Jeff Marburger

Lead Executive Pastor

Life Story

I was born in Michigan in 1987, and am the middle of three kids. We moved to Ohio a couple years after I was born and was raised in a town called Niles. I grew up as a Pastor’s kid and loved sports (unfortunately my family chose the Browns to cheer for.) Church was a huge part of my life growing up and I was a “good” kid, that stayed within the boundaries for the most part. But it wasn’t until I was a Freshman in college at Liberty University that I fell in love with Jesus as THE way for my life. I heard a quote by James MacDonald while I was at Liberty that changed my life, he said “if your faith hasn’t changed you, it hasn’t saved you.” My life has been filled with desire since then to make Jesus’ name famous.
We moved to Shelby, NC the day I turned 16 and I began to fall in love with the town and a huge reason for that was Putnam Baptist Church. There my youth pastor taught me what discipleship looked like as we spent time together eating Mexican food and drinking sweet tea (another reason I love Shelby.) I also met some of my lifelong friends in the youth group, that still challenge me today. After my Freshman year of college I became a youth intern at Putnam and I began to really enjoy ministry and building relationships with people. After about a year of doing that, Neil Perry, my youth pastor at Putnam Baptist, felt led to start a church named Element Church and asked me if I wanted to be the Youth Pastor.
During that time, I got married to my beautiful wife Mandy of nearly 8 years, and we have a 4 year old named Beckett and another child named Isaiah who is 5 months old. It has been an awesome ride the last 8 years and Element Church has been monumental in my growth in ministry.

My Hope for Hope Community

I love offering the hope of Jesus Christ to people who seem hopeless. I’m so excited to see the ways that God’s name will be made famous through the people at Hope Community Church and look forward to growing alongside the people here. My prayer is that a spirit of adoption would flow from a deep understanding of our Father’s love for us and it would lead us to love for others.

Life Story

I was born and raised right here in Shelby, NC.  As cliche as it sounds, I was raised in a Christian home, and had the privilege of growing up at Putnam Baptist church.
At age 13, while in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on a youth trip with Putnam, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior.  It was at that point that I realized I had just been good at playing the part of a Christian, and had never given my life to Christ.  From that point, I stayed very involved with the youth ministry at the warehouse 247, and was later baptized at one of Putnam’s “Beach House” summer camps.
After graduating from Crest High School, I started my undergraduate studies at Liberty University ( I attended Liberty because Jeff Marburger, our Lead Shepherding Pastor, invited me to a college for a weekend event).  Going into college, I thought that I was going to go into the medical field.  That was my plan, not God’s.  Through a series of events during my freshman year, I accepted the call to ministry and changed my major to Biblical Studies.  After graduating from Liberty University I received a Masters degree, in Religion, from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
Once I was finished with school and returned to Shelby, I served as the youth pastor at Westview Baptist Church.  Then in 2012 became the campus pastor for the Shelby campus of Element Church.
My primary role now at HCC is teaching on Sunday mornings.
I love sports.  Especially the Panthers and the Tar Heels.
I married Jena Huitt on November 6th of 2009 and we have 4 beautiful children: Haiden, Harrisen, Hadleigh, and Hayes.

My Hope for Hope Community

My hope for HCC is that we would live out our name.  That in everything we do we would strive to Give Hope, Create Community and Be the Church.
As the old hymn says:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
My hope is that we would not only sing that with our mouths, but show it with our lives



Skip Allen

Lead Teaching Pastor


Jeremy Peeler

Lead Discipleship Pastor

Life Story

When I was twelve years old I gave my life to Jesus during an evening service in a little country church in Lincolnton, NC.  I can’t remember all about that night but I remember the Holy Spirit burning in my heart, calling me.  I walked out of that pew and down the aisle with my heart burning in my chest and tears flowing out of my eyes.  All I could say to the preacher was, “I want to follow Jesus.”  I was so excited and thought to myself, “Now what?”  But afterward I was only told I would be baptized at next week’s service and to bring a change of clothes.  Then I continued on with my Sunday school class, RA’s and then Youth Group but nothing seemed to teach me what my new life in Christ meant.  It seemed to be more about attending services and making sure I was not doing “wrong”.  When I was 14 I felt a call into ministry to be a preacher or something like it anyway.  I read my Bible all the time.  It’s about the only thing I did read.  I noticed early on in my study of the Bible that what I read of the church did not seem to be the same as what I had experienced in the church.
After graduating high school I was blessed with an opportunity to go to college.  During my years in college I strayed far away from Christ.  I believe my straying was due in part to a lack of discipleship.  I had not been taught that my purpose in life was to glorify God.  I had not been taught how God had given me skills and gifts to be used to bring others to him.

My Hope for Hope Community

My hope for HOPE is that millions of people will come to faith in Jesus through its ministry AND that all those who come to Christ will be taught what I call the “NOW WHAT’s.”  My hope for HOPE is that families and individuals will be equipped to discover their purpose in God’s kingdom and use their lives to bring glory to His son Jesus.  My hope for HOPE is that this church will be a relevant force to glorify the name of Jesus in this community and around the world.


