to actively fulfill God’s purpose in their lives. He especially loves mentoring the next generation and serving as a spiritual father to many. He also has a great love for people beyond the walls of New City Church. He has served in homeless outreaches in downtown Atlanta for years and actively challenges NCC members to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus to everyone whom they encounter. His office is always open for members or pastors needing his encouragement and leadership. He enjoys many activities including riding his Harley, playing tennis and opening his home for fellowship and counsel to his family and friends. His life mission is to love people as God would and help them fulfill their God-ordained mandate. He is a loving husband to his wife, Mona, and a father to his two adult children, Rachel and Erin.
Pastor Mona Kelly has been a member of New City Church for over 25 years and has served in many roles in the church, including her current role as Lead Pastor along with her husband, Gilbert. She is a beautiful example of a godly wife, amazing mother and faithful friend. She has the innate ability to make everyone feel as if they are her “best” friend. Pastor Mona has more than 30 years experience with The Coca-Cola Company in downtown Atlanta where she has concentrated her entire career on building the company’s biggest asset - it’s workforce. This same commitment to building people fuels Pastor Mona’s commitment to the members of New City Church as she helps them find their place in the kingdom of God. She excels at working with members to assist them in gaining clarity as they embrace God’s goals for their lives. She does this by utilizing her training as a coach. She also has a very focused passion for helping those who are breaking free from a past of human trafficking. She serves breakfast monthly and coaches teens who are rebuilding their lives. Beyond pastoring at New City Church, Pastor Mona loves tennis, travel, and having people in her home for a meal. She and her husband, Pastor Gilbert, have two adult daughters, Rachel and Erin.
Pastor John Barrow embodies the spirit of a pioneer. Ordained in 2000, his passion for evangelism and his Apostolic nature are at the forefront of everything he does. In addition to his role at New City Church, he founded and runs A Better Way Ministries, a place of refuge for men struggling with life-controlling issues such as drug and alcohol addictions. Pastor John and his wife, Lindsey, have three sons, Noah, Israel, and Joshua and a daughter Selah. They enjoy spending time together as a family and with friends.
Pastor Lance Batiste is an Associate Pastor for NCC. He started attending NCC in 1989 and came on staff part-time in November of 2003 then full-time, in March of 2007. His passion is Jesus and people. He loves people! Currently, he pastors the young adult ministry “Thrive,” and oversees the NCC Life Groups.
Pastor Bill Hodges and his wife, Jane, started attending NCC in August of 2004. Ordained as an elder in 2011 and as a pastor in 2016, his passion in ministry is reaching out to first time visitors, working in City Bridges, leading a Life Group, and serving as a greeter on Sunday mornings. His passion in life is focused on his family. The Hodges have been married for 53 years, have three children and four grandchildren. In his free time he enjoys fishing, hiking, and working in his yard.
Pastor Winston Perez started attending NCC in 2005, was ordained as an elder in 2013 and as a pastor in 2016. His passion in ministry is introducing people to Jesus as Savior and Friend so their lives may be transformed. He also enjoys helping people find their purpose in Christ. His passion in life ultimately revolves around people and some could consider him a "contagious Christian." He and his wife, Emely, have four children. In his free time he loves to play golf and racquetball.
Pastor Paul Smith and his wife, Janet, began attending NCC in 2007. He was ordained an elder in 2011 and a pastor in 2013. His greatest desire in life is to encourage believers to come to a personal revelation of the reality of the living Christ. He loves to encourage God's people to pursue their God-given purpose in all areas of their lives. The Smiths have been married for 40 years, have three children (one of which has graduated to heaven) and two grandchildren. His favorite pastime is catching speckled Trout and Redfish on the Emerald Coast of Florida.
Elder Aaronde Creighton began attending NCC in the spring of 2013, after being a guest speaker on human trafficking at a woman's ministry event. He was ordained as an elder in July of 2016. Elder Aaronde's passion is found in giving young adult believers practical guidance to live a fulfilling life in Christ. His full-time job is as an Executive & Leadership Coach. He and his wife, Jennifer, of 18 years have two daughters Rhyan and Kyleigh. He enjoys spending his free time with family and friends, watching the Falcons and Tarheels, and finding as many ways as possible to laugh.
