Worship Arts Leadership
Michelle Russell – Worship Arts Minister, Tap 3 Lead Teacher
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
God began teaching me about His creativity when I was three years old as I started my first dance class in Cleveland, Ohio. Over many years of learning tap, jazz, acrobats and ballet I discovered that dance was a way to bring joy to others and to help them. I continued to learn and teach dance as a teen and as a student at Michigan State University. When I met Jesus at the age of 20, the first thing He taught me was how to pour out my heart to him in worship. Even though I was a music major in college at that time, I experienced a whole new aspect of music as I played my flute to Him and for Him. God healed my soul. I became a musical missionary for several years and then became a Registered Music Therapist.
I have been married to Robert, who is lead pastor of Celebration Church, for 28 years and we have three children, David, Jonathan and Abbie. All of the Russell family, including Robert, have danced at Celebration Church at different times over the years. When Celebration Church Dance Ministry/ Worship Arts Ministry began in 2003, I was excited to get my feet tapping again for Jesus. I have taught dance for over 20 years and continue to learn joyful ways to express my gratitude to the Lord for all that He has done for me.
I also have the honor of being the Worship Arts Minister this year. It is a constant joy and challenge to serve in this incredible ministry and to see the Holy Spirit transform our staff, students and their families.
The most important thing about me is that Jesus is the love of my life. I feel close to Him when I play my flute in worship and when I dance and long to teach others the joy of worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. Music, dance, art and drama are very important in my life for communicating with God, displaying His creativity, sharing Jesus with others, expressing joy & pain, fighting spiritual battles, serving others, connecting with other believers and staying physically strong. I have recently returned to my career as a Music Therapist and have been working with Alzheimer’s patients in an assisted living center. It is so beautiful to bring my love of music, dance and Jesus to all ages and watch God transform people.
Tapping for Jesus,
Karen Grisenti - Worship Arts Coordinator
Since 2005 our family has been a part of Worship Arts at Celebration. All of our children, as well as my husband and myself, have enjoyed dance classes, fellowship, and discipleship through WAM. The Lord has used WAM to bless our family, and I am excited to be a part of what He is doing through this special ministry.
My family moved to Kingsport when I was 15, and the Lord immediately plugged me into a group of friends and a church where I came to know Jesus as my Savior. After college I met my husband while serving with Youth with Mission for 2 years. We have been part of Celebration Church since 2002 and help with the Family Ministry.
For the past 16 years I have had the privilege of home schooling our children. We have been a part of several co-ops, where I have taught a variety of classes. My current favorite is Plutarch because it is so unexpectedly enjoyable. I have one son and seven daughters, ranging in age from 22 to 6. We have a small farm with dairy goats and chickens. It’s seldom quiet and never dull at our house!
As a mother, above all else I desire for my children to know the Lord personally and to love Him passionately. Through WAM I see them worshipping, hearing from the Lord, being encouraged and shown truth by faithful lovers of Jesus. I am honored to serve in this place where the Lord is growing up worshippers of Him.
Connie Ward - Administrative Assistant; Serve & Pray Coordinator
I was born to worship. For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for dance, a great love for music, an appreciation for art in many forms from beautiful buildings and statues to paintings and pictures of the beautiful things of nature, but above all, I love to worship our Creator and Savior. Worship is a lifestyle for me, of following Him wherever He leads, performing the acts He has asked me to, praying and interceding for His people.
The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful family. I’ve been married to the same man for 39 years and God has given us five beautiful daughters and four grandchildren. I’ve attended Celebration for 12 years and worked with various ministries throughout the church. I am currently assisting the Incurrent team in various ways, overseeing the Café volunteers, and now will be involved with the prayer and helps aspect of the Worship Arts Ministry. I’m very excited for the coming year and all God has for us as we endeavor to lift up the name of Jesus through the arts.
Hannah Voudrie - Communications Coordinator, Ballet 2 Lead Teacher
As someone who has been a part of this ministry since I was 8, I am so excited to be joining the Leadership Team as Media/Marketing/Communications Coordinator. Daddy God clearly placed this in my path and I can't wait to see what He has in store for this new season.
