steveSteve Hawkins
Lead Pastor & Teaching Elder

My role at Blue Ridge:
About eighteen years ago, God gave me a vision for planting a church that would honor Him through Gospel-centered preaching and worship, creative ministries, and a friendly, welcoming environment.  I see my role as servant-in-chief, to lead others in knowing and loving God and serving others in Jesus' name.

I'm a husband to Kristi and daddy to Sawyer and Cooper. My favorite thing to do in my free time is hang out with them and be a family. My passions are many but cooking, gardening, zoology, and travel are probably at the top of the list.  I love the outdoors, especially in our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains! I've been blessed to spend some time doing missions in German-speaking Europe, so we do a lot of Austrian-German cooking at home, and Sawyer and Cooper are growing up with both English and German as their first languages.

Some things you should know about me:
I love all kinds of music; I'm a total science nerd; I volunteer time teaching German and science in schools; I'm obsessive-compulsive (but not the hyper-neat kind, unfortunately!); I've traveled to at least eighteen countries, mostly in Europe; Kristi and I sawed an oak log in half with a crosscut saw as part of our wedding ceremony (it's a German thing!); I love dogs, chickens and goats and reptiles and amphibians of all kinds; I get so excited talking about botany that I probably make some people uneasy (apparently, you're just not supposed to get that excited about science!); I've worked in my family's building supply business for more than thirty years; I've destroyed more cellphones than most people have ever owned!


Russell Taylor
Administrative Elder

russelMy role at Blue Ridge:
I manage financial and legal issues for Blue Ridge, including member contributions, insurance, and accounting, and I serve as an ex officio member of the church Session.

I work most of the week in Asheville, North Carolina, where I am Library Director at Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. I'm originally from Marion and have lived in Western North Carolina most of my life.

Some things you should know about me:
I love reading, woodworking, travel (domestic and international) and a variety of music.


Kristi Hawkins
Artistic Director and "First Lady"

kristiMy role at Blue Ridge:
I coordinate the use of fine arts in our worship, ministries and outreach, including being a liason with local artists and artisans and staging artistic events at Blue Ridge.

My husband Steve and I are parents to sons Sawyer and Cooper. In my spare time I enjoy painting, crafting and hanging out with "my boys." I'm originally from Cliffside, North Carolina and have lived in McDowell County since 2004.

Some things you should know about me:
I'm a fanatic about all things Disney (my dream for my "golden years" is to move to Orlando and work as a popcorn vendor at Disney World); I only eat foods in odd numbers; My favorite color is red; I love travel and seeing new places; Christmas is my favorite holiday (I often have four or more trees in the house!); I love-love-love being a mommy; I taught Elementary Special Education and Junior High Computer Science until Sawyer came along; I love Cary Grant films and I can recite "The Sound of Music" by heart! I'm not perfect, and I love being at a church where I don't feel the need to be. I support my husband, love our son, and I love serving God in ministry with the gifts He has given me.


Josh Holbrook  

Teaching Elder



My role at Blue Ridge:
I preach on a regular basis, work with my fellow elders to maintain oversight of the congregation, especially in matters of biblical doctrine, and help make decisions for Blue Ridge.  I'm available to listen and talk with congregation members about any needs or concerns they may have, and to bring any needed issues to the Session for consideration.

My wife, Beka, and I are parents to Chava and Josephine.  In my day job, I'm a Biology professor at Montreat College.  In my spare time, I enjoy family life, music, photography, writing, and the outdoors.

Leadership Structure at Blue Ridge Church:

Blue Ridge Church is both independent and closely affiliated with other like-minded congregations.  We are led by our Session (the church's elders, acting together.)  Elders are responsible to listen to and consult with congregation members to determine the needs and desires of the congregation.  Rather than a system of voting, our elders bring recommendations to the congregation based on consensus, which the membership then approves or disapproves.