Staff


  • CHRISTIE BURNETT: CHILDREN'S MINISTRY DIRECTOR

    Christie joined staff in August, 2021, and has been part of Grace Fellowship with her husband, Colin and two children for several years. She brings a heart for discipleship and a love for God's Word to our children's ministry. christie@gracekinston.org

  • Kent henderson: Associate pastor

    Kent is originally from North Carolina and has served as worship leader at Grace since 2000. He has served on staff at churches in Florida and Michigan. He is a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Mary have 4 children. He loves leading our teams and helping the congregation engage God in Christ-centered worship. The only thing he loves slightly less than Jesus and his family is a Krispy Kreme donut! kent@gracekinston.org

  • BEN HENDRIX: STUDENT MINISTRY PASTOR

    Ben and his wife, Janessa, are from Hendersonville, TN. Ben joined Grace in July, 2017 as Student ministry pastor. He is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. ben@gracekinston.org

  • Sue Ellen Maddux: Financial Administrator

    SueEllen joined the staff at Grace in Feb, 2021, and she brings many years of experience and expertise in bookkeeping and finance. finance@gracekinston.org

  • shelly mcgowan: ministry manager

    Shelly is a native of Kinston. She joined the staff in 2023 and brings joy and excellence to the front desk at Grace! 

  • Jason McKnight: Lead pastor

    Susan McKnight: DIRECTOR OF MOBILIZATION AND HOUSECHURCH

    Jason has served as Grace's Lead Pastor since 2003. It's been a joy and privilege to be twenty years in. He loves preaching Christ to this body, and also leadership development, shepherding, and the amount of vision and drive this church has! K-town and ENC now are home, but he's originally from Montreal, where he studied finance, worked in the railway industry, and first served in ministry at Hockey Ministries International. He then attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, earning an MDiv and a ThM. He's been here since--but has also served with the Lausanne Committee, South America Mission, and in church planting. Susan and their boys are his delight, but he also loves running, history, eating, and traveling. jason@gracekinston.org


    Susan's passion is helping people get connected to Christ at Grace through serving and community. She joined the staff team in 2015 and loves being a part of the body at Grace. susan@gracekinston.org



  • Dr. Justin Tilghman: Pastor of Development

    Justin is from Kinston, NC, and has been a part of Grace since 2010. He and his wife, Ellen, have two boys. Over the years, Justin has served in various roles at Grace and joined the pastoral staff in 2024. He holds a master’s degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Columbia International University. Justin loves to help others grow and thrive personally and spiritually and has extensive experience in personal, professional, and spiritual development as an international life and leadership coach. justin@gracekinston.org

Elders

Grace is an elder-led church. This means that the elders together shoulder the responsibility for shepherding this body of believers - overseeing doctrine, discipleship, direction, evangelizing and ministries.

(See our statement of doctrine for more information)

(Pictured from L to R)

Bryan Johnson, Dr. Rob McArthur, Kent Henderson, Mike Wiggins, Dr. Wayne Jarman, Tom Vermillion, Justin Tilghman, Gram Spear, Josiah Corrigan, Jason McKnight, Jimbo Perry