Stu Johnston was born in Charlotte, NC but grew up in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. Converted at the end of high school, his college years in SC at first Furman and then Clemson were formative in his early Christian development. Stu received his theological training from Trinity Ministerial Academy in New Jersey. Having become part of Grace Reformed Baptist at the end of 1989, two years later, in January of 1992, he joined Pastors Gary Hendrix and Charles Fortner on staff. Presently, he focuses on preaching and shepherding, with co-pastors Michael Lopes and Stephen Byrd. Stu and Beth have been married over 35 years. They have three adult children, all married in the Lord. And they have been blessed with seven (and counting) young grandchildren.
Stephen spent his childhood in Ohio and then Virginia. He has received degrees from Liberty University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia and has earned a PhD in special education. His primary work has been as an elementary teacher and now as a university professor at Elon preparing teachers to work with children with special needs. He and his wife Lori have four children. Stephen was ordained as a pastor in 2012. His ministry responsibilities involve college ministry, pulpit supply, counseling, and event planning.
Michael was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. He attended East Carolina University in North Carolina for his undergraduate studies and received his Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Michael worked for Campus Outreach for 8 years at Elon University in Burlington, NC and at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Michael was called to be a pastor of Grace in 2017. He is married to Mary and has two children. Michael preaches and teaches regularly and is actively engaged in discipling ministries.
Holly was born and raised in California. She attended Rutgers University in New Jersey for her undergraduate studies in Computer Science and Durham Tech for Web Technologies. Holly was called to office support for Grace in 2015. She has four children. Holly provides computer application and office administration support to the pastors, deacons, and various ministries of the church family.