I’m 23 and have been dancing since I was 7, taking ballet, jazz, tumbling, tap, clogging, and hip hop. I have been able to share my love of dance by teaching dance with Worship Arts for 3 years and have worked with kids around the world since I was 11, including in Cambodia where I spent 5 months as a missionary, and while I lived in the Middle East volunteering at a school. I am also currently the Coordinators Assistant for the Celebration Church Nursery.
In my free time I love to worship, sing, song write, play with my niece, travel and paint. Acting has also recently become a passion of mine after having the honor of playing Dorothy in The Victory Stone here at Celebration.
It has always been my desire to learn how to better use the arts to worship Daddy God to the fullest, whether with dance, music, singing or art. I’m honored that I get to share my passions with others through teaching and I’m excited to see what the next year holds!
Worship Arts Teachers
Allan Barnett - Photography Lead Teacher
I am originally from the Chicago area. In high school was the student Tech (Lighting) Director in theater, then staff photographer for the yearbook. I attended Trinity College in Deerfield, IL where I was a music major and staff photographer for the student newspaper photographing sports and events plus all the darkroom work needed to produce the newspaper. I transferred to a junior college as a photography major and got a job at a portrait studio. At this point, I discovered working as a portrait photographer was not for me.
After getting married, having two children and working on my wife's family Iowa dairy farm, I got a degree in computer programing and started working at HSN 33+ years ago. I am currently a Systems Engineer. In 2005, I transferred from Iowa to the Piney Flats Distribution Center where at that time I had purchased a digital SLR camera. Over these last years, I attended several landscape photographic workshops in the Smoke Mountains learning the aspects of using photography as an art. I am member of several local Photo clubs where I have done presentations and assisted in teaching Lightroom classes.
My goal is to teach basic knowledge and skills to handle a camera and start creating works of art.
Abi Bell - Tap 1 Lead Teacher
Randa Blackley - Hip Hop 1 Lead Teacher
Hey y'all! Although I am new to The Worship Arts Ministry this year, I am very familiar with kids, fun, dance and worship! I love to dance to a good Jesus beat and I am so excited to share all my love and energy with the Hip Hop 1 kids and their families!
Simoné Brittz - Sign Language and Ballet 1 Assistant Teacher
I moved from South Africa to Kingsport 3years ago. Since then I have become very involved in Celebration Church Children's Ministry and through that, Worship Arts. I love ballet as well as sign language and painting. I love serving in our church! there always seems to be a new opportunity to praise God for all this church has done for my outlook on life and faith in general.
Idalise Champion - Piano Lead Teacher
Hi, Y’all! My name is Idalise (pronounced like the plural of Italy), and I was born and raised in South Africa and moved to TN right before my 19th birthday. I immediately started volunteering in the Worship Band at Celebration Church; playing piano, keyboard, and singing. I also enjoy working with a wide range of creative softwares to create media for different CCTri ministries.
I took classical and contemporary piano lessons for 9 or 10 years, which earned me a pass on Grade 6 Piano and distinction on Grade 5 Music Theory under the ABRSM Curriculum.
Even though I enjoyed most of the classical training, and felt very accomplished at being able to play beautiful compositions, I felt that my calling is in contemporary worship music. So I joined youth bands and played at church conferences and events with my dad (Louis Brittz) as much as I had capacity for, and now I can’t imagine ever not using the skills I have learned to glorify God!
God’s Word commands us to worship Him, and oh, what deep peace and joy it brings when we obey Him! I strive to be not only an obedient worshiper, but a skilled and well developed one. And I hope to be able to teach others how to take their passion for music and turn it into a powerful tool of worship; or at least to help them get started.
Mary Champion - Piano Lead Teacher
Hello! I’m Mary Champion!
I’m 22 years old and ever since I was a baby, I’ve LOVED music! Growing up my family has always had music playing (or been taking music lessons) and some of us would even be mumble singing before we could talk!
