Emory Presbyterian Church Staff
The Reverend Andy Acton,
Rev. Andy Acton was called to be the pastor of Emory Presbyterian in March 2019. He received a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary and was ordained in the PC(USA) in 2005. Andy has served previously as an associate pastor for youth ministry and mission at two different churches: Colesville Presbyterian in Silver Spring, MD from 2005-2008, and Pleasant Hill Presbyterian in Duluth, GA from 2008-2018. Andy has a great passion for engaging & creative worship; social justice and mission work that brings dignity and equity to the most vulnerable of God’s children; and teaching people of all ages how to live out their faith in bold and loving ways.
Andy is the dad of two children and lives in Lilburn. Andy enjoys drawing, reading, walking, watching movies & TV, listening to music and spending time with family and friends. He also cherishes opportunities to volunteer within the denomination and community, having previously served as a member of planning teams and as a keynoter for Montreat Youth Conferences. Currently, he serves on the Worship Committee for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.
Gay Alston has more than 25 years of office administrative experience primarily with entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. She is an Atlanta native and third generation Presbyterian. If her name sounds familiar, you may know her from the many years that she worked at the Presbyter of Greater Atlanta, or her years of service on the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta’s Presbyterian Women’s Coordinating Team where she most recently completed her Term as Vice Moderator. Gay is also a member of New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park. She is an advocate practitioner of balanced living and giving. So of course, her guiding scriptures are Romans 8:28 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. She loves action and Marvel movies, gathering with friends and enjoying her deck near Kennesaw Mountain with a good book and good music.
Deedra Rich, Director of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation
Deedra Rich is a teacher, spiritual director, and retreat leader. She has worked with the Spirituality Program at Columbia Theological Seminary for over 15 years, serving in a variety of capacities – facilitator, instructor, program coordinator, former Director, and practicum advisor. She also serves as an instructor and spiritual direction supervisor in the Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Deedra received her DMin from Columbia Theological Seminary and is ordained through the Baptist tradition. She has served both Baptist (CBF) and Presbyterian (PC USA) churches – including EPC, serving first as Director of Children and Youth Ministries and then as Pastoral Associate. Deedra’s current interest and area of study is in integrating Benedictine Spirituality, specifically their spiritual practices and intentional rhythm of life, into one’s everyday life and spiritual journey. She enjoys practicing centering prayer, yoga, gardening, and spending time with her two young daughters and husband, Matt.
Justin C. Han, Director of Music/Organist
A native of both South Korea and Georgia, Mr. Justin Han is a professional pianist, conductor, singer, and violinist in the Atlanta area. Justin is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he earned a double Master’s degree in choral conducting and piano performance and was a recipient of the Robert Shaw Choral Scholar Award and Stegner Piano Scholarship.
Before joining Emory Presbyterian Church in January 2020, Justin held music director and organist positions at Johns Creek Presbyterian Church, Commerce Presbyterian Church, Greensboro First United Methodist Church, and Our Hope Metropolitan Community Church. He also currently works as a piano instructor at Silva Piano Studios in Marietta, GA.
When he isn’t doing music, Justin enjoys cooking international cuisines and playing with his two cats, Presto and Melody.
Courtney Fetters, Church Communications Coordinator
Courtney Fetters is the EPC Communications Coordinator as well as a high school English teacher in Decatur, Georgia. She received her B.A. in English Education from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, in 2004. She is now in her twentieth year of teaching high school English, currently at Decatur High School. Courtney has a passion for all things literature and language-related. In any free time she has, she enjoys singing with the Atlanta Women’s Chorus and the EPC Chancel Choir. She has worked at Emory Presbyterian since July of 2016 and is proud to call this church family her home.
The Session, the chief governing body of our congregation, meets approximately once a month. Session members are elected by the congregation to active service as ruling elders, together with the pastor who serves as the moderator. All members of the session are entitled to vote on matters concerning the life of the church. The Session has the responsibility of governing the congregation and guiding its witness to the sovereign activity of God in the world so that we may be and become a community of faith, hope, love, and witness.
Ministry teams at Emory Presbyterian Church operate under the oversight of the session and are open to anyone interested in serving. We value the participation of all, in whatever way they are able to share their time, talent, and enthusiasm. If you have ideas for enhancing our life and ministries, you are encouraged to share them and get involved. Please contact the church office if you’re interested in being part of a ministry team and would like to
connect with the team chair.
The Christian Education ministry team is responsible for all educational ministries of the congregation including children, youth and adults Sunday School classes, Bible Study classes and events, and special educational offerings such as our innovative “Wine & Wisdom” series.
The Church Life ministry team organizes all the fellowship opportunities offered by the church, including retreats, special receptions, Sunday potluck/picnics, Lemonade on the Lawn, and numerous other events throughout the year
The Finance ministry team oversees the financial health of the church. It manages the annual stewardship campaign and helps to ensure that the church operates on a sound fiscal basis.
The Mission ministry team identifies and organizes efforts to extend the caring reach of the Emory congregation out into the Atlanta community and beyond. Through the work of this team, EPC supports many local and global efforts to help those in need.
The Communications ministry team coordinates all the information exchanged within the church community through email, social media and our website, works to increase EPC’s visibility and outreach in the community around us and to spread the word about what God is doing at EPC.
The Personnel ministry team works with our staff to help it be as strong and as effective in ministry as possible. It listens and provides feedback to staff members throughout the year, in addition to conducting annual reviews and hiring new staff when an opening occurs.
The Property ministry team oversees the maintenance and use of church’s historical property and facilities, and coordinates essential capital campaigns for building and grounds improvements.
The Worship ministry team directs the worship and musical life of the church, establishing the form of the Sunday worship service, creating special liturgies and liturgical art, setting up seasonal events, and coordinating the musical contributions of our chancel choir.