Deacon Candidates

If you have any reservations regarding the candidates below, please contact our elders using the following link:


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Steve Lange

Background

I grew up in Dayton, OH and migrated south by graduating from the University of Kentucky and living in Nashville for the last 14 years.  I have been married to my incredible wife Amanda for the last 7 years and we are expecting our first addition to our family this August after four years of infertility.  I am a financial advisor and have been for the last 11 years.  I am an avid fan of college basketball and college football and enjoy cheering on my alma mater and the Ohio State Buckeyes whenever I can.

Faith Story

I grew up in very loving home with incredible parents and a younger sister.  I was raised in the Lutheran church where our family was very active.  I made a public profession of faith during my middle school years through the catechism process. I realize today that I didn’t really know what it meant to have a relationship with Christ and that these were just words that I spoke that didn’t make it to my heart.  This lead to an 11-year period of my life where I was very distant from God and lived a life of debauchery and making more poor decisions than I can count.  I couldn’t outrun God.  Through His pursuit and some Godly men in my life, I re-dedicated my life in 2007 to accept what God has done for me and live a life that would glorify Him.  I haven’t been perfect since then but I’m a completely changed man and God’s great love for me motivates me to love others and serve His church the best that I can.


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Dave Bachman

Background

Dave Bachman and his wife Linnette are excited about multiplication! The two of them became seven as they added Kate, Kylie, McKenzie, Daniel, and Andrew to the family. It’s full and fun! The Bachman’s are also excited about the multiplication of disciples. Dave is the City Director for The Navigators in Nashville where he gets to live out his passion of mobilizing young leaders to follow Jesus and make more followers of Jesus. Though his primary influence is with students at Vanderbilt, he also overseas ministries to students at Belmont and Lipscomb, young professionals, and international students.

Faith Story

God became real to me when my dad and I met Him for breakfast in the seventh grade. My dad would take me out before school on a weekly basis and teach me everything he knew about the gospel, walking with God, and impacting others. It was during this time that I sensed God calling me to be a preacher, which seemed like an impossible task. After a solid two-year try at running from this calling, I wore out and surrendered. I learned that God was calling me out into something that would cause me to have to depend on Him instead of my own ability. Fear was quickly replaced with joy as I trusted God to use my life. Today, I can’t imagine a better fit for me, and I absolutely love what I get to do as a preacher to young adults.


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Linnette Bachman

Background

I feel so blessed to have married my dream boat, Dave, in 2005. He helps me be spontaneous and have fun. Together, we joined staff with a Christian ministry, The Navigators, and we love working together to lead and love Nashville college students, international students, 20s, and neighbors. God gave us five kids, which I never saw coming, but I’m so grateful! We homeschool and are a loud family of seven extroverts.

Faith Story

My family started going to church after a tornado hit our house when I was ten. Later in that year a family friend who was a Gideon shared Christ with me, and I prayed to receive Christ. I grew in my relationship with Christ throughout my childhood and high school years. College was an amazing time of growth and fellowship. But it’s really been in my 20s and 30s that I’ve learned to enjoy the sweetness of the Gospel that frees me from striving to prove myself.


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Molly O’Connor

Background

Molly is a Nashville native, and after living in Germany for 4 years, is happy to call Nashville home once again. She and John just celebrated 10 years of marriage! Her background is in marketing and office management, but Molly currently stays at home with her two adorable kids, and loves to run and travel. Her love language is best spoken through Mexican food and s’mores. 

Faith Story

I grew up in church and was the best rule-follower out there. It wasn’t until middle school when God showed me that my “good-doing” didn’t add up to anything, and I finally let Him take the lead. Missions has always been a central part of my life, and after high school, I moved to NYC, where I learned what it meant to live out my faith and fully rely on Him (which I’m learning all over again as a stay-at-home mom). In 2012, John and I moved to Germany to come alongside a church plant, and these were my most formative years as my faith in Christ was sometimes the only thing that kept me going, but also the years where we saw God do the coolest things in a very dark place. Let’s get tacos, and I’ll tell you more!


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John O’Connor

Background

Not to be confused with some Irish knockoff of the Terminator, John counts himself the luckiest man on earth with an amazing wife and two goofy, rambunctious little ones at home. He's a math geek who has worked in tech startups for the last decade and loves playing drums and ultimate frisbee.

Faith Story

I grew up in a Christian home, going to a Bible-teaching church from birth and assented to Christian truths from elementary school age. However, it wasn't until I began high school that I began to let the beliefs in my head become beliefs of my heart. I sought out community as a way to go deeper in my faith, gradually learning what it takes to add practical applications to the theological concepts. Over the years I've come to see that when Christians are genuine in their faith, they will do things that appear radical to most but will seem so obviously normal to fellow believers. As we learn from James 2, faith without corresponding action isn't faith at all. Put succinctly, love does. How can I love God and love others as myself without a hint of superficiality? That's the most meaningful way I can be radically different.


