PASTORS

  • Matt Dawson
    Matt Dawson
    Lead Pastor
  • Chris Denning
    Chris Denning
    Creative Arts Pastor
  • Don Gentry
    Don Gentry
    Family Pastor
  • Zack DeBerry
    Zack DeBerry
    Groups Pastor
Matt Dawson
Lead Pastor

I’m Matt.  I’m married to Tracie and we’ve got 3 awesome kids (Parker, Thomas, and Charlotte/Charlie). I’ve been a part of Journey for over 9 years and love our church!

I blog about life and faith over at MattDawson.tv and I love helping folks work through the questions they have about faith in Jesus. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, Start: Punch Fear in the Face by Jon Acuff, and Poke the Box by Seth Godin. 

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Strawberry Creme Frappuccino (My Pink Drink)

FAVORITE TEAMS

Carolina Panthers, Detroit Tigers, and Toronto Maple Leafs

Chris Denning
Creative Arts Pastor

Hey, I’m Chris. I’ve got a beautiful wife, Abrie (sounds like Aubrey, but spelled way better), & beautiful daughter Addison. I love hanging out with people, and spending time straight relaxing.

I also enjoy writing, which I do over at my site, cdenning.com, where I write about worship, leadership, & technology. I love live tweeting dumb events and I love being at Journey. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin, The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey, & many other nerdy books (like academic nerdy as well as fictional nerdy).

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Hazelnut Americano w Cream

FAVORITE TEAM

Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bulls, Fresno State Bulldogs, Charlotte Hornets (In that order)

Don Gentry
Family Pastor

Hey I am Don aka Donnie!  I have an amazing wife, Stacy, we have been married for 18 awesome years. We love to encourage others to how they can have an amazing marriage too! We have three amazing teenage daughters, Kayla, Vanessa, and Kareena. 

I love going on vacation with my family and spending time with them.  I love the outdoors, hunting, hiking, fishing, and going to the movies. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

At the risk of sounding churchy, I have to genuinely say my all time favorite book is truly the Bible, second to that would be anything Louis L’Amour, and then Andy Stanley, or Dr. Caroline Leaf.  (There are way too many books to pick a favorite.) I also am old school and believe books should have paper and bindings.  🙂  

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

I am a boring plain black coffee drinker.  

FAVORITE TEAM

WOLVERINES BABY!! (For those of you that are unclear that would be the University of MI), and Denver Broncos, Lions, and Panthers.  Football is by far my favorite sport.  I really don’t watch or follow any other sport.

Zack DeBerry
Groups Pastor

Yo, I’m Zack. I am married to an amazing woman named Lauren and we have 3 awesome kiddos, Ella (5), Paxton (3), and Annabelle (< 1). I am a native North Carolinian and I have been at Journey for about 9 years.

I really enjoy meeting new people that come to Journey each week. I love doing anything outdoor and active from biking and kayaking to just hanging (literally) in my ENO hammock. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Searching for God Knows What by Don Miller & Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. 

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Just a boring Grande Americano or the Dark Roast of the Day 

FAVORITE TEAMS

CLEMSON TIGERS, Boston Red Sox, Charlotte Knights

FAMILY

  • Don Gentry
    Don Gentry
    Family Pastor
  • Heather Kendall
    Heather Kendall
    Children's Ministry Director
  • Ryan Weber
    Ryan Weber
    Youth Programming Director
  • Catherine Cook
    Catherine Cook
    Ministry Support Staff
  • Josh Kiser
    Josh Kiser
    KidStreet Programming Director
Don Gentry
Family Pastor

Hey I am Don aka Donnie!  I have an amazing wife, Stacy, we have been married for 18 awesome years. We love to encourage others to how they can have an amazing marriage too! We have three amazing teenage daughters, Kayla, Vanessa, and Kareena. 

I love going on vacation with my family and spending time with them.  I love the outdoors, hunting, hiking, fishing, and going to the movies. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

At the risk of sounding churchy, I have to genuinely say my all time favorite book is truly the Bible, second to that would be anything Louis L’Amour, and then Andy Stanley, or Dr. Caroline Leaf.  (There are way too many books to pick a favorite.) I also am old school and believe books should have paper and bindings.  🙂  

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

I am a boring plain black coffee drinker.  