Pastor Kathy Hill is the Administrative and Executive Pastor. She and her husband, Terry, started attending NCC in 1992. She has been on staff since 1995. As Executive Pastor, it is her desire to make certain everyone on our staff is positioned and equipped to utilize the gifts God has given them as they follow their call into ministry. In addition to overseeing the staff, she also oversees the weekend services which include the ministry teams. She is committed to seeing NCC become more effective in making a difference in people’s lives in every community in which it serves.
Pastor Rodney Keyes and his family began attending NCC in 2001. He was ordained as an elder and pastor in April of 2006. His passion in ministry is teaching God's Word and encouraging believers to live by faith. His full-time job is as a financial advisor and retirement planner. He and his wife, Vicki, of 30 years, have two daughters. In his spare time he enjoys quality family time, deep sea fishing, swimming, racquetball, grilling, teaching, laughing, and having fun.
Pastor Dena Cowan is the Children's Ministry Pastor together with her husband, Sean. They oversee the children ages 6 weeks through 4th grade. The Cowans moved to Georgia in 2002 to join the staff. Her passion in ministry is geared towards connecting children with the heart and love of God, while encouraging their parents to stand strong in the "parenting journey." She works closely with her husband to develop engaging curriculum and tools to equip the children. She also desires that each volunteer connect with their gifting in order to be most effective in reaching the heart of every child. She loves her husband and daughters, Da-Rain and Anicka, just as passionately and enjoys spending time with them.
Pastor Lydia Batiste is the CityInterns Director. She also serves with her husband, Lance, as a pastor for Thrive, the young adult ministry of NCC. She started attending NCC in 1999 and has been on staff since June of 2009. Her passion is to love God and His people. As CityInterns Director, she coordinates the schedule for each intern, plans mission trips, and provides hands-on discipleship for the interns. As Thrive Pastor, alongside her husband, she facilitates the care and activities for the young adults ages 18-30. She is a loving and devoted wife and mother to her husband and children and a dear friend to many.
Pastor Sean Cowan is the Media Director and Children's Ministry Pastor along with his wife, Dena. The Cowans moved to Georgia in 2002 to join the staff. The scope of Pastor Sean's duties are wide and touch many areas. On the Media Director side, he is closely involved with the preparation and design of all digital and printed material. In the Children's Ministry, he partners with his wife, Dena. With great care and devotion, they have adopted a completely hands-on approach to the overall function of the Children's Ministry. His passion is evident to all who know him. He finds fulfillment in assisting others to discover the magnitude of God's love. He is a devoted family man and father to his lovely daughters. He enjoys time with friends and family.
Pastor Jenny Brashaw is the pastor of Passion Student Ministries. She started attending NCC in August of 2002 as a CityIntern and joined the staff in 2012. Pastor Jenny leads Passion Student Ministries, which provides middle and high school-aged students with a loving, welcoming, and exciting atmosphere in which to encounter God on both a personal and corporate level. Packed into her focus of student ministry, you will also find leadership development, discipleship, preaching, school outreaches, retreats, camps, and basically anything youth related. She has a heart to see teenagers connect with the heart of God and discover His best plan for their lives.
Pastor Richard Sharp joined NCC in 1995 and was ordained in 2006. He has served as a missionary in India and in leadership aboard three of Operation Mobilization’s (OM) international ministry ships and preached the gospel in nearly 100 countries. He, while onboard, met his wife, Rachel, who assists him and has a ministry of prayer, encouragement, and hospitality. They have two grown sons, Simon and Jonathan, and are based in Tyrone, Georgia, with OM USA. Richard has a Master of Divinity and has served on church leadership teams in England, Canada and the USA. His passion is to go around the world with "One Wish" – an approach he developed to equip God’s people in order to help others begin and grow in a friendship with God.
Pastor Felicia Rives is the Worship Pastor and Music Director for both campuses. She started attending NCC in 2006 and was ordained in 2016. Her passion in life is to lead others in worship. She enjoys teaching others about the importance of worship and encourages them to grow in their musical gifting. She is a strong and courageous woman of God and loving mother to her three daughters.