Wes Mills - Lead Pastor 

We (Wes and Sarah Mills) grew up in East Tennessee. This has always been our home, our city, our place. We love this area – the people, the fall weekends, the growth. Wes (from West Knoxville) and Sarah (from Oak Ridge) find great joy in growing up, and living in, this part of the country.
Having both attended a traditional church through very formative years in our lives, we have seen some great benefits of community, rootedness and a multi-generational investment in us. But we have also seen the challenges – to grow it big, to move away from the margins, to become monocultural.

As both of our previous jobs have taken us from serving folks who want to move across the world, to caring for kids on the outskirts of society, our hearts began to break for those not seen and not heard. And the closer we have edged toward the unheard community, the more clearly we have seen Jesus at work, both in our lives and theirs. We took different paths to get to where we are today. But through the kindness of God, we have seen how Jesus has moved us from the suburban setting to the urban core, and from the desire for big things to the love of small ones. Our desire and hope and expectation is to see our city, our community, our street look more like the city of God, where justice and mercy meet, where Jesus is made much of, and where everyone is welcomed to the table of grace and sent out on mission to the world. With a deep conviction in the love of God, and a deep desire for neighborly love, we join Jesus in his request to God the Father and pray the prayer of the saints for the last 2,000 years: May the kingdom of God come on earth – to North Knoxville – as it is in heaven

Zeru Fitsum - Resident

My name is Zeru Fitsum. I am from Olathe, Kansas, and I had lived there my whole life before moving to a small Southern Baptist university in Hannibal, Missouri. I am the son of two lovely Ethiopian immigrants, and I also have a wonderful brother alongside three beautiful sisters. I love sports, especially basketball. I cherish having fun and vulnerable conversations with people who come from all walks of life. I am a curious person at heart, filled with questions that sometimes lead to wonder and enchantment, but my questioning has also thrown me into uncomfortable arenas of difficult answers and issues. I share this about myself because I am a Christian who cares deeply about the word of God and the image of God; however, in tandem with a passion to see people transformed by the power and gospel of Jesus and a passion to see humanity redeemed in multi-faceted ways where Jesus' compassion, justice, and love can be enjoyed and modeled, comes a disappointment with the way things really are. I am driven by a hope in the Gospel of Jesus, the news that through Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection, those who have true faith in him can receive adoption into God's family and live lives of worship to him in response. I believe evangelism, discipleship and justice are the main vehicles through which I am called to display love to God and neighbor and pray to grow in those ways.