Johnny Ellison, Senior Pastor
Pastor Johnny was born in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and much of his family still resides in the Knoxville and East Tennessee area. He is a lifelong Tennessee Vol.
He came to know Christ as his Savior in June of 1988, after having spent much of his childhood in the Roman Catholic faith. He gave his life to Christ at a youth camp, after struggling with it for several years.
Pastor Johnny recognized God’s call on his life to teach and preach the Scriptures, and serve Christ in the local church, soon after his conversion. He has been a church planter, youth pastor, Bible Institute instructor and senior pastor in churches around middle and south Georgia. He became the Senior Pastor of GABC in April 2005.
He married Elissa, his high school sweetheart, in July 1991. Together they have three awesome children: Savannah Abney who is married to Caleb (a college baseball coach currently at King University in Bristol, TN), leads worship at her church and started her own business called Abney Consulting; Andrew who is currently a baseball player and pre-law student at Cornell University; and Sarah Elisabeth who was born in 2004, sings, plays the guitar and keeps things exciting.
Pastor Johnny received his Bachelor of Science (B.S) from Georgia Southern University, his Master of Divinity (M.Div) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) from Luther Rice University and Seminary.
In his free time, Pastor Johnny likes to workout with Elissa, read, watch baseball of all kinds and spend time with his family. His favorite Bible verse is Colossians 3:3-4. Follow Pastor Johnny on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!
micah Emery, Worship / ADMIN Pastor
Pastor Micah was born in Houston, Texas, lived in Arizona, North Carolina and finally moved to Georgia in 1981. Most of his childhood was in Waynesboro, GA and his teenage years in Wrens, GA. He met his wife, Shannon, during his senior year of High School (Camden County) and married her the Christmas vacation after their graduation in 1994.
Pastor Micah was raised in a Christian home and was taught the fundamentals of the faith from his earliest memories by his parents and his church. He came to know Christ as Savior, January 30, 1993 at a youth camp while he was assisting in music leadership. He felt the call on his life to serve Christ through Youth Ministry and Music Ministry just a few months later.
He started his vocal training when he was fifteen at Augusta College and continued that pursuit, during his college years, at Georgia Southern University and Brewton-Parker College, where he studied Music with an emphasis in vocal performance.
He has served at GABC since January 2011 and served a small fellowship in Hawkinsville for nearly eleven years prior to that. His earliest years of ministry were spent at several other churches around Georgia and even a year in Pittsburgh, PA.
Pastor Micah and Shannon have been married nearly 24 years and have four beautiful children; Abigail (15) sings and acts, Lydia (13) loves gymnastics and band, Micah Jr. (11) enjoys all sports especially football, and Chloe (6) loves to sing and play.
In what free time he has, Pastor Micah enjoys movies, tinkering on automobiles, bicycling, swimming, spending time with his family and going on dates with Shannon. His favorite verse is Micah 6:8 and his favorite chapter is II Corinthians 5.
Brian Gunningham, Children's and Student pastor
Pastor Brian was born in Los Angeles, CA, but most of his childhood was spent in Redlands, which is located in a metropolitan area of Southern California known as the Inland Empire. Sports were a big part of the Gunningham household, and Brian excelled in a Jiu Jitsu form of Martial Arts called Judo. In Junior High and High School, Pastor Brian turned his competitive attention toward football and wrestling. While his academic and athletic performance in high school led Brian to be recruited by several colleges, he followed the advice of some coaches and enrolled at a nearby Community College. After two football seasons at San Bernardino Valley College, Pastor Brian was awarded a full scholarship on an early transfer to play football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
UAB is where Pastor Brian was introduced to some of his southern favorites – BBQ, sweet tea, squash casserole, real banana pudding, and let’s not forget Chick-fil-A. While at UAB, Pastor Brian was gripped with the news that his father was killed tragically when working on his car. In his quest for answers, one of Brian’s college roommates read the Bible aloud every day on the way to school, and this is when Brian began to personally realize the love that Christ had for him. Later, during his senior year, Brian was with the same roommate in Augusta, GA, where three missionaries led Brian to the Lord in the parking lot of the Augusta Mall. Pastor Brian continues to be overwhelmed by the forgiveness and saving power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Pastor Brian found his love for Georgia by meeting Terri, who Brian believes wholeheartedly that God fashioned to be his wife. It was more than her country fried steak that won his heart; Terri is passionate about teaching children and has a degree in early childhood education. The two of them married in November 1999, and together they share the joy of rearing three children: Weston (b. 2004), Morgan (b. 2008), and Mollie (b. 2009).
He and his bride spent the early years of their marriage being mentored by several pastors, including Rev. John Hunter who resides in Statesboro, GA, as well as Rev. Joe Eason of Trinity Baptist Church (Nevils, GA) and Rev. Brad Blackmon who currently serves as Pastor of Henderson Baptist Church in Elko, GA. As members of Trinity Baptist Church, both Brian and Terri served as Sunday School teachers and heavily invested in lives of students by participating as Youth Leaders. Pastor Brian recognized God’s call to Youth Ministry while serving as a Family Services Coordinator for the Bulloch County Commission on Human Services, a non-profit collaborative body of various community partners serving together to address the challenges of children and families. Looking back, he fully recognizes that God used this role to equip Brian for Family Ministry.
Pastor Brian holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from UAB, a Master of Science in Psychology – Counseling Specialty from Argosy University, and has tackled several courses in Christian Education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Both Pastor Brian and his wife, Terri, enjoy traveling with their kids with the purpose of sharing Christ with different cultures not only in the USA, but around the world. When not with his family, Pastor Brian invests his time supporting parents as they strive to teach their children to walk with Jesus Christ.