ELLIOT GRUDEM, Founder
Elliot is the founder and president of Leaders Collective. He has served as pastor of church planting at Vintage Church (Raleigh), director of the Acts29 Network and a pastor at Mars Hill Church (Seattle) and senior minister at Christ the King Presbyterian Church (Raleigh), a church he replanted. He also worked for an urban ministry in New Orleans. He worked for a Fortune 100 company prior to seminary. He is the editor of Christian Beliefs, a book he completed with his father, Wayne. Elliot holds degrees from Miami University (BA, History and English) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He and his wife Kacey have been married for 20 years and have one daughter. They live in Raleigh.
JEFF TOOMER, Director of Church Planting
Jeff served as an Army officer for 20 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel to enter pastoral ministry. His career included four tours of leading Soldiers in combat as an artillery officer, culminating with battalion command at Fort Bragg, NC. Jeff is a 1988 graduate of West Point. He holds Masters Degrees in Counseling and Leader Development (1998, Long Island University) and Military Arts and Sciences (2002, Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies). He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. Jeff has been married to Laryssa for 23 years. They’ve always had a passion for discipleship and mentoring. Jeff and Laryssa both enjoy hobbies of fitness, music, reading, and eating well. They have three children.
Our church planter cohort is facilitated by a team of Leaders Collective alumni pastors. Jeff Toomer will give leadership to that team as our Director of Church Planting. Jeff was part of our eighth church planter cohort. This is a part-time role that allows Jeff to continue to serve as pastor of Transit Church in Alexandria, VA a church he planted in 2012. Prior to that he served as director of operations and then campus pastor of a large church in Fayetteville, NC.
DANIEL KELLY IV, Operations Director
Daniel trained as an artist, with bachelors and masters degrees in painting. His work experience includes co-founding a wholesale furniture company in Louisiana and managing small businesses in North Carolina. The son of a pastor and seminary professor, Daniel has witnessed the realities church leaders face as well as the transformative power Christ-centered relationships and generosity can have in this context.
Daniel’s wife Susan is also an artist and his two young children are passionate about anything that contains the word fructose. Daniel was part of Christ the King Presbyterian when Elliot replanted the church 13 years ago. He and his family are members at Renewal Raleigh, pastored by Duane Davis who was part of our second church planter cohort. Daniel oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization as well as the logistics of all cohort gatherings.
Geoff Bradford is a native of East Tennessee. He went to Davidson College, where he got a BA in English Lit (less important) and met his wife Susan (extremely important). He attended Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, PA in the glory days of WTS before it got weird. Geoff and Susan have 6 sons. They also co-planted the liberti church movement in Center City Philadelphia before coming to Raleigh in 2011, where Geoff serves as Senior Pastor at Christ the King Presbyterian. Geoff is passionate about Jesus and his kingdom, church planting, cycling, poetry, bluegrass, and raising up the next generation of gospel warriors. He is not as angry as he looks.
Gib is the Pastor of Preaching and Vision at Living Hope Church in Memphis, TN. Originally from Oklahoma, Gib has served at Living Hope since 2006. Gib also serves on the National Leadership Team for the Southeast Network of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and is the Regional Director for Acts 29 Mid-South. He is a huge fan of the Oklahoma Sooners and Memphis Grizzlies. He and his wife Jill have 3 children.
Justin is an Episcopal priest (serving as the Canon for Vocations in the Diocese of Central Florida) and teaches theology, philosophy, and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously taught at the University of Virginia and Emory University. Justin holds two masters degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Justin authored or edited numerous books, including: Know the Heretics, Know the Creeds and Councils, On the Grace of God, and Christian Theologies of Scripture. He and his wife, Lindsey, are authors of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault and God Made All of Me. Justin serves on the boards of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) and GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments).
Jamie is a Montana native now living in Seattle, Washington. His life and family are blessings beyond what he deserves. He and his wife, Crystal, have been married for 14 years and have four kids: Caleb, Kara, Orin, and Haley. They have a ton of fun together enjoying sports, walks, family nights, marbles, traveling, and a good laugh. Jamie spent many years in the non-profit sector and most recently served as the Co-President of Storyville Coffee Company, a premium coffee brand in the Seattle area. One thing he’s learned is that every organization, whether a non-profit or business, is a collection of people on a shared mission. And every opportunity creates valuable leadership lessons to be learned. The more unified and prioritized a leadership team is, the more fun and profitable the work will be. Jamie loves helping leaders and organizations maximize this potential.
Bill Wellons is a church planter, consultant and principal of Fellowship Associates. In 1977, Bill and his wife, Carolyn, helped found Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, where he served as a Teaching Pastor and Chairman of the Elder Board for thirty-two years. Bill transitioned to Fellowship Associates in 2005 to oversee the Leadership Residency for church planters, consult with church leaders, and train new Residency Directors. Bill has served as a Gallup Fellow and on the National Speaker Team for FamilyLife™ Marriage Conferences. He and Carolyn are authors of Getting Away To Get It Together (published by FamilyLife™) and Bill coauthored Unlimited Partnerships with Lloyd Reeb (a Broadman & Holman Publication). Joining with Dr. Robert Lewis, he helped develop The Great Adventure DVD series for Men’s Fraternity. Married in 1970, Bill and Carolyn have raised three children, all of whom have families of their own. The Wellons currently have nine grandchildren.