Life Story

I was born to missionary parents in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland.  When I was 5 years old, we moved back to the states to South Philadelphia.  My father pastored a few churches around Pennsylvania until the 9/11 attack, and then when the war broke out my dad followed the Lord’s call to become an active duty Army Chaplain.  I was in 5th grade when we began to move all over the world following my dad’s orders.  I always considered myself a Christian, and I accepted Jesus on Easter Sunday of 1996.  However, I never actually followed Jesus with my complete life until after I graduated high school in 2009.  I went off to Liberty University with the perspective of wanting to learn what it truly meant to follow Jesus and live a Christian life.  It was my second semester of my freshman year at LU when I knew that I was called to the ministry.  So I changed my major and went after my calling.  I transferred to Columbia International University for a semester, and then to North Greenville University where I received my Bachelors of Arts in Christian Studies with a focus on Youth Ministry.  I was ordained at Northside Baptist Church in Columbus, GA on September 1, 2013 after working there as an intern under Rev. David Hardwick for two summers while I was in college.  The church recognized my call to the ministry and ordained me to the ministry during my last semester of college.
After graduation from NGU I was pursuing a youth pastor position in the Greenville, SC area.  After a few months, I was sitting in Rocky Creek Baptist Church when I felt the Lord tell me to go to Shelby.  After wrestling with that call, I contacted Skip and eventually agreed to come lead the Student ministry at Element-Shelby.  With one financial miracle after another, the Lord took me through an incredible season of life where I had no choice but to live by faith and watch Him grow a student ministry when I could not.  Following the Lord in obedience is the greatest adventure one could ever have in life, and it has been an amazing ride following Him here to Shelby.

My Hope for Hope Community

My hope for HCC is to see our church reach this city and community with a revival that Shelby has never seen before.  I believe that the Lord has an amazing plan for this region and we get to be a part of it.  My hope for the Radi8 Student Ministry is to see students choose Jesus over every distraction and option that the world has to offer them now.  I want to see students step into their true identities as Children of God and take this world by storm with the Light and Love of Jesus Christ which darkness has no but to flee from.



Kenny Hall

Student Pastor


Matt Carsner

Missions Pastor

Life Story

I was born in a Christian home and raised in the church.  From a very young age, I knew the stories of the Bible, but I did not really believe them.  Instead, I believed if I was good enough, then God would love me.  However, this belief caused me to have no peace in my life.  With every failure, I questioned my status before God.  As a teenager, I realized that my beliefs were actually contrary to the message of the Bible.  Jesus came as a sacrifice for my sins because I could never be good enough to work my way to God.  At that time, I confessed Jesus as my Lord and believed in His perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of my sins.  I was baptized and began being a process of discipleship through a youth group at Putnam Baptist Church.

From my early years as a believer, I was drawn to international missions.  I have been blessed to take multiple short-term mission trips all around the world.  In college, I had the opportunity to travel to South Sudan as part of a medical team.  During our time there, we were tasked with administering over 8000 meningitis vaccinations to multiple villages.  It was on this trip, that I felt a call to international missions.  After college, I was married, and we decided to apply for long-term missions through the International Mission Board.  In 2013, my family began serving in South Asia as church planters.  During our time there, we were able to train national believers to create discipleship and church planting networks across two states.  In 2016, we felt a strong and clear calling to return to America to in order to help the American church be effective in short-term missions.

My Hope for Hope Community

My hope for Hope Community is to be a church that is growing in obedience to the commands of Christ.  That we, as a body, learn to live Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  In this way, we can begin to change our community, our city, and the whole world with the message of the gospel.


Life Story

I am a Cleveland County native. I was blessed to be born into a Christian home with very loving parents. I grew up going to Second Baptist Church. At the early age of 4 I knew I didn’t have Jesus in my life, and I knew I needed him. So, with the help of my mom I prayed and asked Jesus to be my Savior. That was the start of my walk with Jesus. I have often wondered why He called me to a relationship with Him so early in my life, and it would be much later in life when I would find out the reason.
Growing up, people would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I would always say “work with children”, even as a child myself. I graduated from Cherryville High School in 1994 and went to Appalachian State University to pursue a degree in Child Development. While at ASU I grew in my faith. I started to have a true personal relationship with Jesus and not just something I had because my parents did. I graduated from ASU in 1998 and started teaching preschool for Rutherford County Schools. Two years later I transferred to Cleveland County Schools where I taught preschool children with special needs for 17 more years. During that time I met and married my wonderful husband, George. I also started teaching children’s church at Second Baptist. At that point I realized exactly what God had put me on this earth for, not just to teach children, but to teach them about HIM. It was then that I also realized why God had saved me so early in my life. He had a plan for my life all along, and He knew that one day I would be working with little ones. Because of my personal experience, I would never doubt that He could call them to a relationship with Him, even as young as 4.
George and I now have two daughters. I resigned from Cleveland County schools to come on staff here at HCC in August 2017.

My hope for Hope Community:

My hope for the children of Hope Community is that they will come to know Jesus as their Savior and have a growing personal relationship with Him. It is also my hope that we will partner with families to help children develop their God given gifts to their fullest potential, so they can fulfill the purpose He created them for.


Angela Lynn

Children’s Director

Donna Rash