Dr. Michael Youssef, Founding Rector
Even before he was born, it was evident that God had a vision for Michael Amerhom Youssef. His mother was in poor health at the time she became pregnant with Michael, and because her life would be jeopardized by the birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion procedure was scheduled. But God intervened, and sent the family pastor to reassure them the night before the procedure was to take place that God was involved in this pregnancy, not to be afraid, and that this child would be “born to serve the Lord.” Michael’s parents accepted the pastor’s message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him surrender his life to the Lord in 1964 at age sixteen.
Believing that God was calling him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa at a time when no university student was permitted to hold a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously provided approval of his application. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a minister, and met and married his wife, Elizabeth.
The Youssefs came to America in 1977 and in 1978, Michael received a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. He later earned a doctorate in social anthropology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Michael served for nearly ten years with the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and church leadership to church leaders. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a United States citizen, fulfilling a dream he had held for many years.
He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission to “Equip the Saints and Seek the Lost.” The church has since grown to a congregation of over 3000. This church on a hill was the launching pad for Leading the Way‘s international ministry. Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef passionately proclaims uncompromising Truth through radio and television programs, the Internet, and through books, periodicals, and other resources. Programs are translated and broadcast into 20 languages, covering more than 200 countries. This Atlanta-based organization partners internationally with in-country follow-up teams to encourage believers in their faith, helping God’s kingdom to grow around the world.
The path he has walked has given him a thorough cross-cultural understanding and a firm grasp of Scripture. He preaches, teaches and exhorts with a straightforward and uncompromising delivery, based on the authority of the inspired, infallible Word of God. His unique, firsthand understanding of the Holy Land, its history and culture, brings the Bible to life for listeners.
The Vestry consists of fifteen men elected by the church members to serve a three year term (five each year). These men are charged with the fiduciary responsibility of the property, business, and finances of the church. Each vestry member is assigned to one or more ministries to meet with the staff leaders to support them and pray for them.
The vestry meets monthly to pray and to review the finances and business of the church.
Jordan Broggi has been a member of Apostles for five years. He has previously served as a Children’s Sunday school teacher and Chalice Bearer, and is currently serving as an Adult Sunday School co-teacher, a Lay Eucharist Minister, congregational prayer leader, and an Usher. He works for The Home Depot as a Director of Corporate Strategy & Development. Jordan and his wife, Maureen, have five children.
Chip Brookhart has been a member since 2001. Chip has served on the Vestry for two terms, as the Rector’s Warden and Treasurer. Chip currently serves as Lay Eucharist Minister, Usher, and teaches 6th Grade Boys Sunday School. He is also a founding member of Redeemer Day School and Metro Academics. Chip and his wife Virginia have four children. He is a Senior Vice President at SunTrust.
Doug Craft has been a member of Apostles since 1995. Doug has served on the Vestry and as chairman of the Finance Committee. He is a Lay Eucharist Minister and a Prayer Leader, and he has served on the Music Search Committee and the Leading The Way board for more than 10 years. He is founder and CEO of Medicraft. He and his wife Trisha have three children.
Jonathan Crumly has been a member of Apostles for nine years. He has served as an usher, small group leader, Sunday school teacher in the adult Builders community and children’s ministry, and a member of the Elementary Drama Team. He currently leads a small group in STS and serves as a Chalice Bearer. He is a founding partner in the law firm of Maner Crumly Chambliss LLP and an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, donating legal services to defend Christian liberties. Jonathan and his wife, Kim, have seven children.
Stu Harvey grew up in England and has been a member of Apostles for 10 years. Stu is a Prayer Leader, Lay Eucharist Minister, usher, Sunday school class facilitator, and attends a men’s small group. Stu is Principal and actuary at Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, an HR consulting firm. Stu and his wife Stephanie have three children.
