Stephen Nelson, lead pastor
“Jesus is the subject, I am a verb. I’m here to awaken the passion inside the hearts of others, then watch them shine.”
Pastor Stephen lives to see people’s lives transformed by awakening the God dream inside of them so that they live & serve according to their passions. His personal philosophy of teaching and preaching is “no man has the right to take the Word of God and make it boring.”
Stephen holds a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Bible from Mid-America Christian University, and continues his education and training through The Be Bold Academy, the Healthy Growing Churches Network and various other avenues. Stephen’s ordination and licensing is through the Church of God (Anderson). Since 1998, he has served in full-time Pastoral Ministry roles in churches in Tulsa, OK, Coral Springs, FL, and Hot Springs, AR.
He and Shelly married in 1990. They love to spend quality time with their three boys in a variety of ways including sports, gardening, video games, and trips to the beach.
Tierra Perry, campus crew
Tierra (call me Tee) is currently a freshman at Northwestern State University and is the lead team member for the Campus Crew, focusing on connecting with the students at Northwestern. She is 19 years old from Shreveport, Louisiana majoring in Psychology.
Hobbies consist of doing community work with her church family, and volunteering at the local animal shelter here in Natchitoches. She also likes singing, hanging out with friends, going to church and loves participating in recitation of speeches and poem contests. Tierra is a proud christian and holds a high standard for herself and her life. She is a talkative, friendly person who wants to build lasting, enduring relationships.
Shelly is wife to Pastor Steve, mother to Christian, Jericho and Nile, and our "behind the scenes" team leader. She and her team handle the website, graphic arts, video editing and production, audio/visual, etc. She is also our interim AKA Club team leader and tries to lead all of Awaken's children in a discovery of their own, personal relationship with Jesus.
Shelly is focused on supporting her husband, family and church in any way she can, as long as she isn't the center of attention. One of her passions for Awaken Church is making certain that we are a "special needs friendly" place. Shelly and Stephen have an autistic child and this experience has helped them see more clearly the challenges and issues faced by families with special needs children. Her goal is to make sure every family feels they can attend church and that Awaken has support for them in place when they attend.
Beau Voinche serves as Awaken Church's Worship Arts Team Leader. Along with a team of talented artists, Beau plans and executes the worship experience each week. Our goal is to draw close to God when we're together. We do this through music and the arts which keep Jesus as the subject, but is understandable to those with little or no church background. "A multicultural church should have a multicultural worship experience."