Burnt Hickory leadership

The staff and leadership at Burnt Hickory Church of Christ is comprised of men and women who love, care and pray for every single person in the church.

our Shepherds

  • Jon atkins

    SINCE october 2023

    Jon and Christie Atkins married in 1989 and two years later moved from Nashville to northwest Georgia.  Jon teaches History at Berry College, and Christie teaches Math at the Darlington School. They have two children: Leslie, who lives in Nashville, and Douglas, who suffers from autism. Jon grew up in southeastern Michigan and likes reading and music, while Christie hails from Fayetteville, Tennessee, and enjoys crafting. The family began attending Burnt Hickory in 2016 and is especially active in Bible classes, the praise team, and the Special Needs ministry.

  • Ken Braziel

    Since December 2017

    Ken and Carol Ann married in 1987 and have two married children and one grandchild. They moved to the Atlanta area from Texas. Ken enjoys golf, travel, NASCAR and spending time with family. Carol Ann and Ken have a passion for mentoring young families and are excited to help with the new church plant in Bartow county.

  • STan Head

    SINCE October 2023

    Stan and Tiva were married in 2002. They have a son and two daughters. Stan is from Nashville, Tennessee and Tiva is from Detroit, Michigan. Stan is a Chemist, working in the health and environmental industry with PerkinElmer and Tiva is a Registered Nurse with Wellstar Health System.

  • Carlos Phillips

    Since December 2017

    Carlos and Denise were married in 1995. Carlos grew up in College Park, GA and Denise is originally from Nashville, TN. They have a daughter and son, both members of Burnt Hickory. Carlos works in Information Technology for AT&T in Atlanta. Denise works as a Physical Therapist for the Wellstar Health System. 

  • Ron Wiley

    Since January 2002

    Ron and Janice married in 1973. They began worship with this congregation in 1975. They have two children and four grandchildren. Ron has served as a Deacon, the Church Treasurer, teacher, LIFE Group leader, and has participated in multiple short-term mission trips. Ron retired from the General Electric Company in 2009.

  • James Wilson

    Since December 2017

    James and Sandy Wilson are from Alabama. They married in 1980. They have three boys (Terry, Cameron, Tyler). James spent 23 years in the US  Air Force. Sandy is a retired elementary school counselor and licensed therapist. She is now filling her time as a Real Estate Agent. James  is retired but still works with Marietta High School. He also served as Deacon of Inner-City Ministry, Benevolence and Church Greeting. James' joy in life is serving others and bringing a smile to those he comes in contact with daily. James and Sandy also served as our interim Youth Ministers in 2023.

our staff

  • Chris Abernethy, Youth minister

    Since August 2023

    Chris Abernethy join Burnt Hickory as our Youth Minister in
    August 2023.  Chris has his Bachelors Degree in Youth Ministry from Abilene Christian University, and has worked with Churches in North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas.  He works with teens and their families to develop disciples of Jesus and help them take that next step in their faith journey.  He is especially passionate about walking with teens through the challenging season of adolescence and expanding their worlds in Christ.

  • Matt Carver, Senior Minister

    Since August 2020

    Matt Carver is the senior minister for the Burnt Hickory Church of Christ in Marietta, Georgia. He is married to DeAnna, and together they have two daughters, Adelynn Blair and Everly Junia, and a son, Silas Grant. Matt received his Bachelors degree in Business Management from Western Kentucky University in 2007, after which he began a career in manufacturing. In the winter of 2011, after years of nudges and pushes from God, he left manufacturing for full-time ministry. He went on to complete a Master of Apologetics degree at Luther-Rice Seminary and a Master of Divinity at Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary. Matt’s heart is to see lives and communities changed by the gospel, and this is the central focus of his ministry. He also loves books, writing, coffee, music, nature, wrestling with his kids, and hanging out with his wife.  

