Pastors | Elders | Overseers
The New Testament prescribes that local churches are to be led by teams of men who meet the qualifications outlined in passages such as 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. The Bible refers to these men interchangeably by the titles “pastor,” “elder,” and “overseer.”
At Autumn Ridge Community Church, “pastor” refers to men who are paid by the church to hold this office. “Elder” refers to men who voluntarily serve in this capacity. The only distinction between vocational pastors and volunteer elders is capacity – they are equally qualified and lead equally as a team with complementary giftedness and authority.
A native of Gilmer County, Davis Lacey pastors for Autumn Ridge Community Church, having led the planting process for the church beginning in 2018. He is married to Charis (another Gilmer County native!), and the Laceys have two children - Evelynn and Haddon. Davis appreciates the opportunity to combine the systematic thinking he learned in engineering school (Mercer University) with his theological education (MDiv, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary). When not at a church function, you can find him on the pickleball courts or talking about Jesus at The Ellijay Cigar Lounge (a business which he and Charis own).
Walt was raised in Northern California and served in the US Navy. During his time in the Navy, he was invited to church by his future wife, Donna. Through the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, God called him out of the darkness into a new life. After settling in Georgia in the 1980’s following his naval career, Walt and Donna finally made their way to Gilmer County full time in 2013. Walt’s desire is to see the Gospel spread through the spiritual growth of the members of Autumn Ridge. The Sansot’s have two grown children and 8 grandkids. In his “spare” time, Walt works full time for a Department of Energy National Laboratory and teaches in the graduate school at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Deacons | Deaconesses
Deacons are recognized servants of the church who meet the qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. At Autumn Ridge Community Church, deacons do not constitute a “board” which regularly meets, nor do deacons set forth church-wide policies. Instead, deacons provide servant-leadership to particular areas of ministry, thereby freeing pastors/elders/overseers to dedicate their energies to teaching, leading, shepherding, and praying for the church.
Deacon of Worship Ministry
Born in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, under seemingly forlorn circumstances, providence placed John Jones in the home of a bi-vocational pastor at age seven, where he was exposed to the redeeming truth of the gospel and inspired to study guitar in the context of participating in worship leadership at several churches growing up. John is a graduate of Gilmer High School and is currently enrolled at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies. He is married to Deborah, a native of Gilmer County, and the Jones’ spend their free time hosting board game nights with friends, hiking the local trails, and spending time with their two dogs, Zeke and Girl. John is passionate about the musical aspect of worship and appreciates assisting the worship gathering in a liturgical worship style that references the scriptural canon.
Deaconess of Ridge Kids & Administrative Assistant
Naomi spent the first part of her childhood in a 200 person farming town in West Central Minnesota until the Air Force moved her family to Tampa, FL following 9/11 (talk about a culture shock). There, as a teenager, she gave her life to Christ. She studied Elementary Education at Clearwater Christian College and married her husband Andrew shortly after graduating. God used several older couples during their time at their church in Clearwater, FL to disciple them and really help hone Naomi’s passion for family discipleship through her role as Children’s Ministry Coordinator. She loves to find creative ways to help parents and kids find the Gospel in every story thread of the Bible together. Finally, after 5 children, 6 houses, and 10 years of prayer, God brought their family home to Ellijay, where Andrew grew up. During their downtime you can probably find them either at the ball fields or playing some crazy game Andrew made up and laughing their heads off. They’re learning together, however messy and imperfect life is, what it means to live out the Gospel daily in their lives and community.
Deaconess of Association Involvement
Lisa Satterfield is the Deaconess of Association Involvement (Morganton Mountaintown Baptist Association) for Autumn Ridge Community Church and a volunteer with the MMBA medical clinic as a pharmacist. She moved to North Georgia mountains five years ago and enjoys hiking and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs! Lisa is also a pharmacist Ingles Pharmacy in Ellijay.