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Our Elders & Evangelists

Evangelists & Elders

Our Elders

Ken Furlong (Elder) was born in Waycross, Georgia and grew up in Montgomery, Alabama where he met his wife Deb. They were married in 1979 in Montgomery and moved to Atlanta in 1986 to be part of the Atlanta Church of Christ. They have lived in Roswell and Marietta along with a 4 year mission trip to Ridgewood, NJ where they were members of the New York City Church of Christ. All 3 of their children became Christians in the teen ministry in Ridgewood. Ken was appointed as an Elder in the Atlanta Church of Christ in May of 2003 and was later recognized as an Elder of the North River Church of Christ in July of 2005. Ken works in the Commercial Real Estate industry. Deb works with him and also as Administrative Assistant for Douglas Jacoby. Their daughter Chele is married to Tommy Redmond and has 2 children, Trent and Laynie. They live in Marietta and are members of the North River church family. Their daughter Amber is married to Austin Gooch and they live in Marietta with their daughter Caroline. They are also members of the North River church family. His son Grant Furlong and wife Indya live in Boston, MA with their daughter Isla. Grant is currently serving in the US Coast Guard and training to be a helicopter pilot for rescue missions in the Coast Guard.
Bob Keen (Elder) was born in Dubois, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his time growing up in the Washington, D.C. area. He was baptized in 1976 while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Miami, Florida. After completing his time of service, Bob moved to Gainesville, Florida to attend the Crossroads Church of Christ and study at the University of Florida. There he met his lovely wife, Jacque, whom he married in 1983. After graduating from law school in 1984, Bob and his family moved to Atlanta, where they have remained ever since. Bob was appointed an elder in the North River Church of Christ in 2007. Bob and Jacque have 2 adult children who are both faithful disciples. Their daughter Alicia is a member of North River and is married to Ryan LaFrance. Their son, Brandon, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is a member of the Triangle Church of Christ.
Ross Mackenzie (Elder) Ross and Kim were high school sweethearts from Cocoa Beach, Florida. They were married & baptized in 1977 and both graduated from the University of Florida. They moved to Marietta in 1988 and now have 3 adult children & 2 beautiful granddaughters. Ross & Kim served in the full-time ministry in Atlanta for 7 years. Ross was appointed an Elder at North River in July of 2005. Ross worked for 20 years in commercial banking. Ross is now a business advisor for a CPA/Consulting firm working with executives & business owners. Kim is a RN/Lactation Consultant serving new babies and their families. They enjoy traveling with their family to beautiful beaches and continue to play tennis on a competitive level.
John Schmitt (Elder) was baptized in 1977 at the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville, FL. At the time he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida (UF) and his wife, Lois, was in law school. When they completed their degrees they stayed in Gainesville until 1985. During that time John was on the UF faculty in health administration for three years before starting his own healthcare consulting firm. In 1985, the Schmitts moved to Atlanta from Gainesville and joined the relatively new Atlanta Church of Christ. Over the years, John served in many positions in the Atlanta Church and was appointed an Elder in 2003. The next year John entered the full time ministry and led the Chattanooga Church of Christ (C3). The Schmitts lived in Chattanooga from 2004 to 2010 during which time John led C3 from 2004 to 2008 and then returned to the healthcare consulting field. Lois works as our Director of Children’s Ministry. The Schmitts have two children. Their son, Garrett, is in the Edge Ministry at North River. Their daughter, Stacey, is married to Jarrod Robinson, who leads the ministry in Clemson, SC. Stacey and Jarrod have three children: Chloe, Reese and Tatum.

​Our Evangelists

Tom Brown (Evangelist) was baptized in 1969 at the Crossroads Church of Christ in Gainesville, FL.  After receiving his degree from the University of Florida, Tom went on to earn a Masters degree at Abilene Christian University in New Testament studies.  Since Tom has worked in the ministry all over the country, helping to start, re-build, grow and mature churches.  He and his wife Kelly have two children, Ryan and Ashley as well as two grandchildren.
Jeff Hickman (Evangelist) grew up in Dallas, Texas where he was raised by his mother in a single-parent home. After high school, he attended Princeton University where he graduated with a degree in English in 1993. He immediately went on to work for Oracle Corporation in Bethesda, MD where he became a Sales Account Manager in their Federal Division. He received a promotion, moved to California in 1995 and soon after became a Christian in the Los Angeles Church of Christ. His first spiritual birthday was also his first day in the full-time ministry where he focused on the Singles. He married Kristi Addis, a former Miss Teen USA, in 1999 and they were appointed Evangelist and Women's Ministry Leader in 2000. They served in the ministry together in Southern California until moving to Marietta, GA in 2007 to be a part of the North River Church of Christ, along with Tom & Kelly Brown. They have two daughters, Hannah and Ella Grace and are grateful to be in the Southeast, so close to family. Jeff still serves as an evangelist focusing on the Singles ministry, which is his passion in life.

Our Teacher

Dr. Douglas Jacoby (Teacher) - is a Bible teacher and professor and the author of A Quick Overview of the Bible, Compelling Evidence for God and the Bible, Your Bible Questions Answered, and The Ultimate Bible Quiz Book. A graduate of Duke University (history), Harvard Divinity School (New Testament), and Drew University (ministry), Dr. Jacoby has taught in more than 100 nations around the world.

