Meet the leadership of Avoca! Feel free to contact them so they can get to know you!



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.


Senior Pastor



Will, his wife Kelly and 3 kids(Katelyn, Isaiah, and Zack) moved to Bristol from Biloxi, MS.  Will has worked in youth ministry and church planting since 2001 in Central Texas and the Gulf Coast of MS.  He loves the outdoors and playing Pickleball. He attended BMATS in Central Texas where he received his Masters.

Will hutchinson

Youth Pastor


debbie bennett



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.

Children's Minister

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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



Haley grew up here at Avoca. She has served on our Worship Team for many years and has just recently stepped in as the Worship Leader. She and her husband, Jordan, are new parents to their beautiful baby girl. 

Haley Bryant

Worship Leader



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

Littlest Angels Childcare Center Director