I started taking piano lessons when I was 10, and although I stopped when I was 18, I’ve not stopped learning new songs, and a little over a year ago, Louis Brittz, Celebration Church’s worship leader, asked me to join the band and play the keyboard!
Aside from piano playing, I also love cooking, landscaping, dancing, drawing, and listening to Ben Rector; but no matter what I’m doing, I really try to live by Jesus’ command to Love God and Love people.
Kim Cox - Sign Language Lead Teacher
I grew up in Greeneville, Tennessee. I just recently moved to Blountville, Tennessee last year. I just finished my bachelors degree in Social Work at East Tennessee State University this past May, 2017. Also, have two other degrees of Associate of Applied Science in Office Systems Technology and Small Business Management and two certificates in Data Entry and Secretarial Office Procedures from Northeast State Technical Community College. I currently volunteer at Adult Day Services in Johnson City and do a special craft with the clients once a month. I am very active in my church at Calvary Baptist Church in Kingsport. I am a Sunday School teacher for the Nursery. Also, help with several other ministries including the signing team, extended service nursery (once a month), VBS, Community Services, etc.
I was born deaf but never learned sign language till attending Northeast State Technical Community College. I was mainstreamed into the regular classrooms with hearing peers. I struggled during my childhood years in school, it was not easy having to depend fully on lip reading. But I conquered it. I enjoy being around people and helping others. I love music and have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument but not being able to hear has affected my ability to play any instruments. I love to knit, embroidery, paint, color, make pottery, create things, and much more. As a member of the signing team at Calvary Baptist it has been a blessing to see what God is planning for us in 2018.
Learning Sign Language has been the best thing for me because before as a child I would go to church with my grandmother but I was not understanding much at all what was being said. I never understood that I needed Salvation or anything till I was 19 years old and it was with the help of my interpreter at Northeast State who told me about God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. I received Christ in my heart at the age of 19 on October 11, 1993. Sign Language is the only reason I was able to get the degrees I have.
Now I have more hearing than I have ever had in my entire life. I am bilaterally implanted with Cochlear Implants. I tell this story because we never knew that my ears were not formed correctly until the implants were implanted. The surgeon who did my implants he was just pondering when I went for my post opt surgery for my first cochlear implant. He said he never seen anything like it, my reply was what do you mean? He said I don’t know how you ever heard with a hearing aid before because you don’t have the spiral bone in your cochlea. I replied with well it was the man (God) upstairs. He agreed with me. God is the only reason why I am where I am today. Reason I say that I have been through so much just in the last 2-3 years since I have lost both of my parents, having to adjust to living on my own, and moving out of my childhood home.
Ben Ellis - Private Fiddle and Fiddle Class an Lead Teacher
I fell in love with the violin at age two in the fellowship hall of the church that I was raised in. I persisted in my desire to play the instrument continuously over the next three years. At age 5, my parents gave me my first violin. I took lessons from that point until about age 16 and then again for a couple years as an adult. I love to play a huge variety of music, from bluegrass to classical and beyond, but my favorite music to play has been in worship be it new praise music or the old hymns. I have taught lessons since age 15.
I don’t remember a time in which I didn’t love Jesus. I made a profession of faith and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at about age 8. I love to worship Him with my fiddle!
Josh Graham - Percussion Assistant Teacher
Joshua Graham is a 17-year-old young man who loves the Lord and looks for ways to serve Him on mission trips, VBS and various other ministries.He comes from a large family with seven siblings and has experience working with many children’s groups. He was an all state choir member and has participated in the homeschool choir for the last two years. He looks forward to working with the percussion class this year.
Caleb Graham - Boys Dance Assistant Teacher
My name is Caleb Graham and I am 16 years old. Ever since I was born I have always loved children and hanging out with them. I play high school basketball for Kachea homeschool association. I love having fun and playing with kids. Celebration church has given me a great opportunity to do both of those each and every Wednesday. I am super exited to see what God does in each and everyone of our hearts in the worship arts ministry.
