church staff

Robert Austell (Pastor) has served Good Shepherd since March of 2002. He is a graduate of Davidson College, studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Boston, MA), and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a M.Div. in 1996. In 2008 he received the D.Min. from RTS-Charlotte with a  dissertation on worship and music. He is married to Heather and has three daughters. More info: bio | ministry passions
Contact Pastor Robert at

Eric VanderHeide (Director of Music Ministries) joined the staff in September of 2015. Eric has a personal and vibrant faith, with many years of worshiping and serving in the Christian Reformed Church. He leads our traditional choral program as well as our contemporary worship team ministry, coordinating and planning worship with the pastor around the biblical and theological themes of the service. Besides being a gifted vocalist and director, Eric has training and experience in music education, musical theater, and visual arts. He is married to Lisa and they have two children. Contact Eric at 

Melissa Baker (GSPC Preschool Director) joined the staff of Good Shepherd in July of 2005. She is a life-long member of Good Shepherd. Melissa has B.A. and M.Ed. degrees from UNCC in Child and Family studies and education and taught public school pre-K for 6 years before coming on staff. She is married to Russ and they have one daughter. Contact Melissa at 
Diana Horne (Financial Administrator) joined the staff of Good Shepherd in January of 2005. She brings a wonderful personality and knowledge of finances to our staff. She is married to Glenn and has one daughter. Contact Diana at

Joni Bailey (Administrative Assistant) joined the staff of Good Shepherd in June of 2015. Her gentle and welcoming spirit is often the first face or voice a caller or visitor experiences. In addition to wonderful gifts of hospitality and welcome, she handles all the volunteer lists and contacts, bulletin and print materials, scheduling of space, cleaning and supplies, and more. You can reach Joni at

Samantha Davis (Staff Nursery Worker) is our Sunday Morning Nursery Worker. Samantha has a B.S. in Biology from Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV and is a Certified Nursing Assistant. She is currently working towards her Med Tech certification while employed at Sunrise Assisted Living on Providence Rd. and is also pursuing a nursing degree at Queens University with plans to graduate in 2020. When Samantha isn’t working or studying she loves spending time with her family, being outdoors and playing mini-golf!

Bess McLawhorn (college summer staff 2018)
is a rising senior at Davidson College. She has lived in Charlotte her whole life and grew up at Myers Park Presbyterian Church. She is serving as a general pastoral ministry intern through the Davidson Ministry Fellows program for the summer of 2018. She is an environmental studies major, loves the outdoors and music.

Camden Campe (college summer staff 2018) is a rising junior at Elon University, where she majors in creative writing and marketing. The session of Good Shepherd has invited Camden to develop, do outreach, and run a week-long creative arts camp for children and youth, to be held in July 2018. Camden grew up at Good Shepherd and was an active part of our creative arts ministries. She is excited to come back and develop and lead this summer program.