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Pastor Eric was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina (Go Pack!). He grew up in a Christian home, and through the ministry of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Eric received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior during his Sophomore year in high school. He received his undergraduate degree from UNC with every intention of going to law school but God intervened, using Eric’s time on summer staff at Young Life’s Malibu Club in British Columbia to call him to ministry. After receiving his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, Eric served churches in California, North Carolina, Illinois, and now, Georgia.
Eric is married to his beautiful bride Maxine, and they are blessed with three children: Daniel, Molly, and Riley. He enjoys being a husband, a dad, and a pastor. In his spare time he enjoys building furniture, hunting, sports, and reading. One of his favorite verses is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
A native of Opelika, Alabama, and a covenant child of First Presbyterian Church of Opelika, he is a graduate of Auburn University and received both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary.
In his forty-seven years of ministry Bill has served as: Associate Pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Montgomery, Alabama; Pastor of Newnan Presbyterian Church in Newnan, Georgia; and, again at Memorial Church in Montgomery as Senior Pastor for fourteen years prior to his call to the Signal Mountain Church. He retired from Signal Mountain after twenty-five years of service there. Dr. Dudley graciously served as Interim Pastor of ChristChurch for 2 terms: February 2015 - January 2016 and July 2016 - present and is now serving as Executive Pastor as we transition into our new season with the Reverend Eric Geil as ChristChurch Senior Pastor.
Dr. Dudley was chosen to serve as Moderator of the EPC General Assembly for 2013-2014 and presently serves as Clerk for the EPC.
His wife is the former Julia Lake Vass (Jakie), who is the daughter and granddaughter of Presbyterian missionaries to the Congo.
The Dudleys have three children:
- David, their oldest child (adopted), was killed in 1991 after graduation from medical school.
- Elizabeth, who was born in Newnan, is a graduate of Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga and graduated from Auburn University. She is married to Reece Alford, attorney, and they live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. They have a son, Will, and two daughters, Charlotte and Edith. They are members of the Episcopal Church.
- Clay, the Dudley’s youngest son, was born in Montgomery but grew up on Signal Mountain. He is a graduate of The McCallie School and Auburn University. Clay and his wife, Sara, live in Atlanta and are members at Peachtree Presbyterian Church.
- David, their oldest child (adopted), was killed in 1991 after graduation from medical school.
Director of Music Ministries
As a native of Nashville, Tennessee, Wayne Wilson has been surrounded by music all of his life. At the age of thirteen, he began leading hymns in the church pastored by his grandfather.
While attending Samford University, Wayne continued his call as Minister of Music in small churches in Birmingham. Graduating with a triple major in Church Music, Vocal Performance, and Music Education, he has blended his degree into his life's work as a vocal artist, Minister of Music, and high school choral director.
For a number of years Wayne worked for Gaylord Entertainment, more commonly known as Opryland, USA. He performed in, managed, and directed shows during his tenure there. When the park closed, it was a natural transition into teaching. He has served as a music minister, either part-time or full-time, since his high school days.
Wayne's wife Bettye Jo has an extensive background in dance, drama, and interior design. She owned a performing arts academy for many years and is currently teaching at Dance Theatre of Dalton.
Wayne and Bettye Jo are now "empty-nesters." Together they have five children and twelve grandchildren.
Director of Youth Ministries
Ryan Cobb came to Dalton as our first Director of Recreation in 2006. In 2007, he began serving as Director of Youth Ministries, and he enjoys more than anything serving and spending time with students throughout the Dalton community. Ryan is originally from Durham, NC and is the son of a Presbyterian minister. He graduated in 2006 from King College in Bristol, TN with a B.A. in Youth Ministry and minors in Bible & Religion and Marketing & Management. Ryan is married to Rachel who is a counselor at Ringgold Elementary School. Together they welcomed their daughter Lillian in 2011 and daughter Hannah in 2014.
Ryan volunteers with our local FCA, DHS Cross Country team, Youth Conference Ministries (YCM), and the Oasis ministry team. He loves sports of all kinds, especially basketball and soccer, and he is a faithful North Carolina Tarheels fan. In his free time Ryan enjoys longboarding, four-wheeling, and woodwork.
Director of Children & Family Ministries
Elizabeth Nickles joined our staff in August of 2012. She graduated from Presbyterian College in May of 2012 with a B.A. in Religion and Christian Education with a focus in Family Ministry. While at PC, she was an intern for the chaplain's office, a member of Student Volunteer Services, an intern at a Safe Woman's home, and an active part of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She grew up in Greenville, S.C. at First Presbyterian Church of Greenville. There, she became passionate about connecting with families and learning how to build relationships with both the children and adults. She loves teaching families how to develop their own faith inside of the home.
Elizabeth enjoys connecting with new people, blogging, swimming, and playing guitar and her 6-string banjo. She has a GoldenDoodle named Neville who sometimes comes to the office with her in the afternoons. Stop by and visit them!
Director of Recreational Ministries
Cade Womack grew up in rural East Texas and moved to Dalton, Georgia when he was 17 years old. He started following Christ when he was 19. While attending Georgia College & State University he led worship at a small church and was heavily involved in campus ministry. He graduated from GC&SU in 2012 with a B.A. in Sociology. Cade left Milledgeville, GA and joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2013.
