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Our Deacons and Staff

Deacons must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. (1 Timothy 3:8–10)

Meet Our Office Staff

  • Donna Walton

    Secretary, Children's Ministry

    Donna has been a member of the church since 1996, and has served on staff since 2012. She helps with administration of our children's ministry, Cornerstone Kids, as well as with hospitality for church events. Donna works Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 5pm.

  • Colleen Martin

    Finance Secretary

  • Paul Hardy

    Facilities Manager

  • Maria Lai


    Maria was born and raised overseas in a non-Christian home. She came to the US for college, heard the Gospel in her native tongue (from a fellow international student!) and surrendered her life to follow Jesus. Maria became a member of Cornerstone Fellowship Church in 2015, and has been on staff since 2021. She loves dogs, enjoys the outdoors, and considers it an honor to be serving the body of Christ. 

  • Grace Wolfe

    Media Manager

    Grace serves as the Media Manager for Cornerstone and assists the church in graphic design, social media marketing, and church advertising. She grew up in the church and became a member in 2017. She recently graduated from Regent University in 2021 with a B.A. in English and Communication with a minor in Art. Grace also loves to teach art classes and recently married Josiah Wolfe. 

Meet Our Deacons

Acts 6:1-7 paints a vivid picture of diaconal ministry. There we see that deacons serve alongside the elders to meet the needs of the church. Where the elders will shepherd the flock through the ministry of the word of God and prayer, the deacons will lead in meeting the practical needs of the church. John Stott has said that deacons serve in "the ministry of tables" alongside the elders who serve in "the ministry of the word." Both are vital to a healthy and growing church. What else do we believe about deacons?

Deacons are servants

As the Greek behind the name implies, deacons are first and foremost servants. This is true of apostles (1 Cor 3:5), elders (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4), and even Christ himself (Phil 2:7), but it is uniquely true of the office of deacon. The service of deacons is to God himself and to the church. They will work alongside and under the direction of the elders to build SGC as the Lord leads.

Deacons are qualified

Paul lays out specific guidelines for the character of a deacon in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. These are not qualities that prove the man is sinless or perfect—only Christ is!—but that he is an authentic example of what it means to be a godly man. Their personal integrity, marriage, and parenting are all part of their qualification. So, too, is their being “full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3).

Deacons are gifted

While godliness might be commanded of all God’s people, a further quality that sets a deacon apart is gifting for a specific task. The ways that these men serve as SGC is significant and diverse and requires suitable gifting. At this point, diaconal ministry at SGC includes: (1) Home group leading; (2) Administrative leadership of the youth group, children’s ministry, Royal Rangers/Keepers/Homeschool Support, and the worship team; and (3) Benevolence ministry in SGC. These are roles that require significant sacrifice and time to lead, and also gifting. We hope to add more roles and men to serve in them as deacons in the coming years.

It's important to say that while deacons are qualified and gifted, these are not the only men in our church who meet this criteria. Our deacons are simply the ones needed at this time for the specific needs the elders have identified. As our needs change, so, too, will the number and kind of men needed for this ministry. This somewhat circumstantial approach to the diaconate is something we believe part of what Acts 6 teaches. 

Deacons are responsible

Just as the deacons in Acts 6:1-6 owned the ministry of feeding the Hellenist widows, we believe that essential to a diaconal ministry is such ownership. These men will be given authority to successfully complete their tasks, an authority that includes managing both financial resources and SGC volunteers.

Deacons are men

Acts 6 calls the church to "pick out from among you seven men" to fill the need (v. 3). Then in 1 Timothy 3:12 it says they are to be "the husband of one wife." 1 Timothy 3:11 speaks of the qualifications of "their wives." Though 1 Timothy 3:11 could also be translated, "likewise, women," we feel "their wives" the stronger option. For these reasons SGC has adopted the practice of commissioning men for this role. Other traditions make no distinction between men and women with this role, and some allow for women deacons who simply don't have authority over men. While we respect other traditions, this is not our approach to this office in the church. 

Women in the New Testament perform an enormous variety of significant ministries in the church. It is clear that their role is central to its health and fruitfulness. Without their contribution a local church will never achieve what God has designed for it. Through our approach to deacons and elders, we are in no way diminishing the critical place of the women in our church. We are simply wanting to walk out what seems to us to be the position most consistent with the New Testament model of church life. 

Deacons are to be commissioned (or, ordained) for their office

The New Testament precedent is to lay hands on a man for his office before he begins to serve in that office (Acts 6:6; 13:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:22; 2 Tim. 1:6). We ordain deacons the second Sunday in September for a one-year term of service. This is when we lay hands on these men and pray that God’s Spirit would empower them for fruitful and effective service in his church.

Ministry Deacons

  • Dave Burnett — Benevolence
  • Bo Martin — Financial Advisory Board
  • Luke Ehresman — Financial Advisory Board, Children's Ministry
  • Cort Walker — Financial Advisory Board
  • Ray Mulligan — Financial Advisory Board
  • Michael Garner — Financial Advisory Board
  • Christopher Scott — Worship Ministry

Home Group Leader Deacons

  • Dan Noel
  • Eli Ruhl
  • Philip Sasser
  • Travis Sasser
  • Ray Mulligan
  • Cort Walker
  • Chip Henderson
  • Jonathan Reeves
  • Benjamin Tangeman
  • Ben Garner
  • Bob Walton
  • John McLawhorn
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We are a church built on the Bible, guided and empowered by the Spirit, striving to make disciples, and pursuing holiness in the context of robust biblical relationships.

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401 Upchurch St, Apex, NC 27502

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