Meet the Team

Meet the Team

We love our church, our city, and a good laugh.

Mountaintop is led by a team of people with different backgrounds, experiences and passions. Some of us are paid leaders, and some of us volunteer.

We’re honored to be in the roles we are in, and we have a lot of fun, but our primary focus is inviting and equipping people to follow Jesus.

Our leadership teams include: Elders, Board of Directors, Lead Pastor and Executive Staff Team all working together.

Carter McInnis

Lead Pastor:

As lead Pastor Carter provides spiritual leadership through prayer, teaching, and preaching. He leads our Staff Team and serves on the Elder and Board teams to provide visionary and strategic leadership. Learn more here.

Elder Team:

The Elders provide spiritual direction by keeping everything we do focused on our vision to invite and equip people to follow Jesus. They oversee the mission and spiritual growth of Mountaintop.

Board of Directors:

These talented marketplace leaders use their unique skills to serve the church by providing financial and operational oversight and accountability so we can live out our mission.

Strategic Leadership Team:

The Strategic Leadership Team works alongside the Lead Pastor, Elders, and Directors and leads our Staff Team to develop and implement strategies to invite and equip people to follow Jesus.

Meet Our Team

Click The Photos For A Fun Surprise!

Amy Freels

Elementary Director
Staff Team

I am a Texan at heart, but Birmingham and Mountaintop have been my home away from home since 1992. I have been on staff with the Children’s Ministry since it launched. It has been a joy seeing kids grow up at Mountaintop and begin their relationship with Jesus. I love seeing them become adults and bring their own children to Mountaintop Kids ministry. Yes, I am that old, but young at heart! My husband Jeff and I met at a Children’s ministry conference and are now empty nesters after raising two kids, our daughter, Parker, and our son, Tanner. We are also now Grandparents, which is the best title ever!

I love Jesus, music, the outdoors being in God’s creation, reading, coffee and exercise!

I have been a Group Fitness instructor since 2008, teaching LesMills Bodystep and Bodypump classes!

Autumn Vanderver

Adult Ministries Assistant
Staff Team

The Lord changed my life through Mountaintop in the late 90s and I’ve had the privilege of serving on staff since April of 2001. I believe the local church is the hope of the world and I’m so grateful to be here. I love making things happen behind the scenes. I work primarily with our database, communications, and website.

I met my amazing husband, Bill, at Mountaintop. In 2016 we adopted our beautiful daughter, Avery, from China. We have a blast as a family and love being together – at home and traveling. We have four cats (yes, we’re crazy) and reside in Graysville, AL.

I’m an introverted homebody, I thrive on alone time. I’m passionate about adoption, international missions, and mental/emotional health. I devour audiobooks and podcasts. I love dark and cold weather, especially SNOW! Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year! Movies are my favorite pastime. I love to eat hibachi, pizza, pasta, and dark chocolate.

Ayme Fitz-Gerald

Communications Director
Staff Team

Ben Kuykendall

Worship Pastor
Strategic Leadership Team

I have the privilege of serving with the most amazing group of musicians, singers and people that I know. We get the opportunity to show our love and gratitude for who Jesus is through worship every time we meet. I’m incredibly grateful for our team and the people who call Mountaintop their church home.

I received my Biblical and Theological studies degree from Bethany College and have been in different kinds of worship ministry ever since. I married my college sweetheart, Jenna and we have three amazing children – Ryan, Rachel, and Samuel.

I like to fix things, take on new DIY projects, help friends with their DIY projects, play all kinds of games with (or without) my kids, devour podcasts, spin some records, and mix some salsa…but perhaps my favorite thing to do is spend a lazy day with my wife watching a bingeworthy series with nothing else to do.

Brad Hamilton

Elder Team

Carter McInnis

Lead Pastor
I love Jesus and people. I have a passion for reaching people that are far from God with the love of Jesus and to equip Christians to become deeply devoted disciples of Christ. I believe the local church is the hope of the world, and I want to help make the church relevant to people from all walks of life.

I received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia with a focus in Broadcast News, a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, and my Doctorate of Ministry in Church Leadership Excellence at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

I enjoy running, reading, music, woodwork, good coffee, spending time with my wife, Emily, and our four boys. Morgan, Tanner, Walker, and Brooks enjoy playing sports, and we are passionate college football fans. We love being a part of the Mountaintop Church family and living in Birmingham. The Magic City felt like home the first time we pulled into town. We love raising our family here and can’t wait to see what God does in our community!

