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 the theology of worship. Robert is married to Heather and has three daughters. Contact Pastor Robert at

Sara Halpin (Director of Youth and Children's Ministry) joined the staff in March of 2017. Sara graduated from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, with a degree in Christian Education. She brings a love for children, youth, and Jesus together with a warm, relational ministry. She came to faith as a teenager through a local church youth ministry and has been nurtured in small congregations and through several missions experiences. Contact Sara at

Eric VanderHeide (Director of Music Ministries) joined the staff in September of 2015. Eric has a personal an 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 (Director of the GSPC Preschool) 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