Our Ministry Staff

Kelly Brown (Women's Staff) was raised in Florida, became a disciple while a sophomore at the University of Florida, and graduated with a BA in Math. She was married in 1975, and together with Tom, went into the full-time ministry in 1976. They have two children, Ryan & Ashley, and two grandchildren.

They began the first campus ministry in Boulder, CO, which grew to a dynamic fellowship of 300 students. After seven years in Colorado, Kelly partnered with Tom to lead ministries in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles, before coming to North River in January of 2006. Her focus is training young women for a heart for the ministry. She has made it her passion to change lives and help women discover a deep faith that will allow them to live their dreams for God.
Lin Ottenweller  (Women's Staff) is living her childhood passions. Raised a missionary's daughter, she served with her family in the mission field in the US and several Caribbean islands. Since her husband's death in 2001, Lin has been working as a pediatric nurse and life coach. She has a passion for women and children and has worked with HOPEworldwide projects in several countries, allowing her to carry out her dream of changing the lives' of the hurting. She serves in the Singles' Ministry at North River Church of Christ in Atlanta, Georgia and is wholeheartedly committed to training the next generation of women. Lin's greatest joy is sharing her life and ministry with her tremendous children, Brandon, Morgan and Jordyn.
Sherwin & Debbie Mackintosh (Adult Ministry/Creative Arts) - We are thrilled to announce that Sherwin & Debbie Mackintosh will begin serving with the church here this summer. They will serve on our adult ministry staff and oversee North River's Youth & Family Ministry. Sherwin will also lead our growing Creative Arts Ministry. Many of us have known this godly and gifted couple for many years and this article will help us get to know them even better. Click HERE for their story.
Tom and Cortney McGuirk (Campus Ministry)  have both grown up in the church, Tom became a Christian in college in Boston, and Cortney as a teen in Ohio. Both are college graduates and newly weds! They moved here to help serve with the Campus Ministry!
Matt Tchir (Teen Ministry)  grew up in Texas and New Jersey. He graduated from FIU in Miami in 1995 after playing basketball for the Golden Panthers for 4 years. He was baptized into Christ in 1998. Matt and his wife `Enid married in September of 2000 and have served in the youth and family and campus ministries in South Florida and Orange County, California for 7 years. The Tchirs, which now includes Cole, 7, moved to Marietta in 2008 and began a basketball business. Matt now serves part time in the Youth and Family Ministry.
Jasmine Ayanna Hope (Campus Ministry and Teen Ministry) has been honored to serve with the North River Staff since the summer of 2009. She became a Christian in April 2006 as a freshman at The University of Georgia where she also served as President of the Alpha Omega Campus Ministry her senior year. Upon graduating with a Bachelor's in Journalism with a Dance minor, God directed her to serve in the full time ministry at North River! She has been given many beautiful experiences (domestic and overseas), but loves leading the campus and teen women!
Lois Schmitt (Childrens Ministry) has been working in Children's Ministry programs for over 35 years - as teacher, purchasing agent, curriculum coordinator, project director, and teacher advisor. With degrees in both Education and Law, and experience leading Children's Ministry on a large church scale, Lois brings a passion and wide skill-set to her work with children, parents, and teachers at North River.
Lois and her husband John have two children; Garrett and Stacey, who is married to Jarrod Robinson, with three grandchildren, Chloe, Reese, and Tatem.
The Schmitts were converted in Gainseville in the '70s, moved to Atlanta in 1985, and to Chattanooga in 2004 to lead the Chattanooga Church of Christ. They are happy to be back "home" giving to the ministries at North River.
Matt Anjilivelil (Church Administrator) became a Christian in Edmond, OK in 1986. He was part of the Amman, Jordan church planting in 1990 and in 1999, moved with his wife, Sandy and two kids to plant and lead the church in Kuwait. They moved to North River in 2006.
Matt works as a volunteer administrator for North River. He brings over 20 years of finance and administration experience to the role including 9 years with a Big 4 consulting firm. His areas of responsibilities include Finance, HR, Risk Management and IT. Aside from his role as the church administrator, Matt holds a full-time position as a Supply Chain Manager for the Clorox Company, and together with his wife, is raising two teens.

Our Deacons

Stephen Adkins
Communications & New Membership
Charles  Arnett
Financial Peace University (FPU) & Overcomer's Ministry
James (Jim) Casazza 
IT & Communications, Webmaster &  A/V Production
Harold Channer 
Family Groups
Greg Dillon
Career Group - Contact Greg
John Durkota
International Benevolence & Missions
Jack Frederick
South East Missions
Chris Grubb
Sound Engineering
Bryan Hawkins
Campus Ministry
  • John Heller - Ushers/Communion
  • Sid Howell - Building/Facilities
  • Anton Ivy - EDGE Ministry
  • Bob Nelson - Single Mom's Ministry
  • Lawrence Phillips - Benevolence
  • Andy Pilcher - Sound Engineering
  • Ray Rowan - Middle School Ministry
  • Mike Wyatt - Legacy Giving Plan