Charissa Cole

Board of Directors

Chad Miller

Elder Team

Cherie Moody

Serve Team Coordinator
Staff Team

My heart for Mountaintop is to continue growing together in Christ and through serving others. I enjoy serving, meeting new people, and planning events to engage others. I have been an active member of Mountaintop since 2003. Our family came to the church by way of student ministry. A friend invited our daughter, and we knew the moment that we walked in the door we belonged here.

I have lived in the Vestavia area for over 26 years. I have two adult married children, Robert is married to Maury; they have three children Michael, Eliza, and Liam. Michelle is married to Jonathan; they have two children John Robert and Casey.

A few of my favorite things are being with my family, especially with my grandchildren, spending time at the beach. I love using my creative talents with hands-on projects. Decorating, flower arranging, planning an event at church or a wedding, and working in the yard. Life is full of so many blessings. I enjoy being part of Mountaintop staff and serving others.

Chris Conner

Missions, Outreach, and Men's Group Pastor
Staff Team

I’ve had the privilege of leading at Mountaintop since 2013. My first 8 years were as the Student Pastor – a season I will always cherish. I’m now the Missions and Outreach Pastor, which means I get the opportunity to help people grow in their faith as they serve their neighbors in Birmingham and around the world.  

When I am not at the office you will most certainly find me with my family. My amazing wife, Aubrey, and my three sons, Sutton, Aidan, and Landon are always on the move. From coaching their baseball teams and working in the yard I have been allowed to keep the strong Conner tradition of an embarrassing farmer’s tan alive. I love a good cup of coffee and watching the Braves, or my Dawgs play. And the quickest way to my heart is the smell of fresh-cut lumber in my shop. Come say hey one Sunday, would love to hear your story!”

Concetta Lewis

Board of Directors

Craig Peterson

Staff Team

I’ve been the Controller since 2008. I live in Shelby County with my two teenage sons.

I went to UAB and Auburn University, War Eagle! My favorite pastimes are hunting and tinkering with my tractor.

Isabel Bogaert

5th & 6th Grade Director
Staff Team
Hey Hey Hey! I joined the Mountaintop fam in 2022. I grew up in Florida and moved to bham for college! I graduated from Birmingham-Southern in 2021, and I am working on my master’s in Clinical Mental Health!

I love working with 5th and 6th graders because it is such a unique age. They are so fun, and they are starting to make their faith their own, and it is a really cool process to be a part of! I think this is such a pivotal age for these kids, and I am so thankful I get to be a part of it.

Outside of Mountaintop, you can find me hanging with friends and family. I love being outside and am always down for a spontaneous adventure. I love painting, reading, dancing, cooking, and laughing. I love a good cup of coffee and a good TV binge.

Hal Knight

Board of Directors

Glyn Denton

Adult Ministries Pastor
Strategic Leadership Team

I lead Mountaintop in inviting and equipping adults to follow Jesus and reach our city. I get excited about helping people truly understand that God has called and equipped them to make disciples.

I landed at Mountaintop in 2004, and soon after, my life radically changed as I shifted from believing in Jesus to following him in my everyday life. Several years later, I felt called to vocational ministry and began a spiritual development journey that included returning to college for Christian leadership and Biblical studies. Just prior to graduation in 2017 I joined the Mountaintop staff.

When I am not at church, you will find me somewhere sunny with a book. As a Florida native, I crave sunshine and blue water, fresh or salty. I love to learn, experience new things, meet people, and hang with friends. I can’t wait to have dinner parties and travel again.

Jake Davis

Creative and Digital Pastor
Strategic Leadership Team

I’ve always had a deep desire to create and I love getting lost in a good story. “There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I believe, as this Maya Angelou quote suggests, that we all have a story inside of us that is waiting to be released. I love helping people uncover this story and more importantly discovering how their story intersects with the story of God. My role at Mountaintop, gives me the unique ability to use my passion for the creative to help us impact Birmingham with the story that God is telling in our midst.

My own story begins in Florida (Go Gators!) where I was born and raised and where I met my beautiful wife Haleigh. We have two kids, Aylah and Campbell, and they bring so much joy to our life. Obviously, I love a good film or book, and I am obsessed with board games. So, let’s grab some time together- I’d love to hear your story over a cup of coffee or a plate of delicious Thai food.

James McConatha

Media Director
Staff Team

I consider it a blessing that I get to serve alongside the talented Media Team at Mountaintop. You may not believe it… I’ve had my eye on this team since 2015 when my wife and I first attended a service here, and I’m excited to be on staff.