Megan Grisenti - Pre-Dance 2/3s Assistant Teacher
Hi! I am Megan Grisenti and I am fifteen years old. I love animals and I volunteer at The Exchange Place. I like playing piano, dancing, milking goats, working around the farm, playing with small children, and making doll houses. I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with the Worship Arts Ministry this year by assisting in the 2/3s Pre-Dance class.
Ella Harper - Pre Dance 2/3's & 4/5's Assistant Teacher
Hi my name is Ella Harper I will turn 9 years in Febuary, 2021. I have been a believer for 2 years and a part of worship arts for 3 years. Rise up (2019) helped me with my walk with the Lord. Yes, I am the youngest staff member EVER at Worship Srts. I have had a mission ever since I gave my heart to the Lord, to reach every person I can to talk about the Lord just like Jesus and His disciples. I will be an assistant for my mom with the 2-3 year olds and the 5-6 year olds Pre-Dance classes. Hope you join our WONDERFUL Worship Arts family.
Jaime Harper - Pre-Dance 2/3's, Pre-Dance 4/5's, Ballet 1, & Worship Flags Lead Teacher
Originally from Nashville, TN I began ballet at the precious age of 3 at Dancers Academy. A few years of ballet proved to be a beautiful start to a life filled with dance. Adding tap, jazz to ballet classes with performances up until the age of 14, giving a life of balance and grace. I then began a Color Guard journey finding that all of the years of dance best prepared me for this sport of the arts. Performing and teaching color guard for over 25 years has required a strong dance background and enhanced my skills in several genres of dance. Our heavenly father blessed me with my husband Drew and our daughter Ella, now age 7. The Harper family moved to Kingsport, TN in April of 2017 and discovered the umbrella of blessings with Celebration Church and Worship Arts. In the fall of 2018 the opportunity arrived to join the Worship Arts family and share my love for Christ and the gift of dance. I am so very excited to see all the awesome blessings that will shower down on us as we praise HIM with our classes this year.
"I firmly believe that our Lord and Savior has written each of our life stories with a permanent marker, for HE doesn't make mistakes, HE is perfect, HE is LOVE, HE is Grace, HE is our friend forever!"
My favorite verse is the end of Nehemiah 8:10 "For the joy of the Lord is your strength."
My favorite quote by Cinderella "Have courage and be kind."
Jamie Henson - Adult Tap Lead Teacher
I started dancing with Academy of Dance Arts when I was 6 years old taking tap, jazz, and ballet. Tap was always my favorite because I loved making music with my feet! I continued dancing until I was a junior in high school and went on to take a couple of advanced tap classes while attending ETSU. At that point life took over, and I hung up my dancing shoes for a while to pursue a career in Organizational Training and Education.
In 2013, God led me and my family to Celebration Church where we not only found our amazing church family; we also found an outlet for worship through the arts. I was blessed to find tap again, taking Tap 2 and 3 and getting the opportunity to praise Him through dance. Tapping is like riding a bicycle- once I put the shoes on, my feet remembered what to do.
I am so excited to get my first experience TEACHING tap this year! While my “day job” has led me to teach and train many students of all ages over the years, the chance to teach worship and praise through tap is an incredible opportunity! As the instructor for Adult Tap, I am hoping to find others who want to make music with their feet with me. We are never too old!
Trina Jones - Sew & Serve Lead Teacher
I was raised in the tri-cities area by my father who was a faithful preacher and my dedicated mother who homeschooled me and my two sisters. Growing up I enjoyed crafting, drawing, painting and creating. In my teen and young adult years I babysat, nannied and worked in child care. During that time I graduated high school and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Lexington Baptist Bible College. As a change from 2003 to 2008 I enjoyed a career in mural painting and drawing portraits. In 2010 I obtained my life long career dream and became a mother. Now I spend my days homeschooling my three blessings, creating and crafting with them.
