In the upcoming congregational meeting on December 6th, we will be voting for new elders. Below are each of the candidates up for election. Please review each of the candidates before the meeting as we prepare to usher in new leadership!
My name is Bill Holby. My wife Stephanie and I will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary in December. We have four children, all married, and eight grandchildren. Stephanie and I met in Nashville, where we attended Vanderbilt together. We moved to Atlanta in 1979, after I graduated from law school, and I began my law practice with the King & Spalding law firm. I retired in 2019, after 40 years with the same firm.
Stephanie and I joined Perimeter Church shortly after we arrived in Atlanta, and then we were part of church planting groups that helped start Intown Community Church and ChristChurch Presbyterian. I had the privilege of serving as an elder at all three of those churches (which are the mother/grandmother/great grandmother churches for Westside!) and Stephanie was the Director of Children’s Ministries for many years at ChristChurch. We have been members at Westside for two years. Since joining, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the Finance Committee and am also involved in the Men’s Grace Groups initiative that kicked off recently. Stephanie and I have also enjoyed participating both in the Premarital Counseling classes and in the Family Care classes, and are proud members of the “50+ and Fabulous” demographic at Westside.
My name is Asfaw (Brooke) Habtemariam and it is my honor and privilege to be considered an Elder candidate at Westside. To give you a little background information, I am a child of immigrants; both of my parents are from Ethiopia. They moved to America to attend University, my father went on to become a Veterinarian/Epidemiologist, and my mother was a Physical Therapist. I was born in Auburn, Al originally, and moved to Southwest Atlanta when I was 3-4 years old. So my home is Atlanta (I love my city ☺). I graduated from the University of Georgia, where I studied both liberal arts and pre-medical coursework. Due to an illness of a parent, I am a full-time caregiver at the moment.
Since attending Westside, I have had the honor to serve in numerous capacities within the church. I served on the setup team, which I so loved, and hated to see disbanded! I also served on the parking lot team, which was really a joyful experience. And now, I serve as a co-leader of the prayer team. It has been a great honor to serve in different capacities within the church, especially on the prayer team. One of the highest callings that God has given to His church is prayer, and to help the church pursue that end is a blessing to me.
My name is Doug Teachey, and I have been a member at Atlanta Westside Church since it started 14 years ago. For the last decade, I have had the privilege of serving as a deacon and the Diaconate Chair for the last three years. I have had the privilege of seeing our church grow through its many cycles, and though COVID has made it difficult to enjoy gathering together in large groups, I have seen us continue to grow as a family of believers, adding new members to our body, and finding new ways to support each other, including our key partner PAWKids, whose mission is as critical as ever. My wife Jenna and I live in the Margaret Mitchell neighborhood along with our three beautiful daughters (Elie, Mollie, and Charlie) and our golden doodle (Maggie).
My journey started in Greensboro, NC where I spent the first 25 years of my life. Though my home life was challenging, the Lord called me at an early age to himself where I realized that He was my heavenly Father and would never leave me as an orphan. John 14:18-20 were some of the key verses that spoke to me: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” I felt like an orphan, but the Lord taught me that he loved me and would walk with me through all the trials and triumphs that my life journey would include. Knowing that I am never alone has provided me the foundation to overcome many challenging experiences in my life and to grow more and more dependent on Him and the good news of the gospel.
During my years in high school, my football coach, Mickey Atkinson served as a true spiritual father. Through his Bible Literature class (the last one taught in a public school at the time), his leadership in our FCA chapter, and the way he lived his life, he taught me how to walk with the Lord and study the Bible. Later, in college, I was involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and then participated in the early beginnings of our local Campus Outreach chapter at UNC – Greensboro where I was involved in a very discipleship focused ministry that really helped me grow in my faith. Leaving college and going into the working world, I missed the deep level of fellowship I experienced in my college years but was deeply involved in my local church and started a few men’s groups because I knew that growth occurs best in community.