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Craig McClellan

Background

Craig and his wife Laura live in South Nashville with their 2 (soon to be adopted) foster daughters, 1 dog, and 2 cats. They're also expecting their first biological child, a boy, in July. Craig is a 3rd grade teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools, but prior to that, he was a professional musician who traveled with worship leaders like Carl Cartee and Jeromy Deibler (FFH) as well as writing and producing worship albums. Craig's hobbies include all things Apple, Star Wars, coffee and exercising at Iron Tribe.

Faith Story

I grew up in the church, and have been a believer for most of my life. When I moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, I also joined Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood. Through the Gospel-driven expository teaching, I have slowly begun moving away from a view of God where his love for me is conditional based upon my performance, to one of complete love, grace, and acceptance through the sacrifice of Jesus. This has also been strengthened by our adoption story. Knowing that the love I feel for these children who were placed in our home, even on hard days, pales in comparison to how my Heavenly Father loves me, is drawing me closer to Him.


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Stephanie Richardson

Background

Stephanie is a single mom of one daughter, Addie, age 17.  Stephanie worked as a licensed professional counselor providing counseling for over 10 years.  She is a Senior Executive Sales Director with Pampered Chef and has been a consultant for 23 years, and Pampered Chef has been her full-time job since her daughter was born.  She is also a coach, speaker, and trainer with the John Maxwell team.  Stephanie collects shoes and clothes for a non-profit, Soles for Souls.  Stephanie enjoys live music, entertaining, movies, reading, working out, gardening, cooking, and traveling.

Faith Story

Stephanie grew up in a private Christian school.  She believed that God loved her, but her view of Him was more of a punitive nature, that if she weren’t a good girl and didn’t work hard, she wouldn’t earn His approval. Although she accepted Christ and was baptized at age 13, she doesn’t feel like her relationship with God was really very strong until in her 30’s when she was introduced to grace. She felt a deeper relationship with the Lord, a freer more emotionally-based one, when she first came to Fellowship Brentwood.  She had been in church all her life and never felt that free. 


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John Dansby

Background

John Dansby is a 20-something (for a few more months) born and raised in the greatest state in all the land—Tennessee. His home responsibilities include keeping his 3 y/o dog and 2 roommates alive. He’s a professional “heart holder” nursing in the cardiac OR at one of our local hospitals. When not saving lives, he loves to ride his motorcycle, play Spikeball, and cheer on the UT Vols.


Faith Story

I have the tremendous gift of being raised in a Christian home all my life. I came to accept Jesus Christ for myself at the age of 8. Realizing the hopelessness of my sin-ridden efforts made Christ all the more obvious. Though faith was my own, growth picked up exponentially during my college years. It was there that I grew even more in my understanding and need for Him. Since then I’ve continued to grow in my dependence on Jesus. Time and time again it was clear that He was the main constant in my life and I didn’t (don’t) have the power to fix myself. I could not because I can not; but I don’t have to. Jesus promises to change me [and He is]. Jesus lived the perfect life on my behalf [and I only have to accept it]. Because of His sacrifice my job is simplified: be faithful and obey.


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Amanda Smeltzer

Background

Amanda is an Alabama native, who came to Nashville to pursue a career in Pediatric nursing at Vanderbilt, and she now considers Tennessee home. She has two amazing parents, Scott and Deanna, and two younger (and taller) sisters - Sara and Olivia who she would say are her "better halves". She has found a second family here at Fellowship Nashville. She loves new coffees shops and traveling. She is passionate about being involved in the community around her and pursing ways to help our next generation thrive and grow. 

Faith Story

I was blessed to be raised in a loving, Christian home and made the decision to ask Jesus into my life when I was young. However, it was not until my freshman year of college that I began to deeply understand my need for Christ. As I was faced with the loneliness and fear of being away from home, I found friendship in Christ as I discovered He wanted my whole life (Jeremiah 29:13). Since then I am continually growing in Christ as he teaches me to rely on the power of His strength despite my many weaknesses and shortcomings. He deserves all glory!


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Derek Sanders

Background

Derek is the husband of his wonderful wife, Leigh Anne, and father of two (and soon to be three) rambunctious boys.  He is the co-owner of a family business that specializes in the ownership and management of real estate, primarily apartment complexes.  HIs focus on a daily basis is on strategy, investing, and financial management of the operations of the company and its properties under management. He is passionate about University of Tennessee sports (his alma mater) and will actually bleed orange when cut. He also enjoys reading books on a wide variety of subjects.

