John has been married to his wonderful wife Laura since 2005. They live in North Lexington and are passionate UK basketball fans. John grew up as a preacher’s kid in Tennessee and Kentucky. His father is currently the pastor of First UMC in Georgetown, KY. John earned his Masters of Divinity from Asbury Seminary in 2013. He enjoys good food, music, sports, and the outdoors. Laura is the Executive Director of Common Good, a ministry that she and John founded in 2011. Common Good focuses on Christian community development work in the neighborhoods that surround Embrace’s Epworth Campus. John and Laura are passionate about urban ministry and working with people from different cultural backgrounds. John is excited to see where God takes Embrace!
Cameron Richardson is our Youth Pastor here at Embrace. He is from Lexington, KY and actually grew up in the neighborhood of Embrace. He is a graduate from Asbury University where he played collegiate basketball and received his degree in Sociology. Cameron also works as the Youth Director of Common Good along with Laura Gallaher. Cameron loves basketball, his son Carson, who is five, and his wife Ashley.
Kristina graduated from Asbury University with a B.A. in Christian Ministries and Communications in May of 2015, and she is now pursuing both a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary. She and her husband Ted were married in December of 2015, and they are both excited to unfold together the adventure that is life in ministry and with Jesus. Also in December 2015, Kristina released her first professional recording project, Get Going EP. In addition to her work at Embrace and her studies, Kristina fulfills her call to ministry as a singer-songwriter and speaker. She is passionate about abundant life, the journey of sanctification, and personal and communal spiritual formation (as well as avocados, a good book, and the combination of mint and chocolate). Her music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, or Spotify under her maiden name, and she can be found on Facebook as Kristina Conner Music.
Paula loves to love on people and her favorite way to do so is by filling their bellies with a warm meal. She loves on people this way every Monday night by cooking a meal for The Gathering at Embrace. She has two teenagers and it's her favorite years thus far. Paula worked at Scott County Schools for 14 years, but recently answered God's calling to serve at Scott County Hospitality House in Georgetown. She is the Case Manager & Volunteer Coordinator. This is an extended stay transition program for homeless women & children to assist down each avenue to become a productive and independent part of society once again. Love one another, just as I have loved you. -John 13:34
Chris married his High School/College Sweetheart Sarah in 2008, and has an awesome son named Cooper! Chris earned his Bachelor's Degree in Educational Ministries from Campbellsville University in 2008, where he was a member of the Men's Soccer Team. Chris has been leading worship in some capacity since his high school days and loves using his musical gifts to lead people into God's presence. Chris is a stay-at-home dad with Cooper by day and loves every minute he gets to spend with his little guy. When he's not cleaning the house, doing laundry/dishes, mowing the lawn, fixing broken things, etc., Chris loves to watch/play all varieties of sports, go on hikes, eat delicious delicacies, watch a good movie on the couch with Sarah, and tinker in his garage workshop.
CONNECTIONS PASTOR (Ministry Fellow)
Caleb moved from Chattanooga, TN to Kentucky four years ago to begin pursuing an M.Div at Asbury Theological Seminary. He started attending Embrace at the KY Theater around February 2014 and has been thrilled to find such a beautiful community of people with whom he can worship, study, eat, and grow in nearness and likeness to Jesus. He loves tea, ska, hip hop, ultimate frisbee, and studying the Old Testament, and he cuts his hair once a year. His family lives in Spring Hill, TN, and he cheers for the Vols so folks will have a harder time recognizing him as a complete nerd. He resides in Lexington with two cats.
CONGREGATIONAL CARE PASTOR
Dawn serves Embrace through community-building at the Gathering on Monday evenings, provides pastoral care and leadership within the Embrace faith community, and leads a team to fight sexploitation. Her passion to stop sexual abuse led to doctorate and to research on the responses of the church to sex trafficking. She studied for her M. Div. and PhD in Intercultural Studies both at Asbury Theological Seminary. She has also served in churches as a Minister of Discipleship Development, Children’s Pastor, and Local Pastor in a 3-point charge. Dawn is a Buckeye by birth--but got here as soon as she could, and enjoys expedition kayaking with her husband, Rick. As an ordained deacon she has been appointed by the bishop to serve both Embrace and Baptist Health Hospital as a Chaplain.