FAVORITE TEAM

WOLVERINES BABY!! (For those of you that are unclear that would be the University of MI), and Denver Broncos, Lions, and Panthers.  Football is by far my favorite sport.  I really don’t watch or follow any other sport.

Heather Kendall
Children's Ministry Director

Hey I’m Heather. I am married to my amazing husband Ryan! We have 4 wild kids, Kennedy, Avery, Brenna and the Jed. I love hanging out with my family, cheering on my kids in their different endeavors and reading!

I am passionate about children’s ministry and love helping kids meet Jesus!

FAVORITE BOOK

Hinds Feet on High Places, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and anything scary!

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Hot Mocha with a double shot of espresso

FAVORITE TEAM

Panthers of course! And any team my kids are playing on.

Ryan Weber
Youth Programming Director

Hey, I’m Ryan. I’m married to a supermodel and a genius, Breanne. I love reading and writing, playing and watching soccer and hanging out with people!

I’ve been in youth ministry for about ten years and love pouring into the lives of students and watching them grow as disciples of Christ. I love Skittles with a passion and have a weird obsession with Disney things.

FAVORITE BOOKS

Crazy Love and Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Other books, Harry Potter series, Les Miserables, Scarlet Letter, Peter and the Starcatchers series, this question is impossible for me, I love books… a lot…

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

White Hot Chocolate (meaning white chocolate, not white hot… I’m not that extreme)

FAVORITE TEAM

If the team exists in Denver, Colorado, I am in love with it. Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, etc.

Catherine Cook
Ministry Support Staff
Josh Kiser
KidStreet Programming Director

Hey there, I’m Josh. Most people call me, well, Josh… Unless we played sports together, then it’s J Kize. I have a beautiful and talented wife named Bridget (yes, I’m “over-chicked”) and two awesome, good looking boys that the world is eventually going to know because they are bound for greatness (they get that from mom, too).

We were all born in Ohio but made our way to the LKN area when God led us here in 2012. Despite having handed my life over to God late in my life, I have, at some point, been involved in almost every ministry that could happen at a church.

I like sports, working out, songwriting and all things music. Lastly, if Chris tells you that I was in an actual boy band in the 90’s, feel free to tell him to let it go! 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Any book I finish! If I make it thru, I liked it a lot and there have been a few that rocked my world. Radical by David Platt & Do Over by Jon Acuff.

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. But wait, I’ve had some caramel apple juice thing there before that was pretty awesome.

FAVORITE TEAMS

Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

CREATIVE ARTS

  • Chris Denning
    Chris Denning
    Creative Arts Pastor
  • Laurie Rohe
    Laurie Rohe
    Production Coordinator
Chris Denning
Creative Arts Pastor

Hey, I’m Chris. I’ve got a beautiful wife, Abrie (sounds like Aubrey, but spelled way better), & beautiful daughter Addison. I love hanging out with people, and spending time straight relaxing.

I also enjoy writing, which I do over at my site, cdenning.com, where I write about worship, leadership, & technology. I love live tweeting dumb events and I love being at Journey. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin, The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey, & many other nerdy books (like academic nerdy as well as fictional nerdy).

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Hazelnut Americano w Cream

FAVORITE TEAM

Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bulls, Fresno State Bulldogs, Charlotte Hornets (In that order)

Laurie Rohe
Production Coordinator

Hey there, I’m Laurie. I am getting married this year to my best friend and handsome Marine, Kris. We met after I moved here from Connecticut a little over two years ago. Some could say my dog, Daisy, gets the credit for introducing us.

I love to be creative and spontaneous, which usually leads to silly videos that get posted on Youtube. I can be pretty competitive and accept any and all challenges in bowling, Mario Kart Double Dash or N64, or shooting skeet.

FAVORITE BOOKS:

I don’t get enough time to read but I ALWAYS have time for The Walking Dead!

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK:

Not a coffee drinker, however I am an addict to diet coke.