I have a passion to teach people sewing skills and to use their creativity to minister to others. That is why I am so excited to teach a class called “sew and serve” this year. In this beginner sewing class, we will sew simple and useful items to donate and bless those in children’s hospitals, mission groups, nursing homes, cancer treatment centers, NICU, homeless shelters, military bases and more. All levels of experience and ages 7 and up are welcome to learn how to use a sewing machine to make gifts to minister to others. An adult should accompany those 7-9 years old. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10.
Kendra Luster - 2/3s Pre-Dance Assistant Teacher
Hi, I’m Kendra Luster and I am 14 years old. I’m so excited that I get to help out with Worship Arts again this year. I have been attending Celebration Church since I was a baby. I have been dancing since I was 3. Dancing is my favorite hobby, but I also love listening to music and skateboarding. I absolutely love kids especially dancing with them. I am so thankful for Worship Arts and letting me show my love for God through dance.
Abram Moore - Percussion Lead Teacher
I was born and raised in Bristol, TN. I have grown up in a family of seven children in which music and a love for the Lord were emphasized. I started singing in a choir when I was 6, and have been interested in everything about the worship arts since then. I have been involved in multiple plays, including Esther and The Victory Stone, and have taken voice and piano from the church. This is my second year as the lead teacher for the drum class and I play Acoustic Guitar, Synth and sing in both the Youth Band and Incurrent Band. I have had experience leading children through RiseUp, Camp Placid, and several outreach VBS’s. A pivotal part of my classical music education has been through my 5 years in Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy and I am the student president of the Highlands Youth Ensemble. Some of my favorite things to do are hiking, fishing, singing, writing songs, playing soccer, watching Ohio State Football, drinking coffee and sleeping. I believe percussion is an anchor in the music world, helping to keep a steady rhythm and I am so excited learn, grow, and teach in the Worship Arts Ministry this year!
Addi Moore - Pre-Dance 2/3's & 4/5's Assistant Teacher
Hi! My name is Addi Moore and I am 12 years old! I have been going to Celebration my whole life and dancing here since I was 4. I have loved dancing for the Lord ever since that day. These are a few things I love: basketball, dance, music, the lake, people, Jesus, and I love love love playing with little kids. I am so excited for this opportunity because I get to do three things I love… dancing, teaching little kids, and doing all for the Lord!
Alex Moore - Hip Hop 1 Assistant Teacher
I am so excited to be working with the Worship Arts Ministry this year! I have attended Celebration my entire life and have participated in various Worship Arts activities, both as a student and a teacher. These include tap, choir, hip hop, and Rise Up. I come from a family with 7 children (I am right in the middle), so I have had lots of experience with children and have really enjoyed serving in the Children’s Ministry for the past few years. I am looking forward to sharing the joy of Christ with the children and learning along with them!
Elisa Nanney - Boys Dance Lead Teacher
Hello! I am Elisa Nanney and a junior in high school. I have been attending Celebration Church my entire life, started participating in the dance ministry at 3 years old and have worked in the Worship Arts ministry for three years. Over the years, I have developed an incredible passion for dance, teaching children, and Jesus. I have 5 brothers and am confident in teaching boys. Some of my other hobbies include hiking, painting, acting. I enjoy meeting new people and spending time with old friends. I plan to dual enroll next year at Northeast State. I’m looking forward to a teaching new students and helping them develop their gifts and talents.
Debbie Neilson - Tumbling Lead Coach
I have been coaching gymnastics for 38 years and am currently a national instructor and a national ranked judge for USA gymnastics.
After competing myself, I owned a gymnastics gym for 15 years. This is my sixth year as lead tumbling coach at Celebration Church and I am SO excited to work with our new students!