I moved to Atlanta in 2001 where I was very involved as a member at Perimeter Church in Duluth where I eventually met my beautiful wife, Jenna. We felt the call to move to the city in 2006 and struggled to find a new home church. We kept running into Walter and Anne Henegar and caught hold of the vision for Atlanta Westside Church, becoming some of the first members to join. We have seen the church grow through several evolutions, and I am very excited to see all the new members that have joined even during COVID and virtual church. It has been a challenging year, but I believe the Lord is deepening our faith through this time and teaching us many things that we might not learn otherwise.
In 2010, I had a catastrophic work-related accident that nearly took my life, leaving me as an amputee. During this time, our church surrounded my family with love and support, from the singles community to other families. Jim Irwin, Michael Vestal, the Henegars, the Crewses, and many others were our strong support during those dark days. We have forged lifelong friendships here, and Atlanta Westside is what makes Atlanta home for my family and me. The Lord has supplemented my broken biological family with my pilgrim/church family. Through co-ed and men’s groups, co-leading Emotionally Health Spirituality with my wife, and serving in the diaconate, I have found opportunities to grow deeper in my relationships with my church family and serve in ways that have been a blessing to me. I do not find myself worthy to be called elder, but it permits me the opportunity to serve and love my church, which has so faithfully served and loved on me and my family all these years.
My name is Hamilton Powell. My wife, Hannah, and I have been married for 13 years. We have 3 daughters: Hattie (8), Blythe (6), and Jane (4).
I am the CEO/Founder of an online ecommerce business that has shared in many of the same growth opportunities, challenges, and questions which Westside has faced.
Hannah and I are humbled and excited at the prospect of my service in the role as elder. We are passionate about sharing the true gospel from Bankhead to Buckhead.
Ken Culpepper and his wife Anwhitney have two children (JuliaKate and Kendahl) and one dog child (GiGi). Ken works as an IT consultant systemizing business integration and implementing business intelligence. He has served in His church as an usher, prayer ministry, deacon, elder and is a perpetual student and teacher of the Holy Scriptures. He is a bondservant of Jesus, called as one of the congregation of saints, and is an heir according to Abraham’s seed.
I was born and raised in the small town of Oakland, Maryland. I grew up attending church with my parents and older brother. I remember believing at a young age and wanting to please Christ and the church. During my high school years, my pastor presented the Gospel in a way that challenged my relatively high view of myself and the things I was doing for the church. I was encouraged to look to Jesus more.
A year after high school I joined the U.S. Army as a Chaplain’s Assistant and was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia. My Chaplain was affiliated with the PCA denomination. Over the course of three years, we traveled around the world training and deploying with our unit, conducting worship services, visiting soldiers in the hospital, and counseling. During our travel we were roommates, so he slowly introduced me to Reformed theology and gave biblical answers to my objections. I was challenged to view God as much bigger than I had ever imagined He could be.
During this time, I met Anna at a Bible study that was sponsored by a church near the Army base in Columbus, Georgia. I needed a date to the military ball and used that as an excuse to ask her out. Our love grew and we were married within two years. We joined St. Andrews PCA Church in Columbus, Georgia where I served as a Deacon. During our first three years of marriage, we welcomed our oldest daughter (Leah) and twins (Abigail and Rebekah) in between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Anna had been hospitalized during her pregnancy with the twins, the twins were born premature and hospitalized, and I was recovering from injuries on my last deployment. We pushed through the diapers and physical therapy only to find we had entered a dark period of marriage. We were filled with hurt and resentment as we blamed each other– and eventually God– for the way our life was different than we thought it should have been. During this time, we were shown our deep selfishness. But we were refreshed by care from fellow Christians in our church and shown how to love each other better through counseling and accountability from Shepherding Elders.
In 2017, we moved to Atlanta where I am finishing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Our first Sunday at Westside was the 10-year anniversary, and Walter specifically invited all to attend the evening celebration, even if it was their first time! We are members of the Whittier Mill/ Riverside Community Group and have been encouraged by the fellowship and care we receive. Anna and I have served as children’s 1st grade Sunday School teachers, and we are grateful for the creative ways Westside is serving our children. Since moving to Atlanta, God has reminded us of His faithfulness to build His Church and provide relationships that build us up.