Cade married Stephani Schmidt on October 3, 2015 and is enjoying the married life and understanding what it means to truly love someone. Cade and Stephani both enjoy playing music, singing, and gigging on the weekends. They are also avid hikers. Cade is experienced in backpacking, rock climbing, and kayaking. He has climbed and backpacked in many states across the U.S. He attributes his love for nature to his time in college, where he started following Christ. Cade has spent time in India serving others and learning about God’s greater purpose for His Church. He is excited to be serving at the Recreation Place and for what God is doing here in Dalton, GA.
Director of Child Development Center
Julia joined the staff of the Child Development Center in 2005.
She is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in a family of ten brothers and sisters. Julia earned a bachelor's degree in Special Education from Auburn University and taught middle school in Gainesville, Georgia. She is married to Dennis, who is retired after thirty years with the government. They reside on a small farm in Lafayette. In her spare time Julia enjoys caring for her menagerie of animals and riding her horse, Avalon.
Assistant Director of Child Development Center
Jan has worked with the Child Development Center since 2002. She is a Dalton native and graduated from Dalton State College. Jan previously worked with Dalton Public Schools for 13 years. She is married to Walter, who is retired from the City of Dalton, and has two children, Lesley and Mark.
Jan enjoys spending time with her family, especially her three grandchildren: Anna Lee, Ava, and John. Her other hobbies include hiking, reading, and spending time in the mountains.
Director of Finance
Nancy has worked at the church for more than twenty-five years. She has a bachelor of science degree in History from Auburn University, and is also active in prayer ministry, Bible study, and teaching at ChristChurch.
Nancy and her husband Bill, who is retired from a career in sales and technical service to the carpet and apparel industries, have two grown children, Carrie and Peter, and six grandchildren. Nancy is an apiarist and enjoys reading and gardening, but says "when the ‘little bits’ are here the world stops and we laugh all the time."
Administrative Associate & Communications
Kristi joined our Church staff in February of 2016. She is a Dalton native and a graduate of Dalton State College with a B.B.A. in Marketing. Before coming to work at ChristChurch, Kristi was the Marketing & Communications Manager at the Downtown Dalton Development Authority. Having grown up in Dalton, Kristi grew up at First Baptist Church of Dalton where she came to know the love of Christ and entered into her life long relationship with God.
In her free time, Kristi enjoys the outdoors- particularly camping, fishing, and exploring. She also enjoys participating in and supporting community events and locally owned businesses, as well as generally being a champion for the Dalton community.
Rapha House Staff
Phyllis Spahn is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Certiﬁed Counselor, and a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. She is a member of The American Association of Christian Counselors, The American Counseling Association, The American Dietetic Association, along with professional associations at the state level. Phyllis is a certiﬁed PREPARE/ENRICH FACILITATOR for premarital and marital counseling. In addition, she specializes in eating disorders and is certiﬁed in Grief Recovery.
Phyllis considers it an awesome privilege to walk with persons through stages of their life journey. She works with adolescents, adults, couples, and families with many issues, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, grief, loss, relationship difﬁculties, stress management, trauma, and others. She emphasizes the importance of ministering to the whole person, including biological, spiritual, social, and emotional aspects. She also enjoys nutrition consultation and life coaching.
Phyllis and her husband, Bob, have four adult daughters and two sons-in-law. They are enjoying the distinct pleasures of being grandparents to three amazing granddaughters. Phyllis is thrilled with the opportunity to help establish The Rapha House, the counseling ministry of ChristChurch Presbyterian in Dalton.
Rapha House Staff
Aaron holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Harding University. A focus of Aaron’s work is relationship counseling and he can help with difficulties that exist in marriage, parent-child dynamics, or other personal relationships. In addition to his primary client base a special interest of his is providing support, mentoring, and guidance for those working in pastoral and clerical roles.
Aaron’s approach to counseling encourages people to harness their own resources and potential to evoke positive change in themselves and their relationships. Just as a voyager experiences times of endurance, doubt, despair, and elation as they move outside their comfort zones and back again, so too is our journey in life filled with these times. Aaron helps his clients journey well and do the work necessary to find peace with themselves, their relationships, and their situation- often growing beyond what was previously thought possible.
Aaron has worked with families for the past eight years serving in roles such as coach, youth minister, and counselor. Aaron and his wife Kara live in Rossville and enjoy spending time outdoors and visiting with their families. They have a son, Emmett, who was born in December of 2014.
Rapha House Staff
Sherry is a Licensed Professional Counselor for the state of Georgia. She is a member of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia and the American Association of Christian Counselors. Sherry utilizes an integrative approach to counseling, which combines principles of counseling psychology with a Biblical worldview. She sees herself as a helper, coming alongside individuals who are seeking hope, healing, and redemption. Sherry works with individuals, children, and families on a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, grief, anger, child and adolescent issues, and trauma.
Sherry earned a BA from the University of Tennessee, a MA in Special Education from Tennessee Technological University, and a MA in Professional Counseling in 2004 from Richmont Graduate University. She worked as a Certified School Psychologist for Whitfield County Schools for 25 years. Sherry is married to Tom and they have two sons and five grandchildren. They worship and serve at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church.