Love means serving others
David Hillis, Lead Pastor: David went into the ministry after moving from a small town in Georgia in 1995 and six years later married Teresa, a native Peruvian. He did his postgraduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary and has been serving Grace as lead pastor since 2011. David loves fitness, nutrition and the outdoors, whether it is hiking, backpacking, rock climbing or kayaking. They have a daughter in North Dakota and a teenage son at home.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: At Grace relationships matter a lot, because we know that God wired us to be in relationship. Even closet introverts, like me, cannot thrive emotionally and spiritually outside of relationship — with God and with others. At Grace, we experience how real growth comes from a personal relationship with God as well as relationships with others who also want to become fully devoted followers of Christ. When we prioritize relationships we prioritize people, just as Jesus did. Email: [email protected]
Brian Brinkley, Youth and Young Adults Pastor: Brian is originally from Dallas, Texas, but has spent most of his life here in Tucson. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Religious Studies and has completed his coursework for his Master’s Degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Brian has three children who attend Grace, where he enjoys building relationships with students and their parents to develop life-long disciples of Christ. Brian loves college sports and is a huge fan of the Arizona Wildcats!
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Relationships matter because they point us towards Jesus. Through living life together, we become the very hands and feet of Jesus to our community. Building relationships with students, their parents, and our surrounding community is a foundational element of how I live out my faith. Email: [email protected]
Sue Montanez, Connections Director: Originally from the Bay area in California, Sue moved first to Evergreen, Colorado, and then to Tucson in 2006. She’s been at Grace since early 2013 and is delighted to serve as the Connections Director, helping people at Grace get connected into the life of the church, whether they’re new to Grace or have been coming for a while. Sue is a lucky mom and “gwamma” who loves boating, cooking, reading, her family, and Jesus!
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Relationships hold us; they stretch and grow us; they soften us and toughen us at the same time. When a relationship breaks, our hearts hurt, and when relationships are going well, we can be bowled over by unabashed, pure joy. I’m certain we’re wired to be connected with each other, to love and support each other, and to learn how to navigate when things aren’t right. When I live into that, when I’m really present and together with others, my own life is that much richer, and I feel that much closer to Jesus. That makes me so much more thankful for all His children, my family. Email: [email protected]
Lucy Hill, Children's Ministry Director: Lucy was born and raised in Farmington, New Mexico, and moved to Tucson with her family in 2001 from Corpus Christi, Texas. She and her husband, Andy, have 3 children. She shares the Children’s Ministry Director position with her sister, Melanie Irwin, and loves using her tools as a teacher and the unique gifts God has given her to share Jesus with the children and families at Grace.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Relationships were designed by God. He did not create us to navigate this world alone. Scripture teaches us that we are stronger together (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and Scripture encourages us to spur each other on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Email: [email protected]
Melanie Irwin, Children's Ministry Director: Melanie and her husband, Kent, came to Grace in 2005 from San Jose, California. She is the proud mother of her crazy fun and adventurous daughter, Stevie, who serves in the U.S. Army. Melanie serves as the Children’s Ministry Director with her sister, Lucy Hill, and she feels blessed to be able to share Jesus with all the children who come to Grace. Melanie enjoys playing tennis, snuggling her dog, Tia, visiting Stevie, and going on adventures with Kent.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: I believe that being in relationship with one another is the way Jesus wants us to live. Life is so rich when we are relating with each other. People will lift us up, dust us off, and send us on our way as we help one another through our best and worst days. We have so much to offer when we allow ourselves to love one another. Ultimately, "Love Conquers All", so we will always err on the side of LOVE. Email: [email protected]
Sandie Ramm, Office Administrator: An Ohio State Buckeye at heart, Sandie originally came from Toledo, Ohio, and then to Grace by way of Cape Coral, Florida. She has two children, one living in Florida and the other in Tucson. Sandie manages the administrative needs of the church and office as well as facilitates the church’s GriefShare group, helping those on their journey through grief after losing a loved one.
Why Relationships Matter to Me: From the first time I showed up here I felt more welcomed by people here than I could have hoped for — it was like people had known me for a long time and I was just part of the family. I had just suddenly moved from Florida and had no relationships here, and before the first month was up I had good friends. I want to give back in the same way, and lead a couple of LifeGroups in part for that reason. I don’t want to be recognized, I just want people to know that relationship matter — and that no one in a church community should feel alone. Email: [email protected]
Elizabeth Arneson, Assistant to the Lead Pastor: Elizabeth was born and raised in a small town just south of Eugene, Oregon. She moved to the east side of Seattle just a& few weeks after high school graduation. After 10 years in the Seattle area (and a few other stops along the way including Denali, Alaska), Elizabeth moved to Tucson in 1999 to be near her parents. She is married to Mark and has one daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching her daughter swim, reading, movies, and supporting women through ministry and her businesses.
Why Relationships Matter to Me: They matter because God designed us to be in communion with others. In my darkest days, God has always sent someone (or more than one) to carry me through the trials of life. He has provided many friendships that have turned into family. They stretch me and push me to grow but they also provide humor when life hands you lemons. Email [email protected].