Sundays at 9:15 & 11:00

Meet Our Team

Pastoral Team

Pastor Matt Shackelford

Dr. Matt Shackelford

Lead Teaching Pastor

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Ashley and I have four children: Caleb, Selah, Phoebe, and Lydia. Together, we enjoy hiking, movies, and bonfire. Other hobbies of mine include reading, snowboarding, scuba diving, and playing piano and guitar.

I have served churches in Oklahoma, Texas, Southern California, and Ohio before coming to Collierville. My goal is to glorify God by shepherding well and preaching Christ-centered expositional messages that bring glory to God and joy to God’s people.

I have earned theological degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min.), and I am currently working on a Ph.D. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Justin Halverson

Pastor of Children and Families

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I was born and raised in Southern California. I originally went to school to teach High school math and science, but God had other plans. God gave me a heart for the church and teaching God’s Word to His people. After graduating from Talbot Seminary, I was a youth pastor for 7 years in California and then in Colorado. I am married to my best friend, Chloe, and together we have 1 daughter, Blakely. Chloe and I love board games and enjoying life with family and friends.

Derek McFarland

Pastor of Students

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I have an awesome family consisting of my wife Kendall, my daughter Maebry (3), and my son Gatlin (1). I graduated from Jacksonville State University in 2016 and am currently a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have been working with students, Jr. High-College, for 6 years now and absolutely love doing life with young people. I really enjoy watching TV, getting mad while playing disc golf, and sipping coffee.

Greg

Greg Sukert

Pastor of Evangelism and College

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I am so thankful to God for my salvation, my cherished wife, and the privilege to steward the gospel.

I am the co-founder of Anchored North, an evangelistic ministry reaching millions with captivating, honest, and shareable videos that explore humanity’s greatest need: redemption through Jesus. In addition to Anchored North, I serve as the Pastor of Evangelism and College Ministry at Central Church. I am currently studying for my Master of Divinity in Evangelism and Missions at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

I also run an Instagram account dedicated to guinea pigs. Check it out at @lovetheguinea.

Pastor Matt Castro

Dr. Matthew Castro

Pastor of Adult Ministries

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I am married to Lisa Castro. We have three children, Maggie (8), Lincoln (6), Teddy (2). I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. I am a graduate of Collierville High School, Class of 2002 and the University of Tennessee and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I love all things British. I enjoy a good cup of coffee, a good book, and a beautiful autumn day. My family and I snow ski, disc golf, and cheer for the Vols on Saturdays. 

John Andrew Clayton

Pastor of Missions and Young Marrieds

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I am married to Christy and we have two energetic little boys: Levi and Lucas. We were both born and raised in Memphis, TN. We enjoy traveling, camping, and family movie nights. I also love to read and play soccer.

Initially, I served with Central Students. Then, in 2013 my wife and I began our journey to Guayaquil, Ecuador as Central-supported missionaries. We happily served training pastors and church leaders until we returned to Central.

I studied Philosophy and Spanish at the University of Memphis (Go, Tigers, Go!) and Theology and Apologetics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently, I am working on a Ph.D in Biblical Theology from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I love this church and am thankful for the opportunity to serve here!

Tim Clay

Tim Clay

Church Administrator

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I joined the staff at Central in 1996. In 2020, I was pleased to take on the role of Church Administrator where I serve by partnering with Pastor Matt and the Elders to ensure the day to day operations of the church are running smoothly. I graduated from Crichton College and majored in Biblical Studies. When I’m not at the church you will find me spending time with my wife Allison and daughter Zoey.

Active Elders

Below is a list of our active elders. If you would like to contact them, please email elders@centralchurch.com.

Nominate Elders

If you would like to nominate an elder, please fill out both a nomination form and a spiritual maturity form for your nominee. 

Elder Matt Shackelford

Matt Shackelford

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Chris Allen

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Kevin Buchanan

Elder Chairman

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Heath Hudspeth

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Andre Jones

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Stan Peppenhorst

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Wood Stevens

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Tommy Whited

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Gregorio Barnett

Elder Intern

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Rich Ugarte

Elder Intern

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Tim Clay

Elder Board Secretary

Our elders publish minutes from their meetings for Central members to read. If you have any questions about the minutes, please contact the elder board.

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What is an elder?

These leaders are known by three titles all seen in 1 Peter 5:1-2, each of which reveals a separate aspect of their function. They are first called “elders,” indicating they are to be godly leaders whose wisdom and maturity are respected by God’s people. They are also called “overseers,” indicating their responsibility for the oversight of the church’s resources and the guardian of its people. They are also called “shepherds,” which is also translated as “pastors,” indicating their role of caring for and leading the church.