Peggy Oelberg - Voice Lead Teacher
My Mom said that I was always singing no matter where we went … in the car, at home, at other peoples’ home, etc. in my home city of Dallas. Sometimes it drove her crazy! When I was 14, I took lessons from an old, strict woman. When she heard that I was also cheerleading and blowing out my voice, she said I would have to make a choice – voice or cheerleading. Cheerleading it was. When I went to college at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, I majored in Voice. I had another strict voice teacher who scared me to death. Not a lot of positive voice experiences in my youth. When I was about 28, I went back to college and had a voice teacher who taught me through imagery. “If you can see it in your mind, you can do it.” She was wonderful and caring. I finally understood, and it opened up a whole new world to me in voice. It is the same way I teach today. After having two wonderful sons, I finally went back to college in San Diego and finished my degree in my 40’s. I taught Junior and Senior High choir in California and Montana. My husband is a retired pastor, and we move to Tri-Cities 2½ years ago to be nearer to our children and grandchildren who live on the east coast. We love Celebration Church, and God has truly blessed me by letting me do the one thing I love most – teaching voice to all ages and directing Junior/Senior High Choir for WAM.
Emma Perry - Ukulele Class Lead Teacher
My name is Ms. Emma Perry, and I am SO excited to be teaching with Worship Arts this school year! A little about me….I am a full time Special Education Assistant Teacher for Kingsport City Schools. I studied Children’s Ministry in college, and I worked with the Celebration Church Children’s Ministry while pursuing my degree. I have been playing ukulele for several years!
Rhonda Reedy - Pre-Dance 2/3's & 4/5's Lead Teacher
The experiences I have had over the past couple of years teaching has brought so much Joy to my life. I am truly blessed and honored to be part of your child’s dancing journey!
As a lifelong resident of East Tennessee I began my dancing career at the age of 5 at Holloway School of Dance taking tap, jazz, & ballet. Starting my Freshman year in high school I started dancing for Academy of Dance Arts, I became an assistant dance teacher my Sophomore year of high school then a full time teacher starting my Junior year teaching jazz, tap, and beginning ballet from 1983-2000. During my dance career, I have performed many years in Showtime during FunFest, competed in various dance competitions both as a dancer and as a choreographer, and worked at Carowinds as the “dancing” Captain Caveman during the summer of 1991. In 1997, I started my career at Eastman and had to give up my teaching career a couple years later due to going on shift work.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with Family and hanging with my friends!
Lauren Roberts - Pre School Tumbling and Tumbling 1 Assistant Teacher
Hi, my name is Lauren Roberts. I am 13 years old and started dance at age 6 at Lamplight Theater. I have been attending Celebration with my family for 4 years and have participated in Worship Arts the entire time. I am so excited to be helping in Worship Arts this year.
John Rogers - Hip Hop 1 Assistant Teacher
Hi, my name is John Rogers and I am 16 years old. I am the youngest of four children and have lived in Tennessee my entire life. I am homeschooled and play football for Providence Academy. I have been attending Celebration Church my whole life and have been blessed so much by the awesome people here! I am so excited to be helping with the hip hop class this year! I am looking forward to meeting you and seeing what God has in store for us!
Taylor (Kitzmiller) Royston - Teacher Dance, Ballet 2, Contemporary & Acro Dance Lead Teacher
I am so excited to be apart of the Worship Arts team at Celebration! I began dance at the age of 3 and have been dancing ever since. Types of dance I have studied include ballet, tap, jazz, hiphop, contemporary, & tumbling. I have done studio dance my whole life, but when I began college, I was presented with the opportunity to be a part of the ETSU dance team throughout my four years as a student. Now that I have graduated from ETSU, I am ready to start the next chapter in my life. I am so thankful that the Lord has led me to Worship Arts and is allowing me to continue to use my love for dance as an expression of love for Him. Throughout all my life, be it good times or bad, dance has always been there for me. Dance has allowed me to express thoughts, feelings, and emotions in ways words would not allow. For me, dance is a passion and I am happy to be able to share that passion with everyone and use my talent to worship the Lord. I am eager to see how He allows us to grow in dance and in worship.
Marilyn Tagert - Voice Lead Teacher
I'm a singer, actress and teacher. I studied Music Education at Furman University and then was hired immediately the following year as a middle school chorus teacher in South Carolina. After teaching, I also was able to study musical theatre at the prestigious Cap 21 Conservatory and graduated from that two year program. I've performed around New York City in a variety of performances and is currently involved in several productions around the Tri-Cities. I'm very excited to be a part of the Worship Arts team at Celebration!
