OUR STAFF TEAM

Grace Fellowship is an elder-led, staff-driven church.  Team is one of GFC's core values.  Our staff and elders strive together to lead our body to fulfill our mission, vision, and core values.

  • Joel Owen

    Lead pastor

    Joel grew up in Morristown, TN, and graduated from Tusculum College with a degree in business management. He then went on to earn a Master of Arts at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Striving toward godliness together is a major part of how he views his ministry.


    Joel loves cheering for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Texas Rangers. He’s married to Heather, and they have two sons, Josiah and Grayson. He says yard work is a hobby, so be sure to call him up when you need help with yours.

  • Andy Malcolm

    Small groups & connections pastor

    Andy grew up right here in Kingsport and has a business degree from Furman University. He also has a master’s degree in teaching and counseling from East Tennessee State University. Because God’s very nature is relational, Andy seeks to help believers connect more deeply and genuinely with God, with fellow Christians, and with the unchurched.


    Andy is married to Julia, and they have two daughters, Ellie and Analia. He’s a soccer fan who cheers for Barcelona and Liverpool. He also loves to hike and travel.


  • kyle thurman

    Worship pastor

    Kyle grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas and has traveled the country leading worship at churches, summer camps and retreats since he was a teen. He has a graphic design degree from National Park College, which he uses to create all the graphics, bumpers and videos you’ll see here at Grace.  Kyle desires to serve Jesus each time he’s on stage by leading worshipers to the feet of Jesus.


    Kyle is married to Mycah and they have one daughter, Anneliese. He loves all things audio and sound/stage production. He also loves all the sports, so make sure to ask him who won the game last night.



  • Mat Tynes

    Family Ministries pastor

    Mat has done a fair bit of moving around. He was born in Salt Lake City, UT, and raised in Iowa City, IA; Vancouver, BC; and Gig Harbor, WA. He has a degree in elementary education from the University of Puget Sound and a master’s degree in special education from California State University at Los Angeles. As he serves children, youth, and families, he wants to love God and love others.


    Mat and his wife Denise have three children, daughter Jordan and sons Nate and Zach. He enjoys golf and driving too fast. He’s a fan of the Seattle Mariners, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Chicago Cubs.

  • nathan ellis

    student pastor

    Nathan grew up in Kingsport and graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in Math Education. He has since worked as a high school teacher and coach at Sullivan North High School and served as the homeless ministry coordinator for Lifeway Fuge Camps in Philadelphia. Nathan is now in the process of earning his M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and works as the Educational Coordinator at Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital. 


    Nathan is an avid sports fan who roots for the consistantly disappointing Virginia Tech Hokies and enjoys breaking ankles on the pickup basketball court. He also has a special love for ice cream, cool shoes, and cute babies. His goals in life are to be more like Christ and to be as cool as the worship pastor, Kyle Thurman.

  • Skye Hierwater

    Office manager

    Skye was born and raised in Southern California. She has a degree in information technology from National University in San Diego. She desires to honor God in all her tasks, large or small.


    Skye is married to Drew. The two of them can be found at many of the area’s classic car shows. She also enjoys motorsports and is a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  • Nelson BUTTERWORTH

    worship production coordinator

    Nelson was born in Lindsay, CA, and grew up in Illinois, Oregon, California, and New Mexico. He has a degree from the University of Phoenix. His ministry is behind-the-scenes, and he desires to support the morning worship with as little distraction as possible. If you don’t notice he’s there or what he’s doing, it’s going well.


    He’s married to Karen, and they have two daughters. He doesn’t follow sports but is a fan of all things technological. Computers, cool gadgets, video games, and home automation systems all ring his geeky bell.Talking about cars will also work.