Shawn is proud to be from Western North Carolina. He came to Grace in 2010. Shawn and his wife Blaire have been married for 34 years and have four wonderful kids: Chelsea, Faith, John, and Elijah. When not leading a team at work, Shawn enjoys watching sports, cheering for his kid’s athletic pursuits, and listening to bluegrass music. He is proud of the work he does as a part of the Mercy Ministry and is honored to give back in the name of Christ.

Justin Jonas

Jason Reutter

Shawn Miller


Justin began attending Grace Covenant in 2011. He met his wife Sarah at Lenoir Rhyne University, and they were married in 2011. They have two children Thomas and Cecelia. Justin currently oversees Grace’s budget, assists in various “day-to-day” operations of the church, and works with the Grace Covenant Preschool. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, exercising, as well as spending time in the kitchen, cooking and baking.

Jason, along with his wife Sarah and two children, Jacob and Elliana, have been a part of the Grace Covenant family since 2021. Jason enjoys serving his family of believers and the community at large. Originally from the Midwest, he never turns down an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent mountains of NC with his family or watch Iowa Hawkeye football.

Keith Linebacker

Cory Creath

Roy and his family have been a part of the Grace family since 2002. He and his wife Ashley were married in 1991 and have 4 adult children. Roy and Ashley have been involved in many ministry areas over the past 20 years, and currently serve on the Missions Team. They are both North Carolina natives and enjoy the mountains and the beach. After 23 years of homeschooling, this is a new season which they are excited to embrace. They look forward to what the Lord has for them in this new chapter. 

Keith and his wife Denise joined Grace Covenant in 2001. Keith would say that he came to Grace at Grace. He came to a saving faith in Jesus at Grace Covenant and has been at Grace Covenant ever since. Keith truly enjoys the calling of being a Deacon," a Jack of all trades and a master of none", willing to pitch in and give all the glory to our Lord Jesus. Keith and Denise have two adult children and one grandchild that live in Hickory. Keith's a pilot by trade and enjoys sharing his love for flying with others. Also he has been known to enjoy a round of golf and a bonfire on occasion. 

Cory was born and raised in sunny southern California, but has been residing in Hickory since June of 2002. Since his transition, he has been actively involved with the youth in his community, including Christian Education, youth ministry, and coaching travel volleyball. He currently serves as an elder at the church, as well as assists the music ministry with sound and media on Sunday mornings. In 2020, Cory started his own custom woodworking business, helping both residential and commercial customers to make their design dreams a reality! When he isn’t covering himself in man glitter (sawdust), Cory can be found designing/building fun wood projects, enjoying the outdoors, spending time with family and friends or starting up new hobbies, like fly fishing! He loves the Bride of Christ (the Church) and desires for her to earnestly love her Bridegroom more and more. 

Roy McRea

Dr. Ryan and his wife Julie have been members at Grace Covenant since 2019. Julie currently serves as Worship Director. Both Ryan and Julie are native Midwesterners, relocating to Hickory in 2018. Ryan was previously an elder at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, IL before coming to North Carolina. Ryan and Julie have three children – Matthew, Bradley, and Anna. Ryan works in the community as an otolaryngologist, subspecializing in voice and swallowing management. At Grace, Ryan is actively involved in the worship team and has a passion for supporting a Bible-infused, Christ-centered, and time-tested liturgy. He also loves wondering about the glories of Christ, both in things seen in the natural world and things unseen, hoping and longing for heaven – all things made new! Ryan loves his antique 1939 Farmall H tractor because it reminds him of his earthly father and the sacrifices made for him as a precious but faint echo of his heavenly fathers’ love for him. He also cheers loudly for all things St. Louis Cardinals baseball, reads and listens to podcasts/sermons avidly, and loves walking his Bernese Mountain dog, “Ozzie.”

Ryan Hendricker

Jonathan and his wife Meredith have been members at Grace Covenant since 2005. They have three kids – Mikayla, Noah, and Logan – who have known no other church home. Jonathan is passionate about fostering relationship within the church, and he provides leadership for the adult small groups ministry and the weekly men’s Bible study. Jonathan enjoys board games with his family, books by Puritan authors, and Carolina Panthers football, but most of all he enjoys getting to know Jesus better.