We see that within the New Testament model of church organization, authority for leadership is not granted to just one individual pastor, nor is it given as democratic rule by the congregation. Instead, the Scripture states that authority for leadership is conducted by a plurality of leaders who are appointed by the church and accountable to God. Some of these elders fill church vocational roles, and are therefore commonly referred to by the title of “pastor.” Other elders fill non-vocational roles, and are therefore commonly referred to by the title of “elder.”

What are the biblical qualifications of an elder?

All elders and pastors shall be selected and held accountable to the standards of 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9, Acts 20:27-32, and 1 Peter 5:1-3. All elders and pastors shall be in full accord with Central Church’s Constitution, Confession of Faith, and policies, as well as Central Church’s current Mission, Core Values, and Vision. Pastors additionally shall qualify for their positions according to giftedness and experience in the ministry position to be filled.

How are the elders structured?

The elders of Central consist of two groups: the Council of Elders and the Elder Board.

The Council of Elders consists of all elders of the church. The Elder Board consists of between seven to twelve elders from the council, the Lead Teaching Pastor, and the Executive Pastor.

What does an elder do at Central?

Generally speaking, the elders are given both the responsibility and authority to skillfully and lovingly lead the church, to teach church members through the accurate and insightful reading of the Bible, to care for church members through prayer and ministry, and to protect the church from harmful influences and beliefs.

The Council of Elders is the shepherding ministry of the church (1 Peter 5:1-4). The main role of the council is to promote the spiritual interests and unity of the church (Acts 6:1-6; Ephesians 4:1-3; 1 Peter 5:1-4). In addition, they select new elders to join the Council, select elders from the council to serve on the Elder Board, and they advise and support the Elder Board.

The Elder Board, in addition to their responsibilities as members of the Council of Elders, is ultimately responsible for the “oversight” of the church’s ministries and resources as prescribed in the New Testament (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2). In particular, they are responsible for ensuring proper doctrine is taught in the church and enacting church discipline when necessary. Other responsibility include: to receive new members into the church; to ordain and install pastors, elders, and deacons; to oversee the service of the deacons; to oversee the Christian education of all age groups in the church; to approve offerings for special uses and church purposes; and to oversee the public worship of God.

Staff

Family Ministry

To contact our Kids and Family Ministry, please email kids@centralchurch.com.

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Justin Halverson

Pastor of Children & Families

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Suzanne Sizemore

Early Childhood Coordinator

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Brenda Ryan

Elementary Coordinator

Student Ministry

To contact our Student Ministry, please email students@centralchurch.com.

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Derek McFarland

Pastor of Students

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Abby Stephenson

Girls Coordinator 

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Michael Caserta

Worship Leader

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Hannah Ewing

Creative Coordinator

College Ministry

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Greg Sukert

Pastor of College and Evangelism

Adult Ministries

Pastor Matt Castro

Matthew Castro

Pastor of Adult Ministries

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Ellen Olford

Director of Women’s and City Ministries

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Carol Anderson

Women’s Ministry Administrative Assistant

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Rosa Creed

Women’s Ministry Coordinator

Jo Ann Harris

Jo Ann Harris

Director of Senior Adults

Alicia Miehe

Alicia Miehe

Senior Adults Administrative Assistant

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Gus Schroeder

Director of Congregational Care

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Dr. Jim Allman

Theology and Bible Teacher

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Linda Price

Counselor

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Angela Bath

Counselor

Missions Ministry

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John Andrew Clayton

Pastor of Missions and Young Marrieds

Worship Arts

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Dan Johnson

Technical Director

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Jennifer Gonzales

Worship Coordinator

Administration & Finance

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Tim Clay

Church Administrator

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Rusty Artz

Accounting Manager

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Martha Jennings

Payroll Administrator

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Jennifer Summerall

Accounting Assistant

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Jacke Perkins

Contributions and Accounts Payable Specialist

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Tinsley Heston

Ministry Systems Coordinator

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Sean Stark

Communications Director

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Doris Donald

Executive Team Administrative Assistant

Facilities

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Bubba Beloate

Events and Custodial Manager

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Keith Mylum

Facilities Director

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Keith Macon

Facility Support and Purchasing Assistant

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Lourie Staton

Reception Desk Supervisor

Central Ministries

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Deborah Pafford

Central Learning Center Director

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Kevin Gordon

Central Learning Center Assistant Director

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Teresa Morrison

Central Learning Center Business Administrator

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Carlene Boldizar

Crosswalk Bookstore Manager

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Heather Beatey

Parent’s Day Out Coordinator

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