I’ve worked in video production since 2011 when I took my first TV job at a local news station in Mobile, Alabama. I spent seven years chasing news and sports stories all over Alabama and even down to Miami and out to Pasadena.  Before that, I was a horseshoer for seven years. Didn’t see that one coming did ya? 

These days, I enjoy ridiculously long bicycle rides over big hills and making it home from work in time for dinner with my family. 

Jeff Freels

Elder Team

Jenny Lou Grindle

Childcare Coordinator
Staff Team
I love getting to have fun with kiddos while sharing about Jesus’ love for them. My husband and I have four wonderful children. I am a proud graduate of Birmingham-Southern college, and I have been teaching special education for 20 years! I enjoy watching my children play sports, being outside, and living with my four fur babies.

Jonathan Blackburn

Board of Directors

Joe Breckenridge

Audio Production
Staff Team

Josh Power

Student Pastor
Staff Team

I have been in ministry for the past 8 years in both Student Ministry and Kids Ministry. I graduated from Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. At my first ministry job, I met my wife, Megan, who served on our student ministry team, and four years later we got married. My wife and I have twins, Micah and Evalette.

Outside of Student Ministry I enjoy coaching/playing volleyball, playing really any sport, cooking, and spending time with my family.

Jordan Williams

Digital Engagement Director
Staff Team

Karen Hoar

Nursery & Preschool Director
Staff Team

I thrive on community! I believe Jesus is all about relationships, and so am I! I have a heart for young women seeking their identity in Jesus and moms just starting the parenting journey.

My husband, Mike, and I have been married for over 20 years and have four wonderful kids. We have lots of stories and experiences to share! We aim to be intentional in connecting with our children and friends by doing lunch dates, playing games, and exploring Alabama. I love adventures near and far, walking with my girlfriends, and my daily Yeti filled with caffeine (a mix of diet and regular Coke- it’s crazy, I know!).

Kelli Johnson

Kids Large Group Director
Staff Team

My background is in storytelling through theatre. I am passionate about sharing God’s big, amazing story with the next generation through our Large Groups and special programs. (It is the greatest story ever written, after all!)

I daydream at least once a week about planning my next trip to Disney World, and I love Birmingham’s wonderful food scene and dinner dates with my husband, Michael. Most Saturday mornings, you can find my little family at the farmer’s market. I’m always at the ready for chips and salsa! Raw vegetables all blended together? It’s a healthy food if you ask me!

Kelly Gray

Kids Operations Director
Staff Team

It’s all in the details & logistics! I’m very task-oriented and enjoy thinking through all the details to help Children’s ministry events run smoothly. You will usually find me happily neck-deep in registration forms, class lists, and design work.

My favorite place to be is wrapped up in a cozy blanket on the couch hanging with my family or any of my 4 cats. I love planning vacations (especially Disney!) and traveling with my husband, Ryan, and our three daughters, Cameron, Linley & Emery. I’m quite competitive and always up for a good card game or really any type of game!

Kevin Jordan

Production / Technical Director
Staff Team

Keya Little

Elder Team

LaDonna Rausch

Operations and Lead Pastor Assistant
Staff Team

Here at Mountaintop, I am the Administrative Assistant to Facilities,  Finance, Small Group Ministry and the Board of Directors.

I was born in Iowa, moved to California as a teenager, my kids, and I moved to Alabama in 2003, Roll Tide!

I have a son, Danny, who is married to Rachel, and I have a daughter, Chyanna, who is in Nursing School and is engaged to Matt. My kids and I have made Mountaintop our church home since 2004, and I came on staff in 2006.

I was raised in the church. I turned away from church for a period of time but recommitted 100% after my children were born. I worked at Walt Disney Studios and for The Disney Channel for 20 years in California, which is very special for me.

I traveled to Costa Rica on a mission trip two times and love the people and ministry Mountaintop supports in Los Guidos.

I love going to the movies, spending time with family, and I like adventurous activities.

Laverne Lyemance

Family Ministry Assistant and Receptionist
Staff Team

I love working with and volunteering in our Kids Ministry to help support and teach God’s love. I joined the staff at Mountaintop in September 2015. I am the Receptionist & Kids Ministry Support. Before Mountaintop, I worked at UPS for 35 years.

I was married for 30 years before my husband passed away. I have one son Bobby who is married to Kelly. They have gifted me with the most beautiful grandkids- Carter and Rylin. They are very active- I love to support them in their sports and horse backing riding.

