Timothy, originally from northern Indiana, moved to Atlanta in 2007 with his wife Elisabeth in order to study at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Throughout graduate school he and Elisabeth experienced a growing call to create a new United Methodist presence in an urban center. They dreamt of partnering with God to create a community who would embrace progressive values while at the same time holding fast to the historic, orthodox tenets of the Christian faith. They dreamt of a community who would creatively pioneer art and music for use in worship and liturgy. They dreamt of a community who would passionately engage in acts of justice and mercy both in their local context as well as in the far reaches of our planet. In February of 2011 Timothy was appointed by the Cabinet of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church to begin laying the groundwork for a new, creative manifestation of the Church on Atlanta's east side. In July of that year what began as a simple calling and dream became manifest in a small, renovated warehouse in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, Georgia. A small group of about 50 or so folks gathered together on Sunday mornings to worship God, create art, enact a historic liturgy and celebrate Holy Communion. Since that time Eastside has grown to a couple hundred folks and in 2014 moved a few neighborhoods southwest to East Atlanta Village. When resting from work in the parish Timothy and Elisabeth enjoy working on/around their East Lake house, playing with their three kids, and on the lucky nights, going out on a date.
Rachel has the special distinction of being a "Key West Conch," a nickname given only to those born in Key West, Florida that fits perfectly with her strong-willed yet jovial demeanor. A United Methodist pastor’s kid, she earned her BA in international affairs from Florida State University and her MDiv from Candler. Between degrees, Rachel served as assistant director of ministry for the FSU/Tallahassee Community College Wesley Foundation. It was during her time in campus ministry that she first felt the call into formal vocational ministry. She is now a commissioned deacon in the United Methodist Church through the Florida Conference. In addition to her work at Eastside, Rachel maintains a close partnership with Candler, serving alongside the admissions team as a Methodist liaison. Rachel lives in East Atlanta Village with her partner Nick, their 1-year-old Austin, and their goblin-hound Hooch (when you meet him you’ll understand). She loves books and rereads the Harry Potter series annually— she’s even led classes at Eastside on the boy wizard and the gospel. In her spare time, Rachel also enjoys traveling, photography and watching TV show thrillers. Her true joy, though, comes from connection; she’d love to grab coffee with you and enjoy the beautiful outdoors
A Georgia native, Kyle has his B.A. in Arts and Media from Middle Georgia State University and graduated from the Sacred Music program at Virginia Wesleyan University. Kyle has served as director of the children’s music education program at Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica in St. Simons Island, the director of music and arts at Neighborhood Church in Candler Park as well as the director of media and music at Common Table in Decatur. In recent years Kyle has increasingly felt God leading him toward ministry with children and families through the local church. He is passionate about working directly and intentionally in the arena of faith development and formation with our younger generations at Eastside. Kyle is a music instructor at Highland Music Studio, teaching piano, ukulele, and guitar. He lives in Midtown with his partner Carlos and their daughter Elizabeth.
Troi, originally from Stone Mountain, was born into a musical family. He grew up on various tour buses as his family followed his father’s music career. Troi’s family eventually settled in Saint Augustine, FL where he finished school and began his own career in music. After a few years of playing in weddings bands, bar bands, restaurant bands, and every other kind of band, he settled into the role of Worship Director for Campus To City Wesley (CCW), where he would go on to serve for 6 years. It was during his time at CCW that Troi experienced his call to ministry and felt God pulling his heart and his path deeper into the ways in which we gather together in the name of Jesus. Troi met his wife and partner-to-be, Karina, while living in Saint Augustine and they married not long after Karina graduated from Flagler College. After living and working in ministry in North-East Florida for 3 years Troi and Karina moved to Atlanta in May of 2019 to pursue a church where they could build the Kingdom together and so that Karina could attend Candler School of Theology while pursuing ordination as Deacon in the UMC. When Troi is not leading worship or playing music at a wedding you can find him at the closest movie theatre catching the newest flick, playing with his cats (Penny & Fluff), or eating Jeni’s ice cream with Karina.
Angela grew up in Richmond, Virginia and Columbia, South Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of Georgia and a Master of Fine Arts degree also in Printmaking from Louisiana State University. Angela has taught Printmaking, Drawing, Papermaking and Book Arts classes at LSU and at UGA. She served as the Director of Exhibitions & Public Programs at the Gwinnett based non-profit Hudgens Center for Art & Learning for ten years. Prior to joining the staff at The Hudgens, Angela worked as the Visual Arts Curator at The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, Georgia for five years. She was a founding member of The Atlanta Printmakers Studio and currently serves on their board. In 2020, Angela and her husband, Ryan Sterritt, formed the property management company, Harper Rose. The name of their small family business comes from their children’s middle names. Angela feels passionate about historic buildings and very much enjoys taking care of the beautiful building Eastside calls home. She lives in Kirkwood with her husband Ryan, their daughter, Clementine Rose and son, Grey Harper. When not exploring musty, dirt floor basements and humid attics, Angela enjoys camping, gardening, and various other creative endeavors.
Karina Aragon-Buchanan (She, Her, Hers)
Youth and Congregational Care Minister
Karina, a born and raised Floridian, graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelors in Special and Elementary Education. Karina began exploring her call to ministry at an Episcopal parish in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Beginning as an intern and then moving into the role as Interim Youth Director, Karina realized that she felt a deep calling to being apart of the voices that are actively working to build a safe, inclusive, and loving space within Youth Ministry. In May of 2019, she and her partner Troi, moved to Atlanta in order for her to pursue seminary at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. She is a certified candidate on the Deacon track in the UMC, and is a second year at Candler. When she isn’t working, Karina loves exploring new parts of Atlanta, diving into her newest book purchase or crossing off another movie from her list with Troi!