Bethany Trinkle - Hip Hop 2 & 3 Lead Teacher
Hi, my name is Bethany and I am 24yo. I am the Middle School/Adult Hip Hop teacher. I took my first dance class when I was 6yo and I have been dancing continuously since I was 11yo.
For me, dancing is my favorite way to worship. Being the MS/Adult Hip Hop teacher means so much to me and I always look forward to seeing the new things that lie ahead. I am so blessed to get to use my talents to worship The King!
I currently work at Celebration Church as part of the Facilities Team but I also do photography on the side. Dancing is definitely #1 on my activities list but I also enjoy many other things such as; hiking, volleyball, singing, playing my guitar (which I am not very good at, but it is still enjoyable), and working with the youth at church.
Looking forward to another amazing year! Love this ministry and everyone in it!
Ava Walker - Art Lead Teacher
My name is Ava Walker, and I am a retired art teacher. In addition to teaching art for 21 years with the Johnson City School System, I have also taught at St. Paul’s Day School, ETSU, and here at Celebration.
My family lived in Abingdon when I was a small child and moved to Bristol when I was ten years old. We attended Central Presbyterian Church where I was active in youth groups, and I committed my life to Christ while at church camp. After graduating from Virginia High School, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University where I met my husband, Ray. After graduation, we moved to Arlington, Virginia, and I got a job drawing shoes and purses for a chain of shoe stores. Unfortunately, two weeks after we moved there, Ray received a draft notice and ended up being sent to Vietnam. Our daughter, Allison was born while he was overseas. When he returned, we moved to Kingsport.
I was able to stay home while my two daughters were young, however, when they started school, I was asked to teach art at St. Paul’s Day school, where I taught for six years. I realized then that I loved teaching art and working with children, however, I decided that I wanted to work with older children, so I went back to school at ETSU and got my master’s degree in Art Education. God opened another door for me, and I was hired by the Johnson City School System as soon as I graduated.
Ray and I started attending Celebration when we were still meeting at Meadowview, and my oldest grandchild was baptized here in the old sanctuary, (now the Apex). We have witnessed many changes and have seen our congregation grow from a few attendees to the huge congregation we have now. We are excited to see what God has in store for our church next.
Mack West - Ukulele Class Assistant Teacher
Hi I am Mack West. I am 15 years old and I like play football, music, driving, playing video games and drinking iced tea. Moving to celebration Church when I was three years old, I did not realize what huge things God would do in my life. Because I am growing up in a very Christ-centered family, I always have a good glimpse into God’s many wonders. I am at the church practically any time the doors are open for: working, teaching, or being taught; so I was super excited when I was asked to assistant teach
the ukulele class. 3 years ago, I went to Rise Up camp at church and took the ukulele class. I loved it so much, I decided to join the worship arts class and have been playing ever since. I cannot wait to see how God works through the teachers and the students this year!
Victoria West - Tap 1 Assistant Teacher
I am so honored and blessed to be a part of Celebration’s Worship Arts Ministry! It has always been a dream of mine to teach younger kids something that has given me so much joy over the past twelve years I have taken dance here at Celebration. I have helped with many of the church camps over the years. I have also participated in a couple of Barter Youth Academy’s productions, and I have played volleyball for the past three years. I am thankful the Lord has blessed me with talent that I can share with younger children to Worship Him. This opportunity is not only about teaching dance, but also helping these kids grow in their walk with Christ! I pray Gods will teach me to be a kind and encouraging leader just as my dance teachers were to me.
Alyssa Zollo - Hip Hop 2 Assistant Teacher
Hi! My name is Alyssa Zollo! I work here at Celebration and I am also a full time student. I am in 9th grade and I’m homeschooled. I love being able to share my love of dance and my passion for teaching about Jesus with all of my students.