FAVORITE TEAM:

Carolina Panthers, New York Yankees, Miami Heat, Duke Blue Devils (Kris made me put Duke on here)

CONNECTIONS

  • Zack DeBerry
    Zack DeBerry
    Groups Pastor
  • Mike Davids
    Mike Davids
    Hospitality Leader
  • Shannel Newton
    Shannel Newton
    Events Leader
  • Tracie Dawson
    Tracie Dawson
    The Gathering Leader
Zack DeBerry
Groups Pastor

Yo, I’m Zack. I am married to an amazing woman named Lauren and we have 3 awesome kiddos, Ella (5), Paxton (3), and Annabelle (< 1). I am a native North Carolinian and I have been at Journey for about 9 years.

I really enjoy meeting new people that come to Journey each week. I love doing anything outdoor and active from biking and kayaking to just hanging (literally) in my ENO hammock. 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Searching for God Knows What by Don Miller & Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. 

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Just a boring Grande Americano or the Dark Roast of the Day 

FAVORITE TEAMS

CLEMSON TIGERS, Boston Red Sox, Charlotte Knights

Mike Davids
Hospitality Leader

My name is Mike. I am married to my wife, Melissa and I am recently a first time dad to a son, Dylan. I love to meet new people, Kubb, sports, did I mention Kubb,  and hanging out with friends and family.

I can build pretty much anything and love a challenge (but don’t tell anyone). I have a passion for the ASP ministry (Appalachia Service Project) and the people we, as Journey, help in West Virginia have a warmer, safer, and drier home.

FAVORITE BOOKS

This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti, The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Just Regular Coffee

FAVORITE TEAM

New England Patriots

Shannel Newton
Events Leader

Hi, my name is Shannel, a woman after God’s heart!  I enjoy spending time with my kids, Lauren Shannel, London and Elijah. They are my daily reminder of God’s grace and unmerited favor!  One of my new favorite scriptures; Isaiah 54:13. All my children shall be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. 

I’m grateful for a mother who raised me to love God! I enjoy running, worshiping and studying His word! I’m grateful to our women’s life group! I get to daily, do life with women who believe!! We help each other rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction and be persistent in prayer! 

FAVORITE BOOK

God is Able by Priscilla Shirer

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Raspberry Refresher! Yes God! 

FAVORITE TEAM

Carolina Rapids Gold team! U13. My son Elijah’s soccer team. I’m very biased! 

Tracie Dawson
The Gathering Leader

Hey, I’m Tracie!  I am a writer / blogger / former home schooling mom.  And I’m married to Matt. Together, we have 3 beautiful children and a ministry at Journey Church that we love!  I lead the Journey ladies’ Gathering which meets the First Wednesday of each month and serve on the Creative Arts Team as a Worship Leader. 

My first book, Crowning Wisdom, is being released fall 2015 and I am thrilled!  You can find me at www.CrowningWisdom.com. I am unabashedly competitive and love to play sports– volleyball being my favorite, especially as it gives me the chance to humiliate Chris Denning publicly with my mad spiking skills!

FAVORITE BOOKS

Love Does by Bob Goff, Undaunted by Christine Cain, 7 by Jen Hatmaker, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis & The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Oh, AND Crowning Wisdom of course!!

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

I don’t drink much coffee but I love tasty treats!

FAVORITE TEAM

My kids’ teams!!!

JOURNEY GO

  • Kelley Stopnik
    Kelley Stopnik
    Journey GO Director, Peru Leader
Kelley Stopnik
Journey GO Director, Peru Leader

Hola, I’m Kelley and I am married to my high school sweetheart and best friend, Blair. We have 3 incredible kids, Brooke, Britton and Jude. Our family loves to travel.

I am the co-founder of Recovering Hope, a volunteer project that serves the young women and children at a shelter in Peru. You can find out more at www.recoveringhopeproject.org. It takes up a lot of my time, in the best possible way. I love coffee, and Spanish and speaking Spanish while drinking coffee. 