Faith Story

Derek was not raised in the faith but came to learn about Jesus in elementary school at a local non-denominational Christian school north of Nashville.  As he matured and developed, he decided to give his life to Christ in middle school and has sought to grow in the faith over time through ups and downs.  His desire is for his will to be aligned with God’s will and to be a conduit for God’s plan to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.


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Lynn Denby

Background

I have been married to Dennis for 41 years.  We homeschooled our three children and will soon have 6 grandchildren.  I have an undergraduate degree in Child Mental Health and a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling.  Onmoving to Nashville, I joined a swim team in order to meet people in the community.  I am an avid reader of nonfiction, though I do appreciate an occasional novel.   Dennis and I enjoy hiking, traveling, and playing games.

Faith Story 

I was raised in a home of unbelievers who started going to church when they became parents.  Growing up, I heard Jesus died on the cross for my sins, but nothing much more.  In high school, I saw the movie “The Cross & the Switchblade,” about a preacher working with street gangs. He claimed it was the power of Jesus that changed their lives.  I wanted something that could change my life, too.  I really did not think God was real, but I prayed one night, “God, if you are really there, then I want you to be a part of my life.”  I told my older sister who was involved with Cru what I had prayed.  She got me started learning from God’s Word.  Over time, I began to believe God is real and that I wanted to follow Him.  My faith story has been one of slow growth over time as I have learned from God’s Word, been influenced by other believers, and have been convicted and transformed by His Spirit.


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Katie Richards

Background

Katie grew up in Kentucky and moved to Nashville in 2007, before moving to Nashville was cool. She works at Siloam Health and is passionate about resourcing the marginalized in our city. When she's not raising money for Siloam you can find her cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats, hanging out with her dog Sam, or enjoying one of the many immigrant-owned restaurants in Nashville.

Faith Story

My family started attending church shortly after we moved to Kentucky. I became a Christian at the age of twelve and remained active in church throughout high school and college.Towards the end of college, the Lord allowed my world to be turned upside down. Through that experience, He deconstructed a works-based view of His grace and spent the rest of my twenties teaching me about the goodness of His true grace. He transformed me from someone that runs from Him in sin to someone who knows it's best to run fast and hard towards Him. And that in that running towards Him I will find unconditional love and forgiveness.  


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Kris Douglas

Background

In July Emily and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  We have two children, Eleanor 12, and Simpson soon to be 8.  We moved to Nashville in 2002 to attend Vanderbilt for graduate schools with plans to move back to Atlanta after school but God had other plans for us.  While at Vanderbilt I interned with a commercial real estate company and am fortunate to say I am still with the same firm 16 years later.  We also began attending Fellowship Bible Church in 2002, which at the time was meeting at Franklin High School prior to moving to the Brentwood campus.  Living in 12th South since 2004 we were excited when we heard Fellowship was considering launching a new campus in town.  We were part of the core group for Fellowship Nashville and now walk to church on Sundays.

Faith Story

I grew up in a Christian home and put my faith in Jesus at an early age.  However, I didn’t understand the true power of grace until after college and even now continue to grow in my comprehension of God’s free gift.  In working through a bible study on spiritual gifts several years ago God challenged me to follow in obedience while trusting and relying on his plans rather than my abilities.  At the same time each of us is called to use our spiritual gifts to help grow his kingdom.  I can find tension in these ideas, but it calls me to live as a generous servant for Christ while trusting God’s plan rather than my own. 


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Elisabeth Cutrer

Background

Elisabeth is so thankful to be married to Bill (they just celebrated 20 years!) and has two teenage daughters.  She was a Bible major in college and especially loved Old Testament and Hebrew.  She recently enjoyed 2.5 years on staff as Director of Women’s Ministry at Fellowship Brentwood and is now grateful to have time to focus on her family and minister in a volunteer capacity. In addition to connecting with people, Elisabeth is a writer, enjoys coffee, Jeni’s ice cream, and hiking at Radnor.

Faith Story

When I was very young, my mother was praying aloud that I would accept Jesus as my savior.  I interrupted her prayer and told her “I’ve already done that!”  I was baptized at age 8 and grew in my relationship with the Lord through the various trials that plagued my childhood.  Every night when my mother tucked me in, she would say “don’t forget that Jesus loves you, and He will never let you down.”  I learned fairly quickly that people would let me down, but Jesus never would.  God was my father, friend, and savior.  As time went on, I began to understand my deep need for resurrection power in my everyday life.  I can’t do anything in my own strength.  I continue to be thankful for the ways He displays His character in His word and how His Spirit guides and encourages me.