I’m an avid Alabama fan and faithful to the Crimson Tide!! I enjoy working in my flower beds, going to the gym, and watching College Football.

Linda Crump

Women's Group Pastor
Staff Team

I have had the privilege of working in full-time ministry for over 22 years and have had the honor of being a Women’s Ministry Director, Assimilation Director, and currently the Groups Pastor.

I am passionate about working with leaders! I love as we together grow disciples for Jesus Christ. There is no greater joy than to invite someone to hear about Jesus and then help to equip them in their journey as they follow Jesus. This my friend is what Small Groups is all about!

I have been married to my college sweetheart for over 40 years. We have 2 grown children, an amazing son-in-law, and an incredibly smart, feisty, and hilarious granddaughter, who is the joy of our lives.

In my free time, you can find me hiking, horseback riding or enjoying yoga. I love the outdoors and discovering God’s creation. My family and I have lived in some of this country’s most beautiful parts, from Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to Florida’s white-sand beaches. I love nature and simplicity.

Mark Jackson

Lay Care Pastor, Elder
Staff Team

After spending 13 years as a high school special needs teacher, and baseball & football coach, I accepted a ministry position with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I spent the next 13 years as the Assistant State Director in Alabama. During this amazing season of my life I was ordained through Hillwood Ministries and shared the gospel in schools and churches wherever God opened a door. The next season of my journey was in church ministry as the Pastor at Hayneville Christian Church for 4 years then as the Associate Pastor for 14 years at Mulder Church in Wetumpka, AL.

I’m married to Jeri and we have 4 children, Kyle, Stephanie, Chase & Michele. We also have the most incredible King Charles Cavalier named Lady.

My favorite things to do are listen to music, read a good book, and tell people how much they are loved by Jesus!

Luke Thompson

College & Young Adult Pastor
Staff Team

Matt Davis

Board of Directors
Matt Davis serves on the Board of Directors.

Melissa Sanderson

Kids Pastor
Strategic Leadership Team

Mountaintop is a special place for my family and me. I started attending as a high school student and quickly grew to love the church. Because of the impact made in my life in those crucial high school years, I love getting to be a part of influencing the next generation’s faith.

Mountaintop is also where I met my husband, Sean, while we served together in the middle school ministry. Sean and I have been married for almost 20 years and have 3 amazing kids, Allie, Kyle, and Brooke. We enjoy traveling when we have free time. Some of our favorite places are the beach and anywhere we can ski.

Michael Johnson

Elder Team

Mike Richards

Facilities Director
Staff Team

Fancy name for whatever needs fixing at the Church – I’m THE GUY!

My wife Paula (aka P.D.) and I have been members of Mountaintop for 10 years and on staff since March 2019. The opportunity to serve alongside this great staff is truly a blessing. Be sure to drop by my office to say Hi.

Nhu Le

Elder Team

Preston Heim

Student & College Ministry Intern
Staff Team

Rod Evans

Elder Team

Savannah Barnett

Student Coordinator
Staff Team

I have a heart to educate and empower people to make the world a better place. Here at Mountaintop, that looks like supporting and empowering our students to serve in a variety of capacities.

When I’m not at Mountaintop, you can find me doing photography, life coaching, finding new projects to do around the house, curled up in a blanket (because I’m always cold), or recently, I’ve gotten into plants- and sometimes I talk to them! I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have a goofy dog and a crazy cat!

Steve Bottoms

Elder Team

Steve Brannum

Board of Directors

Tori Woodward

Associate Worship Pastor
Staff Team

My story at Mountaintop started in 2016, and I am so thankful for God’s kindness in letting me continue being a part of the mission and ministry here. I currently have the honor and privilege of serving our worship team by resourcing worship environments. I love getting to pastor creatives in the church and have a deep passion for helping others discover what a life of worship truly means.

I’m fairly introverted, so the things that lure me out of my introverted haven are pretty flowers at the local farmer’s market or thrifting on the weekends with my fiancé. Oh, and iced coffee. I’ll always leave the house for iced coffee (yes, even in January).

Zack Gibbs

Middle School Director
Staff Team

I have the privilege of working with our students here at Mountaintop every week! I have a heart for student ministry and love being able to help lead and develop students to be young adults who are strong in faith and on fire for Jesus.

I grew up in Georgia, and I am currently a sophomore at Samford University, Majoring in Biblical studies. If I am not in class or at the church, I am normally hanging out with friends from school playing basketball or watching my Atlanta Braves!

Click here to book a time to meet with me.

Wayne Houston

Board of Directors