LEADERSHIP

Meet the leadership of Avoca!  Get an idea of who our pastors and leaders are and feel free to contact them so they can get to know you!

staff

Jeremy and Lela met and fell in love in Loveland Colorado.  Jeremy was hired by Avoca as the Worship Pastor in Jan 2016.  In 2018 he was promoted to Sr. Pastor.  Jeremy attended North Central University in Minneapolis MN.  He enjoys Italian food, and one of his favorite pastimes is smoking meats.  Lela and Jeremy have 3 children.

JEREMY SEARS

Senior Pastor

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Beverly is a native of East Tennessee. She was born and raised in Johnson County and attended college at ETSU, where she earned both a Bachelor and Masters degree in Business Administration. After college she moved to the Knoxville area to start her career. After 8 years of living in Knoxville, she and her husband Trey, moved back to the Tri-Cities to raise their family. They have two daughters, Olivia and Harper. Beverly has been at Avoca since 2009 and began working as the Office Administrator in 2017. She is an active Deacon, serves on the Feeding 5000 committee, has taught several small groups, and is on the Board for Littlest Angels Childcare Center.

beverly gurley

Office Administrator

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Billy has been our treasurer since 2007.

billy cross

Treasurer

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Debbie, her husband Steve and their only son Noah joined the Avoca church family in July of 2017. She graduated from Johnson University in Knoxville in 1995 with a B.S. in Bible and Counseling. In 2017, Debbie received a Children's Ministry Certificate from Kidmin Academy. She previously served as Children’s Minister at churches in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. She loves teaching kids about who God is and wants to help them become His followers. “We will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, his power and his mighty wonders” Psalm 78:4 helps remind Debbie of her calling.  She loves spending time with her family and friends. She is an Indiana Hoosier with a competitive spirit that loves rooting for her Hoosiers football and basketball team. Many know her as the #1 Peyton Manning fan.

debbie bennett

Children's Minister

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    Haley Bryant

    Worship Leader

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    Preston is a native of Bristol, Tennessee.  He is a graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Christian Leadership and Counseling.  He started in ministry in 2010 as a youth pastor and has since been a family pastor and senior pastor.  In addition to serving at Avoca, Preston is a soccer coach and Army veteran.  He has been with his best friend and wife Amanda since 2000 and together they have 3 children; Ashlyn, Riley and Kingston.  When he can tear himself away from ministry you can find Preston kicking the soccer ball around the soccer field (or sometimes in the church), working on their family homestead or watching Florida Gators football with the family- yes they are all Gator fans!  Preston's hope is that he can make a positive and lasting impact on each student he is blessed to meet.

    preston stewart

    Youth Pastor

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    Shawnee is a native of Bristol, Tennessee. She graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1992, with her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Shawnee has been with Littlest Angels Childcare Center since 1995, and promoted to Director in 2014. She is very hands on with all the kids at Littlest Angels. Most days you can find her bouncing from classroom to classroom helping to feed kids, change diapers, read books or play with the toddlers, and supervise the school aged kids when they come over for the after school program. 

    shawnee laforce

    LACCC Director

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    elderS

    Jeremy Briscall

     

    Roger Eggleston

     

    Brett Greene

     

    John Owen

     

    Mike Reed

    Arlie Riffe

     

    Rob Spangler