FAVORITE BOOK

The Jesus of Suburbia by Mike Erre

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK 

Latte (Cafe con leche)

FAVORITE TEAM

FC Barcelona

JOURNEY VENTURES

  • Josh Kiser
    Josh Kiser
    Business Development Director
  • David Woodruff
    David Woodruff
    Genesis Film Director
  • Casey Fitzsimons
    Casey Fitzsimons
    Stewards of the Game Director
Josh Kiser
Business Development Director

Hey there, I’m Josh. Most people call me, well, Josh… Unless we played sports together, then it’s J Kize. I have a beautiful and talented wife named Bridget (yes, I’m “over-chicked”) and two awesome, good looking boys that the world is eventually going to know because they are bound for greatness (they get that from mom, too).

We were all born in Ohio but made our way to the LKN area when God led us here in 2012. Despite having handed my life over to God late in my life, I have, at some point, been involved in almost every ministry that could happen at a church.

I like sports, working out, songwriting and all things music. Lastly, if Chris tells you that I was in an actual boy band in the 90’s, feel free to tell him to let it go! 

FAVORITE BOOKS

Any book I finish! If I make it thru, I liked it a lot and there have been a few that rocked my world. Radical by David Platt & Do Over by Jon Acuff.

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. But wait, I’ve had some caramel apple juice thing there before that was pretty awesome.

FAVORITE TEAMS

Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

David Woodruff
Genesis Film Director

True Californian at heart. In addition to the privilege of running Genesis Film, I also direct the Volleyball Division of Stewards of the Game. I’m passionate about causes that focus on the needy, both locally and abroad (#HopeLKN).

I love spending time with my 3 great kids, playing volleyball, watching something good on Netflix, and being outside; either at the Whitewater Center or anywhere scenic. Love serving with the best church staff ever!

FAVORITE BOOK

Anything by Malcolm Gladwell or Andy Stanley

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Green Iced Tea

FAVORITE TEAM

PLP Middle School Volleyball

Casey Fitzsimons
Stewards of the Game Director

Husband to Lori  and father to two teenage sons Mitchell & Micah. We spend most of our time on the baseball diamond. I am a graduate of Samford University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Along with managing the facilities at Journey Church, I am the Managing Director for a faith-driven youth sports league here in the Lake Norman area – Stewards of the Game

FAVORITE BOOK

The Matheny Manifesto by St. Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny. 

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Extra Hot Raspberry Mocha or an Iced Carmel Macchiato

FAVORITE TEAMS

Alabama Crimson Tide, Los Angles Dodgers, Carolina Panthers

SUPPORT STAFF

  • Allison Bodin
    Allison Bodin
    Ministry Support Staff
  • Casey Fitzsimons
    Casey Fitzsimons
    Facilities Director
Allison Bodin
Ministry Support Staff

I’m the lone female in my household with my husband, Brad, and 2 teenage boys, Noah & Ethan. Living with all that testosterone…there’s never a dull moment! I’ve been privileged to work with all of Journey’s amazing staff for the last 10 years and have loved every minute of it. Outside of the office, when I’m not chauffeuring my boys around, you’ll find me in the kitchen, at the USNWC, watching Survivor (hey, everyone has a vice!), or walking our dog. I proudly resist/loathe social media, so we’ve probably never ‘met’…stop by the office and say hi sometime!

FAVORITE BOOK: I’m a sucker for the young adult genre and reading or re-reading the books my kids are assigned at school. I know…weird!

STARBUCKS DRINK: Flat white with soy milk. Mmmmm

FAVORITE TEAM: University of Michigan Wolverines & Carolina Panthers (obviously!)

Casey Fitzsimons
Facilities Director

Husband to Lori  and father to two teenage sons Mitchell & Micah. We spend most of our time on the baseball diamond. I am a graduate of Samford University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Along with managing the facilities at Journey Church, I am the Managing Director for a faith-driven youth sports league here in the Lake Norman area – Stewards of the Game

FAVORITE BOOK

The Matheny Manifesto by St. Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny. 

FAVORITE COFFEE DRINK

Extra Hot Raspberry Mocha or an Iced Carmel Macchiato

FAVORITE TEAMS

Alabama Crimson Tide, Los Angles Dodgers, Carolina Panthers