Staff and Elders

We believe the New Testament teaches that a plurality of elders are responsible for the primary leadership and oversight of the church.  Elders protect the doctrine of the church, provide direction for the church, and promote the discipleship of the church. Our current elders are Mick Aten, Mark Emerson, Sylvan Knobloch, and Josh Parsons (lead pastor). Our church is also served by the following staff members.

    Josh ParsonsLead Pastor

    Pastor Josh came to Western Oaks as lead pastor in May 2016. His primary responsibilities include preaching and, along with the other elders, keeping the church focused on our God given mission of making disciples who make disciples. He holds a doctorate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Ashley, have three boys. 

    Tammie Emerson - Worship Leader

    Tammie  began serving as the pianist at Western Oaks in September 2015.  In January 2016, she began working as the interim worship leader and became part of the staff in June 2016.  She works along side of a worship team each week in an effort to lead the church to glorify God through music and worship.  She has been a part of worship ministry for nearly 30 years.  She received her degree in Music Ministry (piano track) in 1992 from Lincoln Christian University.  She served as a pastor's wife in Sherman, IL from 1991-2009.  She and her husband have two grown girls, Lexie (husband JP), and Lynzie (husband Jacob).  She also went back to school in 2005 to earn a degree in education in an effort to expand her mission field outside of the church.  She has worked for the Athens school district teaching third grade since 2007.

    Karen Dyas - Housekeeper

    Karen is the sweet lady that keeps our church looking sparkly! She has been a member of Western Oaks since 1994 and is happily married to the one and only Jim. They have two grown children and they are grandparents to precious little Pia and Willow.

    Autumn Bowers - Office Administrator

    On organizer extraordinaire, Autumn keeps our office running smoothly at Western Oaks. She and her husband Eric have two daughters.