  • Geoff Giesemann, Discipleship Minister

    Since February 2016

    Geoff Giesemann joined Burnt Hickory as our Discipleship Minister in February 2016. Geoff works to foster our spiritual development and also focuses on outreach and teaching people who are searching for Christ. Geoff brings 38 years of experience in ministry including 8 years as a missionary in Venezuela. Geoff is President of the Board for Right Steps, Inc., an orphanage and school in Nigeria. Geoff and Patti are the parents of two daughters, Stephanie and Jennifer, and have three grandchildren.

  • Dr. Jordan Tatum, Branch Minister

    Since August 2020

    Jordan Tatum joined Burnt Hickory as our Bartow Branch Minister in August 2020. Jordan is working to strengthen and grow our church plant in Bartow County. His ministry passion is seeing people take meaningful steps in following Jesus. Jordan worked as a minister in Texas and Minnesota before coming to Georgia. Jordan also has a B.A. in Ministry from LCU, an M.Div. from ACU, and a D.Min. from Bethel Seminary. Jordan has been married to Lindsey since 2007, and they have one son, Micah.

  • Beth Tidwell, Children's Minister & head of Bright Beginnings preschool

    Since August 2016

    Beth has a degree in Early Childhood Education and 5 years’ experience as a 2nd grade teacher in Cobb County schools. She has taught Sunday School for various grades for 12 years and chaperoned and led mission trips to Cozumel, Mexico. As our Children's Minister, she oversees our children ages birth to 5th grade, which includes preschool Sunday classes, children’s church and the nursery. She joined our staff in August 2016.

  • Lauren Barber, Bright Beginnings Director & Children's Assistant Minister

    Since August 2016

    Lauren  joined our staff in August 2016. She has taught in our Children's Ministry program and Bright Beginnings for several years. She oversees our preschool program and works tirelessly with all the events of the Children's Ministry.

  • jon Robinson, Primary Worship Leader

    SINCE january 2023

    Jon and his family joined Burnt Hickory in 2021. He is married to Monica, and together they have three beautiful children, Avery, Ava, and Amaya. In 2023 Jon was selected as Burnt Hickory's primary worship leader and is responsible for the entire worship team. He is the liaison between the worship team, the church, and our leadership. Jon says, "Our worship to God is a vital tool; it changes us by refocusing our affection and realigning our souls. Each week my prayer is that our collective worship reflects all the Honor and Glory due to God." 

  • Randy Stroud, Facilities Manager

    Since April 2003

    Randy clearly demonstrates his love for what he does at Burnt Hickory in tending to our 40,000 square foot building and 20 acre grounds. No matter what he does, he does his best. Whether it's related to family,  work, or running, he always gives his all. Randy has been on staff since April 2003, overseeing the facility, grounds, and transportation. He keeps things in excellent working order and looking great.

  • Candy Bracewell, Financial Manager

    Since november 2017

    Candy comes to us with a MBA and years of experience in the banking sector. She works part time in the church office and is a consultant for some small credit unions. Candy has been a member of Burnt Hickory since 2000 and has served on the Finance Team, in Children's Ministry, and participated in several Honduras mission trips.

  • Sharon Rottier, Administrative Assistant

    Since April 2004

    Sharon and her husband, Bill, have been members at Burnt Hickory since 1995.  They have two sons, Josh and Luke, and two grandchildren. She comes from a banking and IT background. Sharon provides office support and is responsible for communications to the church through weekly Family News Letters, social media,  announcement slides, and Caremails. She also maintains the church management database system, schedules use of the building and church calendar, among other duties. She feels her job is part of her ministry to the Church and to God.

  • Jennifer bethel, administrative assistant

    Since October 2018

    Jennifer works part-time helping to provide office support. Her responsibilities include coordinating the volunteers that serve during Sunday Worship, processing background checks and child protection training for those volunteering in our children and youth ministries, and preparing the Order of Worship each week. Jennifer has been a member since 2001.