Jackson Hill has been a member of Apostles for eleven years. He currently serves as a Lay Eucharist Minister, communion team captain, member of the Missions Committee, and congregational prayer leader. He is a previous Vestry member and served as the Rector’s Warden in 2012. He also has served as an Usher, farewell greeter, table leader at Men’s Fraternity, as well as being involved with the Special Stones Ministry. He and his wife, Penney, have three children. Jackson is Founder and CEO of Hill Financial Group, a risk and money-management firm.
John Horton has been a member of Apostles for twenty-three years. John has served on the vestry as church warden, rector’s warden, treasurer, and numerous other positions. John served for one year as church staff coordinator. He is a Lay Eucharist Minister, Membership class leader, small group leader, and congregational prayer leader. He is president of Collier Brown and Company, advisors to senior management. John and his wife, Helen, have two children and one grandchild.
Adam Langston has been a member of Apostles for 15 years. He currently serves as a Lay Eucharist Minister, small group co-leader, and an usher. He is also co-teaching a children’s Sunday school class with his wife. He has served as a Chalice Bearer and a discussion leader in adult Sunday school and Christianity Examined. Adam and his wife Brooke have two children. He is founder and CEO of Access Worldwide, an international shipping firm.
Craig Lemasters has been a member of Apostles for fourteen years. He serves as an usher, Lay Eucharist Minister, and congregational prayer leader, as well as serving on The Foundation of The Holy Apostles. He has taught in both adult and children’s Sunday school and currently leads an STS discipleship small group and the Breakthrough Living adult Sunday morning community class. He is a former vestry member and former rector’s warden. Craig and his wife, Laurel, have four children. He is president & CEO of Assurant Solutions, a specialty insurance company.
John Morris has been a member of Apostles for thirteen years. He has previously served as a Treasurer and member of the Vestry, Lay Eucharist Minister, as well as co-teaching Sunday school in the Children’s Ministry with his wife for 13 years. He currently teaches second grade Sunday school in the Children’s Ministry. He is co-founder and CEO of REPAY, an electronic payment provider. John and his wife, Cindy, have five children, ages 3-16.
Leon O’Kelley has been a member of Apostles for twenty-five years. He and his wife, Janet, have hosted a small group in their home for many years. Leon, a dentist by profession, has chaired the men’s outreach breakfast for three years, served as a Vestry member, a Lay Eucharist Minister, and as an Usher. Leon and Janet have a daughter and two grandchildren.
Kevin Sandlin has been a member of Apostles for fourteen years. Kevin has led an Apostles small group Bible study and served as an usher for ten years, served as a Communion Chalice Bearer for two years, and leads the Men’s Fraternity chapter at Fellowship Christian School in Roswell. He is the Founder and President of cd8a, a web technology startup in the commercial construction lending marketplace. Kevin and his wife, Angel, have two children.
Greg Smith has been a member of Apostles for eleven years. Greg served as the Head Usher for the Church for over six years. Greg is currently assisting with the Membership class, is a Lay Eucharist Minister, and volunteers for Vacation Bible School. He is a former vestry member, volunteers as legal counsel to Apostles, Leading The Way, and has served as counsel to The Foundation of The Holy Apostles. Greg and his wife, Kristie, have two children. He is an attorney with King & Spalding.
Jed Sorensen has been a member of Apostles for ten years. He has served as co-teacher with his wife for preschool-4th grade Sunday school, led preschool worship, and served as a master teacher for Kingdom Kids. He currently leads a COTA men’s small group, which has been meeting for nine years, and is co-teaching an adult Bible community class for parents of teens this year. Jed also serves as an Usher. He is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and is employed as a Project Manager at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Jed and his wife, Beth, have one son.
Scott Swayze has been a member of COTA since 1988. He is a Prayer Leader and Lay Eucharist Minister. He is a previous Vestry member and Rector’s Warden, as well as former usher and Sunday school teacher. He is a physician and president of Pinnacle Orthopedics in Marietta and serves on the board of Wellstar Health System. He and his wife Carol have five children and soon-to-be two sons-in-law.