Jonathan Loss

Nathan and his family came to Grace Covenant in 2019. He and his wife Sarah were married in 2010 and have two funny and amazing kids – River and Haven. Nathan currently attends LAMP Seminary and is working towards being ordained in the PCA. He is the Grace Covenant ministry intern, and you will see him involved with music, nursery, technology, and occasionally preaching on Sunday mornings. Nathan loves board games, spending time with friends and family, and date nights with Sarah! Most of all, he loves Jesus and the Gospel that has changed his life forever and has given him the desire for ministry.

Nathan Phillips

Pastor Mike first felt the call to ministry when he had the opportunity to serve as youth leader at Neely’s Creek Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He served in that role for approximately ten years, during which time he also enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and earned his Master of Divinity degree. After his graduation and subsequent ordination as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church of America, Mike served several years as associate pastor for worship and new members at Christ Presbyterian Church in Greenville, NC. He then felt and answered God’s call to the role of senior pastor at Grace Covenant Church beginning in January 2013, where he continues to serve alongside his family.
Pastor Mike was born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and has always had a love for the western part of the state. He is an avid musician and plays piano, guitar, and mandolin. Recently, he has begun to learn the hammer dulcimer. He thinks of himself as a normal guy who just really loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and loves sharing that good news with people. His favorite book is Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp, his favorite movie is Saving Private Ryan, and his favorite band is Nickel Creek. While he loves being a pastor, Mike finds his greatest enjoyment in spending time with his children – Abby, Hannah, and Josh – and his wife Kristen.  

Pastor Mike Gordon

ministry leaders



More about Music

Julie and her family moved to Hickory, NC in 2018, and officially became members of Grace Covenant in 2019. She has been the worship director since November of 2021. Julie originally hails from Michigan, but spent most of her growing up years in Peoria, IL. She graduated from Cedarville University with a B.A. in Business Administration and a minor in Music & Bible. Julie has been playing the piano and singing since she was about 5 years old. She was heavily involved in band, choir & theater throughout high school and college, as well as church choir and worship team at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, IL. Julie’s passion is to support the message of the gospel by singing theologically rich lyrics and timeless hymns and providing an environment where musicians of all abilities can grow in their skills and confidence! She loves watching her team grow together spiritually! Julie has been married to Ryan, an elder at Grace, since 2004. They have 3 children - Matthew, Bradley and Anna. When not working on music, Julie loves hiking, camping, traveling, reading, cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals and Michigan Wolverines and riding her horse, Ayanna. 

Julie Hendricker, Worship Director

Shannon came to Grace in 2007. She has worked in both mortgage banking and education arenas. God has blessed her with a wonderful husband, Bucky and two beautiful grown children, Jesse and Max. She enjoys camping, hiking, cooking and getting to work in a great Christian atmosphere. If you call the church office she will be there to greet you and help as needed.  

Shannon Hinson, Administrative Assistant

More about GCC Preschool

Mary Ann is a Clemson University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She has over 15 years of teaching experience with noted managerial experience. She started her teaching career in Greenville, SC, in the Pre-K classroom of a local public elementary school. She taught two half day classes per day. After moving to Charlotte, NC, Mary Ann went on to teach art and music for Gymboree Play and Music. She quickly became the Director of the center and planned curriculum, managed staff, and handled all daily activities. Her heart was is in the classroom, so she went back to teaching K4 at a local Methodist Church. Due to her husband's job, Mary Ann and her family relocated to Hickory in 2007. She spent time volunteering, being a stay at home mom, and worked to earn her Real Estate License. She became the Director at Northminster Child Development Center in 2014, and served there teaching and directing until its closure in August of 2018. Mary Ann feels so incredibly blessed and excited to be the Director at Grace Covenant Preschool. God has indeed blessed us with the opportunity to teach His love to the precious children of our community.

On a more personal note, Mary Ann grew up in North Augusta, SC. After college, she married a fellow Clemson Tiger and they have two amazing children that attend Western Carolina University. Luke is studying Computer Science, and her daughter Abby is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Mary Ann enjoys reading, going to movies, traveling, and spending time with her family. Her home church is Woodlawn Baptist in Conover where she enjoys volunteering with the children's ministry.  

Mary Ann Croizer, Preschool Director