Pastors & Staff
Cory grew up in Southwest Mississippi, where he benefited from enjoying the beauty of Cajun cooking. After getting a B.S. in Sports Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, Cory served two and a half years in West Africa as a researcher and church planter. In West Africa, he not only developed a passion for reaching the unreached there, but he also met his wife, Jasmine, who was a fellow missionary. Following his mission service in West Africa, Cory received his M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from Reformed Theological Seminary. While in seminary, Cory developed a passion for comprehensive theological training in the context of the local church and among underserved peoples. Cory is passionate about seeing the church display the coming Kingdom of God to the nations through right thinking and right living.
As Director of Theological Education and Global Partners, Cory oversees our in-house theological training courses and our relationships with our global partners. This includes teaching and scheduling courses along with organizing the various ways we support our global partners.
In addition to serving as a pastor at City Church, he also serves as a Fellow of the Center for Pastor Theologians, represents the SEND Network in coordinating church planting in Cleveland, and is co-founder of Ohio Theological Institute. Cory and Jasmine have four children: Chi, Karis, Asher, and Liam.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Joel came to Cleveland to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music. As a professional classical and jazz upright bassist, Joel fell in love with Cleveland and benefited greatly from the artistic community in the city. Joel continues to be passionate about leading others to meaningfully engage the arts as a part of what it means to be human.
In 2012, Joel began a non-profit called the Cleveland Music Collaborative, with a desire to connect local musicians with opportunities to teach and perform in the city. Joel has been a part of City Church since its beginning and became a full-time pastor in 2015. As a pastor in Cleveland Heights, Joel oversees Sunday services and is often found leading our singing and meeting with members. As the Director of Liturgy, Joel trains leaders to serve in Sunday services and oversees teams at current and future parishes.
He lives in Cleveland Heights (Coventry Village) with his wife Allison and their two girls, Daisy and Winnie.
Director of Membership
Born in the tropics, but raised in Muncie, Indiana, Heather moved to Cleveland in 2010 after winning a position with the Erie Philharmonic. A classically-trained oboist, Heather has developed a love for the city, its people, its food and its ways. Heather received her B.Mus. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. She then spent one year in Boston, Massachusetts beginning her master’s work at the Longy School of Music, before finishing her studies at Ball State University in her hometown of Muncie. Heather then went on to complete her Certificate in Biblical Counseling through Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She utilizes her coursework to help City Church care for its members and increase its membership.
As Director of Membership, Heather helps guests get connected to the life of the church through the membership process and helps members grow their connection to the church through community groups.
She still plays second oboe with the Erie Philharmonic. Heather and her husband, Evan, have been married since 2013 and live in Cleveland Heights.