OUR TEAM

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PASTOR- JOHN GARGIS

John answered the call into Pastoral Ministry 10 years ago after a long career in Information Technology. While in ministry, John has served with Celebrate Recovery, Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Emerald Youth Foundation, and Knoxville Leadership Foundation.


John accepted Jesus at the age of 35. He has been sober from his struggle with alcohol and drugs for 18 years. He was a Religion major at Liberty University and completed his seminary studies at Asbury Theological Seminary.


John's passion is walking with others as they find wholeness in life and their one true identity in Christ. He has authored a book on this subject which will be released in 2022. John loves to laugh and have fun in any setting he is in; and always brings Jesus to any environment where he is present.


John, his wife Becky, and their sons, Sam and Matthew, have lived in the Hardin Valley area for many years. Both Sam and Matthew were Hardin Valley Hawks! Sam and his wife Emily now live in Boston, MA and Matthew lives in Ft. Myers, FL.

Email John at john@valleychurch.church

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CHURCH ADMINISTRATOR- LEXIE VAN PELT

When you call the church, chances are you will hear Lexie's voice and sense her desire to help you.


Lexie Henry Van Pelt grew up in East Knoxville on her family farm which was settled in the late 1700s. She is proud to have deep roots in Knoxville’s history. She and her husband Bill both graduated from UT in 1984. After graduation, they moved to Augusta, GA where they lived for 31 years. 


They are both lifelong Methodists and have served in many positions including Administrative, Committee Chair, Treasurer, Teacher, Children & Youth. Lexie was a stay-at-home mom for many years with their daughter Haley. She served in many volunteer positions in Haley’s school and community activities. 


In 2009, Haley was injured in an automobile accident and is now disabled. In 2015, Lexie and her family moved back to Knoxville to be closer to family and they built a home in Hardin Valley. Through caring for Haley’s needs they have seen God work in so many ways to provide for their family. They have a strong faith and believe that the Lord sees us and knows our hearts.


Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Email Lexie at info@valleychurch.church

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DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN'S MINISTRIES- KIM PONDER

Kim holds a B.S. in Vocal Music Education with supplemental studies in Religion. After serving many years as a music teacher and Director of Music Ministries in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Kim accepted the call into full-time Children’s Ministry in 2013.


For the past 7 years, Kim has utilized the Orange Curriculum as a main teaching tool for ministry. The curriculum begins with infants and extends through elementary school. It engages the children with amazing Bible stories, creative videos, songs, memory verses, and exciting activities that help reinforce the lesson. Orange believes a partnership between parents and the church is the best way to create a greater impact on building a child’s faith foundation. Through our ministry program, each week parents receive materials informing them what was taught and provides fun follow-up activities for the family to engage in at home.


Kim serves alongside her husband, Bill, and loves spending time ministering to families. Both are passionate about leading kids to Christ and consider it a huge honor to be included in that. Kim and Bill have been married for 8 years and have five children between the two of them. All are married and live in Serbia, Los Angeles, Nashville, Florida, and Knoxville. They have been blessed with four beautiful grandchildren. In their free time, they love to work on home improvement projects, watch sports, spend time with family, and serve in the community.


It is Kim's prayer that you will make Valley Church your church home. She looks forward to walking with you.

Email Kim at kimp@valleychurch.church

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DIRECTOR OF STUDENT MINISTRIES- ZACH HARMON

Zach is the latest addition to the Valley Church Team. We are excited to help Zach respond to his calling toward Student Ministry. He currently attends Roane State Community College.


Zach enjoys being wrapped in toilet paper, leading worship, preaching, Bible study with his buddies, and the outdoors.

Email Zach at zack@valleychurch.church

WORSHIP LEADER- AARON TRACY

When we launched Valley Church, we prayed for a Spirit-filled worship leader that was "as excited about what we are doing as we are." One night, while at a gig at Calhoun's on the River, we met Aaron. It was then we realized our prayer was answered!


Aaron loves the Lord and feels blessed to be able to use God's gifts in worship at Valley Church. He does not view worship as a "gig." He understands worship is all about giving God the glory.


Join us on Sundays to experience his God-given gifts that he shares with us each week!