Elders are the leaders of the church who in the Bible are also called pastors, bishops, and overseers (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:2). Elders are to be men chosen for their ministry according to clear biblical requirements (1 Timothy 2:11-3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and an elder’s duties include ruling (1 Timothy 5:17) managing (1 Timothy 3:4-5), tending (1 Peter 5:2-5), giving account (Hebrews 13:17), living an exemplary life (Hebrews 13:7), using authority (Acts 20:28), teaching (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 3:2), preaching (1 Timothy 5:17), doctrinal instruction (Titus 1:9), and church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17).

The clear pattern of scripture is for local churches to train up multiple qualified elders to serve together as a safeguard for both the church and the elders (Acts 20:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5; 1 Peter 5:1). Within our leadership, Jesus alone is the Senior Pastor (1 Peter 5:4). Below, you will find the pastors under him who lead and serve in our church family.

Our family of churches has central leadership, as well as local leadership at each of our churches. To find out more about each church's leadership, visit your church's page.


The following pastors serve our entire family of churches.

Adam Gibson
Vision & Teaching
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Adam and his wife Courtney were part of the team that initially moved to Columbia to start Midtown in 2005. They have three kids, Selah, Hunter, and Graham.  For Adam, the people make Columbia home. He loves the "small city" feel and that there’s plenty to do without overwhelming traffic and crowds.

Chris Kakaras
Business & Finance
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Chris graduated from college in May of 2006 and moved to Columbia to be part of the Midtown church family. He accepted an official position on staff in January of 2007. Chris is married to Megan and has three kids: Julie, Gus, and Charlie. His favorite things about Columbia are the lake and the local barbeque.

Allen Tipping
Groups & Discipleship
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Allen and his wife Courtney moved to Columbia in August of 2005 because of God's calling to join a team of friends to plant a church in downtown Columbia. They have two daughters named Zoe and Sadie and a son named Toby. For Allen, the best thing in Columbia is the zoo. The exhibits are great, especially feeding the giraffes. The splash pad is an excellent addition. They also offer lots of other great activities like the May concert series, Rhythm and Blooms.

Ryan Rike
Care & Recovery
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As a college freshman, Ryan researched several churches before moving to Columbia. He attended his first Midtown Gathering his second week at USC, and six weeks later signed up to serve in production and then took the Midtown Class. Ryan served as an intern in the summer of 2008 and then began volunteering with the finance team. He later became a Resident in 2012 and came on staff in 2014. Ryan's favorite things about Columbia are tubing the river in the summer and the Gamecock Spirit that overtakes the city.

Landon Thompson
Email Landon

Landon has been a part of the Midtown family since 2009. He and his wife Jordan are wedding photographers, and while living in Hilton Head, shot a wedding for a couple that was a part of the Midtown family. After interacting with this group of people for a day, they were amazed at their hearts for Jesus and each other—so much so that it profoundly impacted their decision to move to Columbia because they wanted to get plugged into Midtown. Landon came on staff with Midtown in 2015. They have two sons, Oaklin and Shephard. Landon's favorite things about Columbia are the Soda City Farmers Market, the local coffee shops, the Congaree National Park, and tubing on the Saluda River.


Directors oversee specific areas of ministry.

Laura Jones
Kids & Families Director
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In 2014, Laura and her family began driving from Sumter for Gatherings and LifeGroup rhythms each week. In 2016, they relocated to Columbia, and she came on staff with Midtown as the Director of Kids and Families. Laura and her husband Mike have been married since 1999, and have two children, Nolan and Carter. Laura loves that this is the capital of our state and that Columbia is a university town, she believes this is why there are so many people here who are open to new relationships. There are lots of people living here who are far from their families and hometowns and she loves the opportunity this provides to show them what Jesus-centered family on mission looks like.

Nick Johnston
Communications Director
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Nick began coming around Midtown in 2009 when he was in high school and began to call it home when he attended college at USC. Nick participated in the Residency program during his senior year and then came on staff after graduation. Nick married his wife Laura in 2015 and his favorite things to do in Columbia include walking down to the river and spending the afternoon reading and hanging around in his hammock with friends.

Wes Butler
Business Director
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Wes has been a part of the Midtown church family since June 2009. He started coming around at the end of his junior year at USC and stayed in Columbia after graduating to continue to be a part of what God was doing through Midtown. Wes loves spending time outside at places like the River Walk, Congaree, or the Horseshoe at USC as well as the events Main Street like the Latin Festival and the Soda City market.

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Megan Rife
Residency Director
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Megan began coming around Midtown in 2014 when she was in college. She became a Resident in May of 2016 and joined the staff two years later. Megan never planned on staying in Columbia after graduating from USC but now can't imagine leaving because she absolutely loves being Midtown family - Midtown makes Columbia feel like home. Megan loves going to Soda City, biking on the Riverwalk, being out on the lake, and finding new things to do in the city with her LifeGroup.

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Matt Wolfer
Graphic Designer
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Matt first started attending Midtown Gatherings at the State Museum and got plugged in through friends that were a part of the same college ministry. Matt served as a design Resident for a year, a part-time design staff designer for a year, and then came on staff full time in 2017. He is married to Bailey and has one son, Milo.


Each year we work with a group of Residents through our Residency Program, designed to raise up